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Old 05-28-2008, 06:31 PM   #76
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Reggie's is a nice bar/music venue like 2300ish south State, just east of Chinatown. They have a pretty decent selection of craft beer and some decent bands play there, but overall the place is very spacious/comfortable. I haven't had any of the food but they seem to have a decent food selection.

Cal's is a decent little dive bar somewhere in the South Loop (I think it's a few blocks west of State and Van Buren, but I'm not positive). It's right by the board of trade and they have an interesting mix of customers.

If you're even a small fan of beer, I'd recommend places like Piece Brewery (on North just east of Milwaukee I believe) they are also well known for their New Haven style pizza, Goose Island Brewery (On Clybourn, just south of downtown I think) and of course some of the ones already mentioned, Map Room, Hopleaf, etc. I've heard mixed reviews of the Chicago Alehouse, but have never been.

Personally, my favorite thin and stuffed crust pizza is Aurelios. The original one is the best (they are franchises and a lot of the others seems to taste different) in Homewood in the south suburbs. If you ever visit there ask for your pizza to be cooked in the old oven.

Other than that I like Giordanos deep dish. I had that Chicago's pizza mentioned above when I lived in Lakeview, the late night delivery is very nice and the pizza is very good.

Nancy's also makes very good pizza.

I used to eat at this place called Rizas or Rezas when I lived in Andersonville, I forgot the name but they had some pretty good food.

Devon/Western as others mentioned is good. Greektown is worth eating a meal at.

I've never had much bad to say about Navy Pierre. Charlie's Alehouse is there, which has a decent selection of good beer, the restaurant Riva is there and is pretty good and the boat rides are pretty decent. The midnight+ "booze cruise" that they also have are pretty decent, you pay a flat fee and get some appetizers and an open bar.

If you're coming to Chicago, pick up a copy of "Chicago" magazine and read through the restaurants and night life and pick out stuff you might like and just post it in this thread, you should get some good opinions.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:58 PM   #77
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Just from a housing standpoint, as another poster touched on but I want to live in the city when I move there even though I will be commuting to Aurora for work.

What's the best area I should be looking at for apartments. I'll be renting prob for the first 6 months to 1 year but I'm gonna buy after that.
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:06 PM   #78
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

A couple other good spots that I didn't see mentioned near a lot of hotels...

Roys - Great seafood. Potentially better than Japonais imo. Upscale dining with a really reasonably priced wine list. The best part is how this place looks like a scuzzy bar with a gawdy purple awning outside and you walk in and it is butter.

Quartino - Italian tapas with a great outdoor seating area. The wine is great and is cheap as hell, especially if you want to take some home ($5/bottle). Plus I saw Nick Cage's bald ass here last summer.

Star of Siam - Great thai food. Super cheap (but I guess that is implied)

Lou Malnatis owns all pizza. Giordanos is second.

Portillos is a must hit spot.

For downtown bars.... Fado is great if you are looking for a relaxing atmosphere where you can talk. Kerryman is better if you are looking for a more upbeat atmosphere. I wouldn't suggest it for anybody over 30 on the weekend though.
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:07 PM   #79
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Commuting to Aurora from the city is going to be a long way, fyi. If you are definitely set on the city I would go as far west as you can stand. Oak Park might not be a bad spot - it's not quite in the city but it's really nice and it's not far away.
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:19 PM   #80
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Commuting to Aurora from the city is going to be a long way, fyi. If you are definitely set on the city I would go as far west as you can stand. Oak Park might not be a bad spot - it's not quite in the city but it's really nice and it's not far away.
Oak Park is real nice. But if I were younger I'd rather live in the City. And either way the commute to Aurora will be bad.

