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Chicago June 9–15: Seoul Taco, Barenaked Ladies & Wells Street Art Festival

The best of what to do in and around Chicago this week.

New restaurants, great music, and a diverse art festival make Chicago the place to be this week. It all kicks off with the Barenaked Ladies, who are headlining just one of many concerts that are part of the Ravinia Festival this summer. Also be one of the 50,000 people to check out the Wells Street Art Festival, and get hungry for dinner at two highly anticipated new restaurants.

AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.  

June 9 | Concert
Barenaked Ladies
The annual Ravinia Festival—one of America’s oldest music festivals—hosts over 140 concerts throughout the entire summer in Chicago. It takes place in Highland Park, a suburb just a 30-minute drive (without traffic) from the city or a 45-minute metro ride ($7 round-trip). This week’s must-see concert is the Barenaked Ladies, the iconic rock group that’s been stealing the hearts of crowds everywhere from the ‘80s till now. Opt for lawn seats over Pavilion seats—nothing’s better than kicking back with a picnic and a beer (the event is BYOB) while listening to hits like “Pinch Me” and “One Week.”
4 p.m. | 200 Ravinia Park Rd, Highland Park | From $33 | website

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June 11–12 | Festival
Wells Street Art Festival
More than 50,000 people will descend on Old Town this weekend for one of the largest arts festivals in Chicago. Wells Street Art Festival will be showing and selling works by more than 225 artists from across the continent. These include painters, artisan woodworkers, metalsmiths, jewelry crafters, and even digital artists. If the kids get inspired, they can do their own arts and crafts in the play area. There will also be food and drink vendors and performers.
10 a.m.–10 p.m. | 1560 N. Wells St., Chicago | $7 | website 

June 11–12 | Escape the city
Fennville, Michigan
Venture to this tiny town (population of less than 1,500) for peach picking and cherry picking. No need to go all out and make the pie, however. You’ll be able to purchase a slice at Crane’s Pie Pantry—the best of the best, according to locals. A five-minute drive from Crane’s, you’ll find Virtue Cider, a mill where you can take a cider-making tour and finish by sipping from your own refreshing bottle. For dinner, check out Salt of the Earth, which only serves food sourced from farms within a 50-mile radius.

Wells Street Art Festival

Now open | Restaurant
Seoul Taco
This Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant is an inspired combination. The people have spoken: This eatery grew from food truck to brick-and-mortar restaurant in St. Louis four years ago, and now it’s expanded to Chicago. After you bite into a taco marinated in a Korean-style sauce with a side of kimchi fried rice, you’ll wonder why the combo wasn’t created long before now.
738 N. Clark St., Chicago | (312) 365-1607 | website

Now open | Restaurant
Leña Brava
Rick Bayless may be the most revered chef in Chicago; so when he comes out with a new restaurant, it’s a big day. His newest, Leña Brava, brings with it Bayless’s daughter, 25-year-old Lanie Bayless—freshly arrived from New York’s highly acclaimed Cosme restaurant. Leña Brava features plenty of veggie and fish dishes that are bold yet simple, offering raw dishes like ceviche and sashimi as well as offerings that are cooked over a wood-fueled hearth (there’s no gas line in the restaurant). There are also plenty of Mexican wines for pairing, and an extensive mezcal list to boot.
900 W. Randolph St., Chicago | (312) 733-1975 | website

Danielle Braff lives in Chicago with her husband, two daughters, two cats, and her dog. When she’s not writing, she’s out photographing her city and running around frantically trying to fit as many events as she can into her day. You can check out her other articles at Daniellebraff.com.

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