How to: Visit Chicago Like a Chicagoan

[Ed. note: The below piece of writing is extremely funny. It is also extremely profane. The word irreverent does not go far enough. If you're offended by salty language and off-color humor, please just enjoy our photo today and I promise we'll be back to our usual family-friendly routine promptly tomorrow.]

[Ed. note part 2: It's also really long. Tough.]

[Ed Hirsch is a huge nerd, rap enthusiast, and homesick Chicagoan currently stationed in Dallas. He is the love child of Studs Terkel and David Mamet.]

Since moving out of Chicago, I’m asked about every three months for advice about visiting Chicago: what to do, where to stay, what to eat, and so on. I’ve come to realize in these conversations that either (a) I’m a complete slug of a person or (b) everyone assumes I spent twenty-eight years in Chicago living as a tourist. While (a) is probably true, this article is about (b). People will ask me about a restaurant like Charlie Trotter’s or what I think about the Drake Hotel, and I have to remind people that I was living in Chicago on $40k a year. I make more now ($41k!) and I still don’t stay at the Drake when I fly back home. I guess I just know a bunch of obnoxious WASPs, but I don’t think you learn anything about Chicago by trying to hang around Streeterville and Gold Coast for a long weekend. So below I’m going to compile my true honest-to-god suggestions for visiting Chicago.

Where do I fly into?

I don’t care. They’re both about the same distance from where you’re going to stay. Yes, I know where you’re going to stay.

How much is a cab from the airport? Will the cab driver rip me off?

1. If you take a cab from the airport to downtown you’re a coward. Get on the El. Smell public transportation, you baby.

2. Yes, a cab driver will at some point rip you off. You’re a guest in the city, and you should be happy to overpay our cabbies.

OK, so I’m staying at the Drake…

Hahahahahhahahaha and you’re worried about getting ripped off by a cabbie? You bitch.

Stay at the Tremont. It’s $90 a night, two blocks from the Drake, and nobody worth a dime gives a shit that you roomed where some princess or Oprah or whoever stayed. You didn’t get treated like them anyway.

OK, I’m checked in. Now what do I do?

OK, so here are the things I think I would list as cool things to do in Chicago. No particular order:

1) River tour. If it’s warm out, a historical/architecture tour of Chicago is rad for both tourists and locals. Aside from a nice, breezy trip on the not overly smelly river, architectural tours in Chicago actually have significance. This isn’t your chumpsville city where you paid a bunch of dipshits a cool million to design a glass dildo in the center of your three-block downtown. Buildings in Chicago actually mean something to the history of  the city, and you’ll learn something about the meat packing industry, health and sanitation, immigrant migration, and other cool stuff that you probably won’t appreciate because you’re a fucking uneducated hick. Fuck you.

2) Art Institute. Chicago museums are in general the types of museums you have to commit a day to, and I think the Art Institute probably does that experience the best. If you can figure out a way to get tickets in advance it will save you twenty minutes in a line. The “doll-houses” are downstairs, and you can skip the African and Asian art (you fucking racists) and go through the Greek/Roman section and hit up the American classics. That will kill two hours at least, more likely three. You’ve seen about 20 percent of the museum. Also please consider reading (if you can actually read) things about the art. Art has meaning kinda!

Realize your father is terrible.

3) Get someone over the age of fifty to drive you to Pullman Town. I was lucky enough to tag along one weekend when my dad took a friend of his on a tour of the South Side. See, despite what thirty-something yuppie shitheels in Chicago think, the South Side actually wasn’t always just for black people! You should swing through Bridgeport, over to Bronzeville, down to Hyde Park, through Washington Park to Englewood, and then on to Pullman. Ideally this person giving the tour is Jewish, but I don’t have high hopes for you. Pullman is itself an interesting historic landmark, and there’s a nice little museum.

4) Cubs game. As a Sox fan, it makes me barf to say this, but you’ll get better photos and it’s more interesting to walk around Clark and Addison even though it’s just a bunch of frat guys. Hell, you’ll probably feel pretty comfortable with that.