But there is a decent young, single community here. There's a couple of colleges in nearby River Forest. And there's nightlife in Oak Park and neighboring Forest Park. The bars in Cicero stay open longer than Chicago, so you do have some options if you move here.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:31 AM   #81
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Originally Posted by 7ontheline View Post
Commuting to Aurora from the city is going to be a long way, fyi. If you are definitely set on the city I would go as far west as you can stand. Oak Park might not be a bad spot - it's not quite in the city but it's really nice and it's not far away.
Fwiw I'm moving from LA so a 45min-1hr commute to/from work is pretty standard for someone out here.
I was thinking of just moving to Aurora and buying a house but I'd rather live in the city for a year or so, then move out closer to work.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:09 PM   #82
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Oak Park sounds good for what you're looking for, you're not going to find anything else near that area that is worth living in. The whole west side of Chicago is not ideal imo so the closest area is going to be like right near downtown anyway, and that commute will suck.

Aurora has a decent downtown area, it's obviously no Chicago but it's not like Aurora/Naperville is a little town with two square blocks of downtown.

I'd go Oak Park if I were you though, it's a good compromise, you can go East to the city without much trouble and West to your job without a 2 hour commute.
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:29 PM   #83
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Originally Posted by surfinillini View Post
Just from a housing standpoint, as another poster touched on but I want to live in the city when I move there even though I will be commuting to Aurora for work.

What's the best area I should be looking at for apartments. I'll be renting prob for the first 6 months to 1 year but I'm gonna buy after that.
I'm a recent college grad moving out to Chicago for work in August. Pretty similar situation to the one surfillini described, except I will be working in Elmhurst. What neighborhoods should I be looking in for a good mix of young people/bars/Metra+EL access?

Any testimonials on Wicker Park or Lincoln Park? Any recommendations of other places that could be a good fit?
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:42 PM   #84
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

This thread makes me miss Chicago so much.

Especially the pizza.

Anyone have a company hiring web marketing / seo / paid search people?
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:56 PM   #85
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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I'm a recent college grad moving out to Chicago for work in August. Pretty similar situation to the one surfillini described, except I will be working in Elmhurst. What neighborhoods should I be looking in for a good mix of young people/bars/Metra+EL access?

Any testimonials on Wicker Park or Lincoln Park? Any recommendations of other places that could be a good fit?
Elmhurst has a pretty nice downtown with decent nightlife. It's a college town so there's more to do than your average Suburb. The Metra station is right downtown also.

Again Oak Park is just a few train stops away from Elmhurst and is closer to the City. Oak Park also has the Green line (CTA), the Blue line(CTA) and a Metra Station.

Lincoln Park is expensive and crowded but it has a lot to offer including easy access to the Lake and of course Lincoln Park (the park itself).

Wicker Park used to have an edgier feel to it, but it's not much different from Lincoln Park any more. It's not as close to the lake, but it is a little closer to the Expressway.
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:03 PM   #86
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Elmhurst has a pretty nice downtown with decent nightlife. It's a college town so there's more to do than your average Suburb. The Metra station is right downtown also.
weird, i grew up in elmhurst, but i never really thought of it as a college town, even though it does have the college.

course i haven't been back in years, so who knows what it's like now.
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:32 PM   #87
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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weird, i grew up in elmhurst, but i never really thought of it as a college town, even though it does have the college.

course i haven't been back in years, so who knows what it's like now.

Well it's not like Madison, WI or anything. But it does have concerts, athletice events, culture and a decent amount of bars. There's things for young single people to do there. As oposed to the average bedroorm community, which tend to be very family oriented.

Elmhurst is also nice because it's walkable. So you don't have to worry about driving home drunk after a night on the town.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:46 PM   #88
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

WOW, 87 posts and only one mention of Portillos????

Things missing from this thread:
1. Portillos
2. The Blues
3. St. Patrick's Day
4. Frank Lloyd Wright
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:48 PM   #89
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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WOW, 87 posts and only one mention of Portillos????

