Get us in your inbox

Photograph: CC/Flickr/vxla

11 things you'll miss when you leave Chicago

Written by
Jonathan Samples

We all know Chicago is the world's best city, but even the most loyal city dwellers occasionally think about getting away. Whether moving for work or because you actually found a nearby suburb you want live in, some of you just are not going to make it in Chicago. But that doesn't mean your time in the city was all for naught. You made some great friends, ate some strange foods and maybe had a few compromising photos taken at Riot Fest. Here are 11 things you'll miss when you leave Chicago.

1. Political corruption. Sure, our corrupt politicians have been the butt of more than a few jokes, but that's what makes it so fun. Where else can you read about a former governor living out his dream of being a rockstar as the lead singer of a prison band?

2. The Cubs. The city's goats became gods in 2016, and the party hasn't stopped. Now that you're stuck rooting for the San Diego Padres, you'd give anything to see one last game at Wrigley Field.

3. How clean it is (compared to other cities). Seriously. Have you ever been to New York? Chicago isn't the cleanest city, but at least we put our trash in dumpsters.

4. Excellent public transportation. Between the CTA and Metra, Chicagoans can get just about anywhere within a 30-mile radius of downtown at a moment's notice—just know that every now and then, you're going to sit in pee.

5. Italian beef. Who would have thought a pile of beef inside of a soggy bun could taste so good? 

6. Tom Skilling. That's right: Tom Skilling! You may not think you'll miss him now, but just wait.

7. Lake Michigan in the summer. You forget it's there October through April. But come May, Lake Michigan (and its beaches) reclaims its status as Chicago's No. 1 attraction.

8. Tamale Guy. It doesn't matter if you're swaying back and forth at Flat Iron or stumbling out of Cole's, the Tamale Guy always shows up exactly when you need him. This late-night guardian angel has helped countless Chicagoans find the energy they need to make it home, but now you're on your own.

9. Malört. First, you swore you'd never try it. Then, you tried it and hated it. And now that you're gone, you find yourself oddly nostalgic over this strange-tasting liquor. 

10. Music festivals. Between Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, North Coast and Riot Fest, you'd be hard-pressed to find another city with a better lineup of summer music festivals. That's not taking into account the stupid number of summer parties and street festivals.  

11. The architecture. There aren't many cool things to look at in Chicago. We don't have mountains, canyons or caves, but we do have some pretty amazing buildings. And when you have an unobstructed view of downtown on a clear night, you'll see perhaps the most spectacular skyline in the world.

Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.

Latest news


    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!