Get us in your inbox

Samantha Nelson

Samantha Nelson

Articles (30)

The 10 most romantic getaways from Chicago

The 10 most romantic getaways from Chicago

Whether you just started seeing someone new and want to fan the flames of romance or are looking to rekindle the spark of your long term relationship, a romantic getaway can be the perfect way to heat things up. Chicago has some excellent romantic hotels if you’re looking for a relaxing staycation, but there are also plenty of intimate weekend getaways you can plan if you want to visit somewhere new without the hassle or expense of a plane ticket. Whether you want to spend the day chatting on a gorgeous hike, share an intimate meal or relax together at a spa, these 10 destinations provide the perfect place to make some memories.

The 27 best Mexican restaurants in Chicago

The 27 best Mexican restaurants in Chicago

Some of the best restaurants in Chicago serve Mexican fare, ranging from amazing tacos folded in handmade tortillas to plates of grilled meat and seafood flavored with rich mole. You’ll find bare-bones counter service storefronts in the Mexican-American enclaves of Pilsen and Little Village and upscale restaurants run by chefs with Michelin Stars in River North. These restaurants are as varied as Mexican fare itself, presenting both fusion cuisine and traditional dishes from multiple regions often paired with drink menus that provide a tour of agave spirits served straight or blended into margaritas and palomas. Whatever you’re craving, the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago are sure to leave you full and satisfied. RECOMMENDED: More of the best restaurants in Chicago

The 26 best outdoor restaurants in Chicago

The 26 best outdoor restaurants in Chicago

Chicagoans have always loved making the most of our all too short summer by dining outside, but patios and beer gardens became more vital than ever during the last two years. Some of the best restaurants in Chicago expanded their ability to host diners outside year-round by adding heaters and retractable roofs. When the weather is pleasant, you can grab a seat on a sidewalk offering great people watching or on the huge enclosed patio at one of the best pizza spots in the city. Whether you’re looking to soak in some sun in a party atmosphere or want a chill spot to share brunch, you’ll have plenty of options. Check the forecast and head to one of the best outdoor restaurants in Chicago. RECOMMENDED: Scope out the best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

The 13 best restaurants in River North and Streeterville

The 13 best restaurants in River North and Streeterville

River North and its neighbor Streeterville are among the most popular tourist destinations in the city due to their historic architecture, entertainment venues and views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. A huge variety of restaurants ranging from classic Chicago steakhouses to celebrity chef-driven experiences cater to visitors and locals looking for a great night out. If you’ve got something to celebrate, even if it’s just the start of the weekend, get dressed up and head to one of these restaurants, then keep the night going at one of the best bars in River North and Streeterville. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to River North and Streeterville

The best bars in River North and Streeterville

The best bars in River North and Streeterville

River North and Streeterville are among the most popular nightlife destinations in Chicago, home to chic nightclubs where you can order bottle service while watching top DJs spin and cocktail bars where mixologists serve up excellent spins on classic drinks plus novel concoctions to suit any taste. You can spend the evening sharing elaborate tiki drinks at one of the best bars in Chicago, or day drink at a bar offering bottomless brunch. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll want to drink in this list of the best bars in River North and Streeterville. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to River North and Streeterville

The 18 best Lincoln Park restaurants

The 18 best Lincoln Park restaurants

The chic residential neighborhood of Lincoln Park may be best known for its lake views and sprawling namesake park, but it’s also home to some of the best restaurants in Chicago. You’ll find everything from a celebrated tasting menu you’ll need to book months in advance to one of the best deep dish pizza spots in Chicago. You can even visit one of the best brunch spots in the city and then spend your day wandering the Lincoln Park Zoo or enjoying some sun at North Avenue Beach. Whatever you’re looking for in a meal, these restaurants are sure to deliver. RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Lincoln Park Chicago

The 13 best Lincoln Park bars

The 13 best Lincoln Park bars

Lincoln Park truly lives up to Chicago’s “city in a garden” motto, with its massive namesake park, long stretch of beaches, and free zoo and conservatory providing a perfect way to spend an entire day immersed in nature. But you shouldn’t head out as soon as the sun sets. The neighborhood offers an eclectic mix of nightlife destinations ranging from a cocktail bar offering tarot readings to a legendary blues club. You can take in the gorgeous views of Lake Michigan from a rooftop bar or get lost in another world at a pop-up focused beercade. Enjoy everything Lincoln Park has to offer by visiting one of these great bars. RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the best bars in Chicago

The best day trips from Chicago

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 Chicago

The 26 best brunch in Chicago to try right now

The 26 best brunch in Chicago to try right now

The origins of this late morning meal may be contested, but there’s no questioning Chicago’s admiration for brunch. From standards like pancakes and French toast to creative fusions like schnitzels and waffles or za’atar and blue corn bagels, you’ll find brunch at the best Chicago restaurants for whatever craving—or hangover cure—you’re after. And whether it’s to cozy up with close friends inside on a cold winter day, turn with a bottomless brunch or fuel up before exploring the city, there's a spot that has exactly what you need. Here’s where you’ll find the best brunch in Chicago. RECOMMENDED: Find the best breakfast in Chicago

