Travel Tips Around The World

Sep 22 2016

Chicago Neighborhood Profile: Logan Square

Most visitors to Chicago only make it outside of the Loop (our name for downtown) to head to the Southside for the Museum of Science and Industry, or maybe to head a little bit north to Wrigley Field; and that's a real shame, because our city is vibrant, diverse and full of incredible experiences, many of the best of which are outside the tourist hubs. If you want to escape the endless hordes of people on Michigan Avenue, hop the CTA Blue Line for twenty minutes and get off at either the California or Logan Square stops, and you'll find yourself in Logan Square, the most up-and-coming area in the city, jam-packed with award-winning bars and restaurants. Here are some of my favorite dining, drinking and shopping spots in my neighborhood. 


                                     The signature dish at Logan Square's Fat Rice. Photo via Bon Appetit.

Dining. Some of the most exciting and unique dining experiences in the city reside in Logan Square. My favorite is Fat Rice, which serves Macau cuisine—Macau was a Portuguese trading outpost in China where many cultures blended, producing a one-of-a-kind fusion cuisine. You'll find dumplings and pork buns along with traditional Portuguese drinks such as caipirinhas, but the real star is the titular dish, the fat rice, which is a rice pot loaded with clams, prawns, a variety of sausages and porks, and hardboiled eggs (it'll feed two to four people). It's basically a treasure trove that you eat. Get a reservation, because I was once told on a Thursday evening that it was a two-and-a-half-hour wait for a party of two. (Tip: Fat Rice has a bakery next door where you can buy a wide variety of buns (they even have a Chicago-style hot dog bun, if you're feeling brave) and coffee and tea that's open during the day.)


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Sep 22 2016

The Goddess and the Baker: Fuel for your trip to Chicago's Art Institute

Category: Destinations | Dining | Favorites | GeneralChristine Norris @ 04:09

The Art Institute of Chicago is consistently ranked as one of the best museums in the world, and with a slew of the world's most famous pieces of art, visiting there is an overwhelming but incredible experience. As a resident of Chicago and a member of the Art Institute, I've been lucky to be able to get an insider's perspective, to learn where everything is in relation to everything else, and finally, to have the luxury of a quick trip of only an hour or two if I'm low on time or just want to check out that one new exhibit. Even though I visit with frequency, and though my visits are rarely exhausting, I still find myself at The Goddess and the Baker before or after every single trip to the museum.



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Feb 19 2016

The best places to cozy up in the Chicago winter

The Chicago winter can be brutal, but there are still plenty of fantastic things to see and do indoors, from viewing some of the world's best-known art to imbibing innovative and inventive cocktails! Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, find out how Chicagoans survive the cold by checking out some of these hot (seriously—actually warm) spots, guaranteed to warm your ears, your heart, and possibly your kidneys, too. In the third biggest city in the U.S., there are plenty of places to duck in and get out of the terrible weather, but these are a few of our favorites.

Scofflaw is a bustling bar in the trendier than ever Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago (where, despite the rapidly gentrifying environs, travelers can still find the hippest record stores and dive bars in the city). Its focus is on gin, and cocktails are recommended, but there are plenty of other drink options, and a food menu provides delicious plates large and small (the mac-and-cheese topped with harissa breadcrumbs was particularly tasty and comforting on a recent frigid Chicago evening). The setting in the large main room is cozy as can be, with a roaring fireplace, glittering chandeliers and comfy couch seating. Be sure to arrive early on in the evening on weekends if you want to avoid a line out the door.


The main room at Scofflaw is heated by a beautiful fireplace and an always packed environment. Photo courtesy of


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Jun 6 2012

A week in the Windy City

On my flight home from Chicago last week, I faced delay after delay trying to get out of O'Hare. Still sitting on the tarmac and frustrated that I would miss my connecting flight, I exclaimed to the man next to me how I was just so ready to go home after being on vacation for the past week.

"You went to Chicago for vacation?" he asked me, puzzled. Yeah, I did. Is that so weird? I don't really get along with the sun, so I'd rather spend my time frolicking through a fun and active city than burning on the beach. I love big cities, and after spending considerable time in the metropolises up and down the East Coast (Atlanta, D.C., New York and Boston), it was time to change time zones and conquer a new city. More...

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