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5 Top Year-Round Ways to Enjoy Chicago

By Kelsy Chauvin
August 6, 2019
Sunday in the Park painting, Chicago
James Kirkikis/Dreamstime
Any season is the right time to visit Chicago for world-class bites, sights, and delights.

An abundance of choices is a big part of why we love Chicago. It’s a fast-paced, year-round town that offers a spectacular array of things to do—from sightseeing, music, and culture; to famous gastronomy and sometimes-quirky history. So to help pare down the choices, here’s a rundown of the can’t-miss spots for new visitors to Chicago, along with some of the latest additions and emerging areas destined for greatness.

1. Spectacular Architecture

The richness of Chicago’s architecture cannot be overstated. The cityscape has seen many waves of building and design trends, some of them dating back nearly two centuries. But ever since the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the Windy City began rebuilding according to the trends of each decade, including City Beautiful, Beaux-Arts, Art Deco, Arts and Crafts, and many revival styles. It helped to have some of the world’s top architects perfecting their crafts there, including native Chicagoan Frank Lloyd Wright, and the “father of modernism” Louis Sullivan. Today, 21st-century architects continue to earn fame by adding their most daring visions to the skyline.

Fortunately, the Chicago Architecture Center exists to share the city’s best sights by river cruise, bus, bike, or foot. Each tour runs about 1.5 hours and start at $26, and you can choose from dozens of themes, be it a city overview or niche interest. also offers architecture tours, most of them on foot and starting at $30 for about two hours.

But if you want to take in Chicago’s architecture all in one lofty panorama, buy yourself a CityPASS ($108 for five attractions) for skip-the-line access to the observation decks of both the Willis Tower (called the Skydeck), and the John Hancock Building (called 360 Chicago).

2. Cultural Abundance

The beauty of a good museum is that it’s there to inspire and delight visitors in any season. The CityPASS is a smart way to visit several of them (and save time bypassing the lines), including the marvelous Shedd Aquarium, natural-history Field Museum, inspiring Museum of Science and Industry, and Adler Planetarium (America’s first planetarium).

Your CityPASS includes entry to the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the world’s top art museums, with a magnificent permanent collection and brilliant temporary exhibits, all housed in a complex that combines classic and modern architecture.

Add to your arts adventure at Streeterville’s Museum of Contemporary Art where exhibits will introduce you to stimulating works created between the 1920s and today. The National Museum of Mexican Art, with free admission, is well worth a trip to the Lower West Side to behold colorful, rich art and events all year. (Don’t miss bites at nearby 5 Rabanitos taqueria.)

3. Explore the Loop

The Loop is Chicago’s downtown area, generally within the elevated-train “loop.” (FYI: the rail system here is called “the L.”) Within the loop you’ll find many of the city’s grand towers and attractions, including the 319-acre Grant Park along Lake Michigan. There you can check out Buckingham Fountain and Millennium Park—home to Anish Kapoor’s beloved Cloud Gate (the shiny, giant stainless-steel “bean”). The park also hosts year-round food and arts festivals; ice skating and rock climbing in Maggie Daley Park; and concerts and screenings at Pritzker Pavilion, the bandshell designed by Frank Gehry.

4. Chicago Lodging

With many great hotels occupying the city’s beautiful buildings, you can enjoy the city’s architecture in an intimate way by lodging in them. On the Loop’s north end, the Swissotel Chicago sits riverside as a sleek triangular high rise, with views of the Navy Pier, Lake Michigan, the inner Loop, and Grant Park. In addition to its comfy accommodations and polished service, the Swissotel is conveniently beside the Lake Shore Drive and the River Walk, for easy access via car or on foot.

Next door to Swissotel is the lovely, undulating Aqua building, wherein you can book your room at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, and swim in the elevated pool. Head out to the hip and happening West Loop (aka the Fulton Market District) to lodge in the brand-new Hoxton Hotel. To the south, check into the boutique Sophy Hyde Park for proximity to Robie House, the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

5. Flavors of Chicago

When it comes to dining, there’s far more to Chicago than steak, hot dogs, and deep-dish pizza, especially outside the Loop. In Ukrainian Village, head to Split-Rail for the best fried chicken in town, plus tasty sides and unique craft cocktails (don’t miss the blue sparkle of the “tiki death punch”). Head north to Lake View for a tasty brunch with unlimited cocktails at Barcocina, where you can lounge on the big outdoor patio.

