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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:11 am 
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torque wrote:
electric_claire wrote:
liquor licenses in Chicago are tough to get...which means lots of vegan friendly thai and indian restaurants in Chicago are BYOB, so you can get whatever awesome craft beer and bring it with!

last time i was there i noticed that (i.e. we drank like fish once we figured out we could BYO almost everywhere, since we were using public transport) and wondered why. makes sense!

That's awesome. Are the corking fees pretty reasonable?

I like the idea of BYO for restaurants and then doing a pub or two with good taps.

As industry and always dealing with licenses, I am so curious as to why liquor licenses are tough to get. Hollie? What's tough to get here (and impossible in BC) is BYO licenses. Or do you not need a license there?


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:13 am 
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I'm not in Chicago anymore, but when I did live there and worked in a bar, the only thing that I heard being tough to get was a 4am license. They weren't issuing any more, so if a bar wanted to get one, they had to buy it from someone who already had one.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:53 pm 
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Yeah, I don't know why liquor licenses are so tough to get here, but people joke that someone's gotta die for you to get one. (I.e. there's a limited number, and so that's the only time one opens up...I don't think you necessarily have to kill them.)

Because of this, I've only ever seen corking fees at places that do offer alcohol on their menu; I've never been charged to bring something into a BYOB place. No BYOB license needed- pretty sure that in any restaurant in Chicago that doesn't offer alcohol, you can bring something in, unless the restaurant itself doesn't want you to.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:54 pm 
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Oh yeah and more importantly- I would totally meet up at either Chicago Diner or Ethiopian Diamond!


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:15 pm 
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The Swissotel is not too far from where I live/work. They do sell Chao at the Whole Foods at 30 W. Huron, which is closer than the big WF on Kingsbury.

For ethiopian, you'd want to head way up north, but Ethiopian Diamond and the others are all super easy to get to via Red line or Broadway bus.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:48 pm 
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Oh, please now help me with my Chicago plans! I have zoomed in and out so many times on Google maps that I've lost of sense of scale and place! Can someone check that my plans make rough sense, in terms of locations, and that we're not eating anywhere second rate when we're right next to somewhere else brilliant? Thank you!!!

Wednesday afternoon: arrive Chicago, go to accommodation at Lakeview, West Barry Avenue.
Chicago Diner
Go to the Io

Thursday:
Museum of science and industry
Original Soul Vegetarian
Wander round somewhere Chicago-y (any ideas?)
Wormhole coffee and fritz pastrys
Revolution Brewing
Ground control or Handlebar

Friday:
Solderfield Tour
Maggie Daley ice skating
Native Foods Café
Sky deck
Girl and the Goat
Blackhawks
Too much light makes the baby go blind

Saturday:
Garfield Park conservatory
Whole foods North Avenue
Anything else super Chicago-y - maybe The Field Museum or Navy pier or something?
6pm Fly back to the UK

What else can I cram in there? I quite fancy Pick Me Up (breakfast?), Upton's Breakroom, Ehtiopian Diamond (if it is not too far out), Delicious Café (breakfast, Kitchen 17, a stop at Fritz Patry (full store, not just at the Wormhole)... but I can't fit them all in!

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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:53 pm 
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Rachwins, I think your plans look pretty good!

How will you be getting around? Chicago is a really big place geographically, and it looks like you've done a pretty good job at clustering activities. I would just say, give yourself plenty of time to get from the United Center to Too Much Light (plan to get there early, and maybe bring a hot beverage to keep with you in the cold...),

Wandering around Wicker Park, the neighborhood where Wormhole and Handlebar are located, is nice. There's an independent book/comic shop called Quimby's that is fun to browse, Myopic Books, Reckless Records... If you're planning to walk/take public transit, I would suggest Wormhole straight to Handlebar, or Revolution followed by Ground Control, since those combos are walkable but walking from Wormhole/Handlebar to Revolution/Ground Control and back is doable, but would be more enjoyable in the summer.

I personally would probably get burnt out on going to the Conservatory AND the Field Museum in one day, even though I love them both. Plus the Field is so big, that I would be hesitant to schedule it right before having to catch a plane... but again, that's for me. Actually, I would probably go to the Field Museum instead of the Museum of Science and Industry. I have good memories of that place from going as a kid, but I went a couple months ago for the first time in years and was actually really disappointed! It seemed like a lot of the exhibits were more about having flashy technology and advertising for its sponsors (Hello John Deere farming exhibit...) than actually having interesting content. There were a couple of cool things for sure, and also the museum campus there is really beautiful, but it wasn't my favorite museum. And even though it's not far from Soul Veg, depending on how you're getting around, it probably wouldn't take much longer to get to Soul Veg from the South Loop where the Field is. Even though it's probably twice as far, the public transit is more direct and Lake Shore Drive is usually pretty fast as long as you're not going the wrong way at rush hour.


