30 Attractions In Chicago Beyond The Typical 'Best Of' Lists
The New York Times travel section raised the ire of many Chicagoans when its recent '36 Hours In Chicago' guide ignored the entire South Side of the city and everything west of Damen.
The furthest attraction to the South highlighted by the Times was the Art Institute of Chicago at 111 S. Michigan Avenue.
In a Twitter post, a travel editor from the paper defended the approach.
Just pointing out that we do different takes on the city from time to time. 2014 version went to Bridgeport, the Near South Side and other neighborhoods, too. https://t.co/ZxAPNvj6z3— Amy Virshup (@amyvirshup) October 30, 2018
But over all four editions of "36 Hours In Chicago" since 2010, the Times suggested readers visit dozens of North Side and downtown attractions, but only a handful of South Side spots, most of them in neighborhoods like Hyde Park and Bridgeport.
Here at the Morning Shift, we believe that ain’t right.
We checked in with three Chicagoans in the know about what to see, do and eat across the ENTIRE city. We also took suggestions from listeners.
Here’s our list, which was compiled from what our guests and listeners said on the air and shared via text and social media. It’s not comprehensive, but it will certainly provide some new options for tourists and locals alike.
Chicago has 77 community areas and many more neighborhoods within them. For our list, we hit about 30 neighborhoods that “best-of” lists typically shun.
Archer Heights: Kazmierzanka Lounge, 4785 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60632 ― Polish fare, darts and a bar known as “Mama’s House”
Ashburn: D&D’s Place, 8324 S Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60652 ― Donut Fest Chicago 2018 winner
Back of the Yards: Plant Chicago, 1400 W 46th St, Chicago, IL 60609 ― Non-profit focused on cultivating “circular economies” with an indoor aquaponics farm, net zero classroom and more
Beverly: Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W 111th St, Chicago, IL 60655 ― Dance, visual arts, music, film and theater in a 40,000 square-foot space
Bridgeport: Marz Community Tap Room And Kitchen, 3630 S Iron St, Chicago, IL 60609 ― Cloudy IPAs, other artisanal brews and a great tagline: “What’s Marz Is Yours”
Brighton Park: Crawford Steel Company Mural, 3141 W 36th Place, Chicago, IL 60632 ― Graffiti and street art from around the world brightens an industrial building
Bronzeville: Peaches Restaurant, 4652 S King Drive, Chicago, IL 60653 ― Pancakes galore, biscuits and gravy, duck bacon and other creative Southern brunch options
Canaryville: Union Stockyard Gate, 850 W Exchange Ave, Chicago, IL 60609 ― Iconic reminder of Chicago’s history as “Hogbutcher for the World”
Chatham: Essential Elements Chicago, 1640 E 87th St, Chicago, IL 60617 ― Women’s designer clothing, hip jewelry and a shoetique
Chicago Lawn: Mind+Hand, 5400 S Pulaski Rd 2nd floor, Chicago, IL 60632 ― Maker space, career-training facility and ed-tech company
East Garfield Park: Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624 ― One of the largest botanical conservatories in the nation
Englewood: Kusanya Cafe, 825 W 69th St, Chicago, IL 60621 ― Non-profit coffee shop and roastery, community events hub
Galewood: Mars Candy Factory, 2019 N Oak Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60707 ― Ever eat a bite-sized Snickers? This is where it was made.
Greater Grand Crossing: Brown Sugar Bakery, 328 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619 ― Cobblers, cookies, sweet potato pie, the signature Caramel Cake and a whole lot more
Humboldt Park: The 606 California Access Point, 2800 W Bloomingdale Ave, Chicago, IL, 60647 ― Any access point to this elevated trail is nice. Entering at California gives you access to the Western half of the trail, which tends to be less busy but just as beautiful.
Hyde Park: Promontory Point, 5491 S Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60615 ― One of our guests says the Point offers the best view of the Chicago skyline hands-down.
Irving Park: WMS Boathouse at Clark Park, 3400 N Rockwell St, Chicago, IL 60618 ― Public access point to the Chicago River for kayaks, boats, et cetera
Jefferson Park: Ed Paschke Art Center, 5415 W Higgins Ave, Chicago, IL 60630 ― Drawings, painting, prints and more by Chicago artist Ed Paschke in a beautiful space
Little Village: Dulcelandia, 3253 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60623 ― Pinatas, bulk candy, and many other colorful treats
Montclare: Radio Flyer, 6515 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60707 ― More than 100 years after it was founded by an Italian immigrant to Chicago, this homegrown business is still family-owned and still flying.
Near West Side: The Water Hole, 1400 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60608 ― Live music three night a week from local and national acts
North Lawndale: Martin Luther King Fair Housing Museum, 1550 S Hamlin Ave, Chicago, IL 60623 ― Explore the history of Martin Luther King Jr.'s time in Chicago
Pilsen: National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608 ― Showcase of Mexican art and culture featuring 5,000 works
Pullman: Pullman State Historic Site, 11111 S Forrestville Avenue, Chicago, IL 60628 ― Notable architecture in the old factory town turned Chicago neighborhood
Roseland: Old Fashioned Donuts, 11248 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60628 ― Some of the best donuts in town served up for more than 45 years
South Deering: Big Marsh Park, 11559 S Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60633 ― Eco-recreation, biking and more on Chicago’s far South Side
South Shore: Surf’s Up South Shore, 2236 E 71st St, Chicago, IL 60649 ― Hennessy wings, fried perch, lobster and other seafood delights
Uptown: The Green Mill, 4802 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640 ― North Side club for traditional, bebop, contemporary and improvisational jazz
Washington Park: Currency Exchange Cafe, 305 E Garfield Blvd, Chicago, IL 60637 ― Hot spot for American/Mexican/Filipino food that’s being re-concepted this fall
If you have a suggestion for something to see, do or eat that's off the beaten track in Chicago, tweet us at @WBEZMorning or leave the show's producers a voicemail at 855-848-5551.