General Question

rawpixels's avatar

Chicago...who has recommedations?

Asked by rawpixels (2650 points ) May 5th, 2009

I’m going to Chicago in August to see Pearl Jam. It will be my first time in Chicago. I already plan to take a tour of Wrigley Field (Cubs are out of town while I’m there), but I could use some great steak and deep dish pizza recommendations, and some fun things to do.

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22 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

Intelligentsia Coffee, all over the city.

Lou Malnati’s Pizza, best chicago-style, imo.

Go to the public library.

Go to Grant Park. See Buckingham Fountain.

Ride the El.

Visit the Threadless store.

Go to a place called “Chubby Weiners”. awesome hot dogs. (off the brown line, forget which stop)

Chicago Museum of Art (bring instrumental of “Please please please..” and redo a scene from Ferris Bueller)

Natural Science Museum

AstroChuck's avatar

Try Gino’s East for the best deep dish pizza you’ll ever eat. Also, try and make it down to Navy Pier. That’s a fun tourist stop.

flameboi's avatar

Ralph Lauren Restaurant…

eponymoushipster's avatar

@AstroChuck Gino’s East?! meh, i say. meh! they put cornmeal in the dough.

rawpixels's avatar

Thanks for all the tips, folks!

Les's avatar

I second Gino’s East. @eponymous…: The Natural History Museum is called the Field Museum, the “Chicago Museum of Art” is the Art Institute of Chicago, most Chicagoans refer to the “El” as you call it as the ‘L’, and which “public library”? I think you mean the “Harold Washington Library”. Just saying. You say “Lou Malnati’s”, which is good, but I say Gino’s. Learn your landmarks, then maybe I’ll take you more seriously.

To add to the list, I also recommend taking an architectural tour with the Chicago Architecture Foundation. They have a really nice river tour, which I highly recommend. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t get a full Chicago experience without seeing the architecture that made it famous.

rawpixels's avatar

@Les
Thanks so much for the tips! I’ll be staying at the Hyatt Regency, which is on E. Wacker and Michigan, and I see that the boat cruise is right across the street from the hotel. I’ll definitely be doing this.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Sears Tower!

Too bad you’ll miss Taste of Chicago in July. :( Thirding Gino’s East.

Too bad I’ll miss Taste of Chicago in July. :/

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Les i lived there two years. 2 years ago. chill out.

Les's avatar

@epony..: I’m only teasing.

PrancingUrchin's avatar

I guess I’ll put in my two cents concerning pizza and recommend Pizzaria Uno’s or Duo’s. Guess you’ll be pretty full while you’re there.

larsalan's avatar

pizza? Head out to homewood for some aurillio’s

charliecompany34's avatar

“Ginos east” or “home run inn” pizza on 31st street, just east of cicero. beggar’s pizza on the south end for deep dish as well or “giordanos” deep-dish deep pizza in hyde park off 53rd street, just a block away from where president obama used to get his haircuts.

charliecompany34's avatar

tourist joints?

wrigley field
buckingham fountain
navy pier

PRESIDENTIAL STUFF:

“valois diner” in hyde park on 53rd
“orly’s on 55th in hyde park”
harold’s chicken in hyde park in the kimbark plaza on 53rd
the pancake house on hyde park blvd (you must go there!)

“sears tower,” even though the new owner wants to call it willis tower (what you talkin’ bout willis?)

millineum park and magnificent mile at the water tower and water tower place.

“flattop grill” across the street from HARPO studios where oprah tapes her shows

randolph street open markets west of the loop.

river north area around ontario and franklin for trendy restaurants, lofts, art galleries, clubs

lincoln park for the zoo and upscale clubs and eateries and lack of parking

the lakefront at montrose harbor and anything north of “illinois street.”

museum of science and industry on the lakefront as well as the planetarium and the field museum of natural history.

