#Chicago blog

The ultimate Chicago events, restaurants, bars and nightlife blog

Runners make their way through Boystown during the Chicago Marathon on October 13, 2013.

Runners make their way through Boystown during the Chicago Marathon on October 13, 2013. Photograph: Maddie Blecha

37 exciting things opening in Chicago in October

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 29, 2014 at 4:45pm

October is here, the leaves are beginning to change, Halloween is just around the corner and the words "pumpkin spice" are on every barista's lips. It's time to start planning out the first month of fall in Chicago with our list of October's most anticipated events and openings. Cheer on runners participating in the Chicago Marathon. Find some inspiration while listening to a selection of notable speakers at Chicago Ideas Week and the Chicago Humanities Festival. Put on a costume and show it off at the Northalsted Halloween Parade or get down with club kids at Freaky Deaky. Check out our list of the best openings in Chicago in October.

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Hot Doug's

Hot Doug's

The funniest tweets from the line outside Hot Doug's

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Sept 29, 2014 at 2:31pm

Hot Doug's closes for good on Friday, and Chicagoans have officially lost their minds—waits are upwards of eight hours, people are planning weddings in line and getting married in Hot Doug's, and spots in line are going for $200 a pop on Craigslist. If, like I did, you paid your final respects to the sausage restaurant weeks ago and avoided this insanity, you can read these amusing tweets from the comfort of your home or office.

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Ditka Dash: Thousands of runners put on a Ditka mustache and ran a 5k this weekend at Soldier Field.

Ditka Dash: Thousands of runners put on a Ditka mustache and ran a 5k this weekend at Soldier Field. Photograph: Max Herman

Photos: Ditka Dash 2014

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Sept 28, 2014 at 1:47pm

Only in Chicago would thousands of runners dress up like a football coach and run around a football stadium. Of course, Ditka isn't just any coach, he's a Chicago legend, and he was on hand for the event. Runners were given Ditka mustaches, T-shirts and aviators, and they wore them along with all kinds of Bears gear while racing. Here's the scene.

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Chicago Gourmet: Bon Appetit’s annual Chicago Gourmet festival was held in Millennium Park this weekend.

Chicago Gourmet: Bon Appetit’s annual Chicago Gourmet festival was held in Millennium Park this weekend. Photograph: Jason Little

Photos: Chicago Gourmet 2014

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Sept 28, 2014 at 3:05pm

This weekend, Millennium Park is home to Bon Appetit's Chicago Gourmet, an annual celebration of food, wine and chefs. We hit the festival yesterday to sample dishes, like lots of doughnuts, and scope out the chefs, including Spiaggia's Tony Mantuano and Sepia's Andrew Zimmerman. Here's what you missed.

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Chef Billy Caruso of III Forks served the White Lightening burger at Friday’s Hamburger Hop, the kick-off event to Chicago Gourmet.

Chef Billy Caruso of III Forks served the White Lightening burger at Friday’s Hamburger Hop, the kick-off event to Chicago Gourmet. Photograph: Martha Williams

Photos: Chicago Gourmet Hamburger Hop 2014

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Sept 27, 2014 at 2:26pm

The kickoff event to Bon Appetit's Chicago Gourmet food festival, Hamburger Hop featured local and national chefs facing off to see who can make the best burger. DC’s Spike Mendelsohn, who is opening a Chicago outpost of Good Stuff Eatery later this year, won the judge’s vote for his Prez Obama Burger, with red onion marmalade, gorgonzola and horseradish mayo.

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Get to a patio and enjoy one of the last summerlike weekends in Chicago.

Get to a patio and enjoy one of the last summerlike weekends in Chicago.

Things to do this weekend while it's still warm outside

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 26, 2014 at 1:47pm

The calendar says that fall has arrived, but outside it still feels like summer. The forecast this weekend calls for sunny skies and 69 degree temperatures. With that in mind, we've put together a list of some of the best outdoor activities so you can take advantage of one of the last weekends this year that you'll actually want to spend outside. Tailgate, hit an art fair, drink at a rooftop bar, eat al fresco… just get out there.

