Due to a security update, you may have to reset your password. Don’t panic, nothing has gone wrong and your password is safe. If you don’t have access to that email, send Tube a message at [email protected] More info here: https://status.vanillaforums.com/incidents/2zdqxf3bt7mj
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.

Things to do in and around Chicago

BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
Hi,

I often post "things to do" threads asking advice whenever I travel to the U.S. (ie. Los Angeles) and here is another one for Chicago. I am traveling there in January and I know it's a terrible time to be there due to weather but whatever, free trip. I lived in the U.S. for 7 years in 2000s and pretty much seen it all but never been to Chicago. I'll be there for business for 5 days and will have 3 days free afterwards, so any recommendation is appreciated.

Thanks!

i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

Posts

  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    I lived about 2 hours away from Chicago for a few years and would visit every now and then, mostly for concerts. But I went to a few other places too.

    - There are a lot of museums! I enjoyed all the ones I went to, but the one that stood out for me was the Museum of Science & Industry which has a captured World War II U-Boat on display.
    - Try some deep dish pizza! I only ever had the one from Giordano's, but there are more than a few places to get it there.
    - If you're into heavy metal and burgers, check out one of the Kuma's locations. Looks like the one I went to has closed, but there are still two in Chicago.
    - It's very touristy, but I enjoyed going up to the observation deck of the Sears Tower Willis Tower.
    - I went to Navy Pier once and it sucked.

    Basar
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    If it's of interest you, there's a lot of breweries and distilleries in the neighborhoods, depending on where you're staying.

    Search for Koval Distillery. There are a bunch of breweries within a block or two included Emperical.

    "Never believe management about anything anywhere." -Aistan
    Basar
  • SimpsoniaSimpsonia Registered User regular
    Is this where the Chicago beer snobs battle it out for our local breweries of choice? As an IPA guy, I'm partial to Maplewood and Revolution, personally, blah blah blah.
    • As mentioned, the Museum of Science and Industry is pretty rad, especially the U-boat. Unfortunately, it's in Hyde Park which is a bit of a pain to get to if you're staying north.
    • Field Museum is great too, we have the largest full T-Rex skeleton in the world.
    • The Art Institute is a world class art museum.
    • Get an Italian Beef with Giardinara (spicy pickled vegetables) at Portillos or Al's Beef.
    • Get a Chicago style hot dog (no ketchup allowed).
    • Cocktails at the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the Hancock building around sunset is breathtaking (do this instead of the Sears (Willis) Tower observation deck).

    If you want dining recommendations, just let us know what you're looking for and I can provide more. Frontera Grill is one of Rick Bayless' classics and is phenomenal Mexican.

    What else are you into when you like to travel? Dining, culture, museums, seeing the local neighborhood color?

    BasarLoveIsUnity
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Simpsonia wrote: »
    Is this where the Chicago beer snobs battle it out for our local breweries of choice? As an IPA guy, I'm partial to Maplewood and Revolution, personally, blah blah blah.

    Pfft...more like Bitterwood and Hopvolution.

    No, I just went on a tour of Koval and Emperical last week so knew those were close by.

    "Never believe management about anything anywhere." -Aistan
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Shedd aquarium, obviously!

    Also, if you are doing a bunch of touristy stuff in any major city, looking at CityPass or any of their competing services can save you a bunch of money (and skipping long lines) versus just going to the same places on your own.

    MichaelLCElvenshae
  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    they do double decker bus tours around the downtown area and it's a nice economical way to get around downtown if you're willing to take a circuitous route and be mildly entertained while doing it

    one of my favorite things from spending time in Chicago was going to The Second City show, iirc it wasn't very pricey at all and I enjoyed it, of course the act changes all the time so who knows

    Navy Pier is in fact very very very touristy and lame, particularly depending on the season... although they rotate out some attractions

  • ani_game_bumani_game_bum Optimistic Keyblade Warrior Always staring towards the distance...Registered User regular
    I'll second the votes on the museums and Giordano's deep dish pizza.

