Elizabeth Atkinson is Time Out's former Chicago Assistant Editor.
The best day trips from Chicago
Making big travel plans can be difficult (and not to mention expensive). Luckily, you don’t need a plane ticket or even a hotel reservation to indulge in a fun change of scenery—a simple day trip from Chicago is cheap and easy. Whether you’re looking to spend the day basking in the sun at beaches along Lake Michigan, hiking near Chicago through a state park or tasting your way through the best beer and cheese Wisconsin has to offer, these quick jaunts from Chicago are just a few hours away by car or train. Make plans to explore everything the Midwest has to offer on the best day trips from Chicago. RECOMMENDED: The best weekend getaways from ChicagoRECOMMENDED: The best Airbnb cabin rentals near ChicagoRECOMMENDED: The best lakeside Airbnbs near Chicago
The 25 best Chinese restaurants in Chicago
Whether you’re craving scrumptious dim sum, a multi-course Peking duck dinner or spicy Sichuan specialties, Chicago’s top Chinese restaurants have you covered. While Chinatown is an obvious place to start, there are plenty of excellent options all across the city, from Uptown to Hyde Park. You can expect to find enticing dishes like crackling roast pork, Hong Kong-style crab, fluffy barbecue pork buns and supple dumplings filled with lamb and shrimp. There’s even an upscale hot pot experience, complete with wagyu and robot servers, among our picks. So check out our guide to the best Chinese food in Chicago and prepare to feast on a variety of delights. RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the best restaurants in Chicago
The 15 best bars in Avondale
Avondale is not only home to an incredible lineup of restaurants, but a great drinking scene as well. The neighborhood is packed with bars that cover every niche. Fancying an expertly stirred craft cocktail? Then head to Ludlow Liquors or Mother’s Ruin for a variety of creative concoctions. But maybe beer is more your style? Well, you’ll find brews with beautiful views at Metropolitan Brewing. There are plenty of dives and opportunities to show off those karaoke skills, too. And when the weather’s nice, sipping on a cold pint at a beer garden should definitely be on the bucket list. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try to hit a couple of the following spots all in one evening for the ultimate bar crawl. So check out our guide to the best bars in Avondale and get to drinking. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Avondale
Kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago
It’s Saturday night and the babysitter just canceled at the last minute. Don’t fret, all hope is not lost. There are many Chicago restaurants willing and able to accommodate kids. Some offer special menus designed to appeal to the younger palate, while others let children eat for free. There are even a few spots that will keep the whole family entertained, including bowling and bocce at Pinstripes and service theatrics from the staff of Ed Debevic’s. If a full meal out with the kids seems too daunting, head to Margie’s or Sweet Mandy B’s for dessert instead. And sure, hot dogs and burgers are always crowd pleasers, but maybe your little one is a budding gourmand who’s ready to try something new and different. You’ll never know unless you bring them to one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Chicago with kids
The 18 best sports bars in Chicago
Chicagoans are very passionate about their teams. Whether it’s the Bears, Cubs, Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks or an alma mater, there are numerous games to watch every night. It’s a good thing, then, that Chicago has plenty of good sports bars. They offer everything from spacious patios and retractable roofs to dozens of beers on tap. Want award-winning wings to go with your football? Jake Melnick’s and the Fifty/50 should be at the top of your list. Prefer to sit outside and catch some rays instead? Park & Field and the Moonlighter won’t disappoint. Big Ten alums can also root on their schools at the best Big Ten bars in town. So dust off your favorite jersey and read on to find the best sports bars in Chicago. RECOMMENDED: Best bars in Chicago
The 18 best restaurants in Avondale
Just a stone’s throw away from Logan Square, Avondale is one of Chicago's most up-and-coming neighborhoods for dining. The Northwest Side community area is backed by an impressive lineup of restaurants and bars, many of which have sprouted up in the past few years. From the finest Korean cuisine to the coolest cocktails bars, there’s a plethora of places to enjoy for the first or tenth time. Want to be wowed? Head to Parachute or Eden, where the chefs use quality, seasonal ingredients to create extraordinary dishes. If an unfussy burger is more your style, Kuma’s and Ludlow Liquors are happy to oblige. You can even grab a snack or full meal while shopping for groceries at Joong Boo Market. The options are virtually limitless so check out our guide to the best restaurants in Avondale and see what the buzz is all about. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Avondale
