My Top 10 Favorite Places in Chicago
My Favorite Places in Chicago
The city of Chicago is a cultural center which offers visitors many options to have fun and learn. After spending four years living on the North-side of the city I would like to share with you my ten favorite places in Chicago.
10) The Lincoln Park Conservatory
When living in the city one of the first issues one will notice is a lack of greenery. Concrete, brick and steel as far as the eye can see, all-day everyday. To avoid a sense of disconnect from nature I recommend visiting the Lincoln Park Conservatory! This is a beautiful place to experience exotic plant life as well as a heavily oxygenated space. I recommend coming in the summer so that one can experience their outdoor garden area as well.
9) The Brown Line
Out of all the “L” lines the Brown line offers the best views of the city as well as has a reputation for being a more pleasant experience than others. This track begins in Albany park, proceeds through South-port, Wrigleyville, and finishes with a fantastic elevated ride through the loop. While passing over the Chicago River, one will note a perfect view of some of the loop’s finest buildings! Warning: the “L” is like Pandora’s Box, you’ll never know what you’re going to see.
Andersonville, also known as the Swedish Village, is the crown jewel of Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. Here is where one can find a number of fine restaurants, ice cream shops, book stores, bars, museums, and more! The experience is similar to visiting the Lake View neighborhood but with a more homely/Swedish vibe. I recommend stopping by M.Henry for breakfast or the Heaven on Earth Cafe.
7) The Subterranean
Do you like intimate concerts? How about mosh-pits in a space as big as your living room? If so then the Subterranean in Wicker Park is a great choice for your next concert. Here they have a wide variety of shows from reggae to metal and especially a lot of local acts. I remember going to my first concert here years ago like it was yesterday. I think this extremely small venue gets its charm from the up-close and personal experience one gets here.
6) Tango Sur
Tango Sur is a Argentinian steak house located in the Southport neighborhood adjacent to Wrigleyville. Here you can find high quality South American food with dishes such as empanadas, pastas, and parrillada (grilled meat flights). The atmosphere is very lively and at diner service the main room is darkened. Make sure to remember that this restaurant like many in the city is BYOB! (luckily there’s a Jewel-Osco across the street).
5) The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
Any Chicago area fan of ancient history should be required by law to visit the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. Here one will find priceless pieces of human history that originate from ancient Sumer, Egypt, Persia. Their collection includes tablets, toys, tools, and quite a few massive monuments which are ascribed to the earliest recorded moments of humanity. Where else but here can you find a tablet that was written by someone over 5000 years ago?
4) Kuma’s Corner
Do you like beer, burgers, and metal? If so you’ll love Kumas Corner. This is by far one of the coolest places to visit in Chicago (now in schuamburg too!) . Here you will find a plethora of craft beers as well as gourmet but affordable burgers with a variety of complex toppings. All sandwiches are named after heavy metal bands my favorite being the “Goatsnake” which has Herbed Goat-cheese, Poblano Corn Relish, Cholula Lemon Vinaigrette Buttermilk Breaded Frizzled Red Onion.
3) Metropolis Coffee Company
The Metropolis Coffee Company is a fantastic Chicago based business. Metropolis makes their own roasts in a laboratory located at their Granville location. It is located just east of the Granville redline stop and is two blocks away from Loyola University Chicago. Here you can find all the classic specialty drinks as well as a daily choice of different coffee blends. One can see many different types of people trying to do their work such as students, artists, businessmen, et cetera; all drawn together for the same reason, amazing coffee. One can also find their coffee at some Chicago-land grocers but a fair warning it can be pricey compared to bigger chain brands. My favorite is their “Redline Espresso” which out of the bag has a great aroma unlike anything I have ever experienced before.
2) The Music Box Theatre
Do you like classic film? how about indie film festivals? or do you just enjoy the feeling of going back into an 1930’s style cinema that includes an actual piano played intro and real popcorn? If any of these interest you then the Music Box Theatre in Southport is a must go destination for you! The experience one gets here is far superior than any modern Imax or over priced 3D theater. Here you find your favorite movie being played at midnight, show up, get real buttered(not the GMO stuff) popcorn, and have an experience you’ll remember for ages.
1) The Duke of Perth
The Duke of Perth is my absolute favorite place to be in the city. This Scottish pub is known for its large whiskey selection and European style bar food. Their menu includes shepherds pie as well as all you can eat fish and chips on Wednesdays and Fridays. The element I most enjoy about this establishment is its old-fashion atmosphere. They have a variety of exotic Scottish beers including belhaven’s on tap. Here is where I go for a few hours to supplement my inability to afford a vacation in Europe.