Ever wish you had an active local’s opinion on how best to enjoy your own city? We have too, so here are some answers
How long you’ve lived here: I’ve lived in Wicker Park for going on six years now, but back and forth from Northwest Indiana to Chicago’s South side my whole life.
What you like best about Chicago: Its diversity and public transportation. Everyone brags of all you can do in one day in California, but in Chicago I can travel the world’s best flavors in one day without stepping foot into a car! From River North to Chinatown, Greektown to Pilsen, and Lincoln Park to Hyde Park, there’s always an EL to catch!
Best meal you’ve had recently: Everything from the Purple Pig! The pig’s ear with crispy kale, pickled cherry peppers and a fried egg is decadent, and I can throw down at least six of the chicken thigh kebabs, but sitting back with a glass of vino and popping chorizo-stuffed olives is pure heaven!
Favorite big-name restaurant: Frontera Grill. My favorite cuisine is authentic Mexican food, and I’ve grown up watching Rick Bayless on WTTW with my dad since I was a teenager. I even make his salsas at home from his recipes on his website. From the unique mole sauces to the freshest ceviche, Rick Bayless never disappoints.
Favorite hidden gem restaurant: The patio at Cafe Ba-Ba Reeba! Tapas, paella and the best sangria make for the best summer day.
Best sports bar to catch the big game: The Anthem. Beer, Velveeta-stuffed burgers and watching the Bulls on a 190-inch projection screen. Priceless.
A great night out with friends usually includes… drinking margaritas on Big Star’s patio, dinner at Sunda, and dancing the night away at The Underground.
Favorite store or shopping area: Grandstand in Bridgeport. It’s the target for sports fans!
The best way to spend a summer Saturday in the city: Pack at least three coolers with the tailgating necessities and head to Comiskey Park (yes, you can still call it that) to watch the White Sox. Don’t forget a breaded steak sandwich from Ricobenes on your way home.
One thing every visitor or new Chicagoan must do: Take an architectural boat cruise.
Secret Chicago spot: Skyway Hot Dogs on 95th and Ewing on Chicago’s South side. No foie gras, or duck-fat fries. Just true Chicago-style hot dogs. I can honestly say I haven’t had a better Chicago hot dog yet.
Underrated activity in the city: Segway tours. I think they’re one of the best ways to see Chicago, and I’m surprised at the amount of my friends that haven’t had the experience. I recommend Absolutely Segways. Their tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable of Chicago and super fun! Arguably the best tour in the city!