That should eat up your weekend.

OK, but what I was thinking of doing…

I KNOW WHAT YOU WERE THINKING OF DOING IT’S ALL STUPID THAT’S WHY I DON’T CARE.

1) Shopping on the Mag Mile. Ahahhahahahahahahah you fucking dipshit. You don’t have an outlet store in your state? Believe me, I want your fucking money flowing through the coffers of the city of Chicago as much as anyone, but if you came to Chicago to shop you are human trash and I hope you die.
2) Going up the Hancock/Sears Tower. Wow, you went up high. You were higher up when you flew in. Also, you’re going to spend too much on a drink in the Signature Room while sitting next to some screaming kid. Great move, asshat.
3) Seeing a show. Yeah, you aren’t going to see anything interesting, you’re going to see some musical prepping for Broadway or back touring. Wait for it to come to your dumbass state, maybe? You could go to iO or a million other great improv troupes or small theaters, but risking being in a theater where you might have to have a thought about what you just saw is likely for you pretty scary.
4) See the Bean without a local. Seeing “The Sky Bridge” seems like such a great idea too, right?! Millennium Park is like a park but without all that history and gravitas that real Chicago parks have. If you don’t have a fat half-Italian bitching about Daley as you try to take your stupid reflection shot, you’re incapable of raising children right. Ponder that.
5) The Taste. I hope someone shoots you.

Pictured: three stabbings, eight thefts, and someone eating a stupid thing on a stick

OK, I am properly humbled. Now, WHERE DO I EAT CHICAGO HAS GREAT FOOD RIGHT GREAT FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD STUFF FOOD IN MY MOUTH I NEED TO BE A FAT PIGGIE.

OK, now here’s where we get serious.

Eating like a Chicagoan means understanding you can get good to great food anywhere. Yeah, I’m sure Rick Bayless has had his proverbial knob gobbled by every Food Network person you watch, but it turns out if you don’t go to some rib joint that’s open until 1 a.m. you may as well be a plantation owner. So here are some quintessential Chicago dining experiences.

Chicago-Style Pizza

Yeah I know you went to Gino’s East or Giordano’s or whatever. You did it wrong. First off, you ate at the restaurant. Second, you were probably mostly sober. In no way is that how you approach eating a Chicago-style pizza.

1) Go out to a dive bar on the north side (anything west of Southport and north of Belmont will count, I feel; YMMV) and begin drinking. If they have PBR you should have at least two. Same with Schlitz. If you want to do the beer snob thing, you’re welcome to it. Same with scotch. No wine. Vodka is OK.
2) Keep drinking.
3) Begin talking to locals. They will be the interesting people around you.
4) Become best friends with locals. It should be about 10:30 by now.
5) Keep drinking. Decide if you are going to try to sleep with any of these people.
6) At 12:30, begin talking about how you’re hungry. This will be true as you have not eaten.
7) Convince your new friends to take you to their apartment. It will look like this most likely:

Hello, I am a two-flat.

8) Order a deep dish from Chicago’s Pizza.

9) Fifty minutes later, make a major ordeal about how you are going to pay this delivery guy.
10) Eat a slice of the pizza that you have somehow paid for.
11) Fall asleep on couch, not having sex with locals.
12) Wake up four hours later. At this point the pizza should be sitting on the coffee table across from you. The cheese has congealed and the sauce gone cold. Think to yourself “There is a block of cheese inside of me. It has to get out…right?” Ponder your life failures as you sneak out of this person’s apartment and try to find a cab/el stop.

This is a picture of failure.

This is a picture of failure.

Chicago Meat

Oh you want to go to a steakhouse? Ohhhhhhh hmmmmmm yeah no. Half the places out there are chains, and you aren’t mafia enough to pull off being in the ones that aren’t. Chicago meat to you can be summed up as HogDogGyroItalianBeefSausageBurger. Also ribs.