Pick Me Up is close to where you're staying so you could easily fit in a breakfast there!

Sounds like you're going to have a great, full trip!


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:21 pm 
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I don't know Chicago well enough to comment on plans, but I have to say I'm impressed and inspired by your planning!


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:32 am 
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Brilliant, thanks so much for the advice! I had real difficulties assessing the scale of Chicago - I'd been told it was big, but everything seems SO spread apart on the maps I was looking at I couldn't work out how big it really was, and how much time to leave between places!

I love planning stuff, almost as much as I love eating, and my husband HATES wandering around aimlessly looking for somewhere we can eat - and so all our trips are planned to the nth degree to meet my love of good food and his impatience!

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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:33 am 
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I frequently use google maps even when I know where I'm going, just to get a time estimate. You may already know this, but you can put in your mode of transit and what time you're leavig to get a better idea of how long it will take to get from A to B. Chicago can be tricky because depending on the route and time of day, going 4 miles could take you 15 minutes or it could take you an hour!

If you're taking public transit and you have a way of accessing the Internet while out and about, you can also use the CTA tracker website to see when the next bus or train is coming- very nice in winter so you can continue waiting in your cafe until a few minutes before the bus arrives, rather than waiting 20 min. in the cold. It doesn't work 100%- sometimes the odd bus's gps just isn't working so it doesn't show up, but overall its pretty nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:38 am 
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I don't think you'd really wanna walk from Revolution to Ground Control, would you? And walking to Handlebar from anywhere in WP is probably not a fun stroll either.

Rachwins, all I gotta say is, you'll definitely sleep well after all that action!


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:58 pm 
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I walked from wormhole to sultans the other week, handlebar is just a couple blocks further. Plus if you're spending time exploring a neighborhood anyway, this is a pretty good walk with cute stores and art gallery type places to check out on the way. I'd say revolution to ground control is about 20 minutes/1 mile, which is a fine amount to walk for me. I frequently walk from the blue line at California to my house, just a couple short blocks shy of ground control, so for me, yeah I do it all the time. Again it depends how you're getting around- renting a car? Then yeah, drive from revolution to ground control rather than walk there and back. Taking the bus? You would have to walk half a mile on one end of the bus ride plus wait for the bus anyway, or wait for two buses and end up spending 45 minutes to go that one mile, and you get way warmer walking than waiting for the bus!


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:07 pm 
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Oh, I forgot about that whole cab/uber/lyft thing! I guess those are options too, I never do any of those so I forget they exist. (Also because I never lived or worked in a neighborhood with cabs until scofflaw opened a couple years ago, and people suddenly started taking cabs from Lakeview over to my block.) those would probably be good options if you don't like to walk as far as I do, although there aren't many cabs just driving by as far west as ground control, you'd have to call for one.

Also, I might be biased but I think the walk between revolution and ground control is pretty nice if you make your way through Palmer Park! It's a nice long park that is usually pretty active with people playing with their dogs, or toddler on the toddler playground on weekend mornings, and lots of beautiful old houses along the boulevard. Not as nice of a walk if you go alongajor streets the whole way though.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:46 pm 
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I guess I've never been to one and then the other. In my mind, Rev is way further north, and GC is way further west, but I guess that's just because of the diagonal.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:06 am 
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Hey guys, I am having a blast in Chicago! Our conference has been REALLY busy and until yesterday all of the dinners were driven by cider events at bars (although I have to say, I have found vegan food, and the company paid for it!) but finally last night I convinced my husband to not go to the event and instead to Ethiopian Diamond. It was great!

After we go drink lots of cider at Navy Pier today I am not sure what we should do for our last night...thinking maybe Chicago Diner? I'm really not sure what we should do either--we've seen very little of this city and it's actually a nice-ish day. I wish I had Rachwins' planning skills/motivation!

So far for where we've been going, cabs have been necessary due to lack of planning, but they haven't been too expensive (and the company is paying, haha). The one from the airport during rush hour though was BRUTAL. I don't know why we didn't take the train. My boss is weird.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:04 am 
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Thanks everyone!

I'd been looking at the times on Google maps but couldn't work out whether to trust them or not. Sometimes the public transport is a bit 'off' over here, it would send you a really weird way. But will go back to trusting it if you give it the ok for Chicago!

