Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Most of my friends know I love Chicago. Not only do some of my favorite people live there, it's a great city for food and fun. My friend is visiting in a few weeks and asked for suggestions for my favorite places. Here you go, dear!

Places to Visit

Wrigley Field
There is nothing like stepping back in baseball time to attend a Cubs game. Everyone here wears Cubs gear, not like other ballparks (I'm talking to you O's fans). Watching baseball doesn't get much better than this.

Museum of Science and Industry
This is such a great science museum. There is a coal ride that looked like a ton (hehe) of fun, but the line was too long the day I visited. You can take a trip on a Zephyr, take a tour of a German submarine, and see a scale model of Chicago. I see that there's a glass exhibit there now that is probably amazing.

Art Institute of Chicago
I spend a few hours here every time I visit Chicago. The abstract expressionist room is wonderful. I could sit there all day and watch peoples reactions to those paintings. There is also a great collection of miniature rooms here. Ferris Buller and friends go here on their day off.

The Field Museum
I have to admit, I've only been behind the scenes of the Field Museum. But, I did see Sue, the huge dinosaur. I could spend all day "backstage" looking at the thousands of fungi and lichen specimens they have catalogued here.

Architecture Tour
Chicago is known for its architecture. I have always wanted to go on a tour, but have never really had time. My friends have been on them and said they're awesome.

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel
This Ferris Wheel was modeled after the first ever Ferris Wheel in the United States designed by the same guy who thought up the Eiffel Tower. It's kind of pricey, but it's really fun, even on a cold, foggy night.

The Second City
If you're a fan of Saturday Night Live, you must visit the place where so many of the cast members got their start.

Reckless Records\
One of my favorite places for vinyl. The Milwaukee Ave location is where they filmed High Fidelity.

Eats and Drinks

Greek Islands
A trip to Chicago is wasted unless you go here for some flaming cheese.

Bongo Room
The brunch here is the best. Maybe the best in the country. Various flavors of pancakes await you here. Go early, because this place isn't a secret.

Penny's Noodle Shop
Cheap eats and really awesome noodles can be eaten here. Beware of the "noodle bowl" syndrome that follows a meal here.

Billy Goat Tavern
Cheeseburger. Cheeseburger. Cheeseburger. Cheeseburger. NO FRIES! CHIPS! (and yummy grilled cheese sandwiches)

Anything Rick Bayless Owns
I have never been smart enough to go to one of his restaurants while I visited Chicago, but I've been addicted to his "Mexican Everyday" cookbook this year. Needless to say I will not be skipping these during my next trip.

Ed Debevic's
They really do sing and dance here and you can eat your dinner wearing a funny hat.

Garrett Popcorn
Sure you can order it online. But nothing beats getting it warm from the shop.

Vosges Chocolate
There is a Vosges store in Chicago. I'm pretty sure it's on Michigan.

Gingerman Tavern
This may very well be one of my favorite bars in the United States. Good beer, great jukebox, and nice people. A haven in Wrigleyville from all the frat boy loaded sports bars. Near here somewhere there is a also a bar dubbed "Phil Collins Bar" by my friends and I because they seem to always be playing Phil Collins' songs.

The Map Room
A great bar with strange books you can read to your friends while you drink good beer.

Silver Cloud
A cute space with phenomenal cocktails. Probably the only place I will order a girly drink (well, here and Felix).

The Green Mill
I went here my first time in Chicago and it was super. There was an old radio show performance happening that night. A really interesting place to sit and have a drink, imagining times gone by. Very Great Gatsby in here.

The famed Rock and Roll McDonalds is also located in Chicago. I would post a video of Wesley Wills (RIP) singing this song to close out the post, but I don't know how, so you'll have to look that one up yourself.


lell said...

Hot Doug's - www.hotdougs.com

Manny's Deli - www.mannysdeli.com
Best deli in Chicago. Love their beef stew, potato pancakes, knishes, and ridiculously large sandwiches.

And, I'm no deep-dish lover (I prefer thin crust), but if you want to try some classic Chicago deep-dish pizza, go for:
Lou Malnati's - www.loumalnatis.com
Pizano's - www.pizanoschicago.com

lell said...

Oh, and for live music:

Empty Bottle - www.emptybottle.com
The Logan Square Auditorium is also a cool venue and tickets can be purchased through the Empty Bottle website as well.

Schubas - www.schubas.com
A much smaller, intimate setting where you can bump elbows with the performers.

The Metro - www.metrochicago.com
Classic Chicago venue and right next to The Gingerman!

K8teebug said...

We are so going for a hot doug next time I'm there. I can't believe I've never had a Chicago hot dog!