There are so many great ways to discover this wonderful world of ours including —but not limited to—air travel. Whether you’re motoring cross country, cruising around the world or just hoofing it from one great place to the next, we say see it all and book your next great budget getaway at CheapTickets.com!
As many a philosopher has said: It’s not about the destination; it’s the journey. And, honestly, considering TSA lines and middle row seats, we’re all about taking the long way. So before you book airfare for your summer trip, consider a no-flight adventure to one of these destinations. We don’t care what anyone says: Riding around all Hogwarts Express-style will always be better than flying coach.
Take a Long, Romantic Train Ride
Who wouldn’t want to eat delicious food in the dining car while someone else navigates (you never liked your GPS, anyway)? America by Rail can help you organize a trip to basically anywhere you want to go (the Great Lakes, Yellowstone, Alaska or even a grand cross-country tour) — no flying necessary. Just find a train station within in driving distance of you. If you’re looking for even less fuss, check out Amtrak’s schedule for a fun joyride.
Go On a Cruise
Live on the coast? Well, chances are you’re within driving distance of a port. Try a week of sailing from the Northeast into Canada, or travel through the Panama Canal on your way from New Orleans to Seattle. West Coasters, let your wanderlust run wild on a month-long cruise from Los Angeles to Sydney making stops along the way in Hawaii, Samoa and Fiji. And landlocked folks: There are also river cruises up the Mississippi via steamboat. How nostalgic is that?
Road Trip Somewhere You’ve Never Been
Embrace the American tradition of taking a good old-fashioned road trip. Head up the Pacific Coast Highway through California, Oregon and Washington for about as scenic a highway adventure as you can get. Or get your kicks on Route 66 — America’s Main Street — all the way from L.A. to Chicago. You could also go completely rogue, rent an RV and map out as many charming small towns as your heart desires.
Backpack Along a New Trail
With 59 national parks throughout the U.S., you’re never too far from a good hike. Camp out on a multi-day backpacking trip along the Pacific Crest Trail (à la Wild) or Appalachian Trail. A little less rustic? Park your tent/RV/station wagon at a campground or nearby inn and plan a couple day hikes. We’ll take fresh air over recycled fuselage oxygen anytime.
Chicago is our kind of town anytime of the year, but even we concede that burdensome winters do take their toll. That’s why we come rushing out of our homes each spring (45 degree temperatures be damned) to take advantage of the city’s first thaw and all the happenings that come with it. Our friends at PureWow have compiled an impressive Chicago “to do” list of activities to liven up the coming months. Book your next Chicago vacation at CheapTickets.com.
Sometimes it feels like we’re just trudging along until summer comes. Well, at least based on our Netflix history. That was the case until we did a little digging and came up with these 23 restaurants, events and shows to fill our calendar for the next three months. Drinking rosé in a weatherproof bubble? Count us in.
1. City Winery’s Riverwalk location officially reopens May 1. Can’t wait? As of March 17, you can sip your rosé and take in the views within a protected dome. Call ahead to reserve your bubble, which fits up to six guests for 90 minutes.
2. It’s not quite rooftop season, but you can enjoy the skyline views from the newly redesigned space at Terzo Piano. Tony Mantuano’s updated menu (housemade gnocchi, anyone?) is another key draw.
3. Or visit the fourth floor of Celeste, recently weatherproofed into a year-round Victorian-inspired garden. Order up a Troubled Times (Belvedere, Diplomatico Blanco, cinnamon, passionfruit, vanilla, angostura) and remark how this is anything but.
4. Forget about views and put your head down and get to work on Imperial Lamian’s dollar dim sum. In honor of the restaurant’s one-year anniversary, Shanghai xiao long bao (classic pork soup dumplings) will cost you just a buck until March 31.
5. Also celebrating a birthday is Chopping Block. The neighborhood cooking school has been going strong for 20 years and has invited back some of its most noted alums (including the chefs behind Fat Rice and Antique Taco) to teach free classes on April 1 and 8.
6. If you’d rather let someone else cook, try the newly opened Temporis. For an unheard of $110, you get an eight-course tasting menu of showstopping New American.