The shortcut to all your Chicago meat needs is Portillo’s. I know what you’re thinking: did this guy who can’t stop being a prick to me just tell me to go to a chain? First off, it’s no chain you ever heard of so put your dick away. Second, go ask around about Portillo’s and see what kind of reaction you get. Portillo’s is like the only popular thing Chicagoans like that’s not named Derrick Rose.

But, if you want to live it real, avoid Portillo’s and find your own hole in the wall. To do this, first you look for a sign.

Despite never being there, I know this is a reputable establishment.

Despite never being there, I know this is a reputable establishment.

Your keys to spotting this place are:

1) Vienna Beef logo on their hanging sign
2) Their name includes one or more of the following
a. Chicago
b. Windy City
c. Beef
d. Dog
e. Gyros
f. The name of the street you’re on
g. The name of a street you’re not on
h. Any ethnic sounding name followed by an “ ‘s ”
3) Their staff appears to all be related or from the same ethnicity
4) They have any of the following
a. Signed pictures of the old mayor
b. Railroad paraphernalia
c. A picture of a giant hotdog, possibly floating in Lake Michigan
d. A menu hanging above the counter that appears to have ~50 items
e. An elderly lady working the cash register

You should expect to eat here a few times. You will want to try a hot dog (plain), another hot dog (everything), Italian beef (hot peppers), Italian sausage (peppers), gyros (everything, pronounce it “euros” or someone will slap you in a just world).

Chicago Ethnic Food

Chicago is good at ethnicities and racism. It’s a good mix, as it means you end up with very particular neighborhoods and streets (ghettos?) to experience unique foods. Here in Texas, I’m not sure if most people can tell the difference between an African American and a Latino, but in Chicago my old barber (Uncle Joe!) once gave me a lecture on exactly when the neighborhood went to hell: when the Irish moved in.

So while in Chicago, you should at least try to get someplace weird. While I think Andersonville and Rogers Park are two great places to do it, I’m going to send you to Uptown. Uptown works for three reasons. First, it’s accessible, right off the Red Line. Second, it has an energetic corner at Lawrence and Broadway. Third, the Green Mill is there. And fourth, there’s a rad Ethiopian place called Demera. If you’ve never had Ethiopian food before, I expect you to go. Do not google anything. Do not be a coward. Do what they do and stop crying. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get to see a guy perform guitar there and drink some honey wine. Once you’re done, go across the street to the Green Mill. Pay the cover. Listen to whatever weird experimental Swedish jazz band has flown in to play there and just there. Shut your gaping mouth and just try to appreciate what is happening. Please. Try.

THAT’S A LOT TO DIGEST, LOL.

I get it. A pun.

OK, so this should get you through your weekend in Chicago such that I will give a crap about what you did there. Other things to consider may be:

  • getting into a fight with a homeless man at an el stop
  • having a terrible opinion about sports and sharing it with everyone
  • being involved in a gun crime
  • eating a plate of fries at Clarke’s and wondering how unsanitary the kitchen is
  • going to a Polish buffet on the far northwest side and getting threatened by a three-hundred-pound man in sweatpants
  • freezing your fucking balls off
  • becoming a fan of Rod Blagojevich
  • bitching about Oprah
  • growing a moustache

639 thoughts on “How to: Visit Chicago Like a Chicagoan

  1. That’s amazing.

    You forgot about going to humboldt park for a chicago original jibarito sammich. Then loose a couple pounds with a good ol’ fashioned stabbing.

  2. And don’t forget about making fun of suburbanites who think living in “the city” is like soooooo cool, when they actually just live in Linkin Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park, or some other shitty gentrified part of what was once a cool neighborhood.

    • You sound like probably the biggest douche bag the world has ever seen. First off, your life must be terrible. Second, how often have you been to “Linkin” Park, Lakeview, and Wicker Park when they were “once a cool neighborhood” and now they are supposedly “shitty”? Where do you suggest people live, in your trash can with you? These areas are apparently not “the city” to you, but where in your pathetic mind is “the city”? One of the douchiest things about Chicago is dildos like this who try to tell other people that they are less of a Chicagoan than them, how truly pathetic.