    Not sure if you are a sports fan but in January the Chicago Bulls (NBA) and Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) have home games in the United Center and, depending on how good or bad they are doing, nosebleed tickets may be on the cheaper side and an affordable way to catch a pro sporting event (possible bonus if the Chicago Bears are in the NFL Playoffs at that time but those tickets will be ridiculously expensive) .

    Alternatively, Chicago has a great theater district in the heart of the city (The Loop) and usually have several productions and live entertainment shows going on any given time.

    If the weather is decent, stop by Millennium Park and see the Bean.

    steam_sig.png

    Wii FC: 2569 0668 1330 4703 3DS FC: 5455 9912 6458
    PSN: ani_game_bum Battle.net ID: Anigamebum#1354
    Steam Wishlist
    SteevL
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    Thank you all for the fantastic recommendations.

    I definitely dig theater productions and will check tickets.

    @Simpsonia I'd love to hear some dining recommendations but I am a pescetarian so steaks and burgers are no good : ) I'd be happy to know about some good sushi and pasta places as well as others. I've already put Giardano on my list.

    Thanks!

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    If you don't get a city pass, one week CTA passes are about $30. If you are staying downtown the blue line from Ohare is by far the easiest way to get to and from the airport.

    Catch a Blackhawks or Bulls game, both are gonna be bad this year so midweek tickets will be pretty cheap. The Bears still suck and thus will not be playing, so head over to Will's Northwood Inn up in Wrigglyville and watch a Packer game.

    One of the theaters has one of the satellite Hamilton performances, which is a great way to catch it live if you care about musicals at all(and it is much better than your standard musical, if they aren't really your thing generally its worth seeing).

    There's also tons of bands that tour through the city, so I'd just look up some venues and see who is playing the week you're there.

    Have some Jepson's Malort.

    Check the weather and bring warm clothes, a hat and gloves. Can you grow a beard? I'd grow one. I'm a Midwesterner born and raised but it hit -30C last January thanks to the polar vortex and that is just a different level of not fun. Also If you haven't booked already, get direct flights or at least direct to Europe or w/e. You really don't want a connection in JFK or Logan or somewhere in winter. You'll get stuck there, or get stuck on a ground hold in Chicago because of the weather there, or get stuck in Chicago cause the weather in Chicago, and then by the time you get rebooked and shit gets sorted the same storm is now shutting down Laguardia.

    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    Have some Jepson's Malort.

    Oh god, I completely forgot that I had this there a few years ago. It's definitely a memorable experience.

    MichaelLC
  • tyrannustyrannus Registered User regular
    edited October 17
    don't drink malort

    have a sip

    tyrannus on
  • SimpsoniaSimpsonia Registered User regular
    Basar wrote: »
    Thank you all for the fantastic recommendations.

    I definitely dig theater productions and will check tickets.

    @Simpsonia I'd love to hear some dining recommendations but I am a pescetarian so steaks and burgers are no good : ) I'd be happy to know about some good sushi and pasta places as well as others. I've already put Giardano on my list.

    Thanks!

    So my recommendations are slightly more limited due to diet then, but here's a list of some amazing restaurants that are seafood or vegetarian friendly:
    Pacific Standard Time (west coast style seafood)
    Galit (Israeli/Middle Eastern contemporary, this is my wife's new favorite restaurant)
    Mott's Street (Korean/American contemporary; try the crab brain fried rice, it's awesome)
    Fat Rice (Macao/Macanese? these guys do some wild inventive stuff)
    Nico Osteria (Italian seafood);
    Monteverde (Italian pasta, all homemade in-house);

    While none of these are super-expensive, none of them are exactly cheap either, but they are some of the best non-high-end restaurants in the city.

    If you were looking to break the bank for a once in a lifetime experience, you could try to get tickets/reservations to Alinea (three michelin stars and frequently listed as one of the best in the world), that's as much art as it is dining. If you get tickets far enough in advance they can usually accommodate any dietary restrictions. They've got some wild stuff like the edible green apple balloon.

