Doing some PhD stuff at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois in July so gonna have a few days in Chicago, any reccies for DiS-centric stuff to do?

Just make sure you pronounce it correctly when you’re there. I found them really touchy about that.

There should be a heavy stress on the first syllable.

The river boat tours run by the Chicago Architectural Foundation are great. Book the twilight departure well in advance, and take a coat:

Head out to Oak Park and visit the newly restored Unity Temple, and then the Frank Lloyd Wright studio tour, followed by the neighbourhood walk. You’ll need to book these in advance, too:

If you’re really interested in FLW’s architecture, then you could also go an visit Robie House by the University, but it’s a bit of a pain to get to, and is in the process of being restored.

There are also various tours of the subterranean city dive bars/speakeasies as well.

The Art Institute is an obvious one, but for good reason. There’s loads of stuff to see there.


Pequods. it’s worth however long you have to wait in the bar next door for a table. simply the best pizza

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Remember to reference thin crust pizza at all times.


I was just in Chicago to see Nick Cave & Warren Ellis.

Jazz bar - decent food but $$$. You need to reserve a table.

A dive bar - Grab a can from the fridge and take it to the bar to pay for it type of place - cash only btw - no frills.

Relevant to my needs…an English pub for a good roast on a Sunday. The Red Lion Pub

A DiS friendly bookshop Picked up a signed copy of Warren Ellis’ Nina Simone’s Gum

Writers Museum

Big fan of the Art Institute of Chicago too

that should cover a few bases.


Great! Where did you stay if you don’t mind me asking?

21c Museum Hotel.

My first time at the one in Chicago. It’s not my favorite 21c. Felt a little cramped. No valet parking which was a nightmare for us driving into the city on a Saturday evening.

Good location though.

I lived there for five years.

I’d second what the people above have mentioned. I’d add that you can often get coupons or deals for the museums and galleries. I think you can bring a bag of cans on the architecture tour (you should probably check first). The art institute is unmissable in my opinion. Free museum days are open to Illinois residents only. Teachers often get in free, I rinsed that pretty hard :slight_smile:

Go see a cubs game! The owners are absolute dickheads, but it’s a genuinely unique experience. Grab a cheap ticket off Ticketmaster etc on the day. It’s like being in a giant pub.

My favourite places to hang out were Pilsen (phenomenal Mexican food, great bars) and Logan square/Avondale and down Milwaukee to wicker park (all on the blue line)

The blue line runs directly to o’hare. It’s about $5 from the airport to the city but only a standard fare ($3 ish) on the way back to o’hare. If it’s on the company tab I think a taxi will set you back about $40.

If by some awful luck you fly into midway (shudder) then try to get to five rabbits brewery. It’s a really interesting Mexican brewery with a food truck/stand.

Do312 website is the best place to find concerts/shows. Start planning now! Getting tickets can be tricky.

Chicago has lots of street fests/block parties. West Fest (empty bottle is a great dive venue, also has a great brunch spot next door) is the weekend of the 10th. Wicker Park fest is the 24th. It’s a great way to see bands for cheap and drink in the sun. Most if the bigger breweries have street parties too. There’s usually a $10 charge/optional cover.

Paulie Gee’s has great Sicilian pizza, I washed dishes there in gaps in the school year, mostly for fun. The owner and staff are all gbol. Cafe Mustache down the road is great for a coffee (or a hibiscus ice tea) and is a really fun bar/venue at night. Their karaoke on Sunday nights is amazing. Go there and get a handshake (old style and shot of malort)

I also worked as a bartender at Kanela breakfast club. The owner is a total piece of shit. Don’t go there!

It’ll be hot as fuck by July. Stay hydrated and stay somewhere with air con.

It’s 5am here and I couldn’t sleep. I can probably answer any specific questions you have. Have a great time!!!


These are all great picks!

My mum is a huge Jazz fan and we went to the green mill every time she visited. The performers berate people for talking to loud. It’s cash only, with decent cocktails. It was a gangster hang out back in the day.

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Oops. I have been there.


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No idea when or why, buy i have Sawada Coffee saved on my GoogleMaps.

Just saw Jeff Tweedy is doing a free concert in Millennium Park when I’m in town :heart_eyes:


Get there early! It’s a big field but capacity is limited usually

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Some words on my trip: my flight over on Tue 19 Jul was cancelled, and stupidly, instead of going to the airport and demanding to be put on the next flight, I called the airline up and my flight was rescheduled to Thu 21, so I didn’t get to spend any real time in the city before I had to go and stay by the lab about 20 miles away :sob:

BUT due to some problems at the lab, work was delayed until Monday so I got to spend a day in Shi-town after all! I went to the Art Institute, Exile In Bookville (really really good and yes, very DiS-centric haha) and caught a bit of Wicker Park festival too! Some phenomenal record shops round there.

Also went to a nice cafe / bar / deli place called Foxtrot. I think there are a couple of them, it was really cool, highly reccomended.


A catastrophic IT failure at the lab meant another day off and another day in Shi-town. Went the architecture centre (couldn’t afford the boat tour) which was alright although there wasn’t much to the exhibits, and went for Pizzeria Uno as my chosen deep dish outlet. It was fantastic, a life-changing pizza, although the booze was very expensive. Also went to Navy Pier, which was very chintzy, then tried to see the bean but was blocked by lots of temporary fencing because of Lollapalooza. Went to Rossi’s later on as well, excellent bar. A couple from Ohio called Chad and Krystal bought me a few Bud Lights. The highlight of the day was probably the Chicago Cultural Centre, a really beautiful ornate old building with nice lobbies where lots of folks were just sitting, students doing work, old folks reading their papers etc. The city is an expensive place so it was good to spend some time in a nice, relaxed space. Reminded me of the Bluecoat in Liverpool - would highly reccomend if you’re ever in town and need to kill some time.