As part of our new neighborhood maps, which are located at your nearest concierge desk, we’ve included a walking tour of each neighborhood that will give you a taste of what each neighborhood has to offer and what makes each one special.
What began as a peaceful settlement where farmers grew celery (the are was actually referred to as the Celery Capital of the World) rumor has it that Lakeview got its name from the Hotel Lake View, which was built on the shore of Lake Michigan in 1853 (it no longer stands). The owners were gathered on the hotel’s portico trying to decide upon the right name when prominent Chicago businessman Walter L. Newberry, charmed by the unbroken view of the lake from the building, suggested the name.
This is one cemetery where it’s as famous for the people who have designed the tombs as those who are buried there. The Getty Tomb and Ryerson monument are must-sees designed by famed architect Louis Sullivan who is also buried in the cemetery. Other Chicago greats to visit include Marshall Field, John Root, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Coming to Chicago and not visiting Wrigley Field is like you never came to Chicago at all. If there’s no game, catch a tour and get a behind-the-scenes look at a park where Babe Ruth hit his famous called shot, where there is still a hand operated scoreboard, and where at one point the record was held for most NFL games in a single stadium.
If you couldn’t get tickets to the game don’t worry because Cubs games don’t just happen at Wrigley Field; they happen all over Wrigleyville. If you’re the type that screams at the television and think you can bat better than the professionals then you might want to check out Sluggers. Along with a great beer selection, party atmosphere, and countless televisions, Sluggers houses batting cages upstairs. Yes, alcohol and batting cages don’t seem like a good idea until you step into the batter’s box at Sluggers and ask why more sports bars don’t do the same.
Getting T-shirts as souvenirs can be tricky because you want them to represent the city but not just be a plain shirt with just “Chicago” on it. Since 1983, Strange Cargo has been solving that conundrum. You can’t go wrong with the cool shirts marking the “L” stops or one with a diagram of a perfect Chicago-style hot dog. If you’re visiting on a holiday or special occasion, Strange Cargo has countless shirts for you too or they’ll make it for you on the spot. Bachelor and bachelorette parties can’t go wrong with the funny “Game Over” shirt.
The choices of grass-fed beef burgers are endless at this delicious eatery. Make sure to come with friends so you can each have a different one and share. You can’t go wrong with the bison burger or the chorizo burger topped with guacamole and Sonoma jack cheese.
You can use this opportunity to cool down and grab dessert and relax with a delicious cone of salted caramel pecan ice cream. However, you can also use this as an opportunity to get the party started with the Lakeview Barhopper—Dutch cocoa ice cream blended with Jack Daniels.
Prepare you tongue for some hoppy, yet luscious beers at this brewpub. DryHop is all about fun and experimentation—if available try the Cuban coffee stout. Don’t sleep on the menu either, and share some green curry mussels with coconut milk and cilantro.
Voted one of America’s greatest clubs by “Rolling Stone,” this intimate venue, housed in a 111-year-old neo-Gothic Schlitz Brewery-tied house, has seen greats like Gary Clark, Jr., Jason Mraz, Feist, Dave Matthews Band, and Tori Amos all perform on stage.
Remember that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game you could never beat? Well now you can and with a beer in hand at Headquarters Beercade where the classic arcade games are free. While you’re waiting for your turn travel back in time while watching the original “American Gladiators” on their televisions.
The Chicago Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, May 17 and instead of just catching the game and heading back to the hotel why not explore everything Wrigleyville has to offer. Hop on the Red Line, get off at Addison, and get ready to explore Cubs Land.
2014 marks the 100th birthday of one of Chicago’s iconic landmarks: Wrigley Field. The ballpark has been commemorating the occasion with throwback uniforms, retro toys, specialty foods, performances, and entertainment. Get a behind the scenes look with their daily tour. On game days you don’t get a look at the club houses but you do get to check out the seating bowl, bleachers, indoor batting cage, and the field. Along the way learn cool fun facts you can drop on friends like that until 2003 Wrigley Field held the record for the most NFL games played in a single stadium? If you just said out loud, “Wait, what,” then check out the tour to learn more.