7. Talk about showstoppers: Rick Bayless is on hand for the Good Food Festival & Conference, happening March 16 to 18 at UIC Forum. Taste local, artisanal foods and attend workshops and demos at this event devoted to local, sustainable dining.
8. Unlimited bacon dishes. Do you need more reason to attend Baconfest (March 31)? We’re talking chocolate-and-bacon-chess-pie bites from Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits and bacon chicken and grits from Honey Butter Fried Chicken.
9. The now liquor-less South Side Irish Parade on March 12 is one of the best ways for families to celebrate the holiday thanks to marching bagpipers and dancers. For the more raucous event, join the festivities throughout the city on March 11.
10. Lake Shore Drive is one of the city’s most scenic thoroughfares, and you’ll have free rein of it during Bike the Drive on May 28. Go at your own pace, for as many (or as few) miles as you want — if only driving were this relaxed.
11. If the first leaves of spring put a…well, spring in your step, harness that energy at Morton Arboretum’s Champion of Trees race. The 10K on April 23 proceeds through the arboretum’s gorgeous, rolling terrain and ends with a party with food and beer.
12. A slightly less active way to enjoy the season’s foliage comes at the annual Macy’s Flower Show (March 26 through April 9). This year’s theme is carnival — think rhododendron-studded carousels, not scary clowns.
13. Head to Pilsen May 13 and 14 for the Renegade Craft Fair pop-up market. Expect handmade jewelry and textiles, yummy street food and leashed pups — in short, all the happiest things.
14. We’re easily on our sixth viewing of Ali Wong: Baby Cobra on Netflix and still laughing. It seems high time we saw the comic live — good thing tickets are on sale for her April 8 show at Chicago Theatre.
15. For an altogether different type of comic, there’s C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (April 21 to 23). Dress like your favorite Stranger Things character and get ready to geek out.
16. In honor of the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday, take a walking tour of ten homes designed by the visionary Prairie Style architect on May 20 in Oak Park. Take in the private living spaces, but no, you can’t move in.
17. Poet Gwendolyn Brooks heralded from Chicago’s South Side and was the first African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize. University of Chicago and Poetry Foundation fete the 100th anniversary of her birth at a festival April 6 to 8.
18. There’s more writerly love to go around at the opening of the American Writers Museum on May 16. The first and only museum of its kind will celebrate America’s writers and explore their influence on our national identity and daily lives.
19. Come June 6, MCA will showcase the work of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, known for blurring the lines between commercial media and fine art. We just love seeing all the whimsical flowers.
Speakeasy bars during the Prohibition era were everywhere. And nowhere. Boozers were required to remain hush-hush, lest their favorite backdoor moonshine distillery be discovered by the police and promptly shut down. Today, we are free to enjoy a cocktail or seven wherever we please. But in choosing the perfect barstool, a sense of danger adds appeal to throwback speakeasy bars. Think secret entrances behind bookshelves and phone booths, and well-guarded passwords. Of course, it’s hard to keep secrets in the epoch of Instagram and “location services enabled,” but these seven bars have raised, well, the bar on maintaining mystery.
Adult video stores are fairly irrelevant, thanks to the advent of the Internet. Yet this one in Los Angeles thrives off Sunset Boulevard in the ritziest, most enticing of locations: behind a Burger King. Gather your mettle (aka a Whopper), head into a storefront with “XXX” proudly displayed, and through the back sits an immaculately designed throwback to the 1920s. Woodwork and dark wallpaper conjure images of hiding from the police, and extravagantly designed, lush couches provide comfort—even if the cocktail names are unsettling: The “Money Shot,” “Rusty Trombone,” and “Dirty Sanchez” are demonstrated both in the bookstore and at the bar. And given the “Dirty Sanchez” is a sweet and spicy concoction of mezcal, sweet cucumber, and zesty serrano chili, we’ll opt for that one. For now…
So undercover it doesn’t have a website, Angel’s Share stands out amid the infinite speakeasy bar scene of New York (there are…a lot). To find it, head into a bustling Japanese restaurant in the East Village, get out of the way of servers with plates full of sushi, enter an unmarked door, and you’re in a Narnia of candlelit tranquility. Angel’s Share takes no reservations, asks patrons to keep their voices down, and the wait for even a spot to lean against the bar is typically an hour or more. Stick around. And shut up. Sipping a “Summertime,” made with jasmine-infused rum, over hushed whispers, is the epitome of calm.
