10 Chicago Musts
If you have been in Chicago as long as me, you’ll realize that being a student sometimes makes you forget that there is an amazing world outside of DePaul. Listed below are the top 10 Chicago Musts for students to do before they graduate.
Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza, and it deserves the recognition. The stressful part is that there are so many deep dish pizza restaurants and every Chicagoan will disagree with what is the best one. Before you leave, make sure to try at least three different deep dish places so you can test out what the best one is for yourself. I would argue Pequods is the best, with Lou Malnati’s second.
Outside of pizza, Chicago is known for its sketch comedy. The famous Second City, home to many SNL stars and comedians, is right here in our hometown. Although main stage shows for Second City can be a little pricey, there are a lot of smaller shows that have $10 tickets. Sometimes Second City even has free shows at midnight just to test their material. I would recommend at least going to one sketch comedy show, if not a whole variety of them. They are quite funny and always worth seeing!
3. Shop the Mag Mile
Right on Michigan Ave, in the heart of the loop, is an area called the Mag Mile that is home to amazing shops, food, and experiences. Although if you go on the weekend it will be quite crowded, it is a must-do activity in Chicago. If the weather permits, take a stroll down the Mag Mile and see what Chicago offers.
4. Try a Chicago Dog
If you are a meat-eater, I would recommend trying a famous Chicago dog. Unlike other hot dog restaurants, Chicago dogs do not have ketchup. A Chicago dog consists of mustard, a pickle sphere, relish, onions, tomatoes, celery salt, all on a poppy seed bun. There are a few restaurants like Dog Haus, Chicago Doghouse, or Devil Dawgs that include substitute hot dogs or veggie dogs for people who do not eat meat. No matter your diet or food restrictions, you too can get a Chicago Dog!
Chicago is much different than other places because the Chicago river runs through the middle of the city. A cool feature that the city has adopted is the addition of water taxis. If you want to get to Chinatown or other places near the river, you can ride the water taxi. It is not helpful if you are in a rush, but it is a really fun time! I would suggest doing it at least once, just to get a feel for the city.
Riding the train is a quintessential experience for any kind of Chicagoan. An experience that is good for a random night in the city is riding all the way to Kimball on the Brown Line, just to see the different sides of Chicago. Another version is riding the Brown Line all the way around the Loop. The view of the city is always gorgeous on the Brown Line because it is elevated, so getting to see Chicago while riding the train is a lot of fun.
The Chicago History Museum is a cute little museum located around Gold Coast. Tickets can be a little pricey, especially compared to the free DePaul tickets from the Art Institute, so I would suggest saving up and then spending your day at the museum! Chicagoans, and non-Chicagoans alike, love learning about the history of this awesome city, so join the public! There is a giant elevated train in there that you can actually walk on, and many other small exhibits that come in and out. It is so much fun and you’ll learn a lot!
Even if you are not a sports fan like myself, spending a day at Wrigley Field is an experience! Same day tickets can be pretty cheap if the teams are not in playoffs. Outside of actually seeing the baseball game, there is a lot of good food, people, and fun that can be had. I have made friends from sitting just near someone at a baseball game! I would recommend bringing a friend and just enjoying what Chicago loves most – the Chicago Cubbies.
A delicious part of Chicago life is Chicago-style popcorn. This is a mix of both cheese popcorn and caramel popcorn. Although it sounds like it will not taste good, it is amazing. You think the combination would not work, and yet somehow it just does! Garrett’s Popcorn is one of the best popcorn places, and you can find it around the city. The best one is on the Mag Mile, so you can cross two things off this list if you go and get some Chicago popcorn!
If you are a fan of jazz or good music, going to the Kingston Mines Jazz Club is a wonderful way to spend a night. There is good food, fun music, and an amazing vibe. Spending a night at a jazz club with some friends is a wonderful way to take a break from homework and enjoy what Chicago has to offer.