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Guidebook for Chicago

Ivy & Chris

Guidebook for Chicago

Essentials
Just a block away for any forgotten items, or simple groceries.
Walgreens
3153 West Irving Park Road
Just a block away for any forgotten items, or simple groceries.
The nearest grocery is Cermak Market on Kedzie. It is a 6-7 minute walk. Walk two blocks north (behind the house) to Berteau, take a right on Berteau and walk about a block to Kedzie. It is right on the corner to your left. This place is good for produce, and has all of the basics. There is also a Lebanese bakery right across the street from it.
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Cermak Fresh Market
4234 North Kedzie Avenue
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The nearest grocery is Cermak Market on Kedzie. It is a 6-7 minute walk. Walk two blocks north (behind the house) to Berteau, take a right on Berteau and walk about a block to Kedzie. It is right on the corner to your left. This place is good for produce, and has all of the basics. There is also a Lebanese bakery right across the street from it.
Drinks & Nightlife
Typical sports bar with decent food. Good place to watch the game, and very walkable from the house.
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Leader Bar
3000 West Irving Park Road
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Typical sports bar with decent food. Good place to watch the game, and very walkable from the house.
LGBT friendly local spot with live small band music on the weekends. It almost feels suburban.
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Lizard's Liquid Lounge
3058 West Irving Park Road
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LGBT friendly local spot with live small band music on the weekends. It almost feels suburban.
Late night local spot with cheap drinks and karaoke. Open till 4 AM, 5 AM on Saturdays
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Alice's Lounge
3556 West Belmont Avenue
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Late night local spot with cheap drinks and karaoke. Open till 4 AM, 5 AM on Saturdays
Our favorite spot for dancing! Open till 4 AM, 5 AM on Saturdays. If you like alternative or new wave music, and just a touch of goth this is your spot! CASH ONLY, but there is an ATM
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Late Bar
3534 West Belmont Avenue
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Our favorite spot for dancing! Open till 4 AM, 5 AM on Saturdays. If you like alternative or new wave music, and just a touch of goth this is your spot! CASH ONLY, but there is an ATM
Late night local option. A tad seedy. Good beer selection, and great Jukebox. Open till 4 AM and 5 AM on Saturdays. Very walkable from the house straight down Kedzie about two blocks.
Christina's Place
3759 North Kedzie Avenue
Late night local option. A tad seedy. Good beer selection, and great Jukebox. Open till 4 AM and 5 AM on Saturdays. Very walkable from the house straight down Kedzie about two blocks.
Great beer.
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Revolution Brewing - Brewery & Taproom
3340 North Kedzie Avenue
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Great beer.
LGBT friendly bar with cheap drinks and karaoke on the weekends.
Spyners Pub
4623 N Western Ave
LGBT friendly bar with cheap drinks and karaoke on the weekends.
Dancing. This place is dark, clubbier, and funky. There is an eclectic crowd and the music varies from night to night. Kinda hard to find the entrance--it's around the side of the building off Milwaukee. In the heart of Logan Square. When it closes, you go down the street to The Owl, or Late Bar in Avondale. Both are open until 4 or 5.
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East Room
2354 North Milwaukee Avenue
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Dancing. This place is dark, clubbier, and funky. There is an eclectic crowd and the music varies from night to night. Kinda hard to find the entrance--it's around the side of the building off Milwaukee. In the heart of Logan Square. When it closes, you go down the street to The Owl, or Late Bar in Avondale. Both are open until 4 or 5.
Loungy inside. Kind of reminds me of the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland-just kinda. Good drink selection with DJ's. Sometimes they have live music in the back room. There is also a great 150 person patio for outdoor drinking. A good mix of hipsters and neighborhood folks.
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Sleeping Village
3734 W Belmont Ave
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Loungy inside. Kind of reminds me of the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland-just kinda. Good drink selection with DJ's. Sometimes they have live music in the back room. There is also a great 150 person patio for outdoor drinking. A good mix of hipsters and neighborhood folks.