The 19 best Chicago hot dog restaurants
The hot dog is in the pantheon of Chicago foods, right up there with pizza and Italian beef. And you probably don’t have to go very far to get a good one as there are esteemed hot dog vendors in all corners of the city. Whether you’re a purist who believes ketchup should be a banned condiment or a Michigander who prefers a Coney Island hot dog, the following places are sure to satisfy. Some have been around for a long time and are among the most iconic restaurants in Chicago, while others offer the best cheap eats. There’s even a local mini-chain of stands located inside Home Depot stores, as well as Korean-style corn dogs coated in unique toppings. So there’s no need to wait until your next barbecue or ballgame to enjoy a wiener, our guide to the best hot dog restaurants in Chicago will show you where to get one any time you desire. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Chicago
The 17 best Thai restaurants in Chicago
A trip to Southeast Asia from Chicago will take you the better part of a day (and likely several thousand dollars, too). Fortunately, the city is filled with excellent Thai restaurants that offer a taste of the region and considerably less hassle. You’ll go on a culinary journey and enjoy staples like crying tiger beef, tom yum soup and everybody’s favorite—pad Thai. Those dishes only scratch the surface of the country’s cooking, though, and for adventurous eaters, there’s a lot more to try. From funky green papaya salad mixed with preserved crab and fish to Northern Thai-style larb made of ground pork and intestines, intriguing bites are prevalent on the following menus. Many of these spots double as the best vegetarian restaurants in town, or are some of the top restaurants for delivery. Dessert fiends will even find hand-rolled frozen treats at one of the most delightful ice cream shops. So satisfy your next Thai craving by checking out our guide to the best Thai restaurants in Chicago. RECOMMENDED: Explore more of the best restaurants in Chicago
The best Irish coffees in Chicago
Bloody Marys and mimosas not your thing in the morning? Get your morning buzz on with an Irish coffee, which of course, contains hot coffee, but also contains whiskey and is always topped with cream. You don’t even have to travel to Dublin to get them, as Chicago boasts some really great ones. You can try them at one of the city's best Irish pubs and top cocktail bars, or stop by one of our choices for the best Irish coffees in Chicago.
The best cheese and charcuterie plates in Chicago
Sometimes, the things we want to do are simple. We just want to sit at a wine bar with a glass of something delicious with fantastic bar snacks. Cheese and charcuterie serve as the perfect indulgence, simple and elegant—from funky bleu cheeses to creamy bries, chicken pâtés and duck rillettes. So we picked our favorites, from the city's best wine bars to a small spot on the corner of California and Augusta.
The 15 best pumpkin beers to try this fall
Love it or hate it, it’s hard to escape the rush of pumpkin beer at liquor stores or your favorite craft beer brewery. In fall, pumpkin beer is as ubiquitous as halloween candy. With so many out there now, we decided it was time for an epic taste test to determine which were worth our time and money. We rounded up nearly two-dozen options—all from craft beer producers—to find the very best pumpkin beer. Note: Beer availability depends on area, so call your local liquor store before heading out for something specific.
How to make a daiquiri
Too often the daiquiri gets a bad rep for being overly sweet—but a great daiquiri is perfectly balanced, a bright mix of rum, citrus and cane syrup. It's easy enough to replicate at home, just pick your favorite rum and lime juice, and if you like it like Hemingway did, add a bit of grapefruit juice and a maraschino cherry. Watch our video above to see top Chicago bartender Paul McGee of Lost Lake, the Game Room and Cherry Circle Room demonstrate how to stir up this island favorite. Daiquiri recipe: Ingredients:2 oz. rum1 oz. fresh lime juice3/4 oz. cane syrup Instructions:Pour all ingredients into shakerAdd ice to shaker and shakeFine strain and serve RECOMMENDED: See America’s best cocktails
Listings and reviews (50)
When we first walked up to 5 Rabanitos, my date asked if we were in the right spot—the signage doesn’t provide a lot of promise that it’s going to be a great meal, but once we were in the door, his attitude changed immediately. It’s nothing fancy, but the green walls and a sparse dining room with old Spanish love ballads playing in the background give it a charm that’s perfect for devouring as much Mexican food as possible. Chef Alfonso Sotelo, a XOCO alum, helms the kitchen, providing delightfully comforting dishes with just the right amount of personality. His dishes are flavorful and heartening—if I could sit and eat his food for hours I would. This is definitely a spot where you can hunker down and order a huge plate of tacos without breaking the bank—each is only $2.25. I’d pick at least two of the carnitas tacos, but there’s no doubt in my mind that all varieties are delightful. The only question our server asked after running through our large order was if we also wanted an order of guacamole (the answer is always yes). The refreshing and creamy dish came out on a beautiful plate garnished with radish slices. Actually, everything here is garnished with radishes as a tribute to the restaurant’s name—“rabanitos” is Spanish for radishes. The rest of the menu doesn’t disappoint, whether you’re having the ceviche verde with avocado tomatillo lime salsa, dotted with bits of jicama and cucumber and pieces of tender calamari and shrimp, or the caldo de res, a delicious soup wi