Wrigley Field Tour
1060 W. Addison St.
So you probably only had orange juice before your Wrigley Field tour and at this point you’re starving. Head down the block to enjoy a fried egg, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato, spinach for brunch. Of course, you’ll be tempted to have one Rockit Burger Bar’s amazing black angus burgers. If you want to continue with the breakfast theme get the Huevos Rancheros burger, which comes with a black angus patty, fried egg, chihuahua cheese, corn tortilla strips, roasted salsa roja, jalapeño aioli all served with curly fries. Why not wash it down at their Bloody Mary bar?
Rockit Burger Bar
3700 N. Clark St.
You got a behind-the-scenes look, and now it’s time to see Wrigley Field in its element. With Milwaukee being under two hours away it’s inevitable that the Brewers are a rival of the Chicago Cubs. It also doesn’t help that the Brewers lead the National League Central Division and the Cubs are in last place. The Cubs are just in a slump and it might take the energy of this rivalry to turn it around, but what has always made Wrigley special is that it doesn’t matter how the Cubs are doing because the fans are always passionate. Its hard to beat sitting in history.
Chicago Cubs v. Milwaukee Brewers
1060 W. Addison St.
If you couldn’t get tickets to the game don’t worry because Cubs games don’t just happen at Wrigley Field; they happen all over Wrigleyville. If you’re the type that screams at the television and think you can bat better than the professionals then you might want to check out Sluggers. Along with a great beer selection, party atmosphere, and countless televisions, Sluggers houses batting cage upstairs. Yes, alcohol and batting cages don’t seem like a good idea until you step into the batters box at Sluggers and ask why more sports bars don’t do the same.
If you’re looking for a place with an outdoor space then head over to Casey Moran’s. Not only do they have an outdoor beer garden but they also have a rooftop Ivy Lounge that overlooks Wrigleyville. With this beautiful weather it’s hard to say no to that.
3540 N. Clark St.
3660 N. Clark St.
The activities aren’t over, but pace yourself you party animal. Head back to your hotel, take a shower, close your eyes for a few minutes, and change for the night ahead.
The best way to start up your night after a restful nap is with some laughs and ComedySportz has that with a twist. Instead of the typical improv show, The ComedySportz Theatre makes their show interactive by making it part of a game. The performers are separated into two different teams and the team that gets the most laughs out of the audience wins. The content is friendly for all ages so if you have children 7 years old and up feel free to bring them along.
The ComedySportz Theatre
929 W. Belmont Ave.
After spending all day in a t-shirt with beers, it’s nice to get a little gussied up and grab some cocktails at Deuce’s & The Diamond Club. Take the escalator up to the Diamond bar and relax on their comfortable couches sipping on a Deuce’s Sidecar, and if you need a bite to eat try their pulled pork or Cuban sandwich. Head out to the balcony with your friends and loved ones and take a look at the neighborhood you just conquered.
Deuce’s & The Diamond Club
3505 N. Clark St.
It’s usual to walk around Chicago and see people wearing Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox clothing, but you might have seen an increase in baseball jerseys because the Crosstown Classic is back.
The Cubs and White Sox are in the middle of their four-game rivalry where at the end of it one team can have the bragging rights of being Chicago’s better team. At the time of this post the White Sox are leading with their win Monday. The series will continue today at Wrigley Field and finish Wednesday and Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field.
At current standings the Cubs are 9.5 games behind first place in their division and the White Sox are five games behind, so at the moment we’re not talking about the cream of the crop in terms of baseball teams but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. First, the current home run leader in the entire league is White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and you can’t pass up seeing him hit one or a few out of the park. The Cubs have Anthony Rizzo who may not have the home run numbers but has better hitting and on-base percentage. In reality, it’s all about the atmosphere. It’s all about watching the impassioned fans stress over their team and cheer on the runs as if they were on the field. It can get intense in the stands but just take it as part of the experience and bring the thick skin.
Catch the rivalry tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Wrigley Field located at 1060 W. Addison St. and Wednesday and Thursday at 7:10 p.m. U.S. Cellular Field at 333 W. 35th St. For more information visit cubs.com and whitesox.com.
Philippe Gills, concierge at The Langham Chicago, is this week’s concierge correspondent and shares his top three things to do in Chicago. Check out the short video clip, below, to see what he recommends.
Looking for a fun distraction that takes you away from the already photographed skyscrapers of Chicago’s downtown? If so then find time to head over to SausageFest Chicago in the Lake View neighborhood this Saturday and Sunday (June 15th and 16th), where a catalog of macho meats await.
