To both visitors and locals: We hope you’re hungry. In Chicago this week, there’s a foodie lecture by Alton Brown, plenty of beer on tap at the Chicago Beer Classic, and a new, highly acclaimed Italian restaurant opening. After you eat your fill, see the Windy City’s namesake show, Chicago, which is back in town for just five days.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
May 7 | Beer festival
Chicago Beer Classic
Chicago will transform Soldier Field into a beer lover’s oasis for the Chicago Beer Classic this week. Every general admission ticketholder will get 48 two-ounce samples from breweries near and far (local favorite Berghoff will be here, plus hipster darlings Half Acre, Bucket List, and ATB). You’ll also get your choice of tons of games and activities, which will get ten times as fun after sipping your way through the day. There will also be interactive beer education stations throughout the festival, just in case you were there to, uh, learn.
11:30 a.m.–7 p.m. | 1410 Museum Campus Dr., Chicago | From $65 | website
May 7 | Show
Eat Your Science
Alton Brown has taken his culinary show off TV and on the road. He’ll hit Chicago with Eat Your Science, a live variety show that’s one part education and one part entertainment. The funky two-hour show will include dangerous food experiments, songs, puppets, and fresh ingredients. If you’re lucky, you might be invited onstage to be his assistant. This is a family friendly show, and all budding chefs are welcome.
Times vary | Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago | From $42 | website
May 7–8 | Escape the city
From May through early August, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Bloomington-Normal is out in full force, and visitors are invited to do Shakespeare improv, Shakespeare sing-alongs and, of course, watch some good old Shakespeare classics. Though Shakespeare is the area’s main draw, you can also enjoy Bloomington-Normal’s year-round pleasures, including a host of farm-to-table restaurants, an adorable museum, and plenty of quaint shops.
Times, locations, and prices vary | website
Our favorite show is back in town for a limited time. Roxie Hart and her murderous friends will be singing about their escapades in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. It’ll only be here for six days, so get your ticket ASAP. Before the show, grab a quick dinner at Luke’s Lobster Chicago, a new transplant here from New York with killer lobster rolls: the perfect pre-theater meal.
Times vary | 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago | From $30 | website
Now open | Restaurant
This isn’t just an ordinary new Italian restaurant opening, but the newest venture of the people behind RPM Steak and RPM Italian, so they’ve already proven they’ve got the hot restaurant business down. After a complete remodel of the former Paris Club, the new Il Porcellino space has a rustic Italian vibe and serves up homemade pasta, focaccia-style pizza, and some crave-worthy roasted piglet with fennel pollen and garlic. Wine wasn’t an afterthought here, and they’ve got more than 50 half-bottles on hand.
59 W Hubbard St., Chicago | (312) 595-0800 | 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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