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The 11 most exciting movies at the Chicago International Film Festival

Posted by Jessica Johnson on Sept 26, 2014 at 12:49pm

CIFF brings the best new cinema to the city from all over the world, October 9-23. Here are the films we're most excited about The Chicago International Film Festival hits the big 5-0 this year. To celebrate its golden anniversary, CIFF is reviving some seminal movies from the past five decades. Which is why you'll find classic flicks by Ingmar Bergman and Miloš Forman on this list. There is fresh stuff, too, of course. Like the Oscar-buzzy performance of beloved Benedict Cumberbatch as computer pioneer Alan Turing, and the continuing comeback of Michael Keaton in Birdman. Here are the 11 movies we're itching to watch this year.

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Chicago Ideas Week brings literature to the CTA with its "Books on the L" program.

Chicago Ideas Week brings literature to the CTA with its "Books on the L" program. Photograph courtesy of Chicago Ideas Week

Chicago Ideas Week puts books on the El

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 23, 2014 at 5:47pm

We've all accidentally shared a magazine or newspaper with our fellow El passengers by forgetting it on our seat. Chicago Ideas Week's newly launched "Books of the L" program aims to share hundreds of books in a similar fashion, by simply placing them on trains all over the city. If you're lucky enough to stumble across a book, you're free to take it home, read it and then bring it back to a train and leave it for someone else.

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"David Bowie Is" runs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sept 2014–Jan 2015.

"David Bowie Is" runs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sept 2014–Jan 2015.

MCA & Ritz-Carlton Chicago offer David Bowie-themed menus

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Sept 23, 2014 at 3:17pm

"David Bowie Is" opened at the MCA this morning, and once you’ve made your way through the show and picked up merchandise at the gift shop, you’re not done—there are still David Bowie-themed salads to eat. Puck’s Café at the MCA is offering a Bowie menu on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4–8pm and Fridays from 4–10pm.

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My favorite eggs benedicts in Chicago

-----------------Time Out guest contributor--------------------

Posted by Jessica Berson on Sept 22, 2014 at 9:10am


The Chicago brunch scene has positively exploded in the last few years, overwhelming foodies with hundreds of choices to begin their weekends with. My favorite twists on the most classic of all brunch dishes, eggs benedict, should make a good starting point for brunchers of all levels of experience. In no particular order:

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Poolside at Berkshire Room

Poolside at Berkshire Room Photo: Jason Little

GQ, Food & Wine recognize Chicago bars

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Sept 17, 2014 at 11:10am

We already know Chicago's drinking scene is fantastic, and now two national magazines do, too. In its September issue, GQ named Chicago the best drinking city in America, and highlights Logan Square cocktail bars like Scofflaw, Analogue and Billy Sunday, as well as Aviary, Hopleaf and much, much more. Today, Food & Wine announced that voting was open for its People's Best New Bars contest, which is divided by region.

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The Art Institute of Chicago.

The Art Institute of Chicago. Photograph courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago ranked as the best museum in the world

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 16, 2014 at 4:45pm

This morning TripAdvisor revealed that the Art Institute of Chicago was named the top museum in the world as part of the website's 2014 Travelers' Choice awards. The ranking was determined based on the overwhelming amount of positive reviews of the museum that have been posted by TripAdvisor users, which include more than 5,000 "Excellent" ratings—the highest rating an attraction can receive. The museum was already the top ranked attraction in Chicago, but this award places it above international institutions like the Louvre in Paris and the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.

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Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in Birdman

Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in Birdman

Chicago International Film Festival announces full lineup

Posted by Jessica Johnson on Sept 16, 2014 at 3:38pm

Chicago's two-week celebration of films from around the globe observes its 50th anniversary this year. Today, The Chicago International Film Festival announced the full lineup of programming it will present from October 9-23. As always, the film selection includes titles that have been making the rounds at the year's film festivals like Sundance darlings The Babadook and Dear White People, as well as highly-anticpated fall releases like the theatrical Birdman and the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game. This year the festival will also be offering a selection of classic films from their fifty year history.

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The Calabrese Burger at Umami Burger in Wicker Park.

The Calabrese Burger at Umami Burger in Wicker Park. Photograph courtesy of Umami Burger

Umami Burger opens Thursday in Wicker Park

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 16, 2014 at 12:13pm

I've taken a two-hour detour to eat at an In-N-Out Burger. I can debate the pros and cons of eating at Kuma's Corner or Lockdown. But for some reason, I've never been to an Umami Burger. That changed last night, when I sat down in the brand new Wicker Park location (1480 N Milwaukee Ave) of the much-lauded California burger chain. The restaurant's name refers to the Japanese word for the elusive "fifth taste," a savory, meaty flavor that differs from the usual range of sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Umami's first Midwest location opens to the public on Thursday, but I was invited to give some of the restaurant's dishes a try a few days early, including its eponymous burger.