Walking back through Intro to Naoki Sushi feels like navigating a secret passageway to tender sushi and thoughtful dishes. Unlike its sister restaurant, Naoki offers a more laid-back atmosphere that still feels high-end—but maybe not so posh—and complements that with candid, savvy servers. Hidden behind the kitchen of Rich Melman’s Intro, the warmly lit sushi bar is the latest project from Naoki Nakashima (who also runs the sushi program at Shaw’s). Whether you’re a sushi veteran or just starting to explore dishes beyond tuna rolls, Naoki Sushi offers familiar items and interesting, original plates. Before diving into the sushi, the appetizers are a must, ranging from traditional to fun—like addictive tuna tacos made with crisp wonton shells and truffle chawanmushi, an egg custard with a dashi broth. You can’t go wrong by following your servers’ recommendations for the rotating sashimi and nigiri specials. On my visit, options included a slightly sweet and tender kinmedai topped with dehydrated yuzu lemon, to complement the fish. A melting salmon nigiri crowned with smoked soy and shallot is a great choice in the classic nigiri section. While the maki provide heartier portions, it’s easy to stick to nigiri and sashimi. Still, ordering the fatty yet delicate hamachi maki with scallion, cucumber and yuzu is anything but a miss. If there’s one thing to skip on the menu, it’s the main course—the seabass, while tender and buttery with soft bok choy, is too heavy next to a menu of
Alulu Brewery and Pub
Enter through a narrow alleyway and you'll find yourself inside this rustic Pilsen brewpub, where the taplines are surrounded by a wall of green moss and guests sit at wooden benches. Alulu's beer list is all over the place (in a good way), with dark lagers and IPAs presented alongside more adventeruous creations like a farmhouse ale brewed with green peppercorns and smoke-forward rauchbiers. If you're having trouble choosing, a five-beer flight makes it easy to sample a range of options—you can even add a shot of Italian liqueur for an additional $5. Don't sleep on the in-house food menu either, which features charcuterie, small plates, beer bread and more substantial entrees like burgers, wings and poutine.
The newest spot from 4 Star Restaurant Group pairs friendly service with beautiful plates in cozy digs. Grab a bench at the bar (that’s right, there are tall, two-seat benches practically made for couples) and order a round of cocktails. We’re particularly fond of the gimlet with gin, lime cordial and elderflower liqueur. Opt for dishes like a creamy confit potato with pickled mustard seeds and dill. This surprisingly elegant spot makes the perfect backdrop for date night. Vitals: Atmosphere: This chic restaurant is ideal for a spendy date night or drinks with friends if you’re looking to impress. What to eat: We’re fans of the pizza and veggies; the yogurt and seasonal fruit makes for a gorgeously refreshing dessert. What to drink: Cocktails are light and fun, but the servers are happy to point you in the right direction if wine is more your speed. Where to sit: We loved those cozy booths at the bar—a no-brainer for couples who love watching bartenders in action.
The Fifty/50 Group’s Benjamin Schiller is one of Chicago’s most imaginative bartenders, so it should come as no surprise that he’s crafting out-of-this-world cocktails at his new post at Apogee inside Dana Hotel. Served in seashells, horns and giant glass mushrooms, the drinks at this River North rooftop are served with a side of whimsy. The expertly designed space extends outdoors to a pristine perch that’s outfitted with with a sleek, modern firepit. Come for the wildly creative drink menu and stay for the stunning visuals and top city views. Vitals: Atmosphere: The typical rooftop bar is all grown up with neat light fixtures, gorgeous furniture and stellar views. What to eat: There aren’t any snacks here, but you’re a stone’s throw from Quartino, Eataly and Portillo’s. What to drink: Apogee specializes in large-format cocktails, and we loved the Fibonacci with Flor de Cana rum, North Shore aquavit, raspberry and lemon. For individual cocktails, showstoppers include the rummy Panda Party with sesame seeds and orange powder and the Fifth Char with rye, anise and coconut ash. Where to sit: Since this is a ticketed seating, you won’t have much of a choice, but it never hurts to ask if you can hang outside.