A few blocks away in East Lake View, find the city’s finest cheese, charcuterie, and other dishes at Bar Pastoral, a restaurant spinoff of next door’s Pastoral artisanal market. North Broadway is lined with notable eateries, like Ceres’ Table, serving regional Italian cuisine with seasonal ingredients. In Boystown, discover how delicious all-vegetarian dining can be at the adorable Chicago Diner, famously “meat-free since ‘83.”

If classic dishes are calling, Pequod’s Pizza in Lincoln Park is the go-to for locals who love deep-dish; or try an upside-down version at Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder.

No matter where you dine, however, enjoy breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant & Bakery in the West Loop. The old-school diner opened in 1923, and is the self-described starting point to Route 66, serving unbeatable omelets, biscuits, pancakes, benedicts, and more, until mid-afternoon daily. But even beyond its famous food and sample donuts and other bonus treats, Lou Mitchell’s represents something unique: It’s a real-deal Chicago enterprise that feels timeless, making both its food and atmosphere well worth savoring.

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Inspiration

6 American Bars Serving Light & Tasty Aperitif Cocktails

Summer drinking is a funny thing. Between vacationing, spending time with friends and family, and just enjoying the warmer weather, we tend to eschew heavier drinks—like whiskeys, red wine and even straight-up martinis—for lighter, brighter, less alcoholic fare. And though rum and gin are still seasonal crowd pleasers, cocktails mixed with lower alcohol aperitifs, like the popular Negroni, are making a strong showing in bars and restaurants across the country. Meant to stimulate the appetite and usually dry rather than sweet, an aperitif is also a refreshing way to help stretch out drinking on a hot, sunny day. Thankfully, mixologists are taking your day drinking into consideration and creating menus chock full of these delightful cocktails. So, here’s to you, summer. 1. The Beehive, San Francisco This Mad Men-inspired cocktail lounge, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission district, is a unique conglomerate of old and new. And though its signature, namesake concoction is a laid-back affair of gin, honey, lemon and ginger, it’s the cocktails mixed with traditional Martini & Rossi Ambrato and bitter, like Bachelor #3 and Moda Royale, that caught our eye. For something tart, the Thunderbird is Campari-forward with a hit of lime, tonic, thyme and passion fruit, while the Quimbara is a celebration of an alcoholic slushie, swirled with Aperol, rum and lime. Nostalgia is served on all levels, with a retro food menu including fondue, though with these lighter drinks, you might want to gravitate towards the ceviche, coconut shrimp and fish sliders. 2. Peppi’s Cellar, New York City Jason Scott, a Sydney native, has brought his speakeasy aesthetic to this brazenly retro-cool cellar bar in Nolita. Just down the narrow stairs in the back of sister restaurant Gran Tivoli you’ll find a long, wooden bar, exposed brick, carved out booths and a small stage advertising a piano, where live music is allowed one night a week (the bar doesn’t have its cabaret license). The GT Spritz was created to match the classic American Italian style of the food upstairs, using the bitter notes of white vermouth and falernum to mingle with the sweet of the Italian prosecco. The namesake Amaro-Palooza is a cavalcade of sweet, sour and bitter, combining, among other things, Campari, triple sec, egg white and orange juice over clinking ice cubes. A limited bar menu is also available for some light bites. 3. Urbana, Washington D.C. Tucked away under Kimpton’s relatively modern Hotel Palomar near Dupont Circle, Urbana boasts a popular bar scene with a daily cocktail hour. In addition to $1 oysters and a satisfying raw bar, you can choose from an aperitif-heavy cocktail list. We especially like the Constituent Cup, an Italian spritz using Nardini Taglatello, fennel liqueur, lemon and sugar to mimic the flavors of an English favorite, the Pimm’s Cup—while the seasonal Piccola Perla infuses vermouth with chamomile and the Suits Get Crazy combines rum, tiki bitters and aperol. The bar menu also includes smaller, Italian bites and snacks to round out your experience. 4. Bar Clacson, Los Angeles A neighborhood hangout in the city of angels, this airy, international spot boasts a bodega upfront, serving paninis and bruschetta, as well as cheese and charcuterie boards. Once you grab your snack, snake your way back to the long wooden bar or hang out at the full-size petanque court. A notable list of spritz and sherry-based drinks include Campari and whiskey forward Garibaldi and the Clack_Dack, shaken with Amaro Angeleno, cracked pepper, blood orange and lime. The bar’s riff on a classic spritz, served long, will help you get through the day, combining white wine, lemon juice, prosecco and water. A seven day a week happy hour offers $10 cocktails along with small bites. 5. Ticonderoga Club, Atlanta Head to the back of dining and retail hub, Krog Street Market, and you’ll find this laid back, cocktail-forward restaurant. The lovechild of Greg Best, Paul Calvert and Regan Smith, three of Atlanta’s most renowned mixologists, it presents a rotating menu of exhilarating cocktails. Summer offerings include the Hootchy Cider Punch made with Amer Ticon, house bitter and dry cider, as well as a cocktail featuring Cognac du Peyrat, Dubonnet, and orange bitter, playfully dubbed the Space Ghost. And don’t forget to grab a bite from the eclectic menu, which boasts clam rolls and fish and chips as well as roasted moulard duck and a vegan noodle bowl. The one thing you’ll never be at the Ticonderoga Club? Bored. 6. Perch, Richmond, VA A southern twist on laidback luxury, this homey restaurant features a stylish yet industrial bar serving up a long list of low alcohol cocktails. Housed in a long-running, former Chinese restaurant, owner Mike Ledesma falls back on his years as a chef in Hawaii as well as his Pilipino heritage in both food and décor—bringing the Pacific Rim to this little corner of Virginia. The Jugo de Puma is sunshine in a glass with its watermelon shrub, Aperol, Citadelle and Galliano, while the Shinosaka Golf Club combines Japanese whisky, apricot liqueur and Rainwater Madeira and the Mexican Peach Cobbler plays sweet and smoky with tequila, Manzanilla, lemon and smoked peach slices. A full list of bitters and amari is also available and a happy hour menu includes cocktail specials as well as a bar menu with nibbles like Furikake peanuts, fried lotus chips and fried chicken banh mi.

