#Chicago blog

The ultimate Chicago events, restaurants, bars and nightlife blog

Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza is a top holiday market.

Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza is a top holiday market. Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Mayor's Office

The 11 best things to eat and buy at Christkindlmarket

Posted by Laura Baginski on Nov 21, 2014 at 3:17pm

Christkindlmarket, one of the best holiday markets in the city, opened today in Daley Plaza, and we were among the first to explore the charming Bavarian booths. A few tips: 1) DönerMen, new to the market this year, has a curry wurst that you must eat, but the booth is tucked away near the corner of Dearborn and Randolph. Make it your mission to find it. 2) Everything is cash-only, so hit the ATM before you go. 3) Go on a weekday when the market opens at 11am and you won't have to fight the crowds. We checked out all 60 booths at the market to find the best things to eat and buy. Our list…

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BIlly Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, circa 1968.

BIlly Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, circa 1968.

Fat baby Billy Corgan is pretty awesome

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Nov 21, 2014 at 3:15pm

The Smashing Pumpkins, a.k.a. Billy Corgan and his latest band of ringers, released a fourth song from their (his) upcoming Monuments to an Elegy album this week. "Drum + Fife" is a solid song, punched up with the meathead drumming of Tommy Lee, but it's the art that has us more excited. The single sleeve (as seen above) depicts Billy Corgan as a toddler, in April 1968. Awww. It was also announced this week that the Smashing Pumpkins would headline the Lollapaloozas in Chile, Argentina and Brazil in March 2015.

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CTA Holiday Train

CTA Holiday Train Courtesy of the CTA

CTA releases Holiday Train schedule

Posted by Zach Long on Nov 21, 2014 at 11:10am

When it's cold outside and stores are packed with a last-minute shoppers, a chance encounter with the CTA's Holiday Train is one of the most exciting things that can happen to you. One minute you're standing at a station trying to think of a thoughtful, yet practical gift to get for your dad, the next you're being blinded by a speeding train covered in twinkling lights, shimmering tinsel and other assorted seasonal decorations.

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CHIRP Record Fair

CHIRP Record Fair Photograph: Patrick Bobilin

CHIRP finally finds a home on the FM dial

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Nov 20, 2014 at 3:50pm

After a seven-year climb, the Chicago Independent Radio Project has a home on the FM dial. The volunteer-run Internet station, founded by ex-WLUW station head Shawn Campbell, has been attempting to obtain a license for a low-power FM broadcast since 2008. Sometime in 2015, CHIRP will send indie rock into the airwaves via the 107.1 frequency. Basically, turn the knob to the right about as far as it goes and you'll find it.

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Word on the Street: 10 crazy things we overheard in Chicago this week

Posted by Jessica Johnson on Nov 20, 2014 at 11:05am

"I have a five-year-old's taste in booze."

"I'm not into pie. Fuck pie."

"You could start a slum if you wanted."

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Edzo's burgers will be available at the Food Film Fest.

Edzo's burgers will be available at the Food Film Fest. Photograph: Sara Mays

Feast your eyes and appetite at the Chicago Food Film Fest

Posted by Brenda Mak on Nov 19, 2014 at 1:07pm

Ever wanted more than popcorn and hotdogs while watching a movie? (Aside from your couch, that is.) The Food Film Festival, originally from New York, is returning to Chicago's Kendall College for its fifth year. The four-day-long event will feature a multi-sensory experience, showcasing some of the world's favorite food on and off-screen. There are alternating themes each night, so here's a quick agenda sum-up: Wednesday, Nov 19: The Great Chicken Wing Hunt & Edzo Dreams of Cheeseburgers…

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The Lively Water Whiskey Festival at the Field Museum, November 15, 2014.

The Lively Water Whiskey Festival at the Field Museum, November 15, 2014. Photograph courtesy of Red Frog Events

Drinking in a museum at the Lively Water Whiskey Festival

Posted by Zach Long on Nov 18, 2014 at 3:00pm

How often do you get to drink whiskey under a gigantic Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton? Probably not too frequently. On Saturday night, attendees at the inaugural Lively Water Whiskey Festival had the chance sample various types of brown liquor while enjoying several of the permanent exhibits on display at the Field Museum. Nearly 30 distilleries served various expressions (a fancy term for the different versions of a whiskey) at tables set up throughout the hall. We did come away from the event with a few favorites.

