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Guidebook for Chicago

Julie

Guidebook for Chicago

Food Scene
Best tacos in the city! It's always crowded so it's great for people watching. If you want to skip the crows, go for lunch or in early evenings. Great cocktails too!
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Big Star
1531 North Damen Avenue
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Best tacos in the city! It's always crowded so it's great for people watching. If you want to skip the crows, go for lunch or in early evenings. Great cocktails too!
This is my favorite restaurant in the city. First to do farm-to-table in 2000 and it's still going strong. Quiet, cute ambiance. Great for dates. The brunch is out of this world (think edible flowers on really interesting sweet brunch and delicious savory brunches made with unconventional grains and vegetables. Closed Tuesdays!
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Lula Café
2537 North Kedzie Avenue
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This is my favorite restaurant in the city. First to do farm-to-table in 2000 and it's still going strong. Quiet, cute ambiance. Great for dates. The brunch is out of this world (think edible flowers on really interesting sweet brunch and delicious savory brunches made with unconventional grains and vegetables. Closed Tuesdays!
The only restaurant in a super industrial spot in the city. It's small and super cute. Great for dates or small groups. They play live records and the cocktails (which are awesome) are all named after songs. The food is insanely good. They have a patio in the summer too!
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Ada Street
1664 North Ada Street
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The only restaurant in a super industrial spot in the city. It's small and super cute. Great for dates or small groups. They play live records and the cocktails (which are awesome) are all named after songs. The food is insanely good. They have a patio in the summer too!
Feeling fancy? This place is for you! Located downtown, it's an iconic Chicago restaurant that celebrities in the 50s/60s flocked to. It's beeeeautiful (white marble everything) but NOT pretentious or terribly expensive. EVERYTHING is good and you'll feel like royalty without breaking the bank.
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Pump Room - Ambassador Bar
1301 North State Parkway
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Feeling fancy? This place is for you! Located downtown, it's an iconic Chicago restaurant that celebrities in the 50s/60s flocked to. It's beeeeautiful (white marble everything) but NOT pretentious or terribly expensive. EVERYTHING is good and you'll feel like royalty without breaking the bank.
Award-winning chefs opened this Korean fusion restaurant. IT'S SO GOOD. Think kimchi empanadas, the best most buttery mushrooms, and udon noodles in red sauce with roe. It all sounds super weird but I swear it's unbelievably good.
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Mott St
1401 North Ashland Avenue
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Award-winning chefs opened this Korean fusion restaurant. IT'S SO GOOD. Think kimchi empanadas, the best most buttery mushrooms, and udon noodles in red sauce with roe. It all sounds super weird but I swear it's unbelievably good.
Ok this is a little far from the apartment but worth the trek! Located in the Uptown neighborhood, it's got the best Ethiopian food in the city. You can make a night of it by heading to the iconic Green Mill for live jazz or catching a show at the Aragon Ballroom.
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Ethiopian Diamond
6120 North Broadway Street
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Ok this is a little far from the apartment but worth the trek! Located in the Uptown neighborhood, it's got the best Ethiopian food in the city. You can make a night of it by heading to the iconic Green Mill for live jazz or catching a show at the Aragon Ballroom.
Star Lounge is the coffee shop owned by Dark Matter Coffee, a local roaster. The vibe is chill and very neighborhoody! Two levels for sitting, free wi-fi, and they have a back patio to hang on when the weather is warm. They serve a small selection of pastries.
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Star Lounge Coffee Bar (Dark Matter Coffee)
2521 West Chicago Avenue
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Star Lounge is the coffee shop owned by Dark Matter Coffee, a local roaster. The vibe is chill and very neighborhoody! Two levels for sitting, free wi-fi, and they have a back patio to hang on when the weather is warm. They serve a small selection of pastries.
European style local coffee shop with simple drinks like pour-over coffee, fancy teas, and cold-pressed juices. Small selection of pastries, like sweet or savory croissants and scones. Very hip and chill vibe. Free wifi and good for working and people watching. Outdoor seating during warmer months.
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Caffè Streets
1750 West Division Street
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European style local coffee shop with simple drinks like pour-over coffee, fancy teas, and cold-pressed juices. Small selection of pastries, like sweet or savory croissants and scones. Very hip and chill vibe. Free wifi and good for working and people watching. Outdoor seating during warmer months.
Super chill and iconic Ukrainian Village spot. It's been here forever. Great for working. Extensive cafe menu of muffins, sandwiches, soups, etc. Lots of coffee/tea drinks. Free wifi. Good for people watching.
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Atomix Cafe
1957 West Chicago Avenue
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Super chill and iconic Ukrainian Village spot. It's been here forever. Great for working. Extensive cafe menu of muffins, sandwiches, soups, etc. Lots of coffee/tea drinks. Free wifi. Good for people watching.
I love this place! Nothing fancy here. Super classic diner-style menu. Incredibly friendly staff. They will refill your coffee nonstop and even give you a free one to-go on your way out! It's super cheap and never disappoints. I love the waffle combo with eggs and it's only $8!
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Janik's Cafe
2011 W Division St
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I love this place! Nothing fancy here. Super classic diner-style menu. Incredibly friendly staff. They will refill your coffee nonstop and even give you a free one to-go on your way out! It's super cheap and never disappoints. I love the waffle combo with eggs and it's only $8!
Their brunch is outta this world! New Mexican style brunch (like from New Mexico). Think huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and various types of Bloody Marys. The line is crazy on the weekends but lucky for you they offer brunch every day! Except Mondays when they're closed.
