Start by grabbing coffee and an oreo cookie flapjack at The Bongo Room (
1152 S. Wabash Ave.
312 291 0100
Hail a cab (plenty wait outside the museums) or walk to the nearby pedestrian bridge at 18th Street to get to the
Prairie Avenue District
, where you can stroll the historic streets and maybe even catch the 3pm tour of the Glessner House
(see Prairie Avenue District). If you’ve still got the energy, walk one block west to the fascinating National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum.
Head over to Wabash
Avenue for an early supper at one of the trendy eateries on what is now a
burgeoning strip. Mayor Richard Daley has been known to frequent
for its stellar Italian fare (reservations are recommended). Ready for more? Then stay up late to hear the blues at
Buddy Guy’s Legends
Buddy Guy’s Legends
Run by bluesman Buddy Guy, this club is arguably the city’s best. To get a table, come early and dine on decent barbecue.
754 S. Wabash Ave.
Hothouse serves up a gumbo of music in art-filled digs. Acts range from
jazz to Afropop, with a smattering of poetry readings and performance
31 E. Balbo Dr.
to traditional and modern jazz in style on comfy couches and low-slung
seating in cranberry, chocolate, and sage. Stop by for live jazz on
1520 S. Wabash Ave.
The Velvet Lounge
the threadbare decor; The Velvet Lounge offers some of the city’s best
jazz including jam sessions with the bar’s owner, a saxman himself.
67 E. Cermak Rd.
A popular gathering place, NetWorks airs news and sports on an array of TVs.
2233 S. Martin Luther King Dr.
South Loop Club
This sports bar boasts a 70-inch TV screen, 10 different draft beers, and twice as many bottles, plus a full menu.
701 S. State St.
Bar Louie Taylor
of several popular Bar Louies in town, this Little Italy outpost plies
generous martinis (and great bar food) to a twenty-something crowd.
1321 W. Taylor St.
Beviamo Wine Bar
dark, intimate Little Italy hideaway is a great place to cozy as a
couple before or after dinner with one of 40 by-the-glass wines, or a
“sampling flight” of three wines.
1358 W. Taylor St.
Vernon Park Tap
known as Tu fano’s, this popular bar counts legions of local and
celebrity fans who pile in for house wine and generous, inexpensive
1073 W. Vernon Park Pl
Hawkeye’s Bar & Grill
this sports bar for beer-fueled camaraderie and a genuine slice of
Chicago fan zeal. A shuttle bus even delivers patrons to the United
Center and US Cellular Field.
1458 W. Taylor St.
Unless otherwise specified bars and clubs charge admission, are open nightly, and have DA.
Phoenix attracts dim sum diners from near and far. Go early on weekends or prepare for long waits.
2131 S. Archer Ave.
312 328 0848
Opera serves contemporized Chinese food in a former 1930s warehouse.
Don’t miss the five-spice squid and slow-braised pork.
1301 S. Wabash Ave.
312 461 0161
Rustic Italian food is the draw at this stylish restaurant and one-time speakeasy.
1312 S. Wabash Ave.
312 939 3870
Closed lunch Sat & Sun
Located in the Chinatown Square shopping mall, this simple eaterie serves authentic Chinese Szechuan cuisine.
2172 S. Archer Ave.
312 326 5040
A quaint French bistro in the heart of Little Italy charms fans with its sunny decor and fine classics like steak au poivre.
1119 W. Taylor St.
312 226 6479
Closed lunch Sat, Sun & Mon
top Little Italy lunch pick, Pompeii showcases a dozen varieties of
square, by-the-slice pizzas. Hot sandwiches and stuffed pastas round out
1531 W. Taylor St.
312 421 5179
Francesca’s on Taylor
Little Italy branch of Wrigleyville’s Mia Francesca offers generous
portions of refined Italian cuisine at reasonable prices.
1400 W. Taylor St.
312 829 2828
Its Italian cooking isn’t daring but Rosebud’s convivial vibe is hard to resist. Long waits for tables are common.
1500 W. Taylor St.
312 942 1117
Closed lunch Sun
The menu at this former fire station is best at its most basic, including burgers and sandwiches.
1401 S. Michigan Ave
312 786 1401
Chicago’s only Malaysian restaurant. Ask your server to recommend the best dishes on the menu.
2201 S. Wentworth Ave
312 326 6888