Where to find bottomless brunches in Chicago

Where to find bottomless brunches in Chicago

Sometimes you want to use the weekend to get things done, and sometimes you want to get day drunk with friends before going home to take a nap. For the latter type of day, there’s no better deal than a bottomless Chicago brunch. Share a lively meal with free flowing mimosas and Bloody Marys at one of the best bars in the West Loop or relax at an outdoor restaurant while cooling off with endless sangria. The best bottomless brunch in Chicago will keep the refills coming while you sit back and enjoy the food and conversation. RECOMMENDED: Find the best restaurants in Chicago

16 Delicious cheap eats in the West Loop

16 Delicious cheap eats in the West Loop

The West Loop is home to some of the best restaurants in Chicago, but they’re not all fine dining spots helmed by celebrity chefs. There are plenty of spots offering cheap eats that cater to downtown workers, residents of the popular neighborhood and anyone else visiting the foodie hub. From a classic sandwich joint to some of the best fried chicken in town, we’ve put together a guide to the best meals in the West Loop that won’t break your budget. Check out these cheap eats in the West Loop the next time you want to save some dough on Restaurant Row. RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do in the West Loop

18 hidden patios, rooftops and gardens for outdoor dining in Chicago

18 hidden patios, rooftops and gardens for outdoor dining in Chicago

Chicagoans love dining outside when the weather is nice, and even when it’s only tolerable. The best outdoor restaurants in Chicago provide plenty of opportunities for people watching and enjoying the bustle of the neighborhood, but sometimes you want to enjoy the weather without constantly being interrupted by passing traffic or people walking by on their phones. Luckily the hidden patios in Chicago offer a respite from the urban environment, including secluded rooftop restaurants and enclosed beer gardens where you can soak up the sun in relative tranquility—sometimes, it's like being transported to another place. RECOMMENDED: Discover more outdoor dining options in Chicago

Listings and reviews (3)

Lirica

Lirica

Get a view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline from the 150-seat patio at Lirica on Navy Pier. The waterfront restaurant offers a menu of Latin-inspired fare including beef empanadas with chimichurri and steak tacos with tomatillo salsa, a combination best paired with a mojito, margarita or spiked horchata. They also offer a $60 prix-fixe menu if you’re dining before seeing a show at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Berkshire Room

Berkshire Room

The Berkshire Room, the bar in River North’s Acme Hotel, doesn't just name-check the Berkshire Hotel, the Acme’s former name from the 1920–1950s. The decor takes cues from old-world cocktail lounges and gives them a current, urban twist. The main bar area is set off by a mix of tall, white-washed walls and checkered tile flooring. Side rooms, off the main bar, include whiskey lockers for rare spirits, barrel-stave wall paneling, copper light fixtures and plush seating. For drinks, choose from a seasonal cocktail or go for the dealer’s choice and let the bartenders craft something for you based on your choice of flavor profile, spirit and glassware.

Con Todo

Con Todo

Sample the flavors of Mexico City in Logan Square at Con Todo, which serves charcoal-smoked al pastor and tacos with housemade chorizo along Mexican-American fusions like the Pamburguesa, a pamboza prepared like a smashburger. Palomas and margaritas are the stars of the bar menu, the latter customizable with tequila or mezcal and flavors like prickly pear and guava. Try one during happy hour from 4–6pm Wednesday through Friday or 9–10pm Wednesday and Thursday alongside chips served with a sampler of guacamole, salsa and elote dip.

News (1)

11 reasons why you should move to Chicago

11 reasons why you should move to Chicago

Chicago may be known as the Second City, but to the people who live here it’s second to none. While some locals love to complain about the weather, traffic and corrupt politicians, the pride of residents runs so deep that many want to show it off wherever they go, wearing the city’s four-starred flag on shirts, hats and even inked into their skin. The city welcomes transplants from around the world, so long as you’re willing to learn the unofficial rules of living in Chicago, pick up a little Chicago slang and prepare to have you hot dog condiments scrutinized. If you’re considering a new place to call home, here are 11 reasons to move to Chicago. 1. The dining scene It’s impossible for a tourist with a few days in the city to fully explore the best restaurants in Chicago, which range from world-renowned chef-driven fine dining establishments to 80-year-old ice cream stands. Chicago helped establish the farm-to-table and tasting menu trends, but it also boasts plenty of casual establishments where you can save some money while enjoying everything from empanadas to Chicago-style hot dogs. You'll quickly learn how to eat like a local. 2. Midwestern warmth See someone on the street waving to you? Don’t panic and think it’s someone whose name you’ve forgotten—it’s probably just a stranger being friendly. While New Yorkers are known for bring brusk and Los Angelinos just want to peruse your IMDB profile, Chicagoans are typically a welcoming bunch that are usually happy to give you