Every Chicagoan has a favorite deep-dish pizza—and will defend that choice until the bitter end. If you’re still searching for yours, consider Burt’s Place in Morton Grove, Illinois. After closing nearly two years ago, the iconic pizza parlor reopened earlier this year, much to the delight of its longtime fans. Burt’s still takes phone orders ahead of time (highly recommended), but it has done a gut rehab of the building, adding a bar with several draft taps. Of course, you can also take your chances as a walk-in, but be prepared to wait. From the city, a relatively quick Metra ride will get you there in a jiffy, making Burt’s a must on any pizza lover’s deep-dish checklist. Vitals: Atmosphere: A little done up from the old Burt’s Place, this spot boasts a small bar and tchotchkes galore. What to eat: The pizza, duh. Fill it however you’d like, though no one has ever gone wrong with sausage, mushroom and veggies. What to drink: There’s a small selection of rotating beers (think your run-of-the-mill Half Acre and Revolution pours), but IPA pairs nicely with pizza. Where to sit: We snagged seats at the small bar, but there are booths for larger parties. You won’t have much of a choice in the matter, but there’s not a bad seat in the house.
Wild Blossom Meadery
You’ll have to hike to Beverly to visit this spot, but it’s worth the journey. Wild Blossom Meadery is set inside a massive building with a gigantic taproom boasting tall ceilings, sunny windows, honey-themed decor and a large outdoor patio in the works. The tap list is long, but Wild Blossom has been producing mead for a long time and the bartenders are happy to point you in the right direction or fashion up a flight of samples. There’s no food here, so be careful with your consumption—mead packs a similar ABV to wine and can creep up on you if you're not careful. Vitals: Atmosphere: Airy and sunny with a back patio in the works—perfect for summer sipping. What to eat: There’s nothing to eat here, but you won’t go hungry in Beverly (Horse Thief Hollow and Top Notch Beefburgers, anyone?). What to drink: The bartenders are happy to point you in the right direction, but we’re big fans of the hibiscus mead and any other taproom-only selections. Where to sit: The bar is always our first choice, but there’s an array of high-tops that’ll do the trick too.
The Ruin Daily
The team behind Dusek’s and Saint Lou’s Assembly is here to make your lunch hour a little sweeter (and boozier). The bright, airy shop opens early with coffee and pastries for morning commuters before transitioning to sandwiches and adult beverages for the lunchtime crowd. Diners will find funky and classic sandwich options detailed on a roll of brown paper mounted to the wall, including a salmon po’ boy with creamy special sauce and pickles or a stacked Reuben on rye. For something extra, grab light sides (such as pickles and potato salad) from the fridge to compliment your sandwich. You can also spice up your lunch routine with a cocktail; we liked the Barracuda, a summery pineapple-heavy rum drink. Vitals: Atmosphere: Sunny, bright and perfect for lunch. What to eat: Pick your favorite sandwich and be sure to grab a pickle on the side. What to drink: The Barracuda is rummy and sunny with a side of pineapple, but we also enjoyed the tall Michelada. Where to sit: You’ll have your pick of the litter at the Ruin Daily, but a sunny seat near the window will suit you well for lunch.
