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> What to do/eat in Chicago...
bumnummies
post Feb 29th 2012, 7:34 PM
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Ok so looking for ideas for Chicago - keeping in mind, we're arriving mid/late afternoon tomorrow and leaving like noon-ish on Saturday (although that time is somewhat more flexible, but since I'm driving with no relief driver, the later I leave = the tireder I get, lol). =) I have clearly left this extremely late to poke for ideas, lol.

We are definitely hitting up the Shedd Aquarium and probably the Field Museum. So other than that... need more afternoon/evening things (since they close so freakishly early!) as well as something for the morning on Saturday. Share the best sights to see/things to do!

Other than that... looking for maybe a couple restaurant recommendations, considering the fact I LOATHE pizza (sorry, I realize that's sacrilege to hate pizza in Chicago probably...)... it's not a problem for my sister since she likes Pizza/almost anything... so I'd be looking for an all-around good restaurant that has options for... well, "family dining" type experiences (So Diners, mom & Pop family restaurants, or major chains!) Basically, if it has chicken fingers or at LEAST a well-done burger, I'm ok. LOL. Sometimes bars work as well, because "Pub Grub" often includes burgers/fries/chicken fingers on their menus... and, that reminds me, anywhere with a good drink menu? grin.gif haha.gif

Also, on the flip side, somewhere that does an amazing breakfast... either your standard-fare eggs/bacon/toast/homefries and a delicious cup of Joe, or somewhere that does like.... drool worthy French toast which is like my favourite food (I had this revelation the other day that it's actually my favourite food... why I'd never considered my breakfast options as "favourites" before is beyond me...). Alternately, I'm also a big fan of restaurants that do All-Day breakfast. =)

That's about it, I'll be bringing my computer with me so even if you don't see this until tomorrow or Friday, that's still cool. We're pretty much winging it. wink.gif


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*~MarMar~*
post Feb 29th 2012, 10:13 PM
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OH HELL YES. This is my kind of thread.

Hollywood Grill
Beef and Brandy
Lou Mitchell's
Portillo's
Billy Goat Tavern
Golden Nugget
Ed Debevic's

The Second City
Chicago History Museum
Museum of Holography
Millennium Park
Water Tower Place
The Shops at North Bridge
Uncle Fun
Hollywood Mirror
Quimby's Books
Myopic Books
Reckless Records

The last three, along with Hollywood Grill, are in the Wicker Park neighborhood, so they're fairly close together. yes.gif Water Tower Place and The Shops at North Bridge are along the Magnificent Mile, near the John Hancock Building.


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post Feb 29th 2012, 10:18 PM
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Bahhhhhhh I love Chicago heart.gif I lived there for four months last year and will hopefully be moving back this summer, so here are my thoughts:

What to do depends on how touristy you want to be. If you've never been to Navy Pier, that's essentially *the* tourist destination of Chicago. There are a lot of food options on Navy Pier, including Harry Carey's and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., but be forewarned that everything on Navy Pier is horrifically overpriced. It's a tourist trap in every sense of the word. Other cool things to do: Skydeck at the Willis (Sears) Tower is worth checking out as long as it's a clear day. You could also go to the top of the Hancock Building (there's another restaurant up there, but it's preeeeeetttty pricey). The Chicago Cultural Center (Michigan and Randolph) is an absolutely beautiful building to explore, and it's free! It's right across the street from The Bean, which is another must-see location if you're a tourist. It's practically a requirement to see it. Millennium Park in general is really nice to wander around. If the weather's nice, I'd recommend parking in the Grant Park garages and walking to Shedd...it's about a mile or so, but you can walk around the Lakefront Trail along the lake (and tell it I miss it and shall return to running on it very, very soon!). It'll take you right to Shedd/the Field Museum, and it's a gorgeous walk. Michigan Ave., particularly north of the river, is where most of the shopping is, but there's also good shopping along State St. between Randolph and Jackson (more or less). Macy's is on State and Randolph, and it's worth going in just to look at the building...simply beautiful. Be sure to look at the ceilings if you go in! Lincoln Park is also a lovely place. The zoo is free if you're into that, and they have all sorts of animals. It's a really nice zoo.

I don't know where you're staying in Chicago, but all of that stuff is in the city itself and in the same general area, more or less. You couldn't really walk from Shedd to Lincoln Park (unless you're up for a pretty long hike), but it wouldn't be too long of a drive.