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Flo
1434 W Chicago Ave
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Their brunch is outta this world! New Mexican style brunch (like from New Mexico). Think huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and various types of Bloody Marys. The line is crazy on the weekends but lucky for you they offer brunch every day! Except Mondays when they're closed.
Drinks & Nightlife
Super chill vibe here. Very neighborhoody and non-touristy. 5-min walk from the apartment. They make great cocktails and even make their own amaros. Great DJs, great people watching. Fantastic back patio in the summer.
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Sportsman's Club
948 North Western Avenue
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Super chill vibe here. Very neighborhoody and non-touristy. 5-min walk from the apartment. They make great cocktails and even make their own amaros. Great DJs, great people watching. Fantastic back patio in the summer.
Iconic Chicago indie dive bar. It's been there for 75 years. All Chicago musicians have either hung out or worked there at some point. Very hip, very cheap, and very simple. No fancy cocktails (think beer and straight up booze). Go here for the old school photobooth and get a pic! Cash only!
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Rainbo Club
1150 North Damen Avenue
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Iconic Chicago indie dive bar. It's been there for 75 years. All Chicago musicians have either hung out or worked there at some point. Very hip, very cheap, and very simple. No fancy cocktails (think beer and straight up booze). Go here for the old school photobooth and get a pic! Cash only!
Super cool tiki bar! Not at all cheesy. Has THE BEST tiki drinks in the city and tropical vibes inside. Owned by acclaimed Chicago mixologist Paul McGee.
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Lost Lake
3154 West Diversey Avenue
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Super cool tiki bar! Not at all cheesy. Has THE BEST tiki drinks in the city and tropical vibes inside. Owned by acclaimed Chicago mixologist Paul McGee.
Don't let the name fool you--this place is not for girls only. Check out their FB page for programming as it varies--depending on the night you could stumble upon: Kanye Night, Selena night, Prince vs Michael Jackson night, 90s night, indie night, or on Mondays its Salonathon--a genre-defying performance art night. They have a photobooth!
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Beauty Bar
1444 West Chicago Avenue
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Don't let the name fool you--this place is not for girls only. Check out their FB page for programming as it varies--depending on the night you could stumble upon: Kanye Night, Selena night, Prince vs Michael Jackson night, 90s night, indie night, or on Mondays its Salonathon--a genre-defying performance art night. They have a photobooth!
GO HERE. It's GORGEOUS. Google images of it. Even if you just look around and leave. Or get a cocktail on the library floor and fries because their fries are so good. Or wander up to Cindy's rooftop and checkout an incredible view of downtown Chicago.
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Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
12 Michigan Avenue
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GO HERE. It's GORGEOUS. Google images of it. Even if you just look around and leave. Or get a cocktail on the library floor and fries because their fries are so good. Or wander up to Cindy's rooftop and checkout an incredible view of downtown Chicago.
Getting Around
Use Google Maps to plan out train routes to your destination. It's super easy to use.
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Damen Blue Line Station
South Damen Avenue
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Use Google Maps to plan out train routes to your destination. It's super easy to use.
Entertainment & Activities
Vintage movie theatre with a bar! You can take cocktails into the theatre with you!
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The Logan Theatre
2646 North Milwaukee Avenue
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Vintage movie theatre with a bar! You can take cocktails into the theatre with you!
Parks & Nature
Ok we don't have a lot of nature in the city, so we go check out plants indoors. The Conservatory is like 100 years old. It's totally beautiful and smells good. Best of all it's FREE and open 365 days per year. It's not in the safest neighborhood so I recommend taking a Lyft or Uber there. Worth the short trip!
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Garfield Park Conservatory
300 N Central Park Ave
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Ok we don't have a lot of nature in the city, so we go check out plants indoors. The Conservatory is like 100 years old. It's totally beautiful and smells good. Best of all it's FREE and open 365 days per year. It's not in the safest neighborhood so I recommend taking a Lyft or Uber there. Worth the short trip!
Shopping
This is my shop--come and visit me! I sell mid-century modern barware, housewares, vintage clothing, vintage jewelry, and locally made accessories and apothecary goods. It's within walking distance from the apartment.
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Dovetail
1452 West Chicago Avenue
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This is my shop--come and visit me! I sell mid-century modern barware, housewares, vintage clothing, vintage jewelry, and locally made accessories and apothecary goods. It's within walking distance from the apartment.
Arts & Culture
Like contemporary art? You'll love the MCA!
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Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 East Chicago Avenue
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Like contemporary art? You'll love the MCA!
Worth a visit! We have some of the most important art in the world here in Chicago. Remember that scene in Ferris Bueller's Day off where they're staring at that at Georges Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte?" THAT'S THERE! Plus countless other works of art. My fave is all the new pop art in the Modern Wing!
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The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
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Worth a visit! We have some of the most important art in the world here in Chicago. Remember that scene in Ferris Bueller's Day off where they're staring at that at Georges Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte?" THAT'S THERE! Plus countless other works of art. My fave is all the new pop art in the Modern Wing!