Going to Chicago
We are going to Chicago at the end of September and I need your help. You guys were great when I went to Denver! Not sure exactly what hotel we are staying at, but I know it is on the miracle mile. I have never been to Chicago before. What is not to be missed? Where should we eat? Tips, tricks, advice? Share your Chicago knowledge with me!
hot doug's! if you're even remotely into sausages/hot dogs, it's not to be missed. check out the specials (they change weekly) and menu: Hot Doug's (for reference, i waited in line, outside, in FEBRUARY, for two hours and it was 100% worth it)
if you're doing the usual chicago touristy stuff, citypass is a great deal and allows you to skip the worst admission lines (which can get Really Long, esp on weekends) and zoom on in. Official Chicago CityPASS® | Visit 5 Chicago Attractions for $84
the museum of science and industry is one of my faaaavorite museums in chicago: Welcome to The Museum of Science and Industry
the art institute and museum of contemporary art are good, too
will you have a car or are you planning to use public transport to get around?
OH and if you're feeling fancy, having a drink at the top of the hancock building is a+ would do again! amazing view, tasty liquorsnacks: Wine Bar & Cocktail Lounge | Signature Lounge at the 96th - Chicago
Thanks for all the suggestions! I am hoping we won't have to rent a car and can just get buy with taking public transportation. That being said, it all depends on what we end up doing. This is a business trip with an extra day tacked on so the company will pay for our transport from the airport to the hotel and back when we leave. I definitely want to check out the Hancock building! I didn't realize there was a lounge up there! That City Pass sounds like it could be good. I'm definitely going to check it out.
We love food! I've already proclaimed that we have to go get real Chicago hot dogs and deep dish pizza. Any restaurant suggestions are greatly appreciated! And we will eat just about anything so don't hesitate. :)
I have yet to go but I hear great things about this place from a friend :)
Longman & Eagle
you can probably get by just fine with just using public transit or cabs, when you need to (even from the airport; the orange line goes directly from midway to the loop/downtown, and the blue line from o'hare). parking is so ungodly expensive (and in some places, scarce and chock full o' meter maids), it might be best avoided if you can get away with it.
for transit directions, hopstop or google transit are great (i have apps for both on my smartphone). while chicago's trains don't go quite everywhere, but they have a fairly extensive bus system to fill in the blanks, if you wish to use it, and the trip planners are really helpful for figuring all that out if you're not accustomed to deciphering bus schedules.
for pizza, giordano's and gino's east are both downtown and supposedly quite authentic chicago deep dish. i've had dinner on gino's patio (they have a roof deck-type thing) and it's nice! late september should be pretty comfy temperature-wise.
I LOVE that they have a PBR breakfast and that it cost MORE to get it without the PBR!!!! I think we are going to have to check it out for sure!
Originally Posted by Katy
Seriously, I had JUST noticed that! Did you check out the rooms!?
Originally Posted by darbs
This prompted a few close friends and I to plan a trip to Chicago ourselves!
So far we're thinking: Longman & Eagle, Frontera, Violet Hour and perhaps Smoque.
Those rooms are awesome! I was just going through them for the second time. I think I picked 5 things off the Brunch menu alone I want to eat.
Frontera is so on my list! I LOVE Rick Bayless. I watch him on TV any time I can. I'm just wondering if we need reservations. I was also thinking about Girl & The Goat. I hear it is amazing. I'll have to check out violet hour and smoque! :)
I've been away—otherwise I would have responded sooner. Frontera takes a limited number of reservations, as far as I know, but they book like 2 months in advance. If you are able to go during the week, I think you'll have a better shot than if you go on Friday or Saturday, obviously. Bayless's flagship restaurant, Topolobampo, takes loads of reservations, so if you want a guaranteed Bayless dinner, I'd suggest that.
Around the Mag Mile, I really like the Purple Pig, which has an amazing selection of wines by the glass, and some beautiful charcuterie, if you're into that. Somewhere on this forum, I posted some pics of a giant meat plate that you can check out. You can get reservations there, and it's a fun place. Recently, we also had a really nice meal at Quartino, which also has some really great antipasti, and a drinkable if unremarkable Aperol spritz.
You MUST go to Violet Hour if you like cocktails. It's my favorite bar of all time, and they have Genevieve gin, which makes an amazing julep, incidentally. One night a couple years back, when I was overcome with applying-for-an-academic-job-in-a-horrible-downward-economy stress, and after overdosing on Red Bull and Starburst (don't ask me how that went), I had an Angostura Fizz at Violet Hour. I can attest that I would not be typing this today were it not for that reviving potable. Yes. I would have died. VH is good when you're happy, too, though. We went there once for cocktails before going to Alinea for dinner and felt like freaking rock stars.
If you're going to do the deep dish thing, I like Pizzeria Due, but that might just be because it's my friend's favorite place and her enthusiasm is infectious.
Let me know if G&G works out for you—I've never managed to get in.
Do not, as in DO NOT miss the opportunity to eat some authentic Chicago-style deep-dish pizza! You can't go wrong by going to places like Gino's East or Lou Malnati's. They layer their pizzas "upside down" with the cheese on the bottom right above the dough. They're like two inches deep and they are to die for!!
I'm giving this thread a little bump because in ten days I'm going to Chicago on a nerdcation of epic proportions. There won't, as far as I know, be any deep dish or PBR breakfasts on this trip, but I'll be sure to post pictures and links to all the places I go.
And, why yes, I do have a packing list to share; I'll get that up once packing is in progress and I have pictures to go along.
Details of nerdcation, please! :-)
Originally Posted by Badger
In writing the word "nerdcation," I realized that to many people what we're doing is not really that nerdy. It might even fall more into the "lame" camp. Kiddo and I write things together, and we're going to Chicago in order to do a big project—something in the 100+ page range, which for us means writing something in the 200-page range and editing it the hell down. We're also going there to do research for another project. So, we have blocks of time scheduled to write, along with trips to the Conservatory, the museum of contemporary art, and the Newberry Library. Okay, never mind, this is sounding nerdy.
Originally Posted by GuyB
The less nerdy part of the trip involves copious drinking and getting piercings (because, as you all know, we're sixteen and just got awesome fake IDs).
What would be really nerdy: going to see A Klingon Christmas Carol. We're not planning on doing that, but I will entertain your attempts to persuade us.