Also, pro tip: getting into Shedd can be a nightmare. The line, especially on weekends, is often 2+ hours long. Plan accordingly.

*sigh* Are you SURE you loathe pizza? Because the pizza you'll have in Chicago is out of this world. It's unlike any pizza you'll ever have. If you have real Chicago pizza, it's really more cheese than anything...the Lou Malnati's, Ginos, Giordano's pizza: it's not regular pizza at all. But if you refuse to have pizza: There's a Bennigan's on Michigan Ave, basically right across the street from the Art Institute, and you'll be in that neighborhood-ish if you're going to Shedd and the Field Museum. One of my all-time favorite places to eat is the Grand Lux Cafe, which is at Michigan and Ontario (enter on Ontario). They have just about anything you could ever want as far as food goes, and if you go you MUST order dessert--they bake your dessert for you while you're eating your dinner, so you get it fresh out of the oven. To die for. The place gets super busy, though, so if you're going to go to Grand Lux, prepare to wait a LONG time. There really aren't a *ton* of restaurants on Michigan Ave...they're there, but Michigan Ave. is more shopping than entertainment. There are, however, a lot of restaurants in River North, which is immediately west of the Michigan Ave area, primarily between State St. and LaSalle and all north of the river (hence: River North haha). Ed Debevic's is in River North, if you're looking to continue your super touristy experience. Ed Debevic's is a diner, and it's the type of restaurant where the wait staff is supposed to be rude...it's all in good fun/part of the experience, but it's good to know that going in. Hard Rock Cafe and Rainforest Cafe are also in River North, but there's a bazillion restaurants over there. You could find anything, really.

For breakfast, I HIGHLY recommend Yolk. There are three in the downtown-ish area. This is another place where you'll have to wait quite some time (I believe when I went around 10:30 or 11 a.m. on a Saturday we waited at least an hour, possibly longer), but it was SO worth it. They specialize in eggs, obviously, but they have just about every breakfast food under the sun.

If you have any other questions let me know! I could talk your ears off about Chicago. I'm absolutely obsessed with the city.

QUOTE(*~MarMar~* @ Feb 29th 2012, 10:13 PM) *

OH HELL YES. This is my kind of thread.

Hollywood Grill
Beef and Brandy
Lou Mitchell's
Portillo's
Billy Goat Tavern
Golden Nugget
Ed Debevic's

The Second City
Chicago History Museum
Museum of Holography
Millennium Park
Water Tower Place
The Shops at North Bridge
Uncle Fun
Hollywood Mirror
Quimby's Books
Myopic Books
Reckless Records

The last three, along with Hollywood Grill, are in the Wicker Park neighborhood, so they're fairly close together. yes.gif Water Tower Place and The Shops at North Bridge are along the Magnificent Mile, near the John Hancock Building.



Second City! I KNEW I had forgotten something.


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Annie
post Feb 29th 2012, 10:19 PM
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THE SECOND CITY. THE SECOND CITY. THE SECOND CITY. THE SECOND CITY. THE SECOND CITY. THE SECOND CITY.

that's all. okay.


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hannahdotcom
post Mar 1st 2012, 2:03 AM
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lol love this.... gives me an excuse to mention my alltime fave movie, ferris bueller's day off
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Alyssa
post Mar 1st 2012, 7:22 PM
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Aww, I love Chicago (family there, plus I was a patient at Shriner's Children's Hospital). My friend and I snuck into the Shedd once.

Have fun!


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bumnummies
post Mar 1st 2012, 10:59 PM
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I think we're in the "Magnificent Mile" neighbourhood, more or less. =)

QUOTE(*~MarMar~* @ Feb 29th 2012, 10:13 PM) *

OH HELL YES. This is my kind of thread.

Hollywood Grill
Beef and Brandy
Lou Mitchell's
Portillo's
Billy Goat Tavern
Golden Nugget
Ed Debevic's

The Second City
Chicago History Museum
Museum of Holography
Millennium Park
Water Tower Place
The Shops at North Bridge
Uncle Fun
Hollywood Mirror
Quimby's Books
Myopic Books
Reckless Records

The last three, along with Hollywood Grill, are in the Wicker Park neighborhood, so they're fairly close together. yes.gif Water Tower Place and The Shops at North Bridge are along the Magnificent Mile, near the John Hancock Building.