Returning for its third year, SausageFest Chicago hosts an arrangement of exclusive vendors that continue to display their craftsmanship in an open market setup. Masters in every sense of the word, these retailers will best any stomach.
Known by its association with the historic Wrigleyville area, SausageFest Chicago is accessible by taking the Red Line to the “Addison” stop on the CTA’s “L” system. Hopeful attendees/commuters will find themselves enticed by the hints of smoke coming from West Addison Street. Live entertainment is also included, providing a backdrop to the sizzling grills. These sights and sounds, coupled with some tickets to the exciting matchup between the Cubs and Mets this weekend, make for a unique evening in Wrigleyville.
For those feeling a bit more masculine than the rest of us, the title for “Sausage King of Chicago” is up for grabs and is fit with an entire crowning ceremony. The title encourages at both times boasting and appreciation among only the most serious of meat lovers. In some respects it has the ability to rival even the most deserving of awards.
Let it all go once in a while. This weekend allow yourself to indulge in the likes of kielbasa, polish sausages, BBQ pork, hot dogs, roasted duck and the rest that are sure to be as hearty as you are faithful in being a carnivore. The ridiculousness that is sure to ensue and the comfort of taking it easy for a day in Wrigleyville make SausageFest Chicago worthwhile. Running from noon to 10 p.m. the festivities should be convenient and rewarding for families, friends and even the occasional passerby.
Comedian Greg Proops will take center stage at UP Comedy Club on April 10th where he’ll perform his hit podcast, The Smartest Man in the World, live. Though he lives in Hollywood, CP found time to catch up with Greg to see what he most looks forward to doing while here in Chicago. Read on to find out what tops his list.
What’s not to like? Chicago is New York without the bull. It is fun every night and offers all types of flavor. That’s why it rules the Midwest. Let’s face it; Sioux Falls just isn’t getting it done. Here’s some of my favorite things to do around town:
1) Don’t think I’m sad, but eating at The Original Pancake House ranks up there. The Whose Line guys and I stay across the street and eat there every day for breakfast when we’re in town. The Dutch Baby Pancake takes 15 minutes to make… teasing you… and then blows your mind with its eggy goodness.
2) The Art Institute of Chicago. I always go and see A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Seurat. It is stunning. It is the size of a movie screen and is worth a whole afternoon of up-close gazing.
3) Wrigley Field if it is baseball season. Take that Fenway! Wrigley is more fun and has better bars all around it.
4) Dinotto Ristorante on North Avenue across from the Second City. It’s been a regular stop for years. They offer neighborhood Italian fare that’s beautifully presented with both charm and spice.
5) A walk down Michigan Avenue and checking out all the stores. I also enjoy walking over the bridges on the Chicago River. This city is full of superb architecture—and surprising statues of French explorers.
Greg Proops: The Smartest Man in the World Podcast at UP Comedy Club
Tickets and additional information are available here.
Bottom of the 9th. Bases are loaded. A stadium full of fans waits motionless, hot dogs in hand, as you step out of the very dugout where legends and their legends once stood. The weight of history on your shoulders and generations of Cubs fans at your back, you step to the plate…
Take in a part of Chicago history with a tour of the famous Wrigley Field. Step inside the visitors’ clubhouse where every great in baseball history has gotten suited up, see the Cubs clubhouse where your favorite players on today’s lineup get geared up to play, sit in the press box next to where legendary announcer Harry Caray sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” every 7th inning stretch for 16 years, and step from the Cubs dugout onto the field like you’re one of the greats yourself.
Informed tour guides lead you through the park with stories and anecdotes for every step you take. See the ivy-covered wall and learn how long it took to hang. Hear why “Quick Rick”, the scoreboard operator, is so impossibly quick. Find out for yourself what makes a baseball field the icon of a city.
Choose your tour at the Cubs’ website. Tickets sell out fast so don’t miss your chance!
Get ready for the first pitch of the season on the North Side on Thursday, April 5, as the Chicago Cubs take on the Washington Nationals at the Friendly Confines. Whether you’re looking to pre-game, post-game or just kick back a while watching outside the ballpark, here’s a roundup of local spots that bleed Cubbie blue.