This one in Baltimore doesn’t take major sleuthing to find (or minor sleuthing, for that matter), but earns points for its history of ingenuity. A statue of the eponymous owl took up residence in the lobby of the 1902-built Hotel Belvedere (now condos) to give thirsty lawbreakers the signal. When its eyes were lit up, the hidden bar, nestled way in the back, was open for business. The Owl Bar now serves legal drinks, of course, but its classic look remains. The patterned bricks in the high walls have been preserved, as has the immaculate molding of windows and archways. The statue, too, remains.
Congratulations! You have been accepted to Brewniversity! No SAT scores required! Atlanta‘s Taco Mac (Southern-style taco and chicken wing joint) already boasts a nice selection of craft beers, but to gain access downstairs in the Chapter Room, you must download Brewniversity’s mobile app and enroll, tuition-free. Admittance allows you access to the vaunted beer-bastion Chapter Room, located downstairs. The beer list is far more robust and international, plus the bar’s hiding an impressive list of whiskeys. Ironically, you can use technology to track how much you drink, using the app, and earn points toward nothing in particular—except to redo college drinking doppelbocks instead of Miller High Life.
The Drifter in Chicago serves up a freshly caught red herring: It’s located in the basement of what has now become another bar called Green Door Tavern. You thought you were done drinking? Think again. Head downstairs to the bathrooms, stumble through an unassuming wooden door between the men’s and women’s rooms, and you’ll find an actual former speakeasy. The Drifter space is small but cozy; rubbing elbows with other drinkers transports you a century back in time, when liquor was at a premium and everyone wanted in. The drinks that will be served that night are pulled from a tarot card deck. So if you loved a particular cocktail, don’t expect the same next time. But always expect elaborate woodwork and—occasionally—burlesque dancers to complete the time travel back nearly a century.
Two decades from now, we seriously doubt anyone will remember voicemail. It’s tedious to not only leave one, but to listen. And who wants to hear voices?! Suck it up, though, and call Hanson’s Shoe Repair—a hidden Orlando bar and occasional music venue worth the inconvenience. Potential visitors call and are asked to leave a message with the time they’d like their “shoes repaired” (no promises on preventing falls while wasted) and how many pairs they’re bringing in. If all seems well, Hanson’s will provide the password for entry that night. The code changes each night, so hold onto it preciously to enjoy craft cocktails in what looks like, well, an old-timey shoe repair shop. The best part: Passwords arrive via text. The future is now.
“Please speak-easy” is the first rule of Bourbon and Branch (the second rule isn’t, “You do nottalk about Fight Club). This raspberry-tinted San Francisco bar—with working-man decor ranging from books to barrels—is rigid about its policies, but it’s all in the interest of providing the 20 or so patrons a relaxing, reflective experience. See, within this particular speakeasy is yet another secret room in the back, behind a bookshelf. There’s a password to enter,“books,” and inside is an impressive library for your party to enlighten themselves and sip delicious cocktails . Just don’t order a cosmo. House rules.
Like Pavlov’s dogs (who drooled at the sound of a dinner bell), we start to salivate when we hear the word pizza. Part of the appeal is the winning formula: dough + marinara + sauce + delicious toppings = happy eaters, but another reason to love the world’s most delectable dish are its endless variations and the controversy over which one rules harder. Whether you love Chicago’s deep dish or NYC’s fold over slice is a matter of hot debate so we say read the following list, book a trip to each city to discover for yourself whether these pies are blue ribbon worthy and let us know what you think. Happy eating!
OK, first things first: We’re of the mindset that there’s no such thing as a bad pizza. If it’s got dough, sauce, and cheese, we’re on board. But that said, there are some pies that really take it to the next level. Here are fifteen of our favorites.