Things missing from this thread:
1. Portillos
2. The Blues
3. St. Patrick's Day
4. Frank Lloyd Wright
someone will inevitably make fun of portillos cause it's a "chain"
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:45 PM   #90
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Lol @ St. Patrick's day. OP is looking for things to do around the city and you give him an event that happens one day a year

Blues and Jazz are worth a mention though -

Has anyone been to Green Mill or Hot House? I'm interested in checking those out on my next trip home.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:15 PM   #91
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

I highly recommend the guys with the Sunday night gig at green mill, the Kimberly Gordon Trio.

She's a great vocalist, backed by the best B3 guy in the city Chris Foreman (the fact that he's blind ups the entertainment value as well) and the guitarist is solid also.

The slam poetry night is also sundays earlier in the evening (ends at 8, the trio goes on at 9) if that's your thing. In my experience they only have 3 topics to choose from though; feminism, the man, and feminism.
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:20 AM   #92
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Originally Posted by z28dreams View Post
Lol @ St. Patrick's day. OP is looking for things to do around the city and you give him an event that happens one day a year

Blues and Jazz are worth a mention though -

Has anyone been to Green Mill or Hot House? I'm interested in checking those out on my next trip home.
If you are going to pick a time to visit Chicago, St. Pats is a good time. I don't seem much difference in mentioning other seasonal events.

And maybe its just me, but a chain = applebees or chilis etc. Even with one out in CA now, Portillos is Chicago and a bit of an insult to blanket it with a "chain" label. Maybe I'm bias b/c I grew up in Villa Park.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:02 AM   #93
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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And maybe its just me, but a chain = applebees or chilis etc. Even with one out in CA now, Portillos is Chicago and a bit of an insult to blanket it with a "chain" label. Maybe I'm bias b/c I grew up in Villa Park.
oh i completely agree. i've been to that original villa park location many times, as i lived there for a few years as well. portillos is just damn delicious, and consistent and efficient every time.

i was able to visit the protillos out in cali last year. couldn't tell the difference. now if they'd only open one in denver.
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:58 AM   #94
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

guy moving to hyde park,

what are you going to be studying?

on the hot house,

i think it closed.

on portillos,

nom nom nom.

on living in the city and working in aurora,

eh, i'd probably say west loop. there's some cool stuff over there, it's close to downtown, and it's close to the highway, which means your commute is shorter. tons of interesting converted lofts and such out there.

on lincoln park,

it's "the place" to live and all. expensive. hot blonde women everywhere you look. parking sucks. location is great.

on wicker park,

it's in the top 3 places to live (with lincoln park and lakeview). it's a whole lot like lincoln park these days, but filled with people who would never admit that they're just like the people who live in lincoln park. instead of expensive polos, they wear $300 hoodies. aside from the people, i think i'd probably like to live in wicker park more than lincoln park, just because of the restaurants/bars. i'm sure taylor can give a better run down of everything but a bunch of stuff has already been mentioned (including by him).

on andersonville,

i think i'm putting in an offer on a 2bed 2bath there later today.
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:50 PM   #95
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

A few neighborhoods that haven't been mentioned yet are Ravenswood, Ravenswood manor and Beverly. The Ravenswoods are both on the north side. They're quieter and less crowded than Lincoln Park or Wicker Park or Lake View. But they're still close to a lot of restaurants, nightlife, movie theatres and bowling alleys. You can also live close to the governor before he goes to jail.

If you're Irish, and the St Patrick's day parade sounds like fun, then you may be interested in Beverly. It's a south side neighborhood in the only hilly part of Chicago. It's got a bit of a Suburban feel to it, with big homes and big lawns. But there's no sprawl, the homes are mostly older and beautiful. A lot of cops, politicians and traders live down there. It's more family oriented than the other neighborhoods but there's till plenty to do. And the train has a zillion stops there so it's easy to get downtown.

I'll be doing a Frank Lloyd Wright post, with photos, sometime this weekend if any one is interested.
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:56 PM   #96
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Why do clubs suck so much in Chicago? I have been to a few supposed best clubs and they are nothing compared to Vegas or Europe. Does anyone have any reccomendations for me? It's not that I like clubs that much, I'd rather go to bars but they are fun sometimes and alot of my friends love them. So far I've been to

Republic-probably the worst club I've been to it was full of ugly people and the club itself was one level and played ****ty music. I was even rolling there and it was still a terrible experience which is nearly impossible on drugs.

