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Things to do in Chicago

Here’s your key to the city. A definitive guide of the best local spots, as told by local Airbnb hosts



Best of the best

474 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Situated in the middle of the restaurants, bars and homes of Wrigleyville is legendary Wrigley Field, the second-oldest Major League Baseball stadium in the country. It's a mecca for baseball lover... read more

Home of the World Champion Chicago Cubs baseball team. On non game days they do conduct tours of this historic ball park. A lot of bars and restaurants located in this area. Quite a scene on game ... read more

Home of the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Champions! Experience a historic original baseball stadium built in 1914. You'll gain an understanding of the uniqueness and loyalty of Cub fans and our... read more

404 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Enjoy free admission to our amazing local museums on these dates: Adler Planetarium September 12-16 October 10 (Columbus Day) November 11 (Veterans Day) December 3-9 Museum of Science and Industr... read more

Named the top museum in the world by Trip Advisor! They have a great app which allows you to choose your own tour based on your interests. Yes, you an even choose a Ferris Bueller tour. This mus... read more

This is hands down my favorite museum in Chicago. Spend an hour or a whole day here. Between the soaring ceilings of the Modern Wing to the tiny intricacies of the Thorne Miniature Rooms, you'll ge... read more

#3

Big Star

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 1531 North Damen Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

319 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Dining: Big Star (1531 N Damen) - Very popular spot, definitely a wait if weather is nice however worth the people watching. Mexica street food, plus margaritas fuel this lively scene at this funk... read more

Mexican street food, good margaritas & other drinks fuel a lively scene at this cash-only hangout. Fantastic outdoor patio that is Ideal in the Sun. They have one of the best Al Pastor and Steak T... read more

Fantastic gourmet tacos and margaritas. Lines in the summer can leave people waiting 2 hours for a taco and margarita fix, but the wait is always worth it. The have one of the best outdoor patios i... read more

#4

Longman and Eagle

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 2657 North Kedzie Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

204 local Airbnb hosts recommend

While this is a whiskey bar, it is also one of the finest restaurants in the area. When Michelin came to rate Chicago, it was the first restaurant in Logan Square to be awarded a Michelin star--now... read more

Longman and Eagle is an awesome boutique hotel, food and bar in the heart of Logan Square. Known for its impeccable style, you will feel like one of the cool kids here. Outstanding cocktails and ... read more

Michelin starred since 2010. One of the best bourbon lists in Chicago or anywhere else. Excellent farm-to-fork cuisene. Brunch is highly recommended (if you don't show up right at 9:00am, expect... read more

186 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Awesome Local Brewery with Great Food and Character in Logan Square Revolution Brewing is a brewery in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded as a brewpub in 2010, on Milwaukee Avenue in the Logan Square.

Illinois' largest craft brewery. The kitchen, led by Head Chef Charlie Eure focuses on hand-crafted items like their house-made charcuterie and freshly baked breads. They butcher a pig or two a we... read more

Revolution Brewing is a brewery in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded as a brewpub in 2010, on Milwaukee Avenue in the Logan Square neighborhood. Great atmosphere and awesome food and beer!

192 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Lula Cafe is one of my neighborhood favorites and seems to be local's number one spot for new American food. Scenester spot that is hard to get into, so I recommend making reservations, otherwise,... read more

This is Logan Square's original farm-to-table restaurant with spectacular breakfast and brunch, a cafe menu for lunch and "in between times", delicious dinner, and sophisticated bar scene. In good ... read more

If you need a romantic or special dinner, Lula is one of the best in the city. They have an amazing farm-to-table menu including a 6-course vegetarian tasting menu. They also serve brunch and lunch... read more

227 local Airbnb hosts recommend

For an evening of laughs, Second City is a 50 year staple in the Comedy Club circuit for up and coming comedians. The theater opened in the winter of 1959 for improvisation and comedy skits. Ther... read more

Chicago's Iconic Sketch Comedy Theatre Countless e comedy legends got their start here including: Bill Murray, Mike Meyers, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Steven Colbert, Amy Sedaris, Steve Carell, John ... read more

Famous improv comedy! Home to Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Rick Moranis, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, etc! Tons of big names!