The Hive at Honey's
If Honey’s is the gold standard for upscale minimalism, its new upstairs speakeasy, the Hive, is the perfect picture of maximalism. The opium den-like space is filled to the brim with colorful velvet couches, cozy armchairs and ornate candlesticks. The bar itself is tiny and lined with four chairs from the ’70s, giving the spot a lived-in living room feel—if, of course, you had thousands of dollars to throw at vintage furniture. More enticing still is the intimate, one-on-one service. There’s no menu here; fix your gaze on the blackboard overhead for three cocktail options that rotate daily. Don’t fret if those drinks aren’t calling to you. Instead, opt for the “dealer’s choice,” which is tailored to fit your needs—just pick a spirit and let your bartender guide you to cocktail zen. Once your order is up, retreat to the cozy couches behind the bar and soak in the gorgeous space. (Pro tip: If you can, arrive promptly at 7pm, when the Hive opens, to have your pick of the couches and ample light to get the right ’gram.) While we’re still fawning over the Hive’s deep, leather tufted couch, it’s worth noting that the $12–$13 cocktails here aren’t revolutionary, and that’s not a bad thing. On our visit, we enjoyed twists on classics, like a gin gin with Rhine Hall pear brandy and a smooth paper plane with amaro. We stuck around for a few dealer’s choice cocktails as well, sipping a funky, pineapple-infused daiquiri and a negroni-esque number with rhubarb amaro. Unlike other West Lo
“Ooh, fancy,” my date said as we walked into Ronero. Wearing a jersey pullover dress and leggings, I wasn’t prepared for how underdressed I would feel at this Latin-inspired restaurant in the West Loop. But the sparkling chandeliers and long grey curtains hiding plush booths make the space feel luxurious. Ultra-dim lighting and a sleek black and grey color scheme boost the romance factor, which left us wondering if we’d walked into a Latin eatery or a French restaurant prime for first dates. It’s decidedly the former, and you’ll know it as soon as you see the menu, which is punctuated with empanadas, ceviches and bolitos. The food here is dreamed up by chef Corey Morris (Mercat a la Planxa, Rural Society), who we’ve come to depend on for his grilled meats and perfectly cooked seafood. Here, though, the dishes aren’t executed with the same precision. The bisteca, an 8-ounce hanger steak served with black bean crema, was tender but somehow totally absent of the rich, meaty flavor you’d expect with a grilled steak. Diver scallops, which should have been tender and delicate, were squishy and rubbery. Worth the $18 price tag? Absolutely not. However, you’ll be just fine if you stick with the small plates. Tender ropa vieja with goat cheese and focaccia was flavorful, and rotating house-made empanadas (filled with potatoes the night we visited) were hearty and delightful. Drinks didn’t disappoint either, with rummy classics and interesting house cocktails designed to grab your att
Old Irving Brewing
Until recently, we had a pretty solid idea of what to expect when walking into a new brewery—industrial interior, picnic table seating and uninspiring pub food to pad the belly—but Old Irving Brewing Company is changing all that with a semi-traditional take on a brewpub with a twist. Whether you’re looking for a dimly lit hideout or a community sports bar, this place has it all. Toss in hearty, chef-driven eats and a concise beer menu, and it’s easy to see why Old Irving Brewing Company is breaking all the rules. The brewery initially started as a project by the late Homaro Cantu (Moto, iNG), but his untimely death in 2015 slowed the development of the brewery (previously called Crooked Fork Brewing). That’s when friends and former colleagues Trevor Rose-Hamblin and chef Matthias Merges (Billy Sunday, Yusho) stepped in to finish the project. While we’ll always wonder what Cantu would have dreamed up in the kitchen, we’re huge fans of what Merges is doing with the menu. Dishes are approachable—think kolsch-battered salt cod and massive burgers served on focaccia with crispy fries—but executed with the same extreme care that Merges uses at his other restaurants. Beer takes a backseat here, with just seven options on tap, which can be ordered as a 4-ounce taster, a 10- or 16-ounce glass, part of a flight or a 64-ounce growler. Still, we were perfectly happy with the Scentinel IPA that was on tap the night we visited; a strong Mosaic hop nose and notes of grapefruit made it a ver
Generally speaking, income tax isn’t something we’re thrilled about; it’s more of a necessary evil. Income Tax, a new wine bar in Edgewater, on the other hand, is a place you should get excited about. It’s more than your run-of-the-mill wine bar, offering excellent service, above and beyond tasting notes, comfortable digs and outstanding small bites. If you’re looking at wines by the glass, the list is focused and concise with one page of options. For bottle seekers, prepare to be indulged with five pages of decisions, including eau de vies, brandies and beer. But we recommend ditching the menu altogether (unless you’re a total wine expert, then help yourself) and asking your server where to start. Normally, when listing off the things I like in a wine (a fruity red with a light body, but nothing too sweet), I’m met with a tasting. That’s not the case at Income Tax. Instead, there were more questions to narrow in on the perfect glass: “What level of acidity do you prefer?” “What colors of red do you normally go for?” And if totally stumped, “Would you be open to trying a white? I’m sure you’ll like it.” Only then will you be served a tasting—either from the menu or the “drink your share” board, where bottles are opened and you pay only for the portion you drink. Not totally up to your liking? Went a little too adventurous? No worries, the staff is more than happy to continue the search to find a vino that suits you. The same philosophy carries over to the food offerings. On t
