5 Best Barber Shops in Chicago

By Rich Krafting


If you’re looking for the best barber shops in Chicago, here are our top 5 picks (plus one honorable mention) based on Yelp reviews. All these places have expert barbers to give you the freshest cuts and closest shaves. These are the most popular joints in the Windy City so make an appointment if you can or otherwise enjoy the wait.

There are two types of barber shops in Chi-town. Full service men’s salons with numerous additional services and the old school barber shops like your grandpa went to. These are almost always cash only and first come, first served. Whether you want to be pampered or take a step back in time, all of these barber shops will have you looking your absolute best.

Honorable Mention. Esquire Barber Shop

4.5 stars – 70 reviews

One of Chicago’s many traditional barber shops, Esquire offers 2 services. A signature haircut (plus neck shave and hot towel) and hot lather razor shave. Eyebrow trims are not on the menu but offered when necessary. They also feature a resident pug, Nyla.

Check out the Yelp review excerpts below for more details.

Not only was I extremely pleased with the quality of the haircut and attention to detail, the pricing is spot-on. For $18 to walk out of the barber feeling like a million bucks… you can’t beat that. A+ – Jackson V.

No frills to this place. It’s a old school barber shop. Sports on the tvs and Ali posters on the walls. This is where men go to get cut. You will not be disappointed. Seriously, these guys are the best! – Vince A.

This is the type of barber shop I’ve been looking for since I moved to the city 3 years ago. Skillful clipper cuts to keep your fade on point, hot lather neck shave with hot towel and talc treatment, and sports on the TV. When I want a haircut, I don’t need anything complicated and I don’t need to pay an extra $20 for somebody to bring me a glass of cheap champagne. What I need is a reliable, consistent cut and a price I can afford. Aaron has hit it out of the park with this place – a true men’s barber shop. – Jim D.

1511 W Foster Ave Chicago, IL 60640 – (773) 754-0953

5. Gabby’s Barber Shop

4.5 stars – 98 reviews

  • Chicago Reader Chicago’s Best barber shop Runner Up 2010 and 2011

Gabby’s Barber Shop has been serving Lakeview since the 1980s. A traditional first come, first served and cash only barber shop, they have 5 chairs to keep wait times down. They will finish your cut with a straight razor shave but don’t offer a full shave. Put your name on the chalkboard, enjoy the magazine selection, wifi, and resident dog and enjoy a high quality men’s haircut at a low cost.

Gabbys Barber Shop
Image: Blake B.

All you need to know: Good haircut. Fast. Affordable. Chalkboard sign-in. Old school ambiance (soft big band music).

Extras: WiFi. Incredible magazine rack. A laid back dog snoozing in a crate. – Randall R.

Down to business. You walk in and put your name on the chalkboard. If you want a specific barber, put their initial over your name and circle it, that way you know you’ll get the treatment you came for. No matter how busy they are, the barbers always take their time. I like to top my chop off with a straight razor to the back of the neck. They even offer hot or cool towel afterwards; simply a delight.

Unfortunately they do not offer straight razor shaves for the face, it is too timely and I can’t disagree. They are that good. Besides, I dig it in there. There’s a nice dog from time to time, charming music playing overhead, and it’s candidly like the barber shop your grandfather probably went to. – Aaron W.

The haircut is always well done and feels more professional in execution than…those chop jobs at Hair Cuttery. They always clip my eyebrows and do a straight-razor shave of my neck as well. No complaints EVER on my haircut.

Music + Personality + Magazines + Good haircut = I’m never going anywhere else. – Phil B.

2860 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60657 – (773) 549-8832

4. Van Buren Gentlemen’s Salon

5 stars – 86 reviews

A new take on the classic barber shop, this men’s salon is the one stop you need to make when you need to impress. Get a haircut, shave, Nioxin treatment, spa services including facials, waxing, and manicures and last but not least, shoe shines. With an almost exclusively female staff, this isn’t the usual man cave but it’s something better. Reviewers can’t agree on the best stylist, showing that all Van Buren team members are top notch. Become a member to enjoy unlimited haircuts and more for the year.

