Chicago, North America

Check In: Chicago City Travel Guide

Chicago City Travel Guide

Back in October, I decided to make an impromptu 4-day trip down to Chicago aka the Windy City. It’s been 10 years since I’ve been so I decided to visit most of the tourist attractions. This Chicago city guide is to help for those who’ve never been and are thinking about making a trip.

The weekend I was in Chicago was the same weekend they held Open House Chicago. It is the same as Doors Open Toronto where you get to visit buildings which are normally closed to the public. The event is held by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and will happen again this year on October 14-15, 2017.

Check In: Chicago City Travel Guide

To Eat

  • Girl and the Goat or Little Goat – I didn’t have much time to go to the sister restaurants but I managed to run across the city to catch my last lunch at the Little Goat Diner. I was so glad I made it out there. Little Goat serves up a variety of foods. I don’t think you can make the wrong choice with any of the items on the menu. When in doubt, just ask your server for a little help.
  • Publican – When we walked into the Publican we felt like we were thrown into the set of Game of Thrones. Publican serves up a hearty meal with meat at its centre.
  • The Purple Pig – A must for any visit to Chicago. The restaurant is great for sharing with their wide range of small plate items. You can’t make reservations so make sure to call ahead to get an idea of the wait time and have a plan for what to do in between.
  • Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba – Recommended by my co-worker, she told me she loved it and that I had to go. Boy was she right, I loved it as well. Specializing in tapa styled food, Café Ba-Ba-Reeba is great for groups of friends to share. If you’re a drinker, try one of their sangrias! I fell in love with the mango sangria!
  • Revolution – If you ever seen the movie Drinking Buddies and loved it, this will definitely be one of your stops as it’s where it was filmed. Make sure to go for a brewery tour and finish with a flight of beer.

Check In: Chicago City Travel Guide


  • Bow Truss Coffee Roasters & Intelligentsia Coffee – You will be able to find both chains all around the city brewing up delicious cups of coffee.
  • Revival Food Hall – There’s more than just coffee here. The Revival Food Hall is a food court with a variety of options. It just so happens, one of my favourite coffee stops is located within. Near the entrance you will find the Revival Café-Bar. My favourite was their Nitro Draft Cold Brew. There’s just something about that foam on top that I just can’t get enough of


  • Café Integral – I accidentally stumbled upon this breakfast joint on my last morning as I headed into the city. It’s connected to Freehand Chicago and has a simple no-fuss menu.
  • Wildberry – No matter when you go there will be a line but it’s definitely worth the wait. The pancakes here are simply delicious. Make sure you come on an empty stomach or else you won’t be able to eat it all.
  • Yolk – I didn’t get a chance to stop by but Yolk is a growing chain which serves all your traditional and specializes in you guessed it, eggs.

To Do

  • River Cruise
  • Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Art Institute of Chicago

Check In: Chicago City Travel Guide

  • Museum Campus
  • Skydeck

Check In: Chicago City Travel Guide

  • Millenium Park

Chicago City Travel Guide

  • Tribune Tower/Wrigley Building
  • Bucktown/Wicker Park/Old Town
  • Magnificent Mile

Getting Around

Chicago is not the safest city to go to but don’t let that turn you away from visiting! Just remember to take the necessary precautions and stay away from areas known to have incidents.

  • Subway & buses – public transportation is easily accessible and very convenient for all the tourist locations
  • Divvy Bikes – Similar to Bixi bikes in Toronto, you are able to rent bikes by the half hour, there are many stations around the city making it easy to travel with

Chicago City Travel Guide

That concludes our list of what to eat and what to do in our Chicago city travel guide! See something that should be on the list? Visited one of these places and want to write about it? Have some more questions? Leave us a comment below!

Stone & Fern is a travel and lifestyle blog started by friends who have a passion for exploring cities, capturing moments, and trying new food. This is part of our Checking In city guides series. To see more of North America, click here.

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