Argghhh shut up we passed the Portillo's place today (did NOT get chance to check this before supper unfortunately) and I was like "Oh that looks pretty good" but my sister was set on going to Rainforest, which turned into Hard Rock because she "didn't like the reggae music they were playing outside" (but umm, being attacked by fake gorilla noises was ok with you? lol) and even then we had to pay a cover charge to eat at Hard Rock because of a band... I was like "umm there looks like there's a nice restaurant across the street..." but she was like "no, I just want to eat, lets just do it, whatever". Boo lol. Well, it's within walking distance still lol so if we need supper tomorrow... wink.gif

Will definitely look into everything else you posted!

QUOTE(TotalTayFan @ Feb 29th 2012, 10:18 PM) *

Bahhhhhhh I love Chicago heart.gif I lived there for four months last year and will hopefully be moving back this summer, so here are my thoughts:

What to do depends on how touristy you want to be. If you've never been to Navy Pier, that's essentially *the* tourist destination of Chicago. There are a lot of food options on Navy Pier, including Harry Carey's and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., but be forewarned that everything on Navy Pier is horrifically overpriced. It's a tourist trap in every sense of the word. Other cool things to do: Skydeck at the Willis (Sears) Tower is worth checking out as long as it's a clear day. You could also go to the top of the Hancock Building (there's another restaurant up there, but it's preeeeeetttty pricey). The Chicago Cultural Center (Michigan and Randolph) is an absolutely beautiful building to explore, and it's free! It's right across the street from The Bean, which is another must-see location if you're a tourist. It's practically a requirement to see it. Millennium Park in general is really nice to wander around. If the weather's nice, I'd recommend parking in the Grant Park garages and walking to Shedd...it's about a mile or so, but you can walk around the Lakefront Trail along the lake (and tell it I miss it and shall return to running on it very, very soon!). It'll take you right to Shedd/the Field Museum, and it's a gorgeous walk. Michigan Ave., particularly north of the river, is where most of the shopping is, but there's also good shopping along State St. between Randolph and Jackson (more or less). Macy's is on State and Randolph, and it's worth going in just to look at the building...simply beautiful. Be sure to look at the ceilings if you go in! Lincoln Park is also a lovely place. The zoo is free if you're into that, and they have all sorts of animals. It's a really nice zoo.

I don't know where you're staying in Chicago, but all of that stuff is in the city itself and in the same general area, more or less. You couldn't really walk from Shedd to Lincoln Park (unless you're up for a pretty long hike), but it wouldn't be too long of a drive.

Also, pro tip: getting into Shedd can be a nightmare. The line, especially on weekends, is often 2+ hours long. Plan accordingly.

*sigh* Are you SURE you loathe pizza? Because the pizza you'll have in Chicago is out of this world. It's unlike any pizza you'll ever have. If you have real Chicago pizza, it's really more cheese than anything...the Lou Malnati's, Ginos, Giordano's pizza: it's not regular pizza at all. But if you refuse to have pizza: There's a Bennigan's on Michigan Ave, basically right across the street from the Art Institute, and you'll be in that neighborhood-ish if you're going to Shedd and the Field Museum. One of my all-time favorite places to eat is the Grand Lux Cafe, which is at Michigan and Ontario (enter on Ontario). They have just about anything you could ever want as far as food goes, and if you go you MUST order dessert--they bake your dessert for you while you're eating your dinner, so you get it fresh out of the oven. To die for. The place gets super busy, though, so if you're going to go to Grand Lux, prepare to wait a LONG time. There really aren't a *ton* of restaurants on Michigan Ave...they're there, but Michigan Ave. is more shopping than entertainment. There are, however, a lot of restaurants in River North, which is immediately west of the Michigan Ave area, primarily between State St. and LaSalle and all north of the river (hence: River North haha). Ed Debevic's is in River North, if you're looking to continue your super touristy experience. Ed Debevic's is a diner, and it's the type of restaurant where the wait staff is supposed to be rude...it's all in good fun/part of the experience, but it's good to know that going in. Hard Rock Cafe and Rainforest Cafe are also in River North, but there's a bazillion restaurants over there. You could find anything, really.

For breakfast, I HIGHLY recommend Yolk. There are three in the downtown-ish area. This is another place where you'll have to wait quite some time (I believe when I went around 10:30 or 11 a.m. on a Saturday we waited at least an hour, possibly longer), but it was SO worth it. They specialize in eggs, obviously, but they have just about every breakfast food under the sun.