I have been to many salons and barber shops in Chicago and none can compare to the quality of services offered at VBG. I strongly suggest membership which entitles you to drinks, haircuts and styles, shoe shines, and manicures as many times as you’d like in the year. What really sets VBG apart, though, is the people. Overall, this is not only my favorite salon in Chicago, but one of my favorite places to hang out, too. I suggest you give it a shot and see for yourself. – Michael F.

The best men’s salon in Chicago, period. And I’ve been to a few. I’ll echo the other reviews for VB Gents on here. The staff is always welcoming, friendly and attentive. The atmosphere is clean and masculine. They always have great music playing. You can get your shoes shined, your nails buffed and sip on whiskey all while getting your haircut. What else does a guy need?

Don’t hesitate. If you’re in the market for a great men’s salon in Chicago, this is the place. – Anooj T.

The membership is an awesome way to feel like a true gentlemen! – Salvadore P.

235 W Van Buren St Chicago, IL 60607  (312) 753-5363

3. Pete’s Barber Shop

5 stars – 91 reviews

Their commercial promising that “You come in ugly, you love less ugly” shows the personality of this joint. According to reviewers, Pete and Mike are everything you’re looking for – friendly, experienced, and knowledgable about hair, scalps, and beards.

Like most barber shops, it’s cash only and no appointments. Pete’s popularity means there is usually a wait but with wifi, magazines, comic books, Xbox, and beer, there’s no where else you’d rather be.

In every profession, be it lawyer, mechanic or barber, there is a small percentage of practitioners who are the “sound craftsmen” of their trade. They make it their business to find the truth about their craft, take pride in their work and take the time and effort to address the various little extras that add up. Pete is one of those people. I just had my haircut by him and it’s the best haircut I’ve ever had. – Chris S.

This is now my “go to place” to get a haircut. Pete and Mike are not only masters of their craft but knowledgeable in hair care. Every time I’m there they take the time to discuss proper hair up-keep with customers (including myself) and I often leave there more informed and always feeling like a million bucks. It’s what getting a haircut should be and feel like. – Juan M.

Pete’s also has a great product selection for your shaving and grooming needs. I will definitely be making this my regular despite the travel time and the wait. A great haircut is worth twice that. – Lucas

Both these guys are wizards.

In fact when I die, it will be written in my will that they wheel my corpse into Pete’s to have whats left of my hair cut and styled before they take my lifeless body over to the wake. – Kirk S.

2873 N Elston Ave Chicago, IL 60618  (847) 345-4008

2. Joe’s Barbershop

4.5 stars – 142 reviews

Open since 1968, Joe’s Barbershop is the real deal. This family-owned business has a devoted following and doesn’t take appointments, so expect to wait. As they say on their website, “the best time to come in is when you have the time to wait.” Knowing that, enjoy it with some of the great conversation that makes this barber shop a destination, not an errand.

Oh, and the haircuts and shaves are good too. The well-curated product selection ensures you can craft the same look at home. Don’t miss Hangover Shave Sundays on the last Sunday of the month between May and September. Enjoy a haircut or hot towel straight razor shave, Cuban sandwich by Nini’s Deli, cold beer & koozie, and live music for just $30.

At Joe’s Barbershop, you get a clean haircut. You will get compliments, provided other things (your face) also works well with the haircut. I actually always wait and look forward for my next haircut! Thanks Joe’s for doing a phenomenal job! – Mac H.

It has the old fashioned barber shop feel. Don’t expect them to move fast, these guys are old school, they are there to do a good job not get through as many customers as they can in a day.

Joe Sr trimmed up my beard. He did an excellent job and gave me several suggestions on taking care of it and keeping it looking sharp. He was very careful, took his time and made sure I was happy with it. He was a pleasant guy to talk to, and made conversation the entire time.

I highly recommend this place if you have a beard and you’re looking for a good place to get a trim. I didn’t get my hair cut, but I’m happy with the beard trim. I will go back for future cuts/trims. – Cody F.