Soundbar-This is an ok place if you stay upstairs it def. seems past it's prime years though. The bottom level is almost 100% minority so they are not really accepting to white people. It's ok but I would def never go back.

Mannequin-This was kinda fun, and we got to sit VIP, it would of been a much better experience if someone didn't puke all over the VIP area, and they had a leak in the roof right over our area. But overall the girls were really ***** hot.

Rino-This is the supposed hotshot after like 2am, but the club imo is way 2 small, and if your not sitting VIP it really sucks as the dance floor is way 2 small and crammed, and all the hot girls are sitting at VIP tables. This club has alot of hot chicks, but I hear it's very hard to get into the club if your not on the guest list, or a really hot chick.

Skybar-This is a new club in Lincoln Park area. It seemed really cool, but we went on a Thursday night, and for some reason CHicago nightlife is really bad on Thursdays. Seems like it has good potenial though and could be alot of fun, but I went on the wrong night.

Level-A good spot to go on Sundays not sure about other days. I had a good amount of fun there, but probably because I went there on my 21st birthday, and no ones 21st is allowed to be bad.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:30 PM   #97
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Why do clubs suck so much in Chicago? I have been to a few supposed best clubs and they are nothing compared to Vegas or Europe. Does anyone have any reccomendations for me? It's not that I like clubs that much, I'd rather go to bars but they are fun sometimes and alot of my friends love them. So far I've been to

Republic-probably the worst club I've been to it was full of ugly people and the club itself was one level and played ****ty music. I was even rolling there and it was still a terrible experience which is nearly impossible on drugs.

Soundbar-This is an ok place if you stay upstairs it def. seems past it's prime years though. The bottom level is almost 100% minority so they are not really accepting to white people. It's ok but I would def never go back.

Mannequin-This was kinda fun, and we got to sit VIP, it would of been a much better experience if someone didn't puke all over the VIP area, and they had a leak in the roof right over our area. But overall the girls were really ***** hot.

Rino-This is the supposed hotshot after like 2am, but the club imo is way 2 small, and if your not sitting VIP it really sucks as the dance floor is way 2 small and crammed, and all the hot girls are sitting at VIP tables. This club has alot of hot chicks, but I hear it's very hard to get into the club if your not on the guest list, or a really hot chick.

Skybar-This is a new club in Lincoln Park area. It seemed really cool, but we went on a Thursday night, and for some reason CHicago nightlife is really bad on Thursdays. Seems like it has good potenial though and could be alot of fun, but I went on the wrong night.

Level-A good spot to go on Sundays not sure about other days. I had a good amount of fun there, but probably because I went there on my 21st birthday, and no ones 21st is allowed to be bad.
Haven't been to a club in about a decade but what held then holds now. People don't say much about which club to visit cuz it will then become contaminated with suburbia and others who fit into the "majorly annoying" category.

And you are generally right about Chicago clubs not being on par with many other places. It's ok though, as the city has much else to offer.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:05 PM   #98
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

Seeing as this weekend was super nice I remembered how good Castaways and North Ave beach are.

Chicago summers really are good.
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:48 PM   #99
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

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Seeing as this weekend was super nice I remembered how good Castaways and North Ave beach are.

Chicago summers really are good.
Totally agree. I missed going to the lake this past weekend, but there's still time. It's really great to be able to bike along the lake, lock up the bike and catch some live music and a few beers at Castaways.

BTW, a neighborhood that I don't believe was mentioned is Roscoe Village. It's about a mile west of Wrigley, less congested than places like Wicker/Lincoln Park and still close to everything.
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:31 PM   #100
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Re: Chicago: Your favorite things to do or places to go

I can't believe that no one has mentioned:
Ann Sathers for cinnamon rolls

Blue Man Group
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