Everybody loves the Blackhawks! You can go watch them live at the United Center if you can get tickets. Or watch them on TV with a bunch of other fans at one of these Official Blackhawks Bars. Official Blackhawks Bars play the game on most or all of their TVs and there’s sound- other games on other TVs are muted. Also, they have the spinning red light and play the Chelsea Dagger song when the Hawks score, which is fun. These are some of my faves: Gold Coast/Mag Mile/Old Town:
- Butch McGuires. Bonus points if you go near Christmas for an out of control decoration situation.
- The Lodge: Super low key, oldey timey and retro- one of the oldest bars in Chicago! Also, kinda lodgey.
- The Snuggery: Ok, I’ve never been here but I like the name. Who doesn’t like to snuggle while watching sports and drinking beer?
- Beer Bistro: Tons of different beers here and good food, too.
- Crossroads Public House: This is where we celebrated the 2013 Stanley Cup Victory
- Michael Diversey: Very lively, full to brimming with Bros and Trixies- but still, it’s our go to Blackhawks Bar, plus they have good food
If none of these appeal to you, you don’t HAVE to go to an official bar, pretty much any bar with a TV in Chicago will be playing Hawks games, or will put them on if you ask. Also! If you’re really a Blackhawks fan, be sure to go have a meal at The Palace Grill. Not only is it a neat old vintage diner, but it’s by The United Center and packed with Hawks stuff. Rumor has it that the players themselves stop in from time to time, too. Fun!
I love Chicago Restaurant Week! This year it’s actually two weeks and takes place from January 24th to February 6th. Last year we went to Kinzie Chophouse and Bistrot Zinc. Both were very enjoyable. We rarely go to steakhouses or French restaurants because they tend to be pricey, and we’re not rich. So Restaurant Week is a great time to hit them up. If you haven’t heard of Restaurant Week, it’s a week (two this year!) when all the fancy restaurants in town do special prix fixe menus for $22 for lunch and $33 or $44 for dinner.
Restaurant Week 2013 at Bistrot Zinc, Chicago
Restaurant Week 2013 at Bistrot Zinc, Chicago
I want to be adventurous, and I know I should be, but I don’t really like weird trendy food like kale and duck confit. But I also don’t like boring things like roast chicken. I appreciate a good beef dish and vegetarian dishes and Italian places, too. So this year maybe along with the steakhouse and French, we’ll go to a third, possibly more unusual spot. And, unless it’s something ridiculously fabulous, we stick to the $22 lunches and $33 dinners- another way I choose is to check out their regular menus and see if the places are a really good deal during Restaurant Week or if you can get basically the same thing any time.
So, based on all that, here are the contenders:
French: Bistro Voltaire, Mon Ami Gabi
Steakhouse: David Burke’s Primehouse, Sullivan’s Steakhouse
Italian: Riccardo Trattoria, Piccolo Sogno
Other: The Refinery, Two
Where else should I absolutely not miss? Where are you going to go?
Winter is such a pretty time in Chicago, and we don’t let the weather slow us down. Between Thanksgiving and New Years there are tons of things to do. So many that I didn’t get to post about them all because they came and went already!
But one place that does it up for the whole month of December is The Lincoln Park Zoo.
The Conservatory and The Zoo are always free, and they’re inside Lincoln Park itself. You can walk around the park, see all the pretty buildings in the neighborhood, then visit the Conservatory and The Zoo.
If you time it right, you can see everything at once. Visit The Conservatory from 9-5 daily, then head over to the Zoo for the light show from 5-9! Over 2 million holiday lights festoon the trees inside the zoo. It’s sooooooo pretty!
Plus they have ice carving, and carousel and train rides.
There are stands that sell hot cider, hot chocolate and mulled wine- yum. You can even visit some of the animals. It’s fun and scary to see the big cats outside at night.
The Lincoln Park Zoo website has all the details and schedule.
I guess this year they even have an ice skating rink– fun!
If you are still up for it, you can wander into the Lincoln Park neighborhood and stop at Galway Arms for a hot spiked beverage in front of one of their toasty fireplaces.
The Chicago Marathon is one of the top marathons in the country. I am not a runner (LOL), but I do like watching and cheering them on. This year we know someone who is running, so that should be fun. All the info you need including how to keep track of your friends, the route, and good spots to watch can be found on the official website at www.chicagomarathon.com
Here’s the route. Click it for a larger map.
2013 Chicago Marathon Route Map
Chicago marathoners run through Lincoln Park
Up close with the runners in the Chicago marathon
Runners on Clark St in Lincoln Park, Chicago Marathon
Runners wave to the spectators on Clark St. in Lincoln Park, Chicago Marathon
Sailboats at Belmont Harbor in Chicago
Lake Michigan, view from the Chicago shoreline
Chicago Skyline and Lake Michigan