#8

Green Mill

Drinks & NightlifeBars
4802 North Broadway Street·Map·Hours·Website·

193 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Jazz and lots of it at this Uptown landmark, famously an old hangout of Al Capone (who's not, though, around as much as he used to be). Go on a Sunday evening for the weekly poetry slam. National t... read more

Swinging sounds are on tap nightly, from big-name artists to local late-night jam sessions. This iconic jazz and blues bar uptown is remenicent of Al Capone and the Prohibition era. Sit back with a... read more

This venue is legendary for its live jazz. It's been around since the Capone days. One of the secret underground tunnels for Capone is underneath the bar. But don't talk too loud, the jazz lovers a... read more

447 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Lincoln Park Zoo is a free 35-acre zoo located in Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois. The zoo was founded in 1868, making it among the oldest of zoos in North America. It is also one of a few free a... read more

The park lies along the lakefront from Ohio Street Beach in the Streeterville neighborhood, northward to Ardmore Avenue in Edgewater. The section of the park adjacent to the Lincoln Park neighborh... read more

Lincoln Park Zoo is a free 35-acre zoo located in Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois. The zoo was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the U.S. It is also one of a few free admission... read more

#10

Violet Hour

Drinks & NightlifeBars
$$$· 1520 N Damen Ave·Map·Hours·Website·

176 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Fantastic speakeasy, recently named the best cocktail bar in the USA! Sometimes hard to find amidst the ever-changing wall mural, Violet Hour is a dark, sumptuously appointed retreat from the harsh... read more

Like other cities, Chicago has its own speakeasy inspired bar serving up meticulously crafted cocktails. House rules include "No cell phones" and "Don't bring anyone that you wouldn't bring to you... read more

The Violet Hour (1520 N Damen Ave) Discreet location, you have to look close to find it unless the line gives it away. Creative cocktails and small bites define this sophisticated and stylish bar.

#11

Parson's Chicken & Fish

Food SceneRestaurants
$· 2952 West Armitage Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

164 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Fried chicken or fish, Negroni slushies, great music and a great outdoor space that make you feel like you are at the best bbq ever make this a super hotspot all summer long. In the winter there's ... read more

Alllllmost unbearably hip. Super busy and fun in the summertime! This place is too hip to even put their name on the sign, so the sign just has a pattern on it, and you're just supposed to know wha... read more

Parson's has it all. Amish Fried Chicken (check), Pimento Toast (check) and two dollar Old Milwaukee. The beer garden here is epic...red and white umbrellas in a garden setting summer time spent p... read more

154 local Airbnb hosts recommend

This old school movie theater was recently renovated to feature cushy chairs and a full service bar for the nearly first run movies and camp classics that they show. Luckily they didn't renovate t... read more

Cheap prices!!!! Also they have a bar if you don't feel like sneaking your own drinks in. Sometimes they do open mic comedy in the anteroom before showings! They often have late night showings of c... read more

Originally built in 1915, this theater was recently restored. Theaters are small, but the movies are still only $7 and you can bring your drink with you into the theater. They also have a late nigh... read more

#13

Au Cheval

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 800 West Randolph Street·Map·Hours·Website·

138 local Airbnb hosts recommend

I'm not good at picking favorites but some say "best burger in Chicago" and it's really darn good. Can experience 2-3 hour wait during dinner rush so put your name in and head to a fancy bar in the... read more

Do yourself a favor and get the best burger of your life at Au Chaval. Chase it with a pickle back. If you are feeling decedent order the chopped chicken liver, foie gras terrine, or bone marrow.

Best burger in Chicago hands down. Prepare for long waits, especially on the weekend. Go at lunch when they open, put your name on the list, and then hop over to Haymarket across the street for a d... read more

150 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Best chicago beach! Lots of sandy beaches, with a beach house that has a restaurant on top. The beach is packed during the summer days, but is always a fun time. Volleyball courts open for use, and... read more

North Avenue Beach is located in Lincoln Park at 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive (North Ave. @ Lake Michigan). As one of Chicago's most popular beaches, the beach features a unique and popular beach house

Best Chicago beach! Lots of sandy areas with a beach-house with elevated terrace. The beach is packed during the summer days, but is always a fun time. Volleyball courts open for use, and walking d... read more

369 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Go see the famous "bean" and take a picture! This 24.5-acre park features Frank Gehry's Pritzker Pavilion and serpentine bridge; sculptor Anish Kapoor's 110-ton Cloud Gate (a.k.a. “The Bean”); and... read more