Di Fara Classic Pie at Di Fara (Brooklyn, NY)
It’s $5 a slice, you’ll need to take the Q train to the depths of Brooklyn and you’ll probably wait upwards of an hour and a half. But if you think there’s any pizza anywhere in the world better than Di Fara…fuhgettaboutit.
It wouldn’t be a pizza roundup without some Chicago-style deep dish (aka pizza casserole). At Giordano’s, the pizza actually has two crusts — a thick one at the bottom, and a thin one on top, with more than an inch of cheese and toppings in the middle. It’s not exactly spa cuisine, but it sure does taste good.
As the name implies, this San Francisco eatery knows its way around its carbohydrates. The menu changes daily to incorporate fresh ingredients, but you can usually count on the excellent salumi, with San Marzano tomatoes, capocollo pork, provolone, red onions and Taggiasca olives.
For serious pizza lovers, chef Chris Bianco is somewhat of a cult figure: He basically started the artisanal pizza trend. All of his pies are great, but we recommend keeping it simple, to appreciate his fresh, homegrown ingredients.
Fun fact: Providence has one of the country’s highest concentration of Italian-Americans. It’s also home to Al Forno, which has been drawing food lovers from New York and Boston since it opened in 1980. The wood-grilled pizzas are fan favorites; we love the one topped with fried calamari, chiles, and two kinds of cheese.
For a small city, New Haven makes some pretty audacious food claims: the first hamburger in America, and the best pizza. We’re not entirely sure about the hamburger, but can say first-hand that the pizza is on point — particularly the legendary white clam pizza at Frank Pepe’s. Crunchy, cheesy, and topped with perfectly briny clams, it’s worth the short detour off 95.
Charleston is definitely a food town….but usually, it’s not the pizza that people are talking about. No one told the guys at EVO, a craft bakery and wood-fired pizzeria. The crown jewel is the Pork Trifecta, with house-made sausage, bacon, and pepperoni. And you’ll want some pimento goat cheese and pickled green tomatoes to start, just so you don’t forget that you’re in the South.
1075 E. Montague Ave., North Charleston; 843-225-1769 orevopizza.com
Pepperoni at Loui’s (Hazel Park, MI)
Before last year, no one outside of Michigan even knew Detroit-style pizza was a thing. Now, it’s all the rage. We like Loui’s for an authentic take on the genre (square, deep dish pizza with toppings layered in reverse, so that the sauce is on top), not to mention some excellent ‘70s décor.
Hipster darling Roberta’s is beloved by everyone from Beyonce and Jay-Z to the Clintons. But is it worth the hype? We challenge you to have one bite of the Speckenwolf — smoky speck, aged mozzarella, mushrooms, and oregano and an optional egg on top — and tell us that it’s not.
Soft Eggs, Smoked Prosciutto, Local Greens, Pecorino Sardo at Serious Pie (Seattle, WA)
Pizza purists might scoff at the fussy toppings at this Seattle pizzeria, owned by local culinary celebrity Tom Douglas. But as the name suggests, they take their pies…well, seriously. That means house cured meats, hand selected cheeses, and doughs processed over three days and baked in an Applewood-fired oven.
Bacon, Salame and Fennel Sausage Pie at Pizzeria Mozza (Los Angeles, CA)
In a glitzy, star-studded city like L.A., it’s only appropriate that the best pizzeria is owned by a trio of culinary celebrities: Nancy Silverton (of the famed La Brea Bakery), Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich. We come here for the fancypants pies with toppings like fennel sausage and prosciutto.
Portland is basically like Brooklyn West at this point, so its only natural that they have one of the best new artisanal pizza spots in the country (though the pizza is actually New Haven-style, to get technical). We like the amore — a margherita with perfectly cured pork shoulder on top.
Atlanta’s Antico is all about authenticity — San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and perfectly thin Neopolitan-style crust. The star of the show is the San Gennaro, with sweet roasted Cipollini onions, hunks of pork-fennel sausage, and spicy, oil-soaked Calabrian chiles.
The Paul’s Boutique at Speedy Romeo (Brooklyn, NY)
In a refurbished garage, Speedy Romeo serving up some of the most inventive pies in the country. We’re fans of the Paul’s Boutique, topped with Katz’s pastrami, Dijon béchamel sauce, smoked red sauerkraut, fontina cheese, thousand island dressing (yep) and an everything bagel crust. Sounds gross, tastes delicious.