If you have any other questions let me know! I could talk your ears off about Chicago. I'm absolutely obsessed with the city.


We did go to Navy Pier today... I grumbled at the cost of the Ferris wheel which pissed my sister off though so we didn't end up going on it haha.gif It was a bit of a bust, like NOTHING was going on and we got ripped off for parking because the rate said $10 after 5 - and my clock said 5 so I was like "Ok, $10 is fine since we're here, better than $14!" - not of course remembering I switched time zones pinch.gif My sister got a t-shirt and some "cow poop" though, lol. And took some pics of course.

NOOOO I don't like Pizza lol. sad.gif It's the sauce... cannot. eat. it. The closest I've come to "pizza" is ordering the Tropical Chicken Pizza from Boston Pizza and substituting so much on it that it's no longer tropical haha.gif I can eat it because they use Alfredo sauce on it. Basically when I got it, I had alfredo, cheese, cheddar cheese, grilled chicken (subbed for cajun chicken), italian sausage (subbed for pineapple) and bacon (substituted for whatever the other ingredient was, LOL). The bacon was gross on it though, so I'd sub that again if I do order it again, which I probably will. But yeah, anyways... no, no pizza lol.

Ahh Yolk!!! Passed that on our way back from Wal-Mart (which was in this sketchiest part of town, I swear...) and I was like, "hmm, that sounds like a good place for breakfast". DOING IT NOW, haha. As long as they open early 'cause we have to be obviously at Shedd before the doors open lol. Like, we need to be in line waiting for our tickets lol. Sooooo yeah... unless I save that for Saturday haha. Obviously as I mentioned above, we did eat at Hard Rock, lol.

Ugh I wish we had more time (and better weather - thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon? good thing we've planned indoor activities...)... I'd love to go to the zoo, ESPECIALLY SINCE ITS FREE... But zoos require like a day of dedication almost (Toronto Zoo certainly does from experience and the National Zoo in DC was like almost all day as well). But it's kinda cold and crummy so it's something best saved for another trip. Which, I think we'll do based on today. original.gif

EXCEPT I AM NEVER DRIVING IN THIS CITY AGAIN EXCEPT TO LEAVE IT. Well, I might drive here again just to get here if we ever come back, but that car is staying parked in that parking lot until we leave this place on Saturday. noexpression.gif I got honked at so much, my nerves are FRIED. Chicago taxi drivers = devil spawn.


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bumnummies
post Mar 2nd 2012, 8:52 PM
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We ended up eating at Giordano's today, it was really good! Didn't do much besides the Aquarium 'cause it was raining, but we went to the Hershey store lol... popped into Water Tower place but wasn't really impressed - mostly because we don't have the funds for that kind of shopping, lol. Went to Top Shop though for giggles. innocent.gif

My sister got these amazeballs tees from Shedd though. She got the "Otter Strikes Back" and "Harry Otter" tees from there. tongue.gif I also got these sugar cookies that were iced and airbrushed... jellies. SOOO CUTE. And a badge to add to my collection lol. I have ones for Baltimore & Florida Aquariums, the St. Petersburg "Aquarium" that's at the Pier (really it's a room with fish tanks...), the National Zoo (I think I actually have two...), three of the museums in DC and now this one. original.gif And I have a pin from the National Gallery of Art because they're stupid and didn't have badges. ermm.gif

I think we're gonna have to come back for sure because there was so much we really didn't get to enjoy.

This post has been edited by bumnummies: Mar 2nd 2012, 8:55 PM


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*~MarMar~*
post Mar 3rd 2012, 7:19 AM
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QUOTE(bumnummies @ Mar 2nd 2012, 8:52 PM) *

We ended up eating at Giordano's today, it was really good! Didn't do much besides the Aquarium 'cause it was raining, but we went to the Hershey store lol... popped into Water Tower place but wasn't really impressed - mostly because we don't have the funds for that kind of shopping, lol. Went to Top Shop though for giggles. innocent.gif

My sister got these amazeballs tees from Shedd though. She got the "Otter Strikes Back" and "Harry Otter" tees from there. tongue.gif I also got these sugar cookies that were iced and airbrushed... jellies. SOOO CUTE. And a badge to add to my collection lol. I have ones for Baltimore & Florida Aquariums, the St. Petersburg "Aquarium" that's at the Pier (really it's a room with fish tanks...), the National Zoo (I think I actually have two...), three of the museums in DC and now this one. original.gif And I have a pin from the National Gallery of Art because they're stupid and didn't have badges. ermm.gif

I think we're gonna have to come back for sure because there was so much we really didn't get to enjoy.