There are a lot of new shops popping up all over the neighborhood these days. Trying to cash in on the popularity of classic cuts and a barbershop atmosphere. What Joe Sr. and Joe Jr. got going on can not be replicated. Not only is the environment historic and authentic, but so is the genuine hospitality and expert craftsmanship.

If your short on time and looking for a quick cut, go elsewhere. A good haircut takes time, and no one needs someone in a hurry ruining the vibe in the shop.

I’m a lifer. – Brad V. 

Great place to get a haircut, experienced barbers and great prices. This is a step back in time to a real place to get your hair cut. No messing around. A+ place! – Chris H.

Best men’s haircuts in Chicago. They are thorough, give you the cut you asked for, not the same generic haircut many salons seem to give and only $15 a cut. I get a better haircut here then I have had at places that are three times the price. Also, the haircut still looks good weeks after and they are easy to maintain.

The barbers are friendly and customers are good for conversation. However, because they are so good they get quite busy. Go during the workday if you can. – Michael F.

2641 W Fullerton Ave Chicago, IL 60647  – (773) 252-3980

1. The Belmont Barbershop

4.5 stars– 190 reviews

Since 2005, the Belmont Barbershop has provided classic men’s haircuts and shaves from licensed barbers.This cash only operation takes appointments and walk-ins. Your barber should be a source of hair and facial hair inspiration and these guys lead the way. For a $19 haircut, you’ll leave looking and feeling like a million. What a deal.

I had a work crush on this quiet nerdy guy with a bad haircut who sits near me. He was such a sweetheart, keeping to himself, fumbling over his words, hands shaking and barely being able to look me in the eyes when I ask for the daily financial reports. I could tell all he needed was a little confidence.

Well last week he struts in with his new do from The Belmont Barbershop and let me tell you, he seems like a whole new person, wait no, he IS a whole new person.

Now he has a classic Don Draper look along with the swaggering machismo of a young Burt Reynolds.

He even smells like campfire and gunpowder.

I’ve become the one breaking eye contact and nervously sweating whenever he steps in my cubicle to make small talk.

It’s crazy what a good haircut can do for a man. – Heather C.

It doesn’t get better… These guys give you exactly what you need: a haircut from a man, by a man, and for a man. Haircut, clean shave, good joint, good dudes. And a great price. I’ll be coming here as long as I live in the city. – Kellen P.

I have been going to The Belmont Barbershop for at least 5 years now. I always get a great cut, never have to wait, and it never takes too long. The guys are all amazing barbers and the shop talk is entertaining and fresh. There is always tasteful music playing and the decor is classic. I always walk out of that place looking and smelling like I can take on the world. – Dave S. 

Hands down, Best barbershop in Chicago, for me midwest! Atmosphere, energy, and talent lined up at this great Chicago barber. They know hair, and they know men. It’s a must go to for a superb cut that’s modern but still classy as ever. – Zach E.

2328 W Belmont Ave Chicago, IL 60618 –  (773) 296-0894

We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Please read our disclosure.

Related Content

Best Barbershop in Boulder Colorado - Good Barbers

Best Barber Shop In Boulder Colorado – Good Barbers

Looking for the best barbers and best barbershop in Boulder county? Look no further. We’ve visited ... Read more

Best Barber Shops in Miami

The location of many barber battles, Miami is home to many fine tonsorial establishments. The city has ... Read more

Best Barber Shops in San Diego

When it comes to barbershops, guys in San Diego have plenty of options. It was a ... Read more

Top 10 Best Barber Shops in Denver

Denver is home to all the flavors of barber shops and then some. There are classic ... Read more
best barber shops austin

Best Barber Shops In Austin

This isn’t a top 10 list because based on reviews, we only found eight Austin barbershops ... Read more

Best Barber Shops – Las Vegas Strip and Downtown

Whether you’re hitting Vegas for a bachelor party, wedding, or just to party, you want to ... Read more

10 Best Barber Shops in San Francisco

Every city has a unique culture and that is reflected in the barbershop scene. In San ... Read more

Top 10 Best Barber Shops in Los Angeles

Whether you’re a newcomer, visitor, or Los Angeles native, you want to be looking your best. ... Read more