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Posted: 6/17/2021 11:18:52 PM EDT
I am heading to Chicago sometime this summer for an unknown amount of time.

I'll be staying somewhere around Butler Field/Grant Park.

What are some good places to eat at for someone never been to Chicago and may not again?
Places to visit?

I want to go to the Field Museum if I have time and hit a couple pizza places, the famous ones close by.

Tips for navigating that area of Chicago and having never been to that large of city best way to protect myself. Normally I'd CCDW but I know the laws in Chicago are brutal for the 2A.

Thanks
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 8:54:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2021 8:57:06 AM EDT by EdDinIL]
The two most popular food options in Chicago are Italian beef and deep dish pizza.  You can start arguments/fights/wars over which beef or pizza places are the best.  

For Italian beef, Portillo's, Buona Beef, and Al's Beef are some of the bigger names in the city.  

For deep dish pizza, there's Lou Malnati's, Giordano's, Gino's East, Uno's, Pequod's.  

Tourist attractions are everywhere... The Field Museum is definitely a good place to go.  The Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier, and Museum of Science and Industry are a few other places that immediately come to mind.  Grant Park and Millennium Park are popular places to walk around and relax, unless they're closed off for an event like Lollapalooza.  Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and 875 N. Michigan (formerly Hancock Center) offer skydeck views of the city.  Water Tower Place is a popular shopping destination.

Millennium Park has Cloud Gate, a.k.a. "The Bean".  It's a silvery sculpture that attracts tons of tourists looking for photo ops.  I'd call that a must-see.

From Navy Pier, you can take a boat ride out on Lake Michigan.  From the Chicago River, you can get a ride on the Chicago Architecture Boat Tour.  That's a relaxing, unique view of the city, and a good way to see the skyline from ground level.

If you know your schedule well enough in advance, maybe try to get tickets to a Cubs or Sox game, if baseball is your thing.  For a neutral tourist with safety concerns, Wrigley Field (Cubs) is in a safer neighborhood than Guaranteed Rate Field (Sox).

Navigating the city:  I assume you won't be in town with your own car.  The CTA offers train and bus service throughout the city, and it's usually very reliable.  Taxis are everywhere if you'd rather not deal with public transportation, and Uber is always an option, too.  You could also rent a Divvy bike to ride somewhere.  Walking around downtown is also feasible if you plan to stay within a few blocks of your hotel.

Safety: It's a big city.  There are bad areas, mostly west and south of downtown.  The main drags like Michigan Avenue are a lot safer, simply due to the number of people around, but you can assume there's always someone out looking for an easy target.  If you pay attention to your surroundings and don't look too much like a tourist, you should be fine.  As you noted, CCW won't be an option for you, so your wits are your best defense.

Link Posted: 6/18/2021 9:10:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2021 9:18:15 AM EDT by makintrax73]
The Art Institute has an arms and armor room that is darn near worth the price of admission alone if you are into that sort of thing.  https://www.artic.edu/collection?classification_ids=arms%20and%20armor&page=1

I still haven't gotten up there to see the German U-Boat at Science and Industry, but I need to.
https://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/exhibits/u-505-submarine/

Generally speaking if you are walking around stay North of Shedd Aquarium, and East of the River.  It would be pretty hard to walk someplace terribly dangerous during the day from Grant Park.  There will be shitloads of people/tourists everywhere most likely.

If you like baseball Wrigley Field is worth it just for the old timey feel of the neighborhood.  You can take the El train right down to Wrigleyville easy enough, just make sure you don't get on the wrong train and end up on the south side or whatever.
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 2:03:49 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By EdDinIL:
The two most popular food options in Chicago are Italian beef and deep dish pizza.  You can start arguments/fights/wars over which beef or pizza places are the best.  

For Italian beef, Portillo's, Buona Beef, and Al's Beef are some of the bigger names in the city.  

For deep dish pizza, there's Lou Malnati's, Giordano's, Gino's East, Uno's, Pequod's.  

View Quote



I would add Freddies in Bridgeport to the beef list and and Flo and Santos in the South Loop to the pizza list (I've never had deep dish there but they make an excellent Italian beef pizza)
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 2:05:20 PM EDT
Also-
Pancho's Pistolas is across the street from Freddies and they have good Mexican food
Link Posted: 6/18/2021 3:05:40 PM EDT
I would add a Chicago style hot dog or Maxwell Street polish to the food options at Portillos or wherever. The deep dish pizza is something to experience if you never have. Typically the wait is upwards of an hour unless you order ahead but I always liked the social part of waiting and drinking with friends at the table.
Link Posted: 6/19/2021 2:21:04 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By shadesofgrey:
I would add a Chicago style hot dog or Maxwell Street polish to the food options at Portillos or wherever. The deep dish pizza is something to experience if you never have. Typically the wait is upwards of an hour unless you order ahead but I always liked the social part of waiting and drinking with friends at the table.
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It takes them about 45 min to make the pizza if sit down then order. You can always reserve a seat and call ahead with the pizza order so it's ready when you sit down.
Link Posted: 6/19/2021 7:14:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2021 7:15:09 PM EDT by craig24680]
Thanks all for replies so far, as a portly gentleman I do love food.


Originally Posted By EdDinIL:
Click To View Spoiler
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More than likely I'll have my own car, or rental, and keep at hotel but I've been told driving around town can be a pain and parking is $$$ so I planned on Taxi/Uber if walking is too far.



Originally Posted By makintrax73:
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So many things to do in Chicago. I feel the Field Museum and German U-Boat are a must. The Art Institute is a very close second.
and the boat ride on the river seems to be unique way to experience the city.

Thanks again all!
Link Posted: 6/20/2021 9:04:57 PM EDT
If you like Burgers, try Kumas.   Like Asian, try Furama.
Link Posted: 6/21/2021 1:13:38 AM EDT
All of ^ is good.

Plan not to drive; between traffic, parking cost & time, and vandalism there is no compelling reason. I would argue that lack of CCW makes a strong case to fly/train to Chicago and taxi unless really difficult for you.

The area you mention isn't really a hotel area; methinks you are vague for persec? That's cool, but be aware that (generally speaking) in Chicago a couple blocks can mean the difference between couples in formal wear walking to the opera and getting jacked. Not intended to scare you; just be really aware.

For example, someone recently got shot one block off Magnificent Mile (like Rodeo Drive) - during the day 20 yrs ago I bought my wife one of her most expensive dresses on this same block. Perhaps this shooting was bangers who know each other? But I would have lost a bet that this spot was a shooting.
Link Posted: 6/23/2021 1:54:22 PM EDT
Appreciate all the responses.

Got word today that the reason for my trip was cancelled so at this time no Chicago trip for me.

Maybe sometime in the future.

Thanks all!
Link Posted: 6/23/2021 10:37:37 PM EDT
If you still want to try the food, there's always plan B... order it and have it shipped to you!

https://www.tastesofchicago.com/

Get your Lou Malnati's pizza, Portillo's Italian beef and Chicago style hot dogs, Eli's Cheesecake, and Garrett Popcorn!
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