If you are into bar crawling with hipstery types, than this is a neighborhood you want to visit. Take an uber to circle in the middle of the neighborhood, and you can hop your way back north. To it's credit, there are also some great restaurants along the way, and don't miss Revolution Brewing.
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Logan Square
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If you are into bar crawling with hipstery types, than this is a neighborhood you want to visit. Take an uber to circle in the middle of the neighborhood, and you can hop your way back north. To it's credit, there are also some great restaurants along the way, and don't miss Revolution Brewing.
This is an iconic punk rock bar. Good Whiskey and beer selection.
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Delilah's Chicago
2771 N Lincoln Ave
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This is an iconic punk rock bar. Good Whiskey and beer selection.
Mostly younger LGBT crowd. Roscoe's has free burgers and $1 Miller Lite drafts on Sundays, but it's packed! Wangs has a nice patio, and Scarlet is good for dancing. If you are a mixed crowd (straight and gay guys) try the Northend. It's still a gay bar, but more sports bar too.
BOYSTOWN
3629 N Halsted St
Mostly younger LGBT crowd. Roscoe's has free burgers and $1 Miller Lite drafts on Sundays, but it's packed! Wangs has a nice patio, and Scarlet is good for dancing. If you are a mixed crowd (straight and gay guys) try the Northend. It's still a gay bar, but more sports bar too.
LGBT friendly neighborhood with lots of antique stores, and restaurants. This neighborhood is great for brunch (love M Henry), and then window shopping. Family friendly during the day as well. For Saturday night, try Atmosphere for go go boys and cheap drinks, Mary's Attic for drag and other shenanigans, Hopleaf for some food (mussels!) and a good beer, or Simon's for the local spot.
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Andersonville
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LGBT friendly neighborhood with lots of antique stores, and restaurants. This neighborhood is great for brunch (love M Henry), and then window shopping. Family friendly during the day as well. For Saturday night, try Atmosphere for go go boys and cheap drinks, Mary's Attic for drag and other shenanigans, Hopleaf for some food (mussels!) and a good beer, or Simon's for the local spot.
Awesome somewhat "hidden in plain sight" local tiki bar. The drinks are pricey, but strong and well made (two will do you!).
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Lost Lake
3154 West Diversey Avenue
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Awesome somewhat "hidden in plain sight" local tiki bar. The drinks are pricey, but strong and well made (two will do you!).
Parks & Nature
Great for biking, tennis, basketball, or a picnic
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Horner Park
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Great for biking, tennis, basketball, or a picnic
It's the closest beach, and it's nice. Walk 3 blocks north on Spaulding to the Montrose bus. It will take you straight down.
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Montrose Beach
4400 North Lake Shore Drive
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It's the closest beach, and it's nice. Walk 3 blocks north on Spaulding to the Montrose bus. It will take you straight down.
If you have a child, this is the best park for a playground. Lots of kids in the neighborhood, nice playground, and a safe area. There is also some green space for a picnic, or running around. There are usually softball games to watch.
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Welles Park
2333 West Sunnyside Avenue
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If you have a child, this is the best park for a playground. Lots of kids in the neighborhood, nice playground, and a safe area. There is also some green space for a picnic, or running around. There are usually softball games to watch.
If you're hot and you know it.
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North Avenue Beach
1600 North Lake Shore Drive
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If you're hot and you know it.
LGBT friendly beach aka "boys in Speedos looking for love"
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Kathy Osterman Beach
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LGBT friendly beach aka "boys in Speedos looking for love"
Food Scene
It's open for breakfast and lunch and super close. If you want quick and easy it will get the job done, but it isn't amazing. Alps is better for breakfast.
Golden Nugget Pancake House
3234 West Irving Park Road
It's open for breakfast and lunch and super close. If you want quick and easy it will get the job done, but it isn't amazing. Alps is better for breakfast.
If you love big, Mexican breakfasts, this is the spot!
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Cafe Con Leche
2714 N Milwaukee Ave
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If you love big, Mexican breakfasts, this is the spot!