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What's the weirdest place you've had sex?

Posted by Jessica Johnson o on Nov 17, 2014 at 10:45am

The confessional is open again and this time around we're getting down and dirty. We want to know the strangest place you've gotten busy. Your answers are totally anonymous, so don't be shy, let it all out. Fill out the form below or send us your answer on a sticky note.

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Ty Dolla $ign performs at Summer Jam 2014 on June 1, 2014.

Ty Dolla $ign performs at Summer Jam 2014 on June 1, 2014. Photograph: Michael J. Chen

Ty Dolla Sign surprises Bottom Lounge with Chance the Rapper, other local MCs

Posted by Jordan Berry on Nov 14, 2014 at 3:45pm

"We're in line about to go see my boyfriend Bibby!" "I can't wait to see Ty Dolla Sign!"  This was the gist of the conversation overheard in line for the VIP Meet and Greet outside Bottom Lounge on a cold Thursday night. The full house, with a large percentage of female fans ranging from teenagers to grown women, was gathered on Lake Street to see Ty Dolla Sign on his In Too Deep Tour. The LA singer-rapper-producer brought along local star Lil Bibby, as well as Alex Wiley and Mic Terror. Oh, and Chance the Rapper, Lil Herb, Spenzo and more showed up, too.

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Jared Rouben left Goose Island to open Moody Tongue Brewing Company, which focuses on culinary beers.

Jared Rouben left Goose Island to open Moody Tongue Brewing Company, which focuses on culinary beers. Courtesy Moody Tongue

Moody Tongue holds lottery for $120 bottle of black truffle beer

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Nov 14, 2014 at 9:51am

If you have a spare $120 (or want to get someone a baller holiday present), log onto Moody Tongue's website today between 10am–3pm to enter a lottery for the Shaved Black Truffle Pilsner. Moody Tongue, former Goose Island brewer Jared Rouben's new venture, focuses on "culinary beers," which are made with cooking techniques like baking or brandying.  The beer is made with truffles from Australia’s The Truffle & Wine Co., and it will be released in 22-ounce bottles. To get one, enter the lottery on Moody Tongue’s website. 500 randomly selected people will be able to buy a bottle for $120.

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Lemon pistachio old fashioned at Stan's Donuts & Coffee.

Lemon pistachio old fashioned at Stan's Donuts & Coffee. Photograph: Anthony Todd

Stan's Donuts opens second location today

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Nov 14, 2014 at 9:31am

First, Do-Rite Donuts opened a location (Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken) on Erie Street in Streeterville, now Stan's Donuts is doing the same—just down the road. The second location of the California doughnut chain opened this morning at 259 E Erie Street, and you'll find the same line-up of cake doughnuts, fritters and pockets as the original Chicago outpost. If you're wondering what to get, we did the hard work for you—here's our taste test of every single doughnut at Stan's.

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Rock shrimp, cranberry, meyer lemon, vanilla bean at Next Trio.

Rock shrimp, cranberry, meyer lemon, vanilla bean at Next Trio. Photograph: Martha Williams

Why does Michelin keep spurning Next?

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Nov 13, 2014 at 1:47pm

In the wake of this week’s Michelin star announcement, which saw Grace earn its third star and 42 Grams debut with two, there’s a big elephant in the room—why won’t Michelin give a star to Next? After all, Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas’s other restaurant, Alinea, earned three stars yet again.

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Photographer Nick Ulivieri captured these images of the Wrigley field construction from a helicopter.

Photographer Nick Ulivieri captured these images of the Wrigley field construction from a helicopter. Photograph: Nick Ulivieri

Wrigley Field is being torn apart

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Nov 13, 2014 at 11:34am

Well, if there are ghosts and curses haunting Wrigley Field, hopefully this will get rid of them. This offseason the Chicago Cubs kicked off their extensive plan to renovate the Friendly Confines. The stadium will be upgraded for the 21st century in four phases between now and 2018. The new additions will include fresh locker rooms, club houses, Jumbotrons, patios and even an office building and hotel.  But that's years away. Right now, White Sox fans can relish seeing Wrigley Field in ruins.

