Off The Beaten Path City Guide | The World You See
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Chicago ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

chicago off the beaten path

Off the beaten path guide to Chicago

by Priscilla Tenggara
Chicagoย is the home of the blues and the truth of jazz, the heart of comedy and the idea of the skyscraper.ย With a wealth of iconic sights and neighborhoods to explore, thereโ€™s enough to fill a visit of days, weeks, or even months without ever seeing the end.
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Curated places to see

Millennium Park & Cloud Gate (“The Bean”): A public park located in the center of the city hosting outdoor moving screenings and festivals in the summer, and ice skating in the winter
Chicago Riverwalk: A walk way through the city for skyline and waterfront view.
Chicago Architecture Tour: Awarded as one of the most popular tours in America, the tour is a must-do for those interested in the history of Chicago and how the city unfolded
Skydeck Chicago on Willis Tower: photo opportunities of the skyline on a glass balcony extending four feet outside the 103rd floor
Museums: The Art Institute of Chicago (a must), Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium.
North Avenue “Beach”: stunning skyline views in front of the beach; in the summertime, watch fireworks on Wednesday at 9:30pm and Saturday at 10:15pm.
The 606: A 2.7-mile elevated pedestrian path that connects Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park: Great for an evening stroll, jog or bike ride

No FoMo by skipping these

Navy Pier: a pier front walk way with stores and restaurants (I’d recommend a quick stroll but it’s super touristy and the attractions aren’t worth your money).
Magnificent Mile: the largest shopping district with various mid-range and high-end shops lined on Michigan Avenue.

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Unique Food

Lou Malnati’s Pizza ($$): Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza can be found in this local favorite; be wary of long lines and expect at least a 40 minute wait
Au Cheval ($$): “the best burger in town” infamous for 2-5 hour waits; no reservations; Small Cheval ($) is a similar chain that offers the casual version of Au Cheval.
Girl & The Goat ($$$): small plates with adventurous ingredients, family style, 2-3 months prior reservations recommended.
Duck Duck Goat ($$-$$$): Chinese fusion small plates; same chef as above; truly 10/10 creative and delicious.
Roister (brunch $$; dinner $$$$): amazing brunch alert; the BEST chicken and waffles I’ve ever had.
Serai ($-$$): Authentic Malaysian/Singaporean restaurant.
90 Miles Cuban Cafe ($$): Great Cuban food with nice outdoor seatings.
Chicken Farm and Shop ($$): just WOW, the chicken biscuit and potatoes are a must try.
Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings ($$): housemade dumplings with various choices for fillings.
Ming Hin Chinatown location ($$): affordable and authentic dim sum experience.

Explore the neighborhoods:

River North - great for fine dining, mainstream clubs, bars & lounges
West Loop - known for restaurants, brunch, bars, coffee shops, murals
Wrigleyville - a neighborhood built around its baseball stadium featuring many sports bars
Wicker Park & Logan Square - dubbed for it’s artistic influences and experimental restaurants, independent boutiques, coffee shops & bars
Lincoln Park - a residential neighborhood featuring a free Zoo, the famous Lincoln Park and Chicago’s “beach”
Hyde Park - the home of University of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, Obama’s house, Renaissance Society, Promontory Point
Pilsen - a historically Mexican neighborhood with a variety of food options, murals, shops and museums

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Bars, Nightlife and Parties!

Rooftops: Cindy’s, LondonHouse Chicago, Raised, Cerise, Apogee, The Up Room.
Speakeasies: The Violet Hour (super cool), The Library, Blind Barber, Booze Box, The Office, Room 13.
Activities & Drink: Point & Feather (dart bar), Flight Club (dart bar), Emporium (Barcade in Wicker Park and Logan Square), The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (shuffleboards), The Green Lady (trivia nights), Brando’s Speakeasy (karaoke).
Cocktails: The Violet Hour, Scofflaw, Bangers & Lace, Three Dots and Dash (tiki bar), The Heavy Feather (on top of Slippery Slope), The Barrelhouse Flat, Moneygun.
Mainstream clubs: Underground, Studio Paris, Celeste, DISCO
Techno & EDM clubs: PRYSM, Spybar, smartbar, Sound-Bar, Berlin
Bar/casual dancing: Lottie’s Pub, Slippery Slope, Joy District, Beauty Bar
LGBTQ: Boystown (Chicago’s gay district), Side Track, Elixir, Kit Kat Lounge