They have decent BBQ and a good whiskey selection, and it's easily walkable from the house.
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Pitchfork Food & Saloon
2922 West Irving Park Road
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They have decent BBQ and a good whiskey selection, and it's easily walkable from the house.
Your inner foodie will love it. From chicken & waffles to bone marrow, this place does not disappoint. Long waits sometimes, grab a drink at the bar around the back of the building. Just a tad pricey, but worth it! Two people can dine with a drink each for $100.
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Longman & Eagle
2657 North Kedzie Avenue
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Your inner foodie will love it. From chicken & waffles to bone marrow, this place does not disappoint. Long waits sometimes, grab a drink at the bar around the back of the building. Just a tad pricey, but worth it! Two people can dine with a drink each for $100.
FRIED CHICKEN. Just do yourself a flavor and go. You won't regret it.
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Honey Butter Fried Chicken
3361 North Elston Avenue
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FRIED CHICKEN. Just do yourself a flavor and go. You won't regret it.
Mom and pop Mexican joint. My favorite steak burrito in the city. Bourdain knows about it!
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Taqueria El Asadero- Chicago
2213 West Montrose Avenue
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Mom and pop Mexican joint. My favorite steak burrito in the city. Bourdain knows about it!
Stephanie Izard's restaurant (top chef). Try something new (like duck tongues). This place serves up small, shareable plates, so take a friend or two. You can never get a reservation, but they do take walk ins. Not as pricey as you would think. Two or three can dine for around $100-$150 depending on if you have drinks.
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Girl & The Goat
809 West Randolph Street
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Stephanie Izard's restaurant (top chef). Try something new (like duck tongues). This place serves up small, shareable plates, so take a friend or two. You can never get a reservation, but they do take walk ins. Not as pricey as you would think. Two or three can dine for around $100-$150 depending on if you have drinks.
This is a great place to have awesome tacos, and a Lonestar beer in the middle of the "see and be seen" neighborhood of Wicker Park. Think "hipster taco joint"
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Big Star
1531 North Damen Avenue
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This is a great place to have awesome tacos, and a Lonestar beer in the middle of the "see and be seen" neighborhood of Wicker Park. Think "hipster taco joint"
They have great food, and a great outdoor space. Go here for a picnic that someone else makes and serves. You HAVE to get the Negroni Slushy.
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Parson's Chicken & Fish - Logan Square
2952 West Armitage Avenue
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They have great food, and a great outdoor space. Go here for a picnic that someone else makes and serves. You HAVE to get the Negroni Slushy.
They are serving up great Japanese fare. A tad pricey. Very walkable from the house.
Raisu Japanese Fine Dining
2958 W Irving Park Rd
They are serving up great Japanese fare. A tad pricey. Very walkable from the house.
Great local spot. Great food that is moderately priced, and very close to the house. Monday is half-price burger night!
HQ Howard Quintero
4114 N Kedzie Ave
Great local spot. Great food that is moderately priced, and very close to the house. Monday is half-price burger night!
Wood Fired Pizzas (not Chicago style), and other American fare. Moderately priced, and walkable from the house.
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Hearth And Crust
3608 Irving Park Rd
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Wood Fired Pizzas (not Chicago style), and other American fare. Moderately priced, and walkable from the house.
The doughnuts are great. However, go very early and expect to wait.
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Doughnut Vault
401 North Franklin Street
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The doughnuts are great. However, go very early and expect to wait.
This is the best breakfast place close to us. Great food, good selection and huge portions. It's also very clean and the servers are good.
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Original Alps Pancake House
3637 West Irving Park Road
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This is the best breakfast place close to us. Great food, good selection and huge portions. It's also very clean and the servers are good.
Not Chicago deep-dish, but in my opinion, the best pizza in town. The thing is here is the caramelized crust.
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Pequod's Pizza
2207 North Clybourn Avenue
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Not Chicago deep-dish, but in my opinion, the best pizza in town. The thing is here is the caramelized crust.