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Word on the Street: 10 crazy things we overheard in Chicago this week

Posted by Jessica Johnson on Nov 5, 2014 at 10:45pm

"If you're asleep while you're having sex, you are doing it wrong."

"I passed on the business cards and just got the Juicy Couture panties."

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Lightning strikes the World Trace Center, July 2, 2014

Lightning strikes the World Trace Center, July 2, 2014 Photograph: Sam Yee/Strykapose/Flickr

A point-by-point response to New York City

Posted by Brent DiCrescenzo on Nov 12, 2014 at 12:43pm

Today, we at Time Out Chicago and our colleagues at Time Out New York took some time to rib each other's cities. We gave you 33 reasons Chicago kicks New York's ass. They fired back with 33 reasons New York kicks Chicago's ass. Here is a point-by-point response to their attack. 

1. When we’re up on our various skyscrapers' observation decks, we have something to look at besides Indiana.

You mean New Jersey and Staten Island?

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We win just based on looks.

We win just based on looks. Photograph: @tat_ventures

33 reasons Chicago kicks New York's ass

Posted by Laura Baginski on Nov 11, 2014 at 4:20pm

Of course Chicago is better than New York. We Chicagoans know this to be true and, if New Yorkers are being honest with themselves, they know it, too. So, once and for all, we are ending the argument with these 33 reasons Chicago takes a Willis Tower–size dump on NYC. Our friends at Time Out New York came up with their own feeble list about New York's advantages over our city. Check that out at the bottom of this list, after you've had a good laugh at New York's expense.

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We're getting a Nando's Peri Peri!

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Nov 11, 2014 at 3:30pm

Great news for chicken lovers—we're getting a Nando's Peri Peri! The South African chain, which focuses on grilled chicken slathered with peri peri sauce, has U.S. locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and will be opening two Chicago outposts (on Randolph Row and at Halsted and Clybourn) next spring. What's peri peri? It's a bright, garlicky Portuguese sauce made from piri piri chili peppers, and it's fantastic on chicken.

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We loved the elegance of the sunchoke at Grace.

We loved the elegance of the sunchoke at Grace. Photograph: Erica Gannett

24 Chicago restaurants earn Michelin stars

Posted by Amy Cavanaugh on Nov 11, 2014 at 2:55pm

The list of restaurants making the 2015 Michelin Guide was released this afternoon, and 24 restaurants earned stars this year. While the list is mostly the same as last year, there are two big bits of news: Curtis Duffy's Grace earned its third star and Jake Bickelhaupt's 42 Grams entered the list at 2, both of which are much deserved. Mexique dropped off the list this year, as did Graham Elliot, which closed. Click below for the full list.

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Eat this, Little Debbie: oatmeal cream pie cake at Little Goat Bakery.

Eat this, Little Debbie: oatmeal cream pie cake at Little Goat Bakery. Photograph: Jessica Berson

Little Goat Bakery now serving your childhood memories

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

Posted by Jessica Berson on Nov 11, 2014 at 11am


Little Goat Bakery, the sideline business of the popular Stephanie Izard diner (and little sister to Girl and the Goat), is shifting focus from its homemade breads and bagels to new, sweeter items with flavor inspiration coming from the depths of your third-grade lunch box. Luckily for my sweet tooth, I was invited to check out some of the new items at an intimate gathering at the bakery, hosted by the Top Chef winner herself as well as her executive pastry chef Mathew Rice.

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Dark Matter's Doom Chuggy coffee blend, made in collaboration with Thrill Jockey Records.

Dark Matter's Doom Chuggy coffee blend, made in collaboration with Thrill Jockey Records.

Dark Matter is releasing a Thrill Jockey-themed coffee blend

Posted by Zach Long on Nov 10, 2014 at 3:01pm

Life as a musician demands late nights, long hours and plenty of coffee breaks. That's probably why Chicago coffee roasters have a long history of collaborating with musicians and record labels: Intelligentsia roasted batches of Wilco- and St. Vincent–themed beans, while Dark Matter has developed blends for Mastadon and the Numero Group. Local label Thrill Jockey Records is the latest to join the caffeinated fray, teaming up with Dark Matter to develop the Doom Chuggy blend, which celebrates metal and psych rock. 

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