Inspiration

6 Perfect Spots to Immerse Yourself in Southeast Montana's History

Interstate 94 and 90 are ideal for cruise control with long stretches of highway straight as an arrow. The prairie landscape goes on forever, dotted with cattle, crops, and badlands as you cruise along Interstate 94 and 90 in Southeast Montana. Break up the drive with stops at national monuments and state parks, not only to stretch the legs but to discover the fascinating stories that shaped the West. This corner of Montana has been home to prehistoric people, dinosaurs, homesteaders, and one epic battle between the U.S. Army and Native Americans fighting to preserve their way of life. The gateway to these parts is the city of Billings. The pace of life is slower in these parts of Big Sky Country – enjoy the ride! 1. Pompeys Pillar National Monument Courtesy Donnie SextonStart your journey in Billings, armed with a picnic lunch, then head east 30 miles on I-94 to Pompeys Pillar, a sizable rock outcropping. You’ll see first-hand the only physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from their epic two-year journey to the Pacific Ocean from St. Louis. Part way up this 200 ft. high sandstone rock, Captain William Clark carved his name and date, July 25, 1806. Clark named the rock “Pompy,”a nickname he had given to the son of Sacagawea, the only woman to take part in the expedition. A boardwalk leads to the top of the rock for sweeping views of the Yellowstone River and valley and a chance to view Clark’s signature. The interpretative center is a must stop to learn about this grueling journey. Picnic under shaded cottonwood trees adjacent to the mighty Yellowstone River, the same waterway Clark and his men would utilize on their return trip via dugout canoes. 2. Makoshika State Park Courtesy Donnie SextonContinuing east on I-94, dinosaur lovers will delight in Makoshika, an 11,538-acre badlands park located within a stone’s throw of the town of Glendive. The word Makoshika comes from a Lakota Indian phrase, meaning ‘bad land’ or ‘bad earth.’ Imagine hiking over the playground of Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops. Back in 1889, a researcher scouring the area by horseback documented 500 triceratops skulls. The topography, from cap rocks, hoodoos, wrinkled hillsides, deep ravines, and boulders tossed about, begs to be photographed, especially at sunrise and sunset. With over 12 miles of trails, crowds will not be a problem in Makoshika. If your journey is via a motorhome or more adventurous with a tent and sleeping bag, this is the place to spend the night with both designated camping sites as well as backcountry camping. Add to this birding, an archery site, disc golf course, summer programs for kids, an amphitheater, mountain biking, visitor center, scenic drives – Makoshika has you covered! 3. Medicine Rocks State Park Courtesy Donnie SextonIt’s a bit off the beaten path but worth seeking out this otherworldly gem. To reach Medicine Rocks, exit I-94 at Wibaux, then head south on Hwy 7 for approximately 70 miles, passing through the town of Baker. The entrance is clearly marked. The area is characterized by sandstone rock formations, thousands of years in the making, shaped by wind and water, and peppered with holes and caves. It was a vision quest site for Native Americans, who would camp and scour the landscape for buffalo. Charging Bear, a Sioux Indian, described the site as a place “where the spirits stayed, and the medicine men prayed.” Their stories remain in the petroglyphs carved into the rocks. Cowpunchers and settlers of the old west left their names carved into the rocks as well. Don’t be tempted to carve your name on the rocks, as its both illegal and degrades this historic site. Hike it and camp it, and keep your eyes peeled for mule deer, antelope, and sharp-tailed grouse. 4. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Courtesy Donnie SextonSome say there are days when you can hear the war cry of the Lakota and Cheyenne Indians riding into battle against the U.S. Army back on June 25-26, 1876. Often referred to as Custer’s Last Stand, it was one of the last armed efforts by the Plains Indians to protect their land and culture. By the end of the bloody battle, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, along with over 260 men, would lose their lives. Between 60-100 Native Americans were killed, according to estimates. The Little Bighorn Battlefield memorializes the site of the battle. Interpretive signage along the 4.5-mile drive provides an insight into how the action unfolded. The road ends at the Reno-Benteen Battlefield, where additional troops, under the direction of Major Reno and Captain Benteen fought. A visitor center, museum, and Indian memorial, along with a national cemetery, make up the complex. In addition to the drive, walk the Battlefield on the various pathways scattered around this historic site. The Battlefield is 65 miles southeast of Billings on I-90. 5. Pictograph Caves State Park Courtesy Donnie SextonThink back 2,000 years and imagine prehistoric people painting on the walls of one of three caves at this historic state park. Little did these artists know, working in black and white pigments, they were creating a history book of sorts for future generations to understand life in ancient times. Later images, estimated to be 200-500 years old, were created with red pigment and featured rifles, horses, and other animals. The park is a short 15-minute drive from Billings on Coburn Road. The park is day use only and makes for a sweet spot for picnicking. Check out the visitor center and gift shop. Bring binoculars to get an up-close look at the pictographs. Those keen on birding should be amply rewarded with sightings at the park. 6. Chief Plenty Coups State Park Courtesy Donnie SextonIt’s a 40-minute drive via Hwy 416, then 418 to Chief Plenty Coups State Park, the home and farmstead of one of the great leaders of the Crow Tribe. Chief Plenty Coups started as a Crow Warrior, but through his visions, could see the white man taking over the Crow land. He felt it best to adapt and work with the whites so the Crows and their culture could survive. His wisdom and leadership would result in him being appointed chief of the Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe by age 28. He became one of the first Crow to own a farm and work the land on the Crow Indian Reservation. His efforts to bring harmony between his culture and that of the white people resulted in Plenty Coups being honored by his people as their last traditional tribal chief upon his death. If your visit coincides with their Annual Day of Honor, this year falling on August 31, you can enjoy a free buffalo feast.