      • Can a “like button” be added? Nice comment. I’d hate to see what southside!!! thinks of Roscoe Village! “WRONG SIDE OF WESTERN!”

  3. If you didn’t get a polish or pork chop sandwich with grilled onions on Maxwell St then you didn’t really come to Chicago.

  4. Sitting on my couch at 3am, unable to sleep due to whatever fricking norovirus has turned me into its plaything and laughing my ass off while reading this — also coughing my lungs out as a result, but that’s cool, because it’s for a good cause: the love of Chicago. Thank you!

    • Hey douche, just say “cold”. You sound pretentious with the whole “norovirus” thing, especially since you don’t know what it is. It causes vomiting, not coughing.

  5. I would add that putting ketchup on your Chicago-style hot dog will get you shot in some places.
    …..and the White Sox can lick my balls.

  6. What the fuck am I doing up so early reading this ? Well my NEW fridge is making a siren noise just like the ones right out my window in UPTOWN yes uptown. Love uptown must see a show at the Rivera or Aragon and have sushi at Dibbs.

  7. They should also visit Chicago Diner. Whether you’re vegan or not, everything in there is vegan and surprisingly good as all hell.

      • Sorry to be pedantic, but if you were a true carnivore, you would die of malnutrition and organ failure. Also, the Chicago Diner serves vegetarian food, as in they have regular dairy products and eggs. Great place though.

        • disagree. their food is too salty and expensive. but if you want a good laugh, order a $7 cup of orange juice and watch your waiter waddle behind the counter to pour you a cup of Minute Maid (true story).

          my advice, try Karen’s Cooked if you’re a veg-head, or go to Kopi Cafe if you’re not. same vein of food, but better and cheaper.

          • I definitely love Karyn’s. Cooked for casual nights, On Green for special date nights. Karyn herself is quite a trip, and really nice. Karyn’s also does better with food allergies. I haven’t been to Chicago Diner in ages, since I usually got sick after eating there. Haven’t been to Mana Food bar in awhile either, but I really liked eating (and drinking) there too.

            • I was just telling someone about how I’ve been to Chicago Diner 3x and thrown up in the 7eleven parking lot every time!!! [i thought i was the only one]

  8. Good deep dish pizza.. Go to Webster and Lincoln… And do not walk around with your camera in hand your just a walking target for robbery jus saying… Good hot dog joint Americas Dog on Adams/Wabash…

  9. Born and raised in Rogers Park. Lou’s is the best for deep dish. But you can’t beat Candlelite on Western near Howard for thin crust–try the garlic, too. For dogz, hit Byrons on Irving Park near the L. The city was the best place for a kid to grow up.

  10. Since this refuses to stop making the rounds, i’ll chime in with a few places you MUST go :

    The Empty Bottle
    Hot Doug’s
    Big n’ Little’s
    The staggering about of breweries.

    Oh, and if you hear crazy noises coming from a basement, walk on down and check it out. If someone asks you for $5, give it to them, and you’ll be rewarded handsomely.

  11. I know it’s popular to bash Lincoln Park, but I can’t believe that none of these ‘Chicago-insider’ articles have mentioned the Lincoln Park Zoo! Seriously?! One of the best ways to spend a day during nice weather is to bus or bike over to the Zoo, leisurely walk around exploring the totally FREE exhibits, the Lily Pond, the Nature Museum, the pretty Nature Boardwalk with interesting sculptures, the Conservatory… bring a picnic lunch and sneak some wine. Or head over to the Patio, a bar/restaurant directly next to the zoo with a serene and beautiful view, and have a relaxing, tasty cocktail and ice water when you get overheated. They even have a farmer’s market nearby on the weekends.

    To note, I have lived in Logan Square and now Hermosa, and I enjoy walking around Lincoln Park before/after work. Unlike the Loop that is overcrowded and makes me agitated as hell, talking a pre-work walk in the early hours is very relaxing, and I enjoy looking at all of the fancy homes. Even if I’m filled with jealous and hate for the occupants the whole time.