Chicago's getting a cafe dedicated to marshmallows
Marshmallow fanatics, it's your year. Come June, Rogers Park will be home to a new marshmallow cafe, according to DNAInfo. XO Marshmallow, founded by Chicagoans Lindzi Shanks and Kathryn Connor, recently met and surpassed its initial Kickstarter campaign goal of $6,500 needed to open the storefront. The cafe will share a kitchen with Midnight Mac and Cheesery and Nibbles and Nosh at 6977 N Sheridan Rd, doling everything from whoopie pies and champagne-flavored marshmallows to s'mores tacos and lattes. Of course, if you can't wait for the marshmallow haven to open its doors, you can get your hands on the sweet treats at the Boss Babe Popup Shop inside Block 37 or at a variety of other Chicago retailers. Now that Shanks and Connor have hit their first goal, their "stretch" campaign is aiming to raise a total of $10,000, which will allow them to purchase a custom neon sign for the shop. Should they reach the goal, the ladies have promised to release a batch of passion fruit marshmallows as a reward. Consider your dinner forever spoiled. " /> Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
The Field Museum is hosting a late night pop-up bar this summer
There's nothing quite like being in a museum at night—that's why Chicago institutions routinely host after-hours events, seeking to capture the magic of those Night at the Museum movies. This summer, the Field Museum is introducing a new reason to hang out after the crowds go home, with the launch of themed pop-up bar housed within the museum called Base Camp. The bar will host themed events once a month beginning in July and admission is included with a regular museum ticket. The series kicks off on July 6 from 6 to 9pm with an Americana-themed bash, with performances by Devil in a Woodpile and Jon Langford as well as cocktails provided by Streeterville Social. Guests will also get to take a look at the Field Museum's collection fossils from around the U.S. and learn more about the institution's ongoing conservation work. If you can't spare the vacation time to take advantage of free museum days, experiencing the Field Museum with a cocktail in your hand seems like the next best thing. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Three new rooftop bars you need to check out this summer
With warm weather in the forecast for the foreseeable future, we're ready to fill our calendars up with as much outdoor drinking as humanly possible. Thankfully, Chicago's patios and rooftops have opened up and are ready to keep the party going all summer long. If you need to shake up your sun-drenched cocktail drinking routine, try to grab a seat at some of Chicago's newest rooftop bars. Photograph: We Are Loftus ApogeeThe Fifty/50 Group’s Benjamin Schiller is one of Chicago’s most imaginative bartenders, so it should come as no surprise that he’s crafting out-of-this-world cocktails at his new post at Apogee inside Dana Hotel. Served in seashells, horns and giant glass mushrooms, the drinks at this River North rooftop come with a side of whimsy. The expertly designed space extends outdoors to a pristine perch that’s outfitted with with a sleek, modern fire pit. Come for the wildly creative drink menu and stay for the stunning visuals and skyline views. Photograph: Neil Burger NoyaneThis expansive rooftop on top of the Conrad comes from the same group behind Baptiste & Bottle and focuses on Japanese cuisine, sake, beer and whiskey from Chef Richard Sandoval. Flip through the fun comic book menu outlining over-the-top wagyu dishes on a hot stone or cheaper barbecue dishes and sushi and admire the lights and flowers atop this Magnificent Mile oasis. If you're looking for a rooftop where you won't feel bad about grabbing a beer and a few small bites, this is the one f
You can buy dried Wrigley Field ivy for $200
You might have a T-shirt or hat to commemorate the Cubs' 2016 World Series title, but if you're looking for a really unique way to remember that day, we have just the thing: dried ivy leaves from Wrigley Field's outfield. According to an email sent to premiere clients and season-ticket holders earlier this week, the dried foliage is going for a cool $200 a pop (plus $15 shipping and handling). ESPN reported that groundskeepers typically discard the ivy in November, but since 2016 broke the curse, the team decided to collect the leaves and authenticate them individually with a hologram. We know that ivy is special, but this is getting a little extreme—even for Cubs fans. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Goose Island has revealed its 2017 Bourbon County Brand Stout variants