Inspiration

Treehouse Vacations: 3 Awesome & Affordable Destinations

When you’re planning a vacation, an inspiring view out your hotel window is often high on your list. Well, it turns out there are some lodgings around the U.S. and beyond where that view is extremely inspiring, not to mention extremely high - like, in the treetops. Here, three of our favorite treehouse vacations—all for well under $200/night. 1. BLUE RIDGE TREEHOUSE, BLUE RIDGE, GA As if Blue Ridge, Georgia, weren’t beautiful enough, the Blue Ridge TreeHouse, located at Bear Claw Vineyards, delivers breathtaking views year-round. And autumn may be the best time of all to soak up those gorgeous colors. You’ll stay in a real treehouse - tree trunks are part of the interior design! - and enjoy visiting the vineyards, the nearby cool town of Blue Ridge, and those endless northern Georgia mountain views. (blueridgetreehouse.com) 2. TREEBONES RESORT, BIG SUR, CA Perched high above cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur, California, Treebones Resort, on Highway 1 (which is now completely reopened) offers an array of elevated structures that deliver views of the sea and the stars you’ll never forget. The Human Nest (just what it sounds like) literally gets you up into the trees, and you have to bring your own sleeping bag and, when needed, rain gear. Cushier options include yurts (essentially comfy tents with hotel-style furnishings inside). The property also offers cozy indoor amenities, food at the Wild Coast Restaurant and the Sushi Bar, and lounge chairs for taking in the ocean views. You may even hear the distant cry of sea lions. (treebonesresort.com) 3. BANGKOK TREEHOUSE, THAILAND Treehouse hotels aren’t just for U.S. domestic travelers. One of the best-known in the world is the Bangkok Treehouse, in Thailand, with a dozen elegant elevated bungalows built with sustainable wood and repurposed and recycled materials. You won’t believe you’re in a major metro area, just a short ferry or taxi ride from the city’s river, temples, and iconic skyscrapers. Thailand, though it’s a long flight away, we’ve found that it is affordable and easily navigable for American travelers thanks to reliable public transportation and English-speaking locals. (bangkoktreehouse.com)

