Get us in your inbox


The Time Out Chicago blog team

Meet the team behind your daily dose of Chicago news

Written by
Time Out Chicago editors

Zach Long

Zach is deputy editor of Time Out Chicago. He writes slightly faster than George R.R. Martin. Follow him on Twitter @z_long.​

Kris Vire

Kris is senior associate editor of Time Out Chicago, covering theater, comedy and LGBT issues. He can give you the best CTA route to every theater in the city, and you can probably find him at one of them tonight. Follow him on Twitter at @krisvire.


Elizabeth Atkinson

Grace Perry

Contact us

Latest posts

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

When the pandemic hit and the restaurant industry was forced to shut down, Ryan Pfeiffer knew he wanted to do something different. The former executive chef of Blackbird, the Chicago fine dining stalwart that shuttered in 2020, had already received one of the highest honors—a Michelin star in 2015—but was ready embark on a new venture. After discussions with friend Mason Hereford, the mind behind celebrated New Orleans concept Turkey and the Wolf, the two chefs decided to join forces. “We did a lunch thing at Blackbird where he came up from New Orleans and we sold his sandwiches there. Then we just kind of talked about it after that. We’re like, ‘Hey, we should partner up and open a sandwich shop in Chicago,’” Pfeiffer recounts. Adding to the challenges of launching a new restaurant at the time was, of course, COVID-19. Despite countless places struggling to stay afloat, Pfeiffer wasn’t deterred. “I talked to Mason about it and we’re like, ‘You know, let’s just do it. We’re just sitting around right now. Try it. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.’” Thanks to friends, Pfeiffer secured a home for the project in the space that previously housed Young American. And in October 2020, Big Kids was born. Appealing to nostalgia, the interior is decorated with ‘90s memorabilia while the menu features playful bites like the Amy N Nettie 5.0, a sandwich loaded with chicken tenders, tomato chimichurri, smoked paprika mayo, arugula and provolone. The operation began as takeout-only, but

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

For the first time ever, Time Out Market Chicago is welcoming a full-service restaurant to its roster of dining options—and you can get in on the action starting today.  Valhalla, a fine dining concept by S.K.Y. and Apolonia chef Stephen Gillanders, opens for dinner service at 5pm tonight on the second floor of Time Out Market Chicago, welcoming visitors for a la carte dining or an 11-course tasting experience inspired by the chef’s travels around the world. Utilizing ingredients like wagyu, caviar and crab, Gillanders leads guests through a personalized dining journey that’s integrated into the Market’s bustling atmosphere for an approachable yet high-end experience. “Gone are the days of servers wearing tuxedos and pushing guéridons around,” Gillanders explains. “I mean, that’s great, but I don’t think that’s what the future of fine dining is. And I think [Valhalla] really captures that momentum and manifests it into something that’s very Chicago.” Reservations for Valhalla, open Wednesday–Sunday from 5-10pm at Time Out Market Chicago, are available via Tock; a limited number of walk-in spots are also reserved each night. Wondering what to expect? Take a look at some of the Valhalla’s luxurious dishes below, and prepare yourself for a heavenly experience.   Photograph: Jaclyn RivasCured hirame with green apple, basil and pine nut Photograph: Jaclyn RivasAged prime sirloin with miso carrot emulsion, broccoli stem, and bagna cauda Photograph: Jaclyn RivasMushroom kebab w

  • Things to do
  • City Life

OK, so maybe you’re not ready for summer to be over quite yet (neither are we). But if you're the planning type—or a fall fanatic—it’s time to turn your attention to the 2022 edition of the Fall Foliage Prediction Map, an interactive guide from that shows folks when trees will hit their peak autumn splendor across the U.S. every year. To make its predictions, the website’s model uses an algorithm that sources millions of data points from governmental and non-governmental sources like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—everything from historical temperatures and precipitation to peak observation trends. Once the data has been inputted, the model creates 50,000 predictive data pieces that are mapped out for users to browse as the season progresses. It’s not a completely fail-safe process, but the end result generates an exciting sneak peek at what's to come for the country’s fall foliage. Wondering when fall foliage in Chicago will begin to appear this year? According the the guide, local trees will start to show patchy coloring during the week of October 3; by October 24, they'll achieve peak color. As we know, that color is all too fleeting—the city’s trees will be past their peak once we hit the week of October 31, just in time for Halloween.  This story was originally published in 2021 and has been updated with new information for 2022. 

    You may also like