  12. Well, being a guy who was born on the southside and have spent my adult life bouncing back and forth between the north side and other places (currently living in London), I do admire the intensity. Definitely nails the obnoxious relocated folks from Iowa, Wisco, Michigan and Indy who pile into Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park and parts of Bucktown and claim high holiness about the city after 12 months. Then they marry and bail to Naperville or Glencoe to raise their families….

    Food wise, there are way too many options to capture in one blog/article. If someone asks me where to go to eat while in Chicago for a few days, I usually send them to one/all of the following: Pizano’s, Chicago Pizza & Grinder, Mr Beef, (definitely) Portillos, and any hot dog joint that is open within a 2 block walk of their hotel (usually they are in R North, so Downtown Dog is satisfactory….they won’t know the difference). Fancy dinners are recommended, but I usually just tell them to either try one of the steak houses (Kinzie Chop, Chicago Cut, or one of the more popular ones), or just ask their conciere.

    A river cruise is a must, with the added Lakefront option; visitors have to get a glimpse of the city from the lake, its definitely awesome. Neighborhood streetfests are special treats for the adventurous, and depending on timing, Old Town Art Fest is usually high on the list. Followed by Lincoln Sq’s Oktoberfest and Northcenter’s Ribfest.

  13. For Pizza, go to Vito and Nicks on 84th and Pulaski on the Southside! It’s the BEST thin crust pizza anywhere, let alone the city. And the Cubs still suck.

    • Amen to this! No better pizza in the country!!!! And yes, the Cubs suck!!!
      Also, I’d be careful on this trip to “Pullman Town”, you start driving through Englewood to get there and it may be the last drive you ever take!!!!!

  14. If you’re reasonably sober, in Lincoln Park, and willing to squeeze into a tight little hole in the wall for the best pizza Chicago has to offer: Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder. It’s not deep dish. It’s not thin crust. It’s not quite like a pizza pot pie, upside down and filled with pure awesome. You won’t find it’s like anywhere else.

  15. As a real Chicagoan, who moved to Lakeview, stop da bashing!

    Best deep dish in da city, Bacino’s pizza in Lincoln Park or it’s sister, Bella Bacino’s downtown on Wacker, not a bad price, and it works for a date, and is sooo good.

    As far as a dog or an Italian Beef, can’t go wrong with Al’s Beef. Though Byron’s on Irving is pretty darn good.

    And, how, how on earth did the author forget to mention a word about Manny’s Deli? Come on man!

  16. “[Ed. note: The below piece of writing is extremely funny.”

    If you have to tell people what you wrote is extremely funny, it’s probably not.

  17. You’ve made me homesick! I haven’t lived in Chicago for nearly 30 years, so tell me …

    Do all the buildings in the Loop still have diners? Are they all still run by Greeks? Do they all have their own recipes for everything, so you have to go from diner to diner to get your favorite version of spanikopita, dolmades, and avgolemono?

  18. As a life-long Chicagoan, I LOVE this. It is actually my city tour for visitors. Instead of trying to attract tourist by competing with NY and LA, we have to appreciate who we are and share that because it’s wonderful and unique. We have to get over our low civic self-esteem because we live in an awesome city. Ed, you did good.

  19. Not bad, for a late-20’s or 30-something. But someone please find me the editor who put David Mamet in the same sentence with Studs Terkel, so I can punch him in the throat

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  21. This is like a person stole my brain and wrote a blog using it. I like how the author doesn’t pinpoint specific places, but rather enjoy what is around you and meet people. That’s the best part of being in a big city. Every neighborhood has something worth enjoying, let the experience come to you instead of trying to get to “the best”.
    I left Chicago in 1999 and now when I come back I vrbo or airbnb a place in a new neighborhood to try to experience each neighborhood.