Inspiration

7 Exceptional American Food Halls

These days, savvy travelers have a more sophisticated option for fast-casual dining thanks to the growing trend of multi-vendor food halls. A trifecta of choice, atmosphere, and affordability, the best of these large, usually urban-based, eateries offer something for everyone while reveling in the spirit of their surroundings. In addition to showcasing native chefs, products, and cuisines, many food halls also offer locally sourced wine and beer as well as cocktails. Traveling with a family? Now everyone can find something they like. From New York City to Plano, Texas, to Portland, Oregon, this fun and informal way of chowing down offers culinary freedom to tourists and resident foodies alike. 1. Urbanspace Vanderbilt, NYC Nothing says New York City like Grand Central, and this Midtown oasis is the perfect way to get acquainted with the city’s exciting culinary scene. Located on the ground floor of 230 Park Avenue, just one block north of the train station, the 12,000 square-foot food hall (urbanspacenyc.com/urbanspace-vanderbilt/) is packed with local vendors serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s even cocktails at Seamore’s NYC, a sustainable seafood purveyor and the newest mezzanine bar. Other notable tenants include Brooklyn Pizza legend Roberta’s; upper east side Greek darling Amali Mou, which serves pork, lamb, chicken, and veggie gyros; designer donut producer Dough dishing South American flavors like hibiscus and tropical chile. Or check out Asian eats from Mr. Bong Beijing Street Foods, Tukami Taco, Hai Street & Co., kbbq by Karilla, and Bangkok Bar. 2. Pine Street Market, Portland, OR (@pinestreetmarketpdx/Instagram)Located in the historic Carriage & Baggage Building in downtown Portland, this cavernous food hall (pinestreetpdx.com) is an ode to the city’s varied dining scene and celebrated indie spirit. The industrial ground floor, which housed a string of Portland nightclubs since the 1980’s, is now home to nine Portland-based vendors, many of which are offshoots of local restaurants. Taking center stage, Olympia Provisions Annex pairs sausages and foot-long dogs with craft cocktails, Champagne and a well-chosen wine list. But don’t miss other standouts like Tokyo ramen joint Marukin; soft-serve wizard WizBangBar, specializing in magic-dip shells infused with freshly-shaved Oregon black truffles; Kim Jong Smokehouse, a Top-Chef helmed mash-up of Korean and Texas BBQ featuring a scorched rice noodle bibimbap bowl; and Mexican-inspired Pollo Bravo serving up rotisserie chicken and tapas-sized sides like papas bravos and salty/spicy chicken and serrano ham croquettes. 3. Legacy Hall, Plano, TX Nobody can accuse this Plano food hall of being modest. A giant three-story dining destination in the Legacy West, a business district, Legacy Hall (legacyfoodhall.com) proffers access to over 20 food and drink vendors, including award-winning chefs like John Tesar. Long known for Knife, his Dallas steakhouse, Knife Burger is his food hall debut. In addition to its size, this extensive space is courting Millennials with cutting edge features. To whit: it operates on a no-cash basis and offers a refillable gift card called a Hall Pass. It’s a nifty place to hit during happy hour, as there are nine bars to choose from, including one dedicated to cocktails made with Texas-based Tito’s Vodka. Happily, the food is just as momentous. Favorites include Freshfin Poke Co. for build-your-own Poke; Tex-Mex inspired FAQ (flautas and quesadillas) known for modern, authentic fillings like Texas brisket and chicken chorizo; and the Dallas-offshoot of Sea Breeze Lobsta’ and Chowda House, featuring a wild caught lobster roll, thick with tarragon and celery-rich mayo and topped with luscious drawn butter. 