Nathan and Will just left after a week's worth of visiting. I'm using their visit as an excuse to compile a list of awesome Chicago things to do. This is for you, friends-who-have-yet-to-vist-Chicago!
Come see us, and you'll have the chance to...
- Eat deep-dish pizza three times, from three different restaurants ("or my name's not Nathan Van Patter!"): Giordano's, the Medici, Lou Malnati's.
- Stroll on Broadway, buy a hat in the wrong size, and have it re-sized by the excellent folks at Goorin Brothers Hats.
- Hike to and from a free acoustic blues luncheon at Buddy Guy's Legends (in the biggest blizzard in years, if you're as lucky as Nathan and Will were).
- Be overwhelmed by the size of the Art Institute of Chicago ("We spent so much time there, and we didn't even see the famous Seurat!")
- Taste the Chicago Mix (caramel popcorn and cheddar popcorn), not from tourists' favorite Garrett, but from Southside gem MotherButter's.
- Cobble together a donut tasting in the city's new artisanal donut mecca, River North, featuring FireCakes, Fritz Pastries (visiting the neighborhood for a pop-up shop), and (almost, if they hadn't sold out for the day!) Donut Vault.
- Get coffee at Intelligentsia, Bow Truss, and Bridgeport Coffee Company.
- Share a Pork & Cider meat pie at Pleasant House.
- Watch a 95-year-old bridge across the Chicago River undergo a total reconstruction (all right, you can only really do that if you visit in the next three weeks).
- See the seething arctic ice at the edge of Promontory Point (if this doesn't sound fun, visit in the summer and replace "see the seething arctic ice" with "swim").
- Play the Haunted House game A LOT (I am always up for this, btw).
- Join Haymarket House for whatever happens to be going on (ironing a book? tasting 12-year single-malt scotch? building shelves? playing TWO games of Dominion simultaneously?).
- Learn to navigate the CTA and the Chicago street grid.
- Contradance at University of Chicago (or decline to do so, due to fatigue from so much walking around).
- Be surprised by whatever new exhibit is at the Chicago Cultural Center.
- Pick up Indian takeout from Rajun Cajun and Chicago-style hot dogs from Hyde Park Gyros.
- Find the Lincoln Park Conservatory's small dinosaurs (they're really in there!).
- Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo (at closing time to see the animals doing their thing).