Chicago we love you, but why are you so cold? (We’ve lived through one or two Chicago Aprils that seriously tested the human spirit.) Yet despite the long winters, the city government long ago adopted the motto “urbs in horto” meaning “city in a garden” and Chicago indeed manages to bring the green year round. Spring into action at these following events compiled from our friends at PureWow and give us a holler when you’re ready to book your next great Chicago escape.
There are many reasons we love Chicago, but February isn’t typically at the top of that list. That’s no longer the case, however, since we discovered a flurry of places that happily bend reality for us to make it seem like it’s spring — right now.
The Orchid Show at Chicago Botanic Garden
The abundance of rare and exotic blooms at this annual show (February 11 to March 26) might tempt you into becoming a real life orchid thief. Fortunately, there are legal ways to get your orchid fix: Just stick around for the post-show sale on March 30. And sure, the flowers are pretty. But you know we’re secretly here for that greenhouse sauna experience.
This hothouse is open year round, but is there any better time to visit than February? During the annual flower show (February 11 to May 14), you can admire azaleas, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and hydrangea as well as kites and sculptures by Chicago artist Michael F. Thompson. Let a friend know where you’ll be — in case you decide never to leave.
Need a bit of spring in your home? Attend a terrarium workshop at Sprout Home and create a pretty pint-size garden. If your thumb is more black than green, be careful not to overwater — trust us, we learned the hard way.
This floral extravaganza (March 18 to 26) started all the way back in 1847, when it was an exhibition of prized fruits and flowers. Things are a bit grander today with 20-plus life-size gardens for you to walk through all inside Navy Pier. If that’s not enough, the preview party features a fashion show of clothes made entirely of flowers, because why the hell not?
Butterfly Haven Yoga at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Yoga usually leaves us feeling pretty blissed out. We can only assume that adding butterflies to the mix will help us achieve moksha. Check the events listings for upcoming times, and if those don’t fit your schedule, you can always stop by the museum at 2 p.m. for the daily butterfly release.
WARNING: Put on a bib before reading as drooling is highly likely. Even though just about every metro area has enough restaurants to boast passable dishes of our favorite ethnic cuisines and street food staples (pizza, burgers, tacos, etc.), some cities still chow harder and better than others. The following list leaves plenty of elbow room for debate (what, no Miami or Las Vegas?), while also revving up our taste buds for that next great meal. Taking a foodie vacation? Book hotel and airfare at CheapTickets.com.
Whether we’re picking a vacation spot or a new place to live, it’s safe to say that we let our stomachs guide our decisions. We want a city with great regional dishes and innovative chefs, and, well, restaurants with character (an alfresco farmhouse table just does something to us). Here are our picks for America’s ten best food cities, whether you’re pondering a move, or just lunch.
New York, NY
Sure, sure, it’s a no-brainer, but let’s take a look at what you can actually order up in the Big Apple. For one thing, NYC has twice as many three-star Michelin-rated restaurants as any other American city. And on the other end of the spectrum, there’s the $4.50 Recession Special at Gray’s Papaya (two dogs and a soda). And that’s to say nothing of those New York-specific foods you just can’t get anywhere else. We’re looking at you, bagels and lox, pastrami sandwiches, pizza (real pizza, guys) and black-and-white cookies.
San Francisco, CA
It’s hard to imagine a city more obsessed with food than San Francisco (and the surrounding Bay Area). It’s the kind of place where $4 slices of toast are now the norm — and when slathered with cream cheese, black pepper and sea salt, like they are at The Mill, that’s just fine by us. Iconic restaurants like Chez Panisse and Zuni Café helped define the American farm-to-table movement, and there are plenty of stellar newcomers following suit, such as The Progress (shaved romanesco salad with pig fries) and State Bird Provisions (crispy spiced quail with tart onions). Plus, if you live in SF you have a pretty fun neighbor: wine-guzzling Napa Valley.