“rush street” on a saturday night for clubbing and drinking

“harry caray’s” italian steakhouse jus west of the chicago river

“andy’s” or “shaw’s” crab and live jazz bar on hubbard street, a few blocks over from harry caray’s.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Every end of the year in elementary school, the big thing for us to do was to get on the bus and go down to the Museum of Science and Industry. So much fun! Especially the coal mine simulation and the submarine! I got a perfect pitch score on that sound wave emulator machine thing. First, it played a sound. Then you heard another sound and had to match it to what you’d originally heard. I was very good at that game.

And then our teachers would take us to Uno’s or Gino’s East. Or Johnny Rockets.

In college, I came down from uni and saw a lot of bands at the Cabaret Metro. I also like Grant Park a lot. The Jazz Festival and Taste of Chicago were a lot of fun there. My bf from uni days loved to eat the German cuisine at the Hotel Bergdorf (I think Milwaukee has better German food), and he was a fan of their beer. I don’t know if either exists anymore.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Gino’s East if you want deep dish. It’s the best there is. They do more sauce. The deep dish is much more like pie than what you would think of as pizza. Giordano’s has way more cheese. It’s like..melted cheese pie. Which sounds awesome, but is mostly just a LOT of chewing.

The Museum of Science and Industry is pretty awesome. Right now they have two special exhibits (Harry Potter and Green Tech). Both sound great. I intend to see both, even. Science and Industry also has Sue, the largest and most complete T-Rex ever.

Get in touch with the visitor’s center and set up a tour of the city. If you give them at least a week’s notice they will tailor it to you and it is FREE.

If you have some time, you can get an excellent burger at Kuma’s Corner. But beware! It’s a metal bar, so don’t go with anyone you want to HEAR. All the burgers are named after metal bands as well. But totally delicious!

On a Wed or Sat, I would check out the Green City Market, one of the best known farmer’s markets in the city and quite easy to find. In the same area is the Lincoln Park Zoo, free and animals.

The Shedd Acquarium is very well known/respected as an aquarium. I plan on going any day now, but haven’t so that is all I can say.

Millennium Park has the Bean, a big touristy thing, and is directly across the street from the tourism center (the cultural center or something is the official name).

Steak wise, we’ve got a few Brazillian steakhouses that are great. Aside from that I can’t really say.

Have some Intelligencia Coffee or Metropolis Coffee while you are here. Both are local. I’d also recommend some local beers. Hit up a brewpub like the Goose Island brewpub for a local. Actually, I’d recommend Hopleaf for beer and a meal. They’re up in Andersonville and amazing.

eponymoushipster's avatar

METROPOLIS! thank you empress. i couldn’t remember what the name was. i used to go there all the time – it was along the bus route from my apartment to the El. thank you!

that place is awesome. despite my forgetting the name, i spent a good amount of time there. great coffee, cool atmosphere and with a great view from the lake outside.

highly recommended.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

For fine dining/steak, go to Kiki’s French Bistro.

For more casual, diner-ish stuff, Ed Debevic’s is a bit touristy, but it’s certainly an experience.

Everyone else pretty much got the sites to see down. Have fun!

EmpressPixie's avatar

I am drinking a Metropolis latte right now (right now!) and wanted to again mention how delicious they are. I highly recommend grabbing one if you happen to see them.

Also, if you are at ALL comfortable with public transit, get a week long bus pass at the airport. The system is pretty easy to figure out and, I think, very worth it If you have an iPhone or other smart phone, Google Maps is linked to the public transit and can tell you how to get anywhere using the bus/elevated tracks (“the el”). If not, there are maps for the bus system. But for, like, $20 you have transit all over the city. As opposed to for cab fare or renting a car.

zephyr826's avatar

Sue is at the Field Museum. I recommend catching an improv show – Second City and Improv Olympic are both great. I don’t know if it will still be going on, but Second City has a musical based on Blagojevic. It’s hilarious.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@zephyr826: Oh! You’re absolutely right! Sorry RawPixels! If I’d thought about that for about five minutes longer as I was posting, sigh. Field usually has an awesome traveling exhibit as well. Right now it is… pirates I think?

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