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Sep 14, 2008 11:01 AM

DCite Visiting Chicago for the First Time

Hi! I'm headed to Chicago for the first time this weekend and I was hoping to get some recommendations. I'm planning on doing a little siteseeing and some shopping, but I'll be on my own for most of the time during the day while my husband is at a convention. Are there some fun cafes to chill in and read? I'd love some walkable neighborhoods, and places to enjoy lunch by myself without feeling awkward.

Also, I'll probably have to get some work done, so free WiFi is a huge plus!

PS We are going to be taken out for dinners so is there any place that I should push for if a company is picking up the tab?

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  1. Welcome to Chicago! If you want some fun neighborhoods to walk around in, Bucktown/Wicker Park and Old Town might be fun to check out. Not sure where you're staying, but for Bucktown/Wicker Park, you can just ask a cab to take you to the North Avenue/Damen/Milwaukee intersection, and pretty much walk in any direction from there. You'll find lots of nice boutiques to browse in. As for Old Town, a cab to the North Ave/Wells St. intersection would be a good starting point.

    I'm not so well versed on the lunch/cafe scene, but a few recommendations I had for dinners on the company tab would be:
    - Blackbird
    - Graham Elliot
    - Sepia

    If you and your husband get a chance to get away and you'd like a romantic place for dinner, North Pond is an excellent choice!

    4 Replies
    1. re: jn2001

      If you ARE in Bucktown/Wicker Park and are looking for a cafe, most are gone except for Cafe Deluca and the Earwax Cafe.

      If you want to stay more downtown, I would suggest Intelligensia. Or even if you're in Lakeview (another walkable neighborhood) I would suggest one of the other Intelligensias.

      BTW: No reason to feel awkward!

      Intelligentsia Coffee
      55 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL

      Intelligentsia Coffee
      3123 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657

      Cafe De Luca
      1721 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

      Earwax Cafe
      1561 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

      1. re: rubinow

        Thanks so much for the suggestions! We are staying in the Loop at the Parker House Hilton (at least I think it's in the Loop!) and I'll probably be walking a lot. It sounds like Bucktown is a must, and those places sound great!

        1. re: caphill2320

          It's the Palmer House -- a very old historic hotel (renovated) -- and it is in the Loop. That does give you easy access to the public transportation system (the El and busses), but it means you are a bit of a distance from the Michigan Avenue/Gold Coast area.

          You will enjoy the Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhood (it's about a 7-minute cab ride away -- not much longer on the El, although Roscoe Village, just a bit further north is walk-worthy as well with lots of restaurants and boutiques.

          1. re: caphill2320

            Morning! If you are still here, you may want to check out the Lincoln Square area. They have many fun coffe shops plus lots of little shops


            Easy to get to by the El especially since you are at the Palmer House. Exit the hotel on the Wabash Street side. The el stop is right there. You want the BROWN line going to Kimball. Get off at Western. It's about 20 mins to a 1/2 hr tops. $2 one way.