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Chicago skyline from Lincoln Park
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/erikccooper

The three best things to do in Chicago today

Written by
Sara Freund
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1. Eat like a Buddhist

Traditionally vegan, the Japanese Buddhist cuisine called Shojin Ryori translates roughly as "temple food." Menu items at this tasting consist largely of steamed, grilled or deep-fried vegetables covered in savory sauces and broths. Guests can sample dishes like an eryngii king trumpet and shiitake mushroom slider in a soy ginger sauce. (Izakaya Mita, 1960 N Damen Ave, call for reservation, $45)

2. Gaze at hand drawn maps

Examine detailed maps stitched together with only an artist's memory and a pen. Using collected scraps of paper, Courttney Cooper created incredible maps of his hometown Cincinnati, which are on display in the exhibition, "Zinzinnati Ohio USA." (Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, 756 N Milwaukee Ave, 11am-6pm, $5 suggested donation)

3. Go retro at a burlesque show

Head to the California Clipper and spend an evening being entertained by burlesque performers, contortionists, comedians, musicians and much more. Need a drink? Try the Airmail cocktail with dark rum, honey, lime and prosecco under the glowing red lights of the bar. (California Clipper, 1002 N California Ave, 8pm-2am, $5)

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