Millennium Park is absolutely beautiful! Do not miss this wonderful open-space park during your Chicago visit. It is free and features the very cool, iconic sculpture, that is great for photo-ops: ... read more

If you only do one touristy thing while in town, go to Millennium Park, and enjoy this park in the heart of the city. Stand under "The Bean" and take endless photos of yourself. It's Escher-esque u... read more

132 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Chicago is famous for deep dish, but Piece's New Haven style pizza has a loyal following and is in the conversation for the best pizza in the city, and deservedly so. They also brew their own beer.... read more

Hands down the best thin crust pizza in the city. Get a classic or use some of their creative toppings. Either way, their enormous, piping hot pizzas are going to please you. Head over on Saturday ... read more

This is a fun restaurant that brews their own beer (and it’s all super tasty), and makes some great pizza. They have live band karaoke on Saturday nights, too. Off the Damen stop. (Fun fact: the re... read more

136 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Soldier Field is an American football stadium on the Near South Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It opened in 1924 and is best known as the home field of the Chicago Bears of the National ... read more

Soldier Field is so close to us I love it! We go to see the Bears, concerts and festivals. This year Beyonce and ColdPlay will be here, and the Copa America Centenario soccer (football) tournament.

Home of the Chicago Bears *Several big stadium concerts/events in season Visit www.soldierfield.net for full list of events

#18

Hopleaf Bar

Drinks & NightlifeBars
5148 North Clark Street·Map·Hours·

134 local Airbnb hosts recommend

The impeccable selection of Belgian and U.S. craft beers perfectly complements an elevated bar menu of mussels and frites; sandwiches; and seasonal dishes.

Creative, Belgian-focused food + best beer selection in the city; Try the house specialty - Mussels in white wine sauce served with frites & aioli

A ridiculous selection of beers, specializing in Belgians. Creative Belgian-focused eats go with loads of brews at this lively hang. Always crowded, but worth the wait. Take a cab or Uber. The... read more

#19

Girl & The Goat

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 809 West Randolph Street·Map·Hours·Website·

129 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Stephanie Izard is a great chef with a few Chicago restaurants (Little Goat Diner & Duck Duck Goat). This is her main restaurant and while you typically have to book reservations months in advance,... read more

Stephanie Izard's (of Top Chef fame) restaurant. Unless you scored a reservation months ago, you'll have to try your luck at walking in (try early or late). Try the pig face.

Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard's blockbuster restaurant. Food is amazing, vibe is casual. Be forewarned, the wait list is months long!

#20

Bang Bang Pie Shop

Food SceneBakeries
$· 2051 North California Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

118 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Our favorite pie and biscuit shop, Bang Bang is a must stop before jumping on the train to head downtown. If you have a car you can park for free on California, grab breakfast then walk 5mins to ... read more

Darling, novelty pie shop that rocks out pies all year round in addition to their famous housemade biscuits and savory breakfast biscuit sandwiches. You can buy one slice of pie or a whole one. Th... read more

In the Neighborhood $: Bang Bang has some of the best pies in the city! Not just desserts but savory meat pies too. There biscuits are very popular and so is breakfast. It has a hipster vibe and... read more

#21

The Whistler

Drinks & NightlifeBars
$· 2421 North Milwaukee Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

100 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Small but super trendy. Good drinks, backyard court in summer. Recently "dressed up" as the Star Wars cantina bar. From an online review: DJs, live music that spans genres, or Movieoke (exactly wh... read more

Trendy yet laid-back bar featuring incredibly delicious and creative cocktails plus DJs or live music every single night with no cover! FYI - they ID *everybody* ... even if you're 102!

This is a bar, yet a secret spot for nightly live music (jazz, hip hop, etc) as well as DJs. It's super tiny, looks like a dump on the outside, but is a GEM. Great spot for fun, hipster drinks in... read more

107 local Airbnb hosts recommend

The Adler Planetarium is a public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. It was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler.

You gotta check out the Planetarium! Learn about space and awesome stuff like that! It is a GORGEOUS structure too and it's right on Lake Michigan! Afterwards go for a stroll through Grant Park and... read more

Ok, so we're not huge fans of this place...BUT, right outside of it, along the North side of that peninsula, is hands down the most beautiful vantage point for viewing the Chicago skyline. Take a p... read more

107 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Large Iconic Venue with Two Separate Performing Stages. When One performance stops, the next one starts in the next room. Open late night with great drinks and cover charge

Down Home Blues Chicago Style. Pop your finger, stomp your feet to these down home blues. Good Food, Good Drinks, Good Time. Check their website for who's performing, price and menu.