Every year, we watch Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) lineup get larger and larger—and 2017 is no exception. This year, Chicago's craft beer behemoth is releasing seven BCBS variants including two newcomers to the newly minted Reserve Series. You'll probably recognize the first five variants (Bourbon County Brand Stout, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine, Bourbon County Brand Stout Coffee and Bourbon County Proprietor's Brand Stout, Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout), but the Reserve Series is using different barrels for two special releases: Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout and Bourbon County Reserve Brand Barleywine. This year's proprietor's variant is inspired by the New Orleans breakfast delicacy Bananas Foster and will only be available in Chicago. Brewed by Goose Island brewer Quinn Fuechsl, it uses banana, cassia bark and roasted almonds in 5-7 year old bourbon barrels. The national variant, Northwoods Stout, has blueberry and almond notes with a chocolate nose. The Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout is made with 11-year-old Knob Creek bourbon barrels and the Reserve Brand Barleywine is made with 35-year-old Heaven Hill barrels and has been aged for 20 months. As usual, this year's Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout release will happen on Black Friday, November 24. Details on pricing and where to pick up your bottles, will be released closer to that time. If you still have bottles of Bourbon County in your cellar, you might want to drink a fe
Cherry Circle Room launches gourmet picnic baskets for the Millennium Park Summer Film Series
Pack a picnic basket and grab a bottle of wine. The Millennium Park Summer Film Series kicks off next week with Blues Brothers screening on June 13 at 6:30pm. Cherry Circle Room is making the picnic and wine situation a tad easier with a carryout picnic for two available for $35. It's stuffed with burrata, prosciutto, a ficelle loaf, honey, tomato jam, popcorn and house-made cookies. You can also add a bottle of wine for $20 (pick from red, white, rosé or bubbly) or a large-format Belgian ale brewed with apples for $15. Movie-goers can preorder picnic baskets at tocktix.com and pick up the goodies between 4 and 7pm Tuesday before the movie begins. Plus, if you're speedy, the first 20 people to order a picnic for next week's show will receive a special tote bag to make future picnics even easier. Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Know your bartender: Jess Lambert at Boleo and Vol. 39
From streamlined beauties at Vol. 39 to fun pisco-laced sippers at Boleo, Jess Lambert is responsible for the wide array of drinks you'll find at the Kimpton Grey Hotel. We checked in with her to see what she likes to make at home, how she got into bartending and where she goes when she's not working. How did you get into bartending? It’s actually kind of funny. I was working in cardiology at the hospital, and I hated my job, so I quit. I thought, Man, I need to make fat cash, so I went to a sports bar and asked for a job. I fell into this rabbit hole learning about wine and fine dining. Then I was working at this wine café in Phoenix, and our head bartender quit right before service. The bar had only one bartender, so my boss turns to me and goes, “Do you want to bartend?” I said yes and that was it. Tell us about your approach at Vol. 39 and Boleo? They’re two very, very different and highly concepted menus. They’re two very, very different high-concept menus. I got to go to Peru to research for Boleo, so I had a pulse on that menu. But one of the things I did with Vol. 39 was, since the building was built in 1894, I wondered who would be drinking there when it opened. I made two muses, two characters to riff off of—a kind of masculine and a feminine. Boleo is much more culinary-focused, so that’s where I get to do all of my really weird stuff. And everyone who works behind the bar with me knows that I get really weird. What are some of your favorite cocktails to make? When
Four new Chicago restaurants you should check out this summer
Chicago's restaurant scene has been awfully busy over the past few months. Opening after opening, we've been impressed with the newcomers, but these four restaurants keep us coming back again and again. Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas Mi Tocaya Antojería: Plenty of new Mexican restaurants opened their doors this year, but Mi Tocaya is one to watch. The tacos are the main attraction, including the spicy Campechano stuffed with al pastor, chorizo and carne asada and garnished with salsa and a squeeze of lime. Pair your order with a reposado tequila margarita, an easy summer sipper. But the best part of dining here is the open kitchen, where you’ll spot chef Diana Davila crafting unique regional specialties. Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas Ella Elli: The newest spot from 4 Star Restaurant Group pairs friendly service with beautiful plates in cozy digs. Grab a bench at the bar (that’s right, there are tall, two-seat benches practically made for couples) and order a round of cocktails. We’re particularly fond of the gimlet with gin, lime cordial and elderflower liqueur. Opt for dishes like a creamy confit potato with pickled mustard seeds and dill. This surprisingly elegant spot makes the perfect backdrop for date night. Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas Burt's Place: Every Chicagoan has a favorite deep-dish pizza—and will defend that choice until the bitter end. If you’re still searching for yours, consider Burt’s Place in Morton Grove, Illinois. After closing nearly two years ago, the
