Chicago Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Chicago Trip Guide

Soaring observation decks and winding park trails show the Midwest’s biggest city in a whole new light.


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  • 1
    Willis Tower.
  • 2
    Seadog's Lake and River Architecture Tour.
  • 3
    Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.
  • 4
    Lincoln Park Zoo carousel.
  • 5
    Lakeshore trails.
  • 6
    Adler Planetarium. Photo Courtesy of Adler Planetarium.
  • 7
    The Field Museum.
  • 8
    Wrigley Field.
  • 9
    Atwood Cafe. Photo Courtesy of Atwood Cafe.

Where to eat

Atwood Cafe Try a global spin on American classics, like pan-fried sweetbreads. See reviews and ratings. (312) 368-1900;

Blackbird A tiny fine-dining restaurant in the West Loop serves inventive seasonal entrees, like leg of lamb with mushrooms, grapes, onion jam and burnt cinnamon. See reviews and ratings. (312) 715-0708;

The Bongo Room The funky Wicker Park cafe is known for great breakfast dishes, fist-thick breakfast burritos and seasonal flapjacks. See reviews and ratings. (773) 489-0690;

Buddy Guy’s Legends You’ll find more than great soul food and live music at the new South Wabash location. It’s especially fun to visit during Chicago’s Blues Festival in summer and when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist and owner plays 16 shows of his own in Janurary. See reviews and ratings.  (312) 427-1190;

David Burke’s Primehouse All steaks are fantastic—from 20-ounce sirloins to lighter flank cuts—at the steak house at The James Chicago in River North. Try fill-your-own doughnuts for dessert. See reviews and ratings. (312) 660-6000;

Eleven City Diner Old-school jazz washes over patrons at a South Loop destination known for its breakfasts. A Lincoln Park location opens in April 2013. See reviews and ratings. (312) 212-1112;

Frontera Grill Celeb chef Rick Bayless owns the 2007 James Beard Award-winning restaurant specializing in seasonal Mexican flavors in River North. (312) 661-1434;

The Gage Enjoy upscale pub food and top-notch whiskey and beer close to Millennium Park. Camembert cheese and melted onion marmalade top the Gage burger. See reviews and ratings. (312) 372-4243;

Lockwood Restaurant and Bar Located just off the Palmer House Hilton’s lobby, Lockwood is known for freshness. Pork belly, wild black bass and farm-raised venison are all possibilities on the dinner menu, which changes frequently. Reservations recommended. See reviews and ratings.  (312) 917-3404;

Mercat a la Planxa Spanish tapas star on the seasonal menu in the fine-dining restaurant adjacent to the historic Blackstone Hotel in the South Loop. See reviews and ratings. (312) 765-0524;

North Pond Farm-to-table philosophy fuels the Lincoln Park spot with pretty Chicago skyline views. See reviews and ratings. (773) 477-5845;

Pizzeria Uno Eating deep-dish gooeyness in the little River North spot where the chain started makes the pie taste even better.  (312) 321-1000;

Sepia A former printing house in the West Loop serves rustic food with a contemporary twist, plus throwback cocktails such as the Sepia Mule, with ginger-infused vodka, fresh lime juice and ginger beer. (312) 441-1920;

Table Fifty-Two Chef Art Smith of Top Chef Masters fame serves Southern-influenced entrees in an elegant Gold Coast dining room. Meals start with goat cheese biscuits. (312) 573-4000;

Topolobampo A sleek Mexican restaurant owned by chef Rick Bayless connects to his Frontera Grill in River North and serves organic and heirloom produce. (312) 661-1434;


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