Chicago bound
September 20, 2013 8:33 AM   Subscribe

My dad and I are going to be in Chicago for a few days next week, and I'm trying to bash out an itinerary. Specifically, I'd like our focus to be a mix of sampling local beers, architecture, and nerdy things in the historical vein. I need the most help with the first part. Any suggestions for: Microbrews with public taprooms? Good bars with extensive local beer selection? Good neighborhoods within which one could happily wander?

Already on the itinerary: Cubs game on Monday evening. Oak park. Probably the Field and the architectural boat tours. I'd like suggestions of neighborhoods that would take us out of this standard tourist agenda that I've developed so far. We'll be taking public transit wherever we go.
posted by Think_Long to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I forgot to add that we'll be staying downtown off Michigan ave.
posted by Think_Long at 8:34 AM on September 20, 2013

Chicago is a booming beer town, as you know by now. Revolution is arguably the best. It's in Logan Square, about a 30-minute ride from Michigan Ave. on the Blue Line. Half Acre is another local brewery that has a tap room, but they don't have a brewpub. The Local Option in Lincoln Park (off the Fullerton Red Line) has an amazing beer list, but it tends to skew more international than local. The Grafton (in Lincoln Square, near the Western Brown Line) has a good local tap list.

For happy wandering, I'd definitely suggest Lincoln Square. You can hit the Half Acre taproom, then The Grafton, and then walk toward the Square just a few blocks away. Has some cute little shops and restaurants.
posted by anotheraccount at 8:56 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

architecture, and nerdy things in the historical vein

Well I gotta recommend the Chicago History Museum, and particularly their various tours (walking, bike, subway, pub crawls, etc.) And also, the nearby Museum of Surgical Science, which includes a lot of exhibits on the history of medicine, if that's your bag.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:02 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Since others have recommended Blue Line destinations, the Map Room in Bucktown is one of my favorites as well. The abovementioned Revolution is rather nice as well.
posted by kaszeta at 9:03 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're prepared to go for distilled spirits, CH Distillery opened recently in the west loop, with an attached bar. Note: I have not been myself, yet, since it's recent. Looks nice when I've walked by, and some of their drinks seem interesting.
posted by aramaic at 9:14 AM on September 20, 2013

Seconding the museum of surgical science.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:27 AM on September 20, 2013

Hopleaf has a good beer selection and great food. Gets crowded. One of my fave places in the city, though. You'd take the red line then walk a few blocks. Or you can take a cab - it's not really a pain or crazy expensive 'cuz you just head up LSD.
posted by adorap0621 at 9:34 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Seconding Half Acre tap room, and just east of Lincoln Square in the Ravenswood neighborhood is Fountainhead, with a beer menu that runs roughly 15 pages. They carry a lot of local/regional brews on tap and just about anything you can dream of in a bottle.

Plus, heated rooftop deck.
posted by like_a_friend at 9:39 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Haymarket Brewpub is also pretty good, and if you're over that way you can walk a bit south and get to Greektown for many delicious things. Both of these are basically straight west of the loop/downtown, so might be easier to get to (it's a long-ish walk, or a few bus stops.)
posted by Wulfhere at 10:38 AM on September 20, 2013

Came to recommend the architectural boat tour, stayed to recommend that you take the one offered by the architectural society if at all possible rather than the ones offered by the general tour companies.
posted by true at 10:55 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Museum of Surgical Science is interesting, but I wouldn't recommend it to a short time visitor unless they really liked medicine. The Chicago History Museum is good though.
posted by garlic at 11:32 AM on September 20, 2013

The Architecture Society Boat Tour on the Chicago River is NOT TO BE MISSED.

Hot Doug's for incredible gourmet fancy sausages (duck-fat french fries on Fridays!).
posted by amaire at 12:22 PM on September 20, 2013

I'll second, third or fourth the suggestion on the architecture boat tour. If the Cubbies are are home, Wrigleyville is worth a visit. Goose Island has a spot there.
posted by sixpack at 1:27 PM on September 20, 2013

Haymarket is quite good. If you want a day trip, go to Three Floyds (in Indiana, maybe an hour from the city by car).
posted by deathpanels at 10:15 PM on September 20, 2013

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