Four new Chicago bars you must check out this summer
Summer is meant for exploring the city, one bar at a time. We found the newest spots we can't get enough of, from a buzzy speakeasy to a beautiful new meadery. Photograph: Adam Jason Cohen The Hive at Honey's: The buzz here revolves around the intoxicating space and a no-fuss cocktail menu that doesn’t make you think too hard. Filled with wax-dripping candles and ornate couches, the Hive is the kind of place you can really sink into. The bar itself is tiny and lined with four chairs, making it feel like a living room—the one you’d design if you had thousands of dollars to spend on vintage furniture. There’s no printed menu here; instead fix your gaze on the blackboard above the bar for three cocktail options that rotate daily. The folks behind Honey’s have really outdone themselves with this effortless blend of simplicity and abundance. Frankly, we almost wish we could keep this spot a secret. Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas Wild Blossom Meadery: You’ll have to hike to Beverly to visit this spot, but it’s worth the journey. Wild Blossom Meadery is set inside a massive building with a gigantic taproom boasting tall ceilings, sunny windows, honey-themed decor and a large outdoor patio in the works. The tap list is long, but Wild Blossom has been producing mead for a long time and the bartenders are happy to point you in the right direction or fashion up a flight of samples. There’s no food here, so be careful with your consumption—mead packs a similar ABV to wine and can cre
We teamed up with Parson's Chicken & Fish to create a fun summer cocktail
The epitome of summertime in Chicago is lounging around on a patio with a tall glass of something boozy in your hand. And as most well-versed city dwellers know, Parson's Chicken & Fish is the place to go for both. (Hello, Negroni slushies!) That's why we teamed up with Parson's bar manager Charlie Schott to craft a special Time Out Chicago cocktail. Throughout June and July, ask for the Agricole'd Fashioned ($11), a spin on the classic Ti Punch, made with Damoiseau VSOP rhum agricole, bitters and orange. You can find this cocktail and more Time Out Chicago collaborations at other Land & Sea Dept. bars, like Lost Lake and Game Room, this summer. Cheers! Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.
Five ways to celebrate Negroni Week in Chicago
It's time to map out your week of guilt-free imbibing, Chicago. Negroni Week is back. Today through June 11, bars all over the city will honor the classic bitter cocktail and give back. Check out a few of the most creative takes on the summer-ready sipper plus where a portion of proceeds will go. PB&J Negroni at il Porcellino: For an after-school twist on the adult beverage, il Porcellino is adding a special PB&J Negroni to the menu this week (in addition to four mainstay negronis). The cocktail mixes peanut-infused gin, red berry jam Campari and toasted pecan bitters. Charity: Greater Chicago Food Depository Coconut Negroni Slushie at Drumbar: We're suckers for hanging out on a rooftop. Toss in a slushie, and it's a no-brainer. This week Drumbar is serving up a frosty mix of Campari, coconut and lemon. Charity: Negroni Week charity share Negroni Sorbet at Otto Mezzo: Otto Mezzo is partnering with Black Dog Gelato to offer a special boozy sorbet for the week. The cooling treat is perfect for a nightcap, combining gin, Campari and Rosso Antico. Charity: Share Cancer Support Vol. 39 Negroni at Vol. 39: Drawing inspiration from a muse head bartender Jess Lambert says enjoys a cigar, Vol. 39's classic cocktail is finished with cinnamon smoke from Palo Santo wood. Charity: No Kid Hungry Negroni at Tiny Lounge: Sometimes it's best to stick with a classic—Tiny Lounge is serving their negroni with gin, Campari and Noilly Prat sweet vermouth. Charity: Paws Chicago Want more? Sign u
Work out this summer with free hip-hop yoga classes on a rooftop
We're planning on spending every last moment we possibly can on rooftops this summer, which means as many free fitness classes on rooftops as humanly possible. Equinox is launching its free summer workout series (both for members and non-members), which will begin Thursday, June 8 at the National (the building that’s also home to Revival Food Hall) in the Loop. Classes are set from 6:30 to 8am, allowing Loop workers to work out before they head to the office. You can sign up through Eventbrite and check out the full schedule below. 6/8: Summer Camp with Anthony Fleming III 6/22: Hip-Hop Yoga (Pride-themed) with Allison English 7/13: Firestarter with TBD 7/27: Meditation and Mindful Movement with Julie Bellis 8/10: Best Butt and Best Arms Ever with Julie Valenti 8/24: Surprise, Exclusive with VIP Instructor Want more? Sign up here to stay in the know.