    That said.. what I miss most is Villa Palermo or Rosati’s thin crust square cut pizza.. :(

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  23. Back before Lincoln Park had a Gap or a Starbucks, it had an awesome pizza place called My Pi (only it used the symbol). They lost the place but moved to bucktown where it’s essentially carry-out or delivery only. Best pizza in my opinion. Also, I think everyone should sit at Goose Island near Wrigley on a cold icey night and watch dumb frat & sorority kids fall over themselves to try and get into the meat market, I mean Barleycorns. And if you go to Barleycorns, well, there’s nothing that can be done about your condition.

    • I agree–I loved MyPi in Lincoln Park–wanted their pizza so badly when I was back and found out they moved! MyPi and Unos–best pizza!

      • Agree MyPi !!! Note “Pi” being a pun, as original location was on or near Sheridan Road and campuses of Loyola/Mundelein – memory correct?

        and agree too Unos (and then Dues too bc same owner)

        and will sometimes be satisfied with Gino’s East as a substitute.

        BUT love, love Pompeii Bakery sausage and mushroom slices. It all began on Loomis across from Arrigo Park in the little neighborhood bakery…

  24. Fried who lives in Streeterville turned me on to Bacino’s on Wacker. Good stuff. My kid lives in Bucktown, and has for 7 years. He introduced me to the pizza at Piece. His wife is a southsider and keeps telling me about Vito and Nick’s but never been there.

    Anyone need a 2BR, 2BA loft condo in Bucktown. About a 3 minute walk to Western Blue line, less than 10 minute walk to 6 corners Blue line stop. The yuppies are heading out to the burbs

  25. I agree with Tom (ie not funny- and trying too hard to be). Also confirms that Chicago is fucking boring.

  26. I only take offense at one thing: When you go into a bar, you start drinking Old Style, not PBR. This is Chicago, not Hipsterville. Furthermore, said bar shouldn’t have a name but just say “Old Style on Tap” outside.

  27. “Gino’s North” for Pizza. Get off the Red Line at Granville and take ten steps east towards the lake. The place only has room for about 40 people. It looks like a miniature Green Mill inside. If you are gay, you can hit up the Anvil bar just west of the Granville stop.

  28. As a life long resident (that grew up in the South Loop when it was weird), I went to the stripped down Taste last year after a 20+ year boycott and it was actually decent. It reminded me of the 80s. For that week they moved SummerDance to Columbus and people were dancing to soul music. It wasn’t crowded and it was one of those rare times when all types of Chicagoans get together.

  29. I just shit my brains out b/c I ate at Subway last night (I live in a chain-filled town halfway between DC & Baltimore) and had an 11-inch footlong sub. I read this article, laughed my ass off, and I think I need to order a Mr. Beef Italian Beef w/hot peppers and ship it out here.
    Where is George Ryan staying at now-a-days?
    The Cubs always suck.
    Go Hawks.

  30. You can’t visit ChiTown without a trip to Duk’s on Ashland for some kick ass beef, dogs & the traditional Chicago Pizza Puff.,..

    For a hole in a wall with kick ass food is Dominic’s on Chicago Ave just East of Noble…

    For Tacos go up Noble to Huron between Throop & Elizabeth to Taqueria El Jardin for some amazing tacos de carnitas or a Torta de carne asada and make sure you get their home made Horchata & a Jarritos de Limon’ to wash it all down…

    For Pizza you MUST try the pizza over at D’amato’s Bakery – get a sheet of the sausage – you will NOT be disappointed!

    The ONLY better place for tacos is Aztecas Tacos @ 1836 S Blue Island Ave Chicago – If you go here you MUST try the tacos de carne asada & the tacos de pollo, the Horchata & the little red sugar coated jelly candy in the clear box where you pay for your food… you can NOT miss that!

  31. Where to start, oh, where to start ?

    Michigan Avenue – Correct! If you can afford to shop in the store, chances are you have one in your home town or outlet mall and if you don’t have that particular brand in your home town or outlet mall, you can’t afford it anyway. Stores aren’t museums, the clerks don’t need a bunch of Yahoos with high foreheads walking around gasping over the price tags or purty thangs.