Once voted by GQ as the best burger in America. If you love burgers, beer and heavy metal, you gotta go! They are serving up massive burgers named after metal bands like "The Slayer". I took Tom Araya's niece here and she said uncle Tom would approve! They also serve up a few vegetarian options.
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Kuma's Corner
2900 West Belmont Avenue
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Once voted by GQ as the best burger in America. If you love burgers, beer and heavy metal, you gotta go! They are serving up massive burgers named after metal bands like "The Slayer". I took Tom Araya's niece here and she said uncle Tom would approve! They also serve up a few vegetarian options.
If you are traveling from Korea, or just like Korean food and cool stuff, this market has a lot. From seafood to packaged Asian goods. Also, you HAVE to get dumplings from the stand out front. They are the size of your fist and cost $2.50. The spicy pork kimchi is my favorite!
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Joong Boo Market
3333 North Kimball Avenue
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If you are traveling from Korea, or just like Korean food and cool stuff, this market has a lot. From seafood to packaged Asian goods. Also, you HAVE to get dumplings from the stand out front. They are the size of your fist and cost $2.50. The spicy pork kimchi is my favorite!
Entertainment & Activities
CUBS BABY!! Walk 1/2 a block south on Spaulding and take the Irving Park bus to the Sheridan stop on Sheffield. The stadium is 2 blocks south.
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Wrigley Field
1060 West Addison Street
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CUBS BABY!! Walk 1/2 a block south on Spaulding and take the Irving Park bus to the Sheridan stop on Sheffield. The stadium is 2 blocks south.
Comedy Club. I know everyone wants to visit the Second City when in Chicago, but this is one of our favorite date nights. The comedians are great, and the tickets and drinks are priced decently.
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Laugh Factory
3175 North Broadway
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Comedy Club. I know everyone wants to visit the Second City when in Chicago, but this is one of our favorite date nights. The comedians are great, and the tickets and drinks are priced decently.
Cheap, and they have food and booze.
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The Logan Theatre
2646 North Milwaukee Avenue
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Cheap, and they have food and booze.
Cheap, family friendly. They have food and booze.
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Davis Theater, Chicago
4614 North Lincoln Avenue
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Cheap, family friendly. They have food and booze.
Everything Else
This is an old German neighborhood, but now is super gentrified. However, it still has some of it's charm. I lived in this neighborhood for around 9 years. Just walk two blocks north of our house to the Montrose bus. Get off at Lincoln Ave and walk north to Lawrence. Along the way, there are lots of little shops with trinkets, antiques, souvenirs and clothes. There are also lots of great restaurants & bars (with patios), froyo, a movie theater, European grocery, park to watch softball, and a library. Stop and see Mike at the Huettenbar-tell him Ivy sent you!
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Lincoln Square
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This is an old German neighborhood, but now is super gentrified. However, it still has some of it's charm. I lived in this neighborhood for around 9 years. Just walk two blocks north of our house to the Montrose bus. Get off at Lincoln Ave and walk north to Lawrence. Along the way, there are lots of little shops with trinkets, antiques, souvenirs and clothes. There are also lots of great restaurants & bars (with patios), froyo, a movie theater, European grocery, park to watch softball, and a library. Stop and see Mike at the Huettenbar-tell him Ivy sent you!
This is a European grocery in the heart of Lincoln Square. Take the elevator up to the roof, where you can enjoy a fresh sausage with kraut and a German beer on tap while taking in some sunshine and mixing with the locals. They close early though, so get there before 7.
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Gene's Sausage Shop and Delicatessen
4750 North Lincoln Avenue
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This is a European grocery in the heart of Lincoln Square. Take the elevator up to the roof, where you can enjoy a fresh sausage with kraut and a German beer on tap while taking in some sunshine and mixing with the locals. They close early though, so get there before 7.
Sightseeing
The Bean and the Fountain
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Millennium Park
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The Bean and the Fountain
Because everyone does!
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Cloud Gate
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Because everyone does!