One of my all time favorite bars in the city! Great dive bar that has two stages with live old school blues and jazz. Open until 4am every night.

#24

The Field Museum

Arts & CultureMuseums
$$$· 1400 South Lake Shore Drive·Map·Hours·Website·

195 local Airbnb hosts recommend

The Field Museum of Natural History, also known as The Field Museum, is a natural history museum in Chicago and is one of the largest such museums in the world. The museum maintains its status as ... read more

Founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, this massive natural history museum still packs ’em in with more than 30 perm... read more

State-of-the-art museum of science & invention, with the world's largest Tyrannosaurus Rex. Other exhibits: Inside Ancient Egypt Evolving Planet Underground Adventure The Ancient Americas Grainge... read more

93 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Access 18 miles of the lake, various beaches, trails, and parkland. Take Belmont bus east to Belmont & Sheridan. Walk on Belmont under Lake Shore Drive to trails and Lake Michigan. Unique to Chicag... read more

The Lakefront trail is 18 miles right along Lake Michigan. It is one of our favorite places to ride bikes or walk or simply appreciate being in the city. Along the trail you'll find Chicago's most ... read more

Throw on your running shoes and follow the lakefront trail forever North or South. Right on Lake Michigan, the whole way in either direction. Ride a bike, walk, jog, or just hang out at the beach, ... read more

99 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Classic Chicago music venue. Open 7 nights a week with live music every night. Free Mondays always pack out with cheap drinks specials. Early evenings on Friday feature their in house country band.

Catch some live music at this iconic venue in the Ukrainian Village. It pairs nicely with the co-owned adjoining Bite Cafe. On Friday nights they have a free honky tonk band if that's your thing.

This is a dive bar and one of the best venues to see live music in the city. It has distinctly punk roots, though they have different kinds of music every night. Monday nights are usually free shows.

#27

The Boiler Room

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 2210 North California Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

98 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Really cool and popular primarily pizza restaurant where you can pickup individual slices, whole pies, or go in on a PB&J special where you get a PBR, shot of Jameson, and slice of pizza for $8. Ba... read more

Great place for vegan pizza just a quick 15 minute walk away. Vegan slices on Tuesday nights or grab a whole pie any other day. You can always get regular slices. PBJ special (PBR, shot of Jameson,... read more

Pizza and beer. The good stuff, as well. By-the-slice or by-the-pie, this is thin crust exclusively, no Chicago-style deep dish here. Take out available, call ahead. Or wait at the bar while watch... read more

91 local Airbnb hosts recommend

The premier convention facility in North America. Located just minutes from downtown Chicago, McCormick Place attracts close to 3 million visitors each year.

This is a good place to leave your bags if you come early and want to see the town. Just ask the concierge to hold your bags for a couple hours while you walk around and see the McCormick Center.

McCormick Place hosts many conventions, boat, car and other expos. It's a 5 minute taxi ride, short biking distance, or 16 blocks walk.

#29

Reno

Food SceneRestaurants
2607 North Milwaukee Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

81 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Fab casual fare morning, noon and night! An in-house coal-fire oven toasts bagels, pasta and pizzas to die for. Great baked goods in A.M.; wine and beer list in P.M. Comfy and simple.

Great breakfast / coffee, free wifi, dinner, nice place for a drink. Absolutely no pretension, great friendly staff. Brick oven pizzas, amazing hand made bagels for brunch

Wood-fired pizza, bagels & pasta in a casual, loftlike space with a bar for pastries & alcohol. Good coffee,

#30

Pequod's Pizza

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 2207 North Clybourn Avenue·Map·Hours·Website·

90 local Airbnb hosts recommend

The deep dish pizza that actual Chicagoan's eat (Malnati's is my second fave, but delivers to the house, yay). Signature caramelized cheese around the crust is worth the wait. This is a Blackhawk... read more

My Favorite Deep Dish Pizza In Chicago! Casual, brick-walled pizza pub where deep-dish pies with caramelized crusts are served until late. Best Crust Ever. This is where the locals eat Deep Dish.

One of the best deep dish pizza places in Chicago, will get the best experience with deep dish and a caramelized crust