With its immense diversity of culture, Chicago really has it all. Famous landmarks, events, and exhibits will fill every minute of your day exploring this city. As long-time Chicagoans, we bring to you our insider guide to the city. Check out our recommendations for the best restaurants, events, art venues/museums, and things to do with your friends, family or significant other on the South Side, West Side, and Chicago Loop neighborhoods. Enjoy!
On the south side of the city you will find the Auburn Gresham, Chatham, South Shore and more! These locations hold a variety of community parks and delicious restaurants. Check them out:
- Supreme Eatery Carry Out – A healthy eating alternative. We all have those foods we love but might not be the best option health wise. Supreme Eatery will provide you with foods you will enjoy that are better for you.
- 5 Loaves Eatery – This family owned restaurant caters for parties or company functions but also provides delicious home cooked meals. They’re mostly open for breakfast and lunch. Their breakfast sandwiches are to die for!
- Original Soul Vegetarian – This hot-spot offers one-of-a-kind culinary experience. They are experts at creating healthy and delicious food for vegans and health aficionados. We also got a chance to visit, read about it here: https://www.pangeare.com/blog/2017/11/03/original-soul-vegetarian/
- Mather’s-More Than a Café – A cafe that truly holds up to its name. While you’re enjoying your meal, there could be live entertainment, workshops, Latin dance classes, or fitness classes happening as well. So head over for a bite to eat and make a day out of it!
- Bud Billiken Parade – August 11, 2018
- Taste of Black Chicago – August 1, 2018
- South Shore Summer Fest – August 19, 2018
- African Festival of The Arts – August 31 – September 3, 2018
- Guaranteed Rate Field – home base for the MLB team Chicago White Sox.
- South Shore Cultural Center – this Chicago landmark presents a magnificent country club feel, has a formal dining room, theater, nature sanctuary and butterfly garden, nine-hole golf course, beach and a wonderful scenery for a picnic.
- Public beaches – Rainbow Beach Park (has the best view of Chicago skyline)
- Fun Fact: You can catch a glimpse of Barack Obama’s House in the Kenwood neighborhood. It has become a main attraction here in Chicago
- Thurgood Marshall Library – At this branch you will find artwork funded by the Percent for Art Ordinance. There are many workshops held here including story time!
- Dr. Martin Luther King Roller Skating and Bowling Center – This is a great spot if you’re looking for a family outing or somewhere to take your kids and their friends. They provide a great location for organizations and schools to hold events or parties.
- Auburn Park Lagoon – This park in the heart of the city offers a lagoon, waterfall, and benches to take in the wonderful oasis. Take the family here for a day in the park and enjoy a nice picnic.
- Bronzeville Children’s Museum – Each exhibit emphasizes an educational message. Hands-on play experience helps the children gain knowledge of what they learned instead of thinking it as play time.
The west side consists of historic, cultural, and ideological communities. Austin is a neighborhood on the west side which is currently the largest community area. Within the communities that make up the west side you will find a selection of restaurants, attractions, and family friendly activities to complete your Chicago itinerary.
- The menu at Maya Del Sol contains a variety of Latin American recipes combining bold, innovative flavors and fresh ingredients. The atmosphere is quaint with its twinkling lights, vibrant décor, and greenery surrounding the outdoor patio. If you choose to eat here the nachos are a “must try”!
- Turkey Chop not only serves fresh, delicious and healthy food, they also give 25% of their revenue to help end hunger with their sister organization, The Love Foundation.
- Life Restaurant is dedicated to making sure their food is made with natural ingredients, passion, creativity, and love. They have food options for the meat lovers and vegetarians.
- Honorable mentions: Inspiration Kitchens and MacArthurs are also must visits!
- 2nd Saturday Community Meal – August 11, 2018
- 7th Annual Chicago Westside Music Festival – August 18, 2018
- GlennArt Farm is located right in Austin and has been said to be one of the best ways to learn about farming in the city!
- Located on the West Side is one of Chicago’s historic attractions, the Hull House. The Hull House was a settlement house in 1889 founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. It now remains open as a museum.
- Garfield Park Conservatory – This organization wants to change lives through the power of nature. This non-profit organization provides educational programs and events.
- Wonder Works Children Museum – This non-profit corporation gives children the opportunity to learn while having fun.
- Columbus Park – A historic masterpiece that was created by landscape architect Jens Jensen. Visit the park to enjoy a variety of programs such as camps, sports, and senior events. In addition to all the wonderful programs, Columbus hosts multiple events throughout the year such as movies, concerts and theater productions. Perfect for a family outing!
Head to the heart of Chicago for a taste of the best restaurants, high-profiled musicals, and must-see attractions.
- Bellemore – “Bold, bright and beautiful” is how Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos describes his cooking. Sleek and fancy, a great spot to take your date or celebrate a big occasion.
- The Warbler - Cute and decadent, great spot to meet up with friends or family. In the mood for a flatbread? Warbler has a yummy selection to choose from.
- Veggie Grill- All their items on the menu are free of meat, dairy, eggs and other animal products. Their veggie filled dishes create bold delicious healthy flavors.
There are a number of events available that can be sorted by categories using Eventbrite’s Chicago events page.
- Chicago Air and Water Show – August 18 – 19, 2018
- Chicago Jazz Festival – August 30 – September 2, 2018
- Infamous Cloud Gate aka the Bean – Mirrored, bean-shaped sculpture which can be found as a centerpiece at AT&T Plaza, Millennium Park.
- Shedd Aquarium – Indoor aquarium known for their array of habitats and views.
- Field Museum of Natural History – World’s largest T-Rex can be found here. State-of-the-art museum with all the science and invention history you need.
- Kohl Children’s Museum
- Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier
- Chicago Shakespeare Theater
- Maggie Daley Park
What are some places that you like to visit in your neighborhood? Comment below!