I went to Chicago for a week with my parents in April. During the weekdays, my dad and I worked from “home”, and we went out and explored over the weekend as much as we could – Mother Nature decided that was the right time to rain cats and dogs. Nonetheless, I learned a lot about Chicago, which might be handy if you ever want to go check out the city yourself!
How to Get Around
- Ride share apps: Uber, Lyft
- Public transportation CTA is quite convenient.
- If you exit the bus from not the front entrance, you have to push the door open in order to exit.
- For subways, there are lots of stairs.
Things to Know
- Bring your own shopping bags around because there is a bag tax, even at Target.
- Jewel Osco is the supermarket in Chicago. It’s the equivalent to Star Market or Stop and Shop in New England.
What to Eat
1. Fat Rice – 2957 W. Diversey Ave.
- Chef: Abe Conlon
- Cuisine: Macanese
- What? Macau is a former Portuguese trading port that has very unique flavors of food. It is a blend of Indian, South East Asian, African, Brazilian, and Southern Chinese ingredients, food, and culture.
- Star Rating: 4/5 stars
- Dish Recommendations: curry vegetable samosas, soya chicken, coconut pudding
2. En Hakkore 2.0 – 1467 N. Milwaukee Ave.
- There are 2 En Hakkore’s, and I am talking about this specific one!
- Cuisine: Asian fusion
- Star Rating: 5/5 stars
- Dish Recommendations: soft-shelled crab taco if it’s still available! Everything we got was delicious though.
What to Do
Yes, it’s a tourist trap, but it is one of the most well-known location marker of Chicago. I’ve been here both times that I’ve been to Chicago. This time there was less people, and I think it’s because we were here on an early Friday afternoon, and the weather was semi-crappy.
2. Take an architecture tour
I talked about the architecture tour I did this time in this blog post, so check that out if you haven’t yet! I highly highly highly recommend doing an architecture tour, whether it is a walking one or a boat one.
3. Circle the Loop
The Loop refers to downtown Chicago. My parents and I were exhausted from all the walking we did, so we circled the loop via the Orange line. It’s another great way to see more architecture in Chicago and people watch.
4. Go to a Second City comedy show
This only works if you enjoy comedy. Second City is where a lot of comedians including Tina Fey, Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert started. I enjoy going to comedy shows because I admire the fact that these people put themselves out there for instant feedback like that. Comedy is hard!
What to Avoid
- If you must try deep dish pizza, avoid Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s. I find the deep dish pizza wack because the ratio between carbs and flavor is out of balance. But if you must try deep dish pizza, a local told me about Pequod’s Pizza on 2207 N. Clybourn Ave. It’s a little bit out of the way, but he said anybody who eats at Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s never want to try another deep dish pizza again because those are chains and ruin it for all the good deep dish pizzas.
- The restaurants Furious Spoon and Union Squared at Revival Food Hall. The ramen at Furious Spoon was just not good, and I wonder whether it’s because I didn’t go to the original restaurant. It was very watered down, which is not what I’m looking for in a ramen. Detroit-style pizza at Union Squared was not much better. Take into consideration that I’m not a huge pizza person anyways. The crust was fluffy and delicious, but there was so much going on that I couldn’t handle it.
That’s all I have to say about Chicago for now! I covered some other things I did in Chicago in the video below, so feel free to check that out. Let me know in the comments below whether you’ve been to Chicago or not, and what your tips are!
In this series called “Restless In”, Annie and Juliet will list out several things that we did in a particular city. This includes places we visited, restaurants we tried, and activities we did, as well as what we thought of it.