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Here’s How to Experience Chicago Like a Local

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This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

You’ve checked in, and now there’s one question: Where are the cool places to hang out? Homewood Suites by Hilton has you covered. Here, the top non-tourist hangouts in Chicago. It’s your chance to eat, shop, and have fun like a local.

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1. Bang Bang Pie Shop

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2051 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 276-8888
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This bakery almost always has a line out the door, but the wait is well worth it with offerings like homemade biscuits with fried chicken and chocolate pecan pie.
Hillary J. Corts

2. Threadless HQ

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1260 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60607
(773) 878-3557
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This boutique has been open since 2000 and is dedicated to supporting local artists by printing their works on all sorts of canvases from t-shirts to pillows and iPhone cases. It’s a great place to buy gifts and memorabilia.

3. Ruxbin Kitchen

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851 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 624-8509
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This is a cozy little BYOB restaurant in West Town where the food is super inventive (think jackfruit carnitas) but made with a classic French technique, so it’s still very refined. The bathroom is one of the restaurant’s cool quirks: you have to rotate the circular doors to get in, sort of like a Star Trek pod.

4. Empty Bottle

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1035 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 276-3600
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For an evening of music and dancing, locals head to The Empty Bottle. It has been open for over 20 years and while the price of beer has gone up—it’s not $1.50 anymore—it has a really cool range of shows, from honky tonk to cajun dance music.
Courtesy of Empty Bottle

5. Broken Shaker

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19 E Ohio St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 940-3699
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This is a great place for really unique Tiki-inspired cocktails. Drinks are finished with ingredients like cheese bitters, pumpkin and squash tonic, and sherry that’s been infused with white asparagus (for an “uncanny” martini).
Adrian Gaut

6. Craft Pizza

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1252 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 442-7238
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You can’t go to Chicago without getting an artisanal pizza and this place uses super fresh ingredients. The White Truffle Pie is a crowd favorite with fresh mozzarella, white truffle oil and salt. If you’re coming for breakfast, they also make their own bagels.
Courtesy of Craft Pizza

7. Humboldt House

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1045 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 785-1442
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Even if you’re not shopping to buy, this showroom is really a site to see with vintage home goods and locally made accessories. You’ll find everything from Kilim pillows to bold rings and aromatherapy spray.
Courtesy of Humboldt House

8. Big Star

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1531 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-4039
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Self described as a “bourbon and beer-focused, taco-slinging, late-night honky-tonk,” Big Star is an awesome stop for drinks and tacos in Wicker Park. The atmosphere is very laid back and the tacos are inventive and comforting. Plus, there’s a different drink special every night.
Lucy Angel

9. Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago-Downtown

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40 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 644-2222
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The perfect home base for your travels, Homewood Suites provides comfort and ease when you return from your adventures.

10. Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile

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152 E Huron St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 585-9333
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Homewood Suites is right in the heart of Chicago — close to all of the action and entertainment. Find a Homewood Suites near you.
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

1. Bang Bang Pie Shop

2051 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Hillary J. Corts
This bakery almost always has a line out the door, but the wait is well worth it with offerings like homemade biscuits with fried chicken and chocolate pecan pie.
2051 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

2. Threadless HQ

1260 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607
This boutique has been open since 2000 and is dedicated to supporting local artists by printing their works on all sorts of canvases from t-shirts to pillows and iPhone cases. It’s a great place to buy gifts and memorabilia.
1260 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60607

3. Ruxbin Kitchen

851 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
This is a cozy little BYOB restaurant in West Town where the food is super inventive (think jackfruit carnitas) but made with a classic French technique, so it’s still very refined. The bathroom is one of the restaurant’s cool quirks: you have to rotate the circular doors to get in, sort of like a Star Trek pod.
851 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

4. Empty Bottle

1035 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Courtesy of Empty Bottle
For an evening of music and dancing, locals head to The Empty Bottle. It has been open for over 20 years and while the price of beer has gone up—it’s not $1.50 anymore—it has a really cool range of shows, from honky tonk to cajun dance music.
1035 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

5. Broken Shaker

19 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611
Adrian Gaut
This is a great place for really unique Tiki-inspired cocktails. Drinks are finished with ingredients like cheese bitters, pumpkin and squash tonic, and sherry that’s been infused with white asparagus (for an “uncanny” martini).
19 E Ohio St
Chicago, IL 60611

6. Craft Pizza

1252 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Courtesy of Craft Pizza
You can’t go to Chicago without getting an artisanal pizza and this place uses super fresh ingredients. The White Truffle Pie is a crowd favorite with fresh mozzarella, white truffle oil and salt. If you’re coming for breakfast, they also make their own bagels.
1252 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

7. Humboldt House

1045 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Courtesy of Humboldt House
Even if you’re not shopping to buy, this showroom is really a site to see with vintage home goods and locally made accessories. You’ll find everything from Kilim pillows to bold rings and aromatherapy spray.
1045 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

8. Big Star

1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Lucy Angel
Self described as a “bourbon and beer-focused, taco-slinging, late-night honky-tonk,” Big Star is an awesome stop for drinks and tacos in Wicker Park. The atmosphere is very laid back and the tacos are inventive and comforting. Plus, there’s a different drink special every night.
1531 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

9. Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago-Downtown

40 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
The perfect home base for your travels, Homewood Suites provides comfort and ease when you return from your adventures.
40 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

10. Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile

152 E Huron St, Chicago, IL 60611
Homewood Suites is right in the heart of Chicago — close to all of the action and entertainment. Find a Homewood Suites near you.
152 E Huron St
Chicago, IL 60611

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