Culture in Chicago - Show me it
May 22, 2010 2:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in Chicago in late July, and was hoping some locals could tip me on finding the best Lebanese food, jazz clubs/events that I shouldn't miss, interesting art galleries maybe even local theater if they're doing something fun.

I'm going up to visit a friend after she has her baby, and I think she's forgotten how much you just want to sleep when you have a new I'm betting I'll have some time on my hands to explore the city's culture.

Point me towards your musicians, your artists, your poets, and your kibbeh nyah.

Also, what is a realist time budget to get from a hotel downtown to a residence up near Rosehill Cemetery/Lincoln Square via taxi? (Public transport will take an hour or more.)
posted by dejah420 to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My favorite Lebanese restaurant is Al-Khayyam on Kedzie. They also have a bakery next door.
posted by sugarfish at 3:21 PM on May 22, 2010

Best answer: Maza.
posted by gjc at 3:38 PM on May 22, 2010

Best answer: For theatre check The League of Chicago Theatres website which is pretty good for finding shows. HotTix is your hookup for cheaper tickets to the bigger shows. I know (cause I'll be backstage) that LookingGlass Theatre is remounting their acclaimed production of Alice. This is the best city in the country to see theatre though you are comming out of season.
posted by Uncle at 6:49 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Green Mill.
posted by onepot at 7:44 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: That production of Alice looks amazing. The theater is only a mile or so from my hotel, so seeing it is on my agenda. Sweet! Thanks.
posted by dejah420 at 8:41 PM on May 22, 2010

Best answer: Semiramis is my favorite Lebanese restaurant in the city and one of the places I bring out of town guests. The baba ghanoush and shawarma sandwiches are out of this world. It's also quite affordable, BYOB, and has a lovely atmosphere. But, you don't have to take my word for it, read all about it and drool over delicious photos on the LTH forums. It's not very far from Lincoln Square. Make sure to stop at Nazareth Sweets across the street for dessert!
posted by thewrongparty at 9:57 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Semiramis and Nazareth Sweets (and that whole strip of Kedzie, for that matter). Also awesome is Noon O Kabab, just a couple doors down from Semiramis.

Also, if you find yourself in the Lake View neighborhood, check out Casbah Cafe, 3151 N. Broadway, for some fantastic Lebanese food.

For local theater, check out Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind on the weekends. I'd also recommend Whirled News Tonight Saturday nights at IO (formerly known as Improv Olympic).

Finally, do not miss the Green Mill, particularly on Wednesday nights for gypsy jazz with Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan.

A taxi from downtown to the Lincoln Square area would take about 15 minutes with no traffic but could take 30-40 minutes during rush hour.
posted by adrian_h at 12:58 PM on May 23, 2010

Right around the corner from Too Much Light (which I also recommend highly) is Taste of Lebanon, which is a super cheap hole in the wall with really great food. It closes at 8pm, but you could eat there, kill a couple hours before Too Much Light at one of the bars in Andersonville (Hopleaf, on the other side of the block from Too Much Light, is a fave.)
posted by me3dia at 8:54 PM on May 24, 2010

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