4. Block 16 Urban Food Hall, Las Vegas, NV What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but nobody has been keeping quiet about the city’s massive and evolving restaurant scene. A plethora of upscale eateries can be found in Sin City, fronted by marquee names like Nobu Matsuhisa, Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Rick Moonen and Mario Carbone. It only goes to follow that a food hall was the next step to entice the fast-casual connoisseur. Enter Block 16 Urban Food Hall (cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/block16), a massive dining complex recently opened on the Las Vegas Strip, inside The Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Tower. With six regional eateries offering a small-format taste of their chef’s standout foods and drinks, you’ll find foodie faves like Andy Ricker’s Vietnamese cult classic Pok Pok Wing showcasing its well-known crispy fried chicken wings smothered in fish sauce and sugar; New Orleans’s District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew., serving 100 rotating doughnut flavors as well as handmade biscuit sandwiches and zippy nitro cold brew; and Takashi Segawa’s Tekka Bar: Handroll & Sake turning out its signature spicy, creamy, crunchy Tekka Tuna roll and a wide range of sake to wash it down. 5. Workshop, Charleston, SC Workshop (workshopcharleston.com) was originally founded as a rotating, fancy food court to help stoke the creative fires of local chefs. Now a daring food hall housing six kitchens with five stalls, it also doubles as an incubator for new business ideas and concepts from creative locals. And because the stands are swapped out each season, it fosters a fun, exploratory, and adventurous atmosphere for foodies of all stripes. The current line-up includes Thai Phi, the brick and mortar debut from the Vietnamese food truck of the same name, a Charleston favorite. Or hit Pink Bellies, where you can munch on crispy, panko-encrusted avocado fries and fried chicken skins with a spicy chili sauce bath, or Cuban/Southern eatery Spanglish Cuban Kitchen, which focuses solely on southern ingredients like the Edwards Country ham and TN Alpine cheese in the melty, chewy El Cubano sandwich. Thursday through Saturdays catch Merrows Garden Bar, a pop-up pouring a rotating selection of organic, biodynamic and small-batch wines by the glass or bottle. 6. The Wynwood Yard, Miami, FL Al fresco dining is nothing new for Miami’s swinging restaurant culture. And though the urge to see and be seen has always gone hand in hand with the tropical swagger of the city’s culinary scene, the Wynwood Yard (thewynwoodyard.com) is a breath of fresh air—combining pop-up food stands with the cutting-edge art, entertainment, design, and entrepreneurial communities. This summer brought Charcoal, the food hall's first full-service restaurant, offering a beer garden, tapas, and a rotating, wholly seasonal menu of local meat, poultry, fish, and produce. Other current stalls include World Famous House of Mac, known for its indulgently creamy pasta bowl packed with five melted cheeses and truffles. (There’s also a vegan version.) Can’t make up your mind? Try the Friday night Taste of the Yard. $25 will score you five samples of food and drink. 7. Revival Food Hall, Chicago, IL This 24,000 square-foot food hall (revivalfoodhall.com) and marketplace located in the Chicago Loop occupies the first floor of the historic National building, a circa-1907 bank designed by legendary architect Daniel Burnham. A varied collection of 15 stalls feature many spin-offs of neighborhood restaurants as well as some wholly new concepts from up-and-coming local chefs. The newest stands include Lito’s Empanadas, serving up elevated Mexican turnovers filled with everything from ground beef, rice, and a slightly spicy salsa to a blend of apples, caramel and cinnamon sugar. There's also Duck Inn’s new concept, Duck Inn Dogs, revolving around specialty beef and duck fat hot dogs with seasonal toppings like kimchi and house-made pickled hot peppers. Debuting in September, cutting-edge sushi spot Tomi will also feature a robot which quickly assembles high-quality rolls for a reasonable price.

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