  • Element BrianElement Brian Peanut Butter Shill Registered User regular
    Tyrannus took me to this Wall Climbing gym in Chicago when i visited and it was a fucking blast. They have auto-belays so you dont have to go through all the rope-knot learning stuff and hold it for someone else, you can just clip in and climb. Very fun, wish we had something that big and setup here in Seattle.

    Switch FC code:SW-2130-4285-0059

    Arch,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_goGR39m2k
  • chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    Go here: https://www.gallopingghostarcade.com/

    I mean, if you like video games.

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    SteevL wrote: »
    Have some Jepson's Malort.

    Oh god, I completely forgot that I had this there a few years ago. It's definitely a memorable experience.

    It being mentioned a few times on a podcast I listen to makes me regret not hunting it down while I was out there for a conference a few months ago.

    On that note, while it might be a bit chilly to do now (if it's still even going), I took the architectural boat tour along the river. I think it was about an hour and a half, and I really enjoyed the experience to see it all from that perspective, with someone on hand giving bits of history about the various buildings and their architects.

    And of the various venues that we hit for dinner or drinks, my favourite was Howl at the Moon, a dueling piano bar that put on one hell of a show. I definitely plan to go back there when I have a few days in the area again.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    Go here: https://www.gallopingghostarcade.com/

    I mean, if you like video games.

    FYI this is in Brookfield, something like a 30-60 minute drive from the city, depending on where you're at and traffic.

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
  • SimpsoniaSimpsonia Registered User regular
    There's plenty of beercades on the north side. Primarily you've got Headquarters, Emporium and Replay. I'm partial to Headquarters as all of the games are free to play, while the others still require quarters.

  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    hot dougs

    AAAAA!!! PLAAAYGUUU!!!!
  • KetarKetar Ready to feel better about your own miserable lives?Registered User regular
    dlinfiniti wrote: »
    hot dougs

    Was a beautiful thing, but it closed 5 years ago.

  • SimpsoniaSimpsonia Registered User regular
    Ketar wrote: »
    dlinfiniti wrote: »
    hot dougs

    Was a beautiful thing, but it closed 5 years ago.

    However, his old line cooks appropriated Doug's old recipes (with his blessing) and opened Hot G Dog in Andersonville. It's about 90% of what the original was, so still pretty dang good.

  • Small Time CrookedSmall Time Crooked Post Malone's Hairdresser Des Plaines, ILRegistered User regular
    Lincoln Park Zoo is pretty fun, pretty much just get off the Red Line at Fullerton and head East either walking (bout 20 minutes) or uber/lyft.

    Lots of different bars that offer live music, Subterranean, Reggie's, Buddy Guy's, Weeds and a lot more.

    Get a real Chicago deep dish pie, I'm partial to Tortorice's cuz it's pretty much everything I remember deep dish being as a kid. Spots like Lou Malnati's and Giordano's are like, out-of-towner pizza. It's alright, but doesn't remind me of home.

    Wicker Park is a "meh" area, I don't like it cuz nothing but hipsters chill there, but some of the legal graffiti is cool to see. The writers out that way really blow my mind with some of the pieces they put together on the businesses.

    The Lyric Opera House is always a great time, me and my wife try to plan date nights every now and then to go when we can get someone to watch the kiddo.

  • KetarKetar Ready to feel better about your own miserable lives?Registered User regular
    Huh. I very much disagree on the pizza front. I've lived in Chicago or the burbs for pretty much my entire life and Giordano's is my go-to for delivery deep dish. My wife likes Malnati's enough that we opt for them sometimes too. Both were the most typical options for ordering pizza at any office I worked at downtown.

    That said, we don't actually eat much deep dish - 2-3 times per year, maybe. I generally prefer your typical tavern-cut thin crust. If I'm going out with friends and we want pizza though, it's pretty much Pequod's or bust. Easily the best deep-dish in my book.

    Small Time Crooked
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Somebody probably said it but get some cheese fries at Portillo's

    That's all I've learned one year in this area, cheese fries = good

    XB1/360 - Local H Jay
    PS4 - Local_H_Jay
    Sub me on Youtube
    And Twitch
    Ticaldfjam
  • Sir LandsharkSir Landshark resting shark face Registered User regular
    Lincoln Park Zoo is pretty fun, pretty much just get off the Red Line at Fullerton and head East either walking (bout 20 minutes) or uber/lyft.