Chew Out Loud
Hot dogs loaded with pickles, peppers, mustard, tomato slices and celery salt. Deep-dish pizza so thick it might as well be a casserole. Chicago certainly does street food right. And if you’re in the mood for something on a white tablecloth, try Rick Bayless’s empire of authentic Mexican restaurants. Or maybe Alinea — Grant Achatz’s palace of molecular gastronomy for a 16-course meal featuring dishes like hot potato, cold potato, black truffle and butter.
Los Angeles, CA
Turns out, L.A. is more than just wheatgrass shots at Juice Crafters after a hike through Laurel Canyon (though that is kind of a magical duo). It’s also smoked-salmon pizza at Spago in Beverly Hills, chicken and waffles at Roscoe’s and the best chopped salad of your life at La Scala (it was, after all, Marilyn Monroe’s standing order).
New Orleans, LA
Welp, it’s hard to know where to begin with New Orleans, a city unlike any other in America, where food is fundamental to nearly everything. The logical place, of course, is Café Du Monde, over a powdered-sugar beignet and a steaming cup of café au lait. Move on to Creole classics like jambalaya and gumbo, catfish po’ boys, chargrilled oysters and anything cooked by John Besh.
Charleston may not be the biggest city on this list, but what it lacks in square mileage and population, it makes up for in grits. They do Southern staples right — from crispy fried chicken to tangy, mustard-sauced pulled pork (remember, barbecue in Charleston means pork down-home pit-cooked in mustard barbecue sauce). Then there are Sean Brock’s restaurants Husk and McCrady’s, where everything — save for the expansive wine lists — is locally grown in the South and prepared as an homage to traditional Southern cooking. Head 25 minutes downtown for steamed oysters and perfect sunsets at Bowens Island.
U Club PDX
Yes, you’re right. The entire East Coast (or at least all of Brooklyn) has packed up and moved to Portland. Plopped down in the middle of verdant farmland, Portland has produce aplenty and knows what to do with it. Take Toro Bravo, where the kitchen dishes out tapas like marinated sheep’s cheese with rose-petal harrisa and mint, made from local ingredients and given a Spanish twist. Plus, there’s Pok Pok (some say it’s the best Thai food in the country), Voodoo Donuts and enough artisanal coffee roasters to keep your food tour highly caffeinated.
If we had to live on barbecue and tacos for the rest of our lives, we’re pretty sure we’d be just fine. Austin is pretty much killing it on both of those fronts. Fans flock to Franklin’s for brisket (after just a few hours in line) and The Salt Lick for sausage (and, well, more brisket). And while picking a favorite taco is like picking a favorite child, you certainly can’t go wrong starting with ones stuffed with scrambled eggs and chorizo at El Primo.
Everyone knows the cheesesteak (Pat’s? Geno’s? Jim’s?). Lesser known (but, dare we say, even tastier?) is the roast pork sandwich, dripping with melted provolone cheese and sautéed broccoli rabe. We recommend picking one up at Redding Terminal, the city’s bustling food market, before moving on to fried chicken and doughnuts at Federal Donuts, and some transcendent hummus and Israeli salads at Zahav or Dizengoff. Diet starts tomorrow.
If fish throwing is one of your top tourist attractions, you get a spot on this list. Enough said.
This article was from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
We love a trendy brunch of red-velvet pancakes and avocado toast as much as the next lady. But every so often we need to get back to basics. On those days, we head to one of these seven iconic Chicago diners, where little has changed in decades and your eggs always come with hash browns.
Opened by “Uncle” Lou Mitchell in 1923, this West Loop staple claims it’s cracked enough farm-fresh eggs over the years to wrap at least a few times around the world. Beyond the omelets, skillets and pancakes, the best part might be the complimentary homemade doughnut hole you get when you walk in. Oh, and women and children receive mini boxes of Milk Duds — don’t ask why, just smile and chew.
This Evanston hole-in-the-wall has earned a devoted cult following among North Shore denizens. They flock here for Loretta — a sandwich, not a woman. A feast for $7, the Loretta layers white cheese, mayo, peppers, tomatoes, onions and your choice of bacon, ham, turkey or chorizo on a six-inch French roll.
Proudly