The best of what to do in and around Chicago this week.
You be the judge at two Chicago food competitions this week. First, the James Beard Eats Week celebrates the 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards via inspirational dishes. Then, Cochon 555 gives you the opportunity taste the best in pork. In between food events, you can listen to Anthony Hamilton and Fantasia sing at the Arie Crown Theater, and you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to check out the only German submarine captured by the navy in World War II.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
April 22–May 2 | Food festival
James Beard Eats Week
Chicagoans love their food, and they love to celebrate. They’re doing both in this culinary celebration leading up to the 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards. Dine at one of more than 120 restaurants that are creating James Beard-inspired menus or dishes, including hand-rolled pappardelle with oxtail ragu at Monteverde, inspired by James Beard’s oxtail ragout recipe.
Times, locations & prices vary | website
April 23 | Concert
Anthony Hamilton and Fantasia
The R&B singers Anthony Hamilton and Fantasia will be baring their souls to Chicago to co-headline this concert at the Arie Crown Theater. It’s part of their 10-date tour, which started on April 21 in New York. Fantasia will open the night—we can’t wait to hear her belt out When I See U—and Anthony Hamilton will close, most likely with a spectacular version of Charlene.
8 p.m. | 2301 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago | Sold out, from $136 on stubhub.com | website
April 23–24 | Escape the city
Head over to Nappanee, one of seven cities considered within the Amish Country of Northern Indiana. There, you can leave your car—and your electronics—behind, trading them in for a horse and buggy and good, old-fashioned entertainment. At Jojo’s Pretzels in Shipshewana, you can see your pretzel being hand-rolled and oven-baked before being handed off to you. Skip the chain hotels and stay at Amish Acres, where you can lodge, dine, and shop all in one place. The farm and resort also hosts periodic theme dinners surrounding the latest Broadway musicals.
Amish Acres, 1600 W. Market St., Nappanee, Indiana | website
U-505: In-depth Experience
One of the coolest things to land in the Museum of Science and Industry lately is a pretty important piece of history. This week, the museum opens an exhibit showcasing the U-505, the only German submarine captured by the U.S. Navy during World War II. The exhibit includes multiple interactive units, nearly 200 artifacts, newspapers and photography, re-enactments, and testimonials from the veterans of Task Group 22.3, the team who made the capture. You can also take an onboard tour of the sub for a small extra fee. For an even more immersive experience, the museum hosts U.S. veterans during exhibit hours, who will gladly answer your questions about what it’s really like to go into battle.
9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. daily | 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago | From $18 | website
April 24 | Food competition
This is your chance to feel like you’re a Food Network judge. At the giant pork festival Cochon555, five renowned chefs will cook five pigs (with five winemakers pairing drinks with the meals). You’ll get to vote for the best bite, which means you’ll have to try all 36 dishes in this full-hog culinary showdown celebrating local family farms, where the pigs were raised. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.
5–8 p.m. | Loews Chicago Hotel, 455 N. Park Dr. Chicago | From $130.95 | 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.