We walk loads, so walking isn't a problem, unless it gets hella-hella cold. We were visiting friends in Penn a few years ago, and while they were at work, we took a stroll from their house into town (3 miles or so). They got home while we were out, and rang us up all panicked thinking we'd been kidnapped, because "no-one walks in America!"

Will definitely look up the tracker app! That sounds invaluable. Can't wait! One week to go!

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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:00 am 
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Rachwins, I want to go on a trip with you and your planning skills, haha! My husband and I are terrible non-planners and on our last night in Chicago we were too lazy/cold/tired to go out for dinner but when we realized Grubhub doesn't take international credit cards (after placing an order for Soul Vegetarian) we just decided we weren't eating and had some bar nuts in the hotel lobby instead. Such a shame! Don't do what I did!

(I did have a mac and cheese from Soul Vegetarian purchased from WF that was good!)


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:23 am 
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I am going to be visiting Chicago in a couple weeks with my partner for just a couple days. We're going to be staying close to the Halsted Chicago Diner. In terms of getting around, do you Chicago folks recommend getting a rental car? I don't mind driving in cities as I live in Philly myself, but is is easy to park? Or do you think public transportation, bike rentals, cabs would be sufficient? It will be early November, which I gather will be chilly but not too cold for extended periods of walking/biking.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:18 pm 
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I definitely think you'd be better off without a rental car as parking can be hard to find & very expensive. Public transit is really good in that area - between busses & trains you should be able to get to most places you'd want to go... and Ubers whenever you're in a pinch as they can be half the price of a taxi at non-peak hours!

xstartxtodayx wrote:
I am going to be visiting Chicago in a couple weeks with my partner for just a couple days. We're going to be staying close to the Halsted Chicago Diner. In terms of getting around, do you Chicago folks recommend getting a rental car? I don't mind driving in cities as I live in Philly myself, but is is easy to park? Or do you think public transportation, bike rentals, cabs would be sufficient? It will be early November, which I gather will be chilly but not too cold for extended periods of walking/biking.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:20 am 
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Thank you very much for your advice! I'll stick to the public transportation then! The less hassle the better!

VeggieNextDoor wrote:
I definitely think you'd be better off without a rental car as parking can be hard to find & very expensive. Public transit is really good in that area - between busses & trains you should be able to get to most places you'd want to go... and Ubers whenever you're in a pinch as they can be half the price of a taxi at non-peak hours!

xstartxtodayx wrote:
I am going to be visiting Chicago in a couple weeks with my partner for just a couple days. We're going to be staying close to the Halsted Chicago Diner. In terms of getting around, do you Chicago folks recommend getting a rental car? I don't mind driving in cities as I live in Philly myself, but is is easy to park? Or do you think public transportation, bike rentals, cabs would be sufficient? It will be early November, which I gather will be chilly but not too cold for extended periods of walking/biking.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:26 pm 
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One more question (I think!) What are the vegan deep dish options? Google is only proving Kitchen 17 to be a viable and tasty option. We happen to arrive the day the offer deep dish pizzas (Wednesdays) and are staying fairly close to it. Is it worth it? Are there more options?


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:46 am 
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All the places offering vegan pizza that I can think of (Dimo's, Dante's, The Boiler Room) don't do deep dish. But, I will say I just went to Kitchen 17 the other night and had a calzone, and it was sooooo good. The crust tasted buttery even. I got the Mediterranean and along with all sorts of yummy fillings it had shredded premade cheese (I think Teese but could have been FYH, definitely not Daiya) AND a housemade tofu ricotta type cheese.

There was a couple in there when I got there who had gotten a pizza (not deep dish) and they raved about it too, one of them said he had been vegan for almost 20 years and it's the best vegan pizza he's ever ordered! I think my calzone was better than any other purchased vegan pizza I've had in Chicago; sometimes I buy them because I want pizza without having to make it but it always seems really overpriced and not nearly so good as what I make at home. But this was just as good as what I make, but also pretty different, and definitely worth it. My partner got a chick'n pot pie that was also really good, and I brought home a delicious slice of peach cobbler pie. The owner clearly knows what he's doing with doughy things.

I would say it's a safe bet that your deep dish will also be delicious.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:52 am 
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My vegan coworker has gotten the deep dish from there and she said it was fantastic.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:08 am 
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Also, are you coming this week? It's so surprisingly beautiful here right now! I hope you are and you get to experience a lovely extended nice-part-of-fall that is great for walking around town.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me with my Chicago Plans
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:48 pm 
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I have never been there, but have an omnivore friend who raved about their pizza!


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