    Lodging – Try Airbnb.com . cheaper than a hotel, more interesting and you’ll be able to see what an honest to goodness railroad flat looks like.

    Food – Italian Beef: Al’s ain’t that great. Too much cinnamon, tastes like cookies. Joe Boston’s on Grand. That is the place for a beef. With Sweet Peppers or Giardinaira. NO CHEESE.

    Hot Dogs: NO PORTILLOS. If you can’t get to Superdawg or Gene and Jude’s, eat at Weiner Circle or Goldcoast Dogs. Never, ever ask for ketchup on a Chicago hot dog. Some places don’t even have ketchup (Weiner Circle) even for the fries.

    Pizza: Gino’s is a filthy, dirty dump. Never go there unless you want roaches with your pizza. Uno and Due are also Un Don’tay. No longer the darlings of pizza they used to be. Lou Malnati’s and Chicago Pizza are safe bets. Vito and Nick’s on the south side is excellent and Burt’s Place in Morton Grove rocks.

    Want a great steak: Gene and Georgetti, Gibson’s (but if you don’t have reservations, don’t even bother unless you want your evening’s entertainment to be waiting in the packed bar with all of the other tourists and cougars waiting for some poor schmuck from Omaha to buy them martinis at $15.00 a pop).

    Bars: If you are going to go to a “Rush Street” bar, which for the most part are actually Division Street bars, go to The Lodge. It’s the only place where locals will go, great jukebox and while tiny and narrow, well worth the entertainment. Hey, where else can you sing Paradise by The Dashboard Lights or Bohemian Rhapsody with 200 strangers?

    Have a great time and if someone tells you to go east on Madison ’til your hat floats, go the other way.

    • My Error: Weiner Circle has ketchup. Gene and Jude’s does NOT. Not sure why I typed that.

  32. Really?
    Best Hot Dog: Believe it or not, Home Depot $ 2 bucks
    Best Pizza: Renaldis on Broadway
    Best Italian: My favorite is Mia Francesca on Clark Street
    True Chicago Experience: Go to Bridgeport and get a Pork Chop Sandwich
    Best Margarita: El Jardin ( not because of the quality of the drink, but the quality of getting your date ready.
    Best ethnic: Raw Bar, Their Persian influence is amazing
    Best Hamburger: Somewhere in California I here.
    Best Steak: You have to experience a meal at Lawry’s
    Best place to have a real drink at a bar with with real people: The Liar’s Club.
    Best place to meet a celebrity: Somewhere in Hollywood
    Best place for shopping: Anywhere but here, our taxes suck!

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  35. Hilarious choice of writing style! I couldn’t agree with you more on what not to see in Chicago. To tell you people ask me how I haven’t shopped on the mag mile …um because I rather pay less for the same shit!! good ol tourists…I’m sure I do the same on vacation. Good luck and see you back in Chicago

  36. Lots of funny stuff in this. Strange as it sounds, I do kinda miss riding the redline to work, smelling piss and having addicts turn down food after they asked me for money. My wife and I ate at the Ethiopian place he’s talking about and we shat our brains out that night and the next day. And shame shame shame for mentioning Portillo’s. What’s next, go to Five Guys for the best burger? Hit up Freddie’s on 31st in Bridgeport, best Combo in the city. This was clearly written by hipster scum. The one thing he left out was when you’re talking to the “locals” at the bars in the neighborhoods he suggested you’ll actually be talking to other hipster scum (typically from the lilywhite upper class suburbs) that will tell u the music u like is too mainstream, the clothes u wear are too corporate, and unless ur a barista or work at a record store you are “working for the man.” I’ve met many judgemental smug hipsters like the schmuck that wrote this and they’re the only reason I advocate for authoritarian government run “re-education camps.” Did feel a little sad reading this from “the burbs”, had kids and had to bail for good schools (Former CPS teacher so I can say that with some knowledge outside the 9 oclock news).

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