If you've never experienced Chicago in the spring, you're in for a treat next month at HIMSS. An internet search of top places to visit will direct you to Navy Pier and the giant bean in Millennium Park—and they’re worth seeing, but you’ll be packed in with every other tourist.
If you have time to sightsee, why not visit a different side of the Windy City? Greythorn locals volunteered to share their favorite spots that out-of-towners rarely see. Read on to learn more about one of Al Capone’s hangouts, find live performances at iconic blues bars, and taste test restaurants only the locals know.
Top 5 Chicago Restaurants
: If you want real deal deep dish pizza, this is the spot. The trek to the north side is worth it—but they deliver if you’d rather eat in your hotel.
Café Ba Ba Reeba
: Better get a reservation—this place fills up quick, even on weeknights. According to Yelp reviewers, the line out the door can be blamed on an amazing sangria you’ll want to try.
: Have a taste for German food (or beer)? It’s always Oktoberfest at this landmark restaurant, which is consistently ranked as having some of the best sausage in town.
: Whether you’re in the mood to eat or learn, Mario Batali’s restaurant slash grocery store can dish it up. Group tours are available if your team wants a crash course in Italian cuisine, and fresh food is always available for order.
: Old Blue Eyes himself was a regular at this former speakeasy. Today, you can enjoy Sinatra’s seat with a plate full of ribs and a taste of old Chicago.
Top 5 Things to Do & See in Chicago
: If you like jazz and a great story, you’ll like Green Mill. It’s one of the oldest eateries in Chicago, and was a favorite with Al Capone and his cronies. Whenever the infamous gangster entered the building, the band leader cut the song they were playing and cued “Rhapsody in Blue.”
Howl at the Moon
: Hubbard Street’s piano bar is a fun place to go for a team on the town. If you and co-workers want to get a drink in River North, check out this spot.
Art Institute of Chicago
: Peak into homes from 13th century Europe or 1930s America—but don’t plan to walk in, since the museum’s collection is made up entirely of miniatures built to a 1 inch to 1 foot scale. The Art Institute has many other exhibits, but the Thorne Miniature Rooms is arguably one of the most fascinating.
: Feeling blue? If you’re a fan of B.B. King or Muddy Waters, you can hear their legacy live on in a new generation of performers any night of the week at this iconic blues bar.
Divvy Rental bikes
: Find a Divvy bike station near your hotel, and take it for a spin around the city. Bike the trail up the lake from downtown to see Navy Pier, Lincoln Park Zoo, and the conservatory. You can stop nearby to grab a quick snack to eat at the Belmont harbor, and then relax watching the sun set over the water.
Make time during your trip to Chicago to see at least one spot off this list—and the Greythorn team, of course, at booth #7739
. See you next month!
Special thanks to Erin Herda and Omkar Rane for sharing their favorite hometown eats, drinks, and must-do's.
Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mjbaird/105586527/
Comments: Photoshopped tilt shift effect on Chicago's skyline.