    Lots of different bars that offer live music, Subterranean, Reggie's, Buddy Guy's, Weeds and a lot more.

    Get a real Chicago deep dish pie, I'm partial to Tortorice's cuz it's pretty much everything I remember deep dish being as a kid. Spots like Lou Malnati's and Giordano's are like, out-of-towner pizza. It's alright, but doesn't remind me of home.

    Wicker Park is a "meh" area, I don't like it cuz nothing but hipsters chill there, but some of the legal graffiti is cool to see. The writers out that way really blow my mind with some of the pieces they put together on the businesses.

    The Lyric Opera House is always a great time, me and my wife try to plan date nights every now and then to go when we can get someone to watch the kiddo.

    Yeah the Lincoln Park Zoo is pretty cool, and it's free and in a pretty nice area of Chicago so you can hit that up and then walk to some good restaurants nearby. As a bonus, if you're there in early January the zoo will still be lit up/open late at night for ZooLights.

    Please consider the environment before printing this post.
    MichaelLCTicaldfjam
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    So, thought I'd bump this up for some recommendations. I'm going to be in Chicago for business next week, and would like some suggestions for places to eat in the Millennium Park area (since I won't have a car.)

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • KetarKetar Ready to feel better about your own miserable lives?Registered User regular
    So, thought I'd bump this up for some recommendations. I'm going to be in Chicago for business next week, and would like some suggestions for places to eat in the Millennium Park area (since I won't have a car.)

    The Gage, on Michigan Avenue directly across from the park, is nice. My brother worked there for a couple of years and had nothing but good things to say about it.

    Revival Food Hall isn't far and has small outposts of a number of good restaurants from around the city.

    If you go south on Michigan Ave, Mercat a la Planxa is a good tapas restaurant with absolutely amazing lamb chops. My wife and I ate there around a month ago, and those lamb chops were so good we almost went back the next day for lunch to get them again.

    Eleven City Diner in the south loop is a good breakfast or lunch option. A mix of diner and deli food, all done well. House-made root beer is very good. Big portions. Nice looking bloody mary if you're drinking.

    The Purple Pig just north of the river used to be a great spot - the kind of place local restaurant staff would go eat at regularly when they get off work. Haven't been there in a while and I know the owner and original chef had a falling out at some point, so check current reviews.

    The Billy Goat Tavern - immortalized in sketches in the very early years of SNL - is right by Purple Pig and an ok spot to grab a cheeseborger if you know which sketches I'm referring to. Huh, looks like they have an even closer branch near the park now too.

    Toni Patisserie has some nice dessert options and coffee and is right by Millenium Park.

    If you want deep dish pizza get away from that area and go to Pequod's. You'd probably want to cab it or Lyft though, since it's too far to walk and not terribly close to an L stop either. If you want deep dish and aren't up for going that far, go to the Giordano's near the park.

    Naf Naf Grill does good shawarma and kababs. If it's a location where they make the pita bread fresh on site it's pretty damn good.

    Heaven on Seven is over in that area now too. I haven't been to their current location on Wabash, but we used to hit their old spot once or twice a year. Good Cajun/Creole food.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited November 21
    Thank you for the recommendations, @Ketar - Toni's was wonderful, and I'm having dinner at The Gage - you have to respect a high end establishment that has on the menu a cocktail named "Cure Light Wounds".

    Edit: In follow-up, the poutine with foie gras gravy was amazing, Bambi was delicious served on a bun medium rare, and their chocolate torte was divine.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
    KetarSteevLMichaelLCElvenshae
  • 1205Dennis1205Dennis Registered User new member
    Definitely visit the Art Institute and the Museum of Science and Industry. If you love animals, don't miss the Lincoln Park zoo, it's quite an experience. If you're curious about restaurants too, I'd recommend you go with Passerotto, it's international cuisine, unlike anything you've had before.

Sign In or Register to comment.