YESSS, Giordanos is amazing! There's so much there beyond pizza so it's fab even for non-pizza people such as yourself. And I totally agree about Water Tower Place. It's one of those "everyone needs to go there to see it" places, and somehow I always end up there every time I'm in the city ... but I never buy anything there because the stores are so not for me. haha.gif

Also, yeah, driving in the city, I can't even imagine. We've never driven there, and never will! We just get our CTA passes and take bus after bus, train after train. I think you waste more time in traffic and more money than would would without a car. In the future, def avoid it if you can.


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bumnummies
post Mar 4th 2012, 1:15 AM
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QUOTE(*~MarMar~* @ Mar 3rd 2012, 7:19 AM) *


YESSS, Giordanos is amazing! There's so much there beyond pizza so it's fab even for non-pizza people such as yourself. And I totally agree about Water Tower Place. It's one of those "everyone needs to go there to see it" places, and somehow I always end up there every time I'm in the city ... but I never buy anything there because the stores are so not for me. haha.gif

Also, yeah, driving in the city, I can't even imagine. We've never driven there, and never will! We just get our CTA passes and take bus after bus, train after train. I think you waste more time in traffic and more money than would would without a car. In the future, def avoid it if you can.



yeah the CTA day pass was great! Although the wait for the bus to Shedd was ridiculous... we could have walked faster.... like, we could see the building from the station, it was only 3-4 blocks away. tongue.gif

And then we were going to use it again later yesterday evening, but I fudged up my directions (could not figure out N/S/E/W for the life of me...) and we ended up walking the entire way to the Water Tower area... completely by accident, but then again I didn't realize how close it actually was! and if we hadn't of walked, we would have never found Giordanos. original.gif Win-Win.

Today I turned the wrong way on a one-way street. fear.gif Luckily it wasn't busy and the McDonalds driveway was right there, lol. Road signs = ridiculous. Pedestrians don't follow the crosswalk signs - if they even cross at a crosswalk. One way streets are poorly marked (I'm used to gigantic white-on-black arrows up by the lights (if it's a major intersection, a little different in residential neighbourhoods but similar) - these were black-on-white square signs with "one way" written on them and smaller arrows, which weren't always consistently placed/easy to see). Taxi drivers honk at you any opportunity they get... and WORST, the city is in desperate need of painting lines on all of their streets to tell you where the damn lanes are!!!!!! Such a peeve, that made the whole situation so much worse. wacko.gif

We ended up eating at this place called Eggsperience this morning because I was too lazy to figure out where Yolk was, and we had passed it yesterday and it looked promising. My sister's wrap was gigantic, but my french toast left me wanting more... 'cause it was only two slices (cut into 4 pieces) - I felt there should have been one more slice for the price. But it was good and the fresh squeezed orange juice was good also.

We did the museum today and holy bananas it's enormous! Bigger than the ROM in Toronto, bigger than the Museum of American History/Natural History Museums in DC - although maybe if you combined the two? We didn't even go through all the exhibits, it was insane. And the weather was crappy/we were short on time so we never did get down to Millennium Park but oh well... I've decided another trip will eventually be in order. =)

Also now that we're not there anymore giggle.gif we stayed at the Hojos on N Lasalle St. =) Great location, somewhat crummy hotel. Probably would stay there again just cause it's super budget and so centrally located. haha.gif even though the walls are thin, the pillows are sparse and they don't use fitted sheets.... eh, small compromises lol.

This post has been edited by bumnummies: Mar 4th 2012, 1:18 AM


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post Mar 4th 2012, 1:21 AM
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If your still there, the Historical society is pretty cool. Go to water tower place and eat at Foodlife its amazing. Navy Pier is pretty awesome original.gif I am jealous. I love chicago original.gif


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post Mar 10th 2012, 4:59 PM
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Bahhh I'm so glad you went to Giordano's! I am a diehard Giordano's fan. Driving in the city is definitely insane. Or at least, it looks insane...I've never actually done it myself, other than driving through on the highway. CTA and walking ftw. Those one-way streets will get ya. It's all very easy if you know what you're doing, but if you don't/haven't been there before, it's definitely a challenge. Glad you liked Chicago overall, though! Without question my favorite city heart.gif


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