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5 of the Coolest Places in Chicago You've Never Heard About

Chicago Insider Guides
by Lauren Victoria Jun 22, 2017

Whether you’re a tourist in Chicago for the very first time, or a native looking to switch things up – consider visiting these places for an unforgettable experience!

1. Stony Island Arts Bank

6760 S Stony Island Ave Chicago, IL 60649
The Stony Island Arts Bank is a hidden treasure on Chicago’s South Side. The humble building, sitting on 67th and Stony Island, serves as a “hybrid gallery, media archive, library, and community center”. Along with an enchanting aesthetic, there are dozens of events every month. Take a trip down for some early morning yoga, or listen to a panel discussion on the history of Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

2. Uptown Poetry Slam at Green Mill Jazz Lounge

4802 N Broadway Chicago, IL 60640
Did you know that Chicago is the birthplace of the poetry slam? In 1984, the competition was started to showcase the city’s diverse talent. More than 30 years later, the tradition lives on. Every Sunday from 7-10 pm, poets from all across the country recite their best work over the smooth sounds of the The Green Mill Quartet. You can also expect a special musical performance from a featured guest at intermission.

3. Demera Ethiopian Restaurant

4801 N Broadway Chicago, IL 60640
When most people think Chicago food, they think hot dogs, Italian beef, and deep-dish pizza. While these are indeed staples of a good Chicagoan diet, you’d be surprised at what else the city has to offer. Stroll down Broadway Street in the Uptown neighborhood, and you’ll find Ethiopian restaurants on almost every block. My personal recommendation: Demera Restaurant. Hands down the best honey wine in the town.

4. Garfield Park Conservatory

300 N Central Park Ave Chicago, IL 60624
If you like gardens and greenery, the Garfield Park Conservatory - Reservations Required is an absolute must-see. A stark contrast to the urban city, the lush trees and colorful flowers create a perfect nature escape. With just a small donation of your choice, explore an array of plants from countries from all around the world. It’s also a great place to take the kids – there are educational events offered everyday.

5. B.L.U.E.S on Halsted

300 N Central Park Ave Chicago, IL 60624
Blues music has a rich history in Chicago, and you can get acquainted every night at this Lincoln Park bar. Performers range from new artists to national legends, both equally enjoyed by the audience. The venue is small and can get quite crowded, so arriving early is always a good plan. If you visit on a Sunday, your ticket gets you free entrance to Kingston Mines – another famous blues bar down the street.

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