Collected by Annette Wihl
500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
The chefs of top Chicago restaurants Spiagga, Mia Francesca and Heaven on Seven came together to collaborate on one restaurant and I think The Purple Pig is better than all their other restaurants. Specializing in Mediterranean food served tapas...
953 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Next is famous for its ever-changing theme menus. The most recent is "The World's 50 Best Restaurants," featuring dishes created by the world's best chefs and curated by the Next team. When I was there we ate the centerpiece, and the floating...
800 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Why the best burger in Chicago is served at a bar with a French name might be a question for the ages. But rather than question it, just go there! The single burger at Au Cheval is actually a double, and don't even ask about the double...
565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661, USA
Lou Mitchell’s diner has been open in the same location since 1923; so long, in fact, that diner patrons witnessed the heyday of Route 66, which started right here next to Union Station. The Chicago city council renamed Jackson Street “Lou...
Old Town, Chicago, IL, USA
Located a short train ride from the Loop, this wrought-iron doorway marks the entrance to Chicago’s Old Town. You'll find plentiful shopping and restaurant options in the neighborhood, as well as St. Michael’s Church, one of the city's oldest...
401 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA
I have two pieces of advice for you regarding the Doughnut Vault: 1. Go early. They open at 8am Tuesday-Friday and 9:30am on Saturdays and if you want a breath of a hope of a chance of getting a doughnut before they sell out, you want to be there...
Lower, 430 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Billy Goat Tavern achieved international fame in the 1970’s with a Saturday Night Live skit that mocked the order process and the lack of options. No Pepsi… Coke! No Fries… Chips! The tavern’s been open since 1934 on the lower level of Michigan...
700 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
Buddy Guy’s Legends is a legendary blues bar in Chicago and Buddy Guy himself is still alive, making music and appearances on his own stage. Legends has been open since 1989 and the stage has seen the eclectic likes of Eric Clapton, Keith...
Chicago, IL 60601, USA
Visitors take their best Chicago photographs in front of the iconic Millennium Park sculpture called Cloud Gate (known colloquially as the Bean, for its shape). Conceived by British artist Anish Kapoor and constructed from 168 stainless steel...
6836 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626, USA
Ask any local where to try your first real deep-dish pizza and they'll say "Giordanos." It's obviously the best in town. Chicago-style pizza is unique and totally different than what you'll find in Italy. More like a pie, the crust is tall and...
337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
I know, I know, Lollapalooza may be a little overpriced and overrated. But the truth is, it is still one of the best music festivals in the country. Amazing live performances by well-known artists and new talents, worldwide travellers, a quirky...
Streeterville, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
The architectural boat tour of downtown Chicago is the single best way to see this city in a whole new way. From first-timers to lifers, it doesn't matter how long you've been in town, this perspective is going to be new to all. There are many...
201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602, USA
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ~ Marcel Proust. For my inaugural highlight on AFAR, I am starting with my wife's favorite quote, and a local sight in Chicago. Sometimes people feel they...
6920 N. Mannheim, Rosemont, IL 60018, USA
A bargain-hunter’s paradise, Wolff’s rewards vigilant (and diligent) shoppers with deals on art, antiques, clothing, collectibles, and odds and ends of every description. For the best finds, get there as early as possible and head for the vendors...
1850 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60622, USA
The sign says “New Antique Store,” which might seem like a misnomer but is in fact a very accurate description of what Urban Remains offers. They sell reclaimed architectural artifacts from old buildings, mostly in the Chicago area and mostly from...
3748 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618, USA
There are consignment shops where everyone knows the value of a gently used designer garment, and then there are thrift stores where you can uncover a Coach bag hanging next to Walmart’s finest. Unique is that kind of thrift store. The good news...
3020 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, USA
Like most good thrift stores, the Brown Elephant is hit or miss. Sometimes you can find great books, T-shirts, and super-cheap vinyl—other times, nothing appeals, and you just wander around until your feet hurt. This shop is well organized,...
5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont, IL 60018, USA
Used to be that doing serious outlet shopping required driving to Gurnee, Aurora, or Huntley. As of August 2013, Rosemont has its own outlet mall, and a classy one at that, with hundreds of high-end retailers from Aéropostale to Van Heusen. There’...
1960 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, USA
Old school ice cream parlor and soda shop with homemade candy and ice cream since 1921 in the same location in Bucktown. I wish the little jukeboxes on the tables worked but clearly it’s not hampering their business as there’s a line out the door...
1200 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609, USA
The artisans at FoundRe love wood and they want you to love it too. Here they sell beautiful handmade picture frames in all sizes using salvaged wood, painted or unpainted, each one unique and one of a kind. Often times the craftsman can tell you...
835 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
Treat your favorite little girl to afternoon tea at the American Girl Place Cafe. You’ll first have to brave the store, as the restaurant is hidden in the back of the top floor, but once you've arrived even dolls get their own chairs and...
805 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605, USA
As you can imagine, there’s a lot of discussion over who has the best pizza in Chicago; so, here’s what I know for sure: Lou Malnati’s serves a great stuffed pizza, they’re one of the oldest pizza names in town and they have yet to franchise...
50 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
A perfect buttermilk old fashioned donut is fresh and hot with crispy crunchy edges underneath a melting sugary glazy and the minute I’ve eaten one, I’m already dreaming about the next one. Do-Rite hits all these marks with room to spare, which...
746 W Webster Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
I last visited Toast on a Tuesday with an old friend I hadn’t seen in ages. Unlike the weekends which are crowded and busy with long waits, on Tuesday we walked right in and were immediately seated in a window booth. We ordered the omelette...
820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
Stephanie Izard puts together a great restaurant. The Girl and the Goat has been hard to get into since it opened and Little Goat had a 90 minute wait when we went last month. 90 minutes for diner food! That's impressive. Other things that were...
3411 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657, USA
Boasting the slogan 'Meat free since '83,' The Chicago Diner isn't going to win everyone over. However, if you are vegetarian, or even want to get your vegan on, this is the place for you. With an extensive menu of food and drink, the friendly...
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