Chicago’s a big city with lots to offer, if you want to find out what’s beyond the ‘Bean’, stick with director of digital strategy at Leo Burnett, Chris Bridgland’s inside scoop on the best hotdogs, cheap places to drink and watch sport, and where to escape to nature in the Midwest.
Franks ’n’ Dawgs – Although there are amazing restaurants popping up on every block, you can’t go wrong with the cheap and cheerful filling in a bun. Street food at its best.
Cochon Volant – This French eatery offers a unique take on the classic American cheeseburger: Les Cheeseburger Royale. It’s a must-try.
Smart Bar – The best DJs from around the world play here, and resident Derrick Carter – the king of Chicago house – plays a not-to-be missed disco set called Derrick Does Disco.
The Boarding House – Indulge in appetisers and drink the night away with one of the most age-diverse crowds in the city. The menu is outdone only by the modern decor, which features a massive chandelier of wine glasses.
Inside Chicago - Grand Tour and Pizza – Visit Millennium Park, Museum Campus, Shedd Aquarium and more. Break it up with a stop at one of the best pizza places in town.
The Signature Room – Check out The Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center. Here you dine alongside breathtaking 360-degree views of the city skyline.
Starved Rock State Park – The midwest is surrounded by nature, and just a 90-minute drive west it’s all wildlife, waterfalls, caves, fishing, horseriding and lots more. A wonderful break from the chaos of the city.
Lincoln Park Zoo – Take a walk on the wild side in the heart of the city. Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the last free zoos in America and the perfect spot to spend a balmy summer day.
Insider info #1 – If you’re into all-day drinking, head to a Cubs baseball game. Tickets are cheap, the beer is flowing and the fun is neverending.
Insider info #2 – Spend an afternoon trackside watching the horses race at Arlington Park. Whether you fancy a wager or simply want to be entertained, this place is incredible.