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Smart Museum

Smart Museum Photograph: Chris Strong

500 Clown goes to the Smart Museum

Posted by Kris Vire on Sept 15, 2014 at 1:09pm

The performance troupe 500 Clown will turn to visual arts this fall, taking up residency at the Smart Museum of Art's new GalleryX space. The project, titled "The Art of Experience" and devised by 500 Clown's Adrian Danzig and Rebecca Stevens, aims to reframe the way museum patrons engage with art. "The Art of Experience" launches October 2 with an At the Threshold social, 5–7:30pm. GalleryX is a temporary space that will serve as a center for the Smart Museum's 40th-anniversary events across this school year.

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Kelly Abell, from top left, Daniel Desmarais, Hannah Gomez, Christina Hall, Andrew Jessop, Leslie Ann Sheppard, Jeff Trainor and Leah Urzendowski

Kelly Abell, from top left, Daniel Desmarais, Hannah Gomez, Christina Hall, Andrew Jessop, Leslie Ann Sheppard, Jeff Trainor and Leah Urzendowski

Theater Wit adds Bad Jews to season

Posted by Kris Vire on Sept 15, 2014 at 12:00pm

Theater Wit will complete its three-play 2014–15 season with the Chicago premiere of Bad Jews, the company announced this morning. Joshua Harmon's 2012 comedy, about two cousins squabbling over a family heirloom in the aftermath of their grandfather's funeral, will open in April. Bad Jews joins the previously announced Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, which has completed casting for its January bow. Kelly Abell, Daniel Desmarais, Hannah Gomez, Christina Hall, Andrew Jessop, Leslie Ann Sheppard, Jeff Trainor and Leah Urzendowski will star in Anne Washburn's Simpsons-inspired post-apocalyptic work. David Sedaris's The Santaland Diaries returns in Theater Wit's 11th annual holiday staging to complete the season.

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Nutella spice latte at Cookies & Carnitas

Nutella spice latte at Cookies & Carnitas

The Nutella spice latte at Cookies & Carnitas is here to make you feel better

Posted by Laura Baginski on Sept 12, 2014 at 4:02pm

This weather is lousy. One way to get through it is through delicious warm beverages (and booze, of course). But before you march to Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte, hear this: You do not know fall in a cup until you've tried the new Nutella spice latte at Edgewater restaurant Cookies & Carnitas.

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Festival goers keep it cool at North Coast Music Festival in Union Park.

Festival goers keep it cool at North Coast Music Festival in Union Park.

Park District bans smoking in Chicago parks

Posted by Zach Long on Sept 10, 2014 at 5:49pm

We knew this was coming, but now it's official: DNAinfo is reporting that the Chicago Park District's Board of Commissioners has banned smoking in Chicago's parks, effective immediately. The ban applies to all forms of smoking, including tobacco alternatives like e-cigarettes and vaporizers.

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Steppenwolf Garage

Steppenwolf Garage Photograph: Courtesy of Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Steppenwolf announces 2015 Garage Rep lineup

Posted by Kris Vire on Sept 9, 2014 at 12:31pm

Steppenwolf Theatre Company has revealed the three theater companies that will make up the sixth annual Garage Rep lineup, to run in repertory, February–April 2015. The three include Cold Basement Dramatics, Pride Films & Plays and Red Tape Theatre.

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Punks, headbangers and rockers unite for the Riot Fest Chicago 2013 music festival on September 15, 2013.

Punks, headbangers and rockers unite for the Riot Fest Chicago 2013 music festival on September 15, 2013. Photograph: Max Herman

Riot Fest announces complete schedule and set times

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Sept 5, 2014 at 12:25pm

Riot Fest continues to impress. First, it announced the best lineup of all the Chicago summer festivals with acts like the National, the Cure, the Flaming Lips, Tegan & Sara and too many others to name (well, not really, they're all below). Then, the festival nearly quadrupled its size, expanding to take over over Humboldt Park. Today, Riot Fest released its complete schedule and set times. That's not revolutionary, but unlike Lollapalooza (and even Pitchfork), there seems to be far more thought put into how these acts are bunched. Check it out.

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