The Cubby Bear: This venue, located right across the street from Wrigley Field, is a great spot to hang out or have a post-game party. Enjoy live music or watch the game on one of their five projection screen TVs or 75 plasma TVs throughout the bar. It’s ensured that you won’t miss any part of the action. And, hey, you’re just a long foul ball’s distance from the ballpark; so the atmosphere can’t be beat.
The Sports Corner: This tavern and grill has been a neighborhood favorite since opening 1976. Enjoy a nice draft and a burger fresh off of the grill while you take in 9-innings and welcome the spring/summer season!
Vines on Clark: For a more intimate spot to watch the game, head up to Vines on Clark. They have an outside patio and a spacious dining room dotted with flat screen TVs, this offers up a less pub-like game-watching experience.
Casey Moran’s: They guarantee no bad seat in the house – sounds like a reason to take in the game to me! Watch the game on their 30, 52-inch plasma TVs throughout the entire bar and even out on their garden café. Hungry? Casey Moran’s offers up juicy burgers, cold salads, and even sushi!
Rebel: If you’re feeling rebellious and want a great nightlife experience after the game, this is the place to be. Rebel Bar and Grill is a year-round destination that features daily food and drink specials, private party rooms, and excellent service! Head there after the game to loosen up and dance!
Benchmark: Located in Old Town, this chic tavern is Chicago’s “first convertible beer garden”, meaning that the highlight of this venue is its fully-retractable roof. There are 46 TVs, so you won’t miss any of Dempster’s pitches!
Kirkwood: This is a one-of-a-kind bar offering plenty of seating on their expansive patio (complete with TVs) and cozy, shady spots courtesy of their trees and umbrellas. If you’re with a group of friends, you’re in luck! Kirkwood has sharable drinks and dishes like fishbowls and skillet cookies!
Schoolyard Bar: Head to Lakeview for upscale bar food and catch the game inside or out in this cozy, small bar. Got the kids in tow? No worries! This is a family-friendly destination, so bring them along!
While it seems that other Major League teams are moving into a new stadium every few decades, the Chicago Cubs have been playing ball at Wrigley Field since 1916. Unlike the other sterile, brand new, state-of-the-art ballparks, Wrigley has an inordinate amount of charm and history.
And you can take it all in with a behind-the-scenes tour.
Wrigley Field Tours will be running through the end of October, virtually every day. Tours are held rain or shine, and whether or not the Cubs have a home game that day. On most September days, sessions mainly occur every hour from around 9 or 10 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m. October is a little different, as there will only be two or three tours per weekday, mostly in the afternoons. Weekends will still have hourly tours most days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The full schedule is available on Cubs.com.
For $25 (or less, if you attend with a group of 20 or more), you will get to see everything that makes Wrigley special. The 75-minute session lets fans see the Cubs clubhouse, visiting clubhouse, press box, bleachers, dugouts, on-deck circles and a part of the field. Wearing a Cubs jersey and reliving dreams of being Ryne Sandberg is optional.
The tours are a hit (no pun intended). Visitors love stepping on the field, and, as Samantha Morris, the Coordinator of Tour Experiences says, “being able to sit in the same dugout where Ernie Banks did, stepping in the same on-deck circle just like Aramis Ramirez and taking in Wrigley from the best vantage point around is usually a once in a lifetime experience.”
Ironically, the most unique part of the tour is going into the visitors’ clubhouse, where the likes of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers, Paul McCartney and Elton John have prepared for their baseball game, football game, or concert.
In fact, it’s not impossible for some real major leaguers to be present on game day. Tour groups may see broadcasters getting ready on game days, and you just may see players getting their cuts in the batting cage before the first pitch.
The tour involves a good deal of walking (1.5 miles) with parts of it outdoors, so dress accordingly. Cameras and video cameras are acceptable for personal use.
Guests are encouraged to buy their tickets in advance, and one can do that by ordering from Cubs.com, calling 800-THE-CUBS, or visiting the Wrigley Field Box Office at the ballpark.
Complementary parking is available for tour guests on non-game days in the purple lot on the southeast corner of Clark Street and Waveland Avenue. The best way to get to the park by public transportation is to take the Red Line to the Addison stop, or the Brown Line to the Southport stop and walk a few blocks northeast to the park.
Each week our Concierge Correspondents offer their top picks for things to do. This week, Landon Moore of the W City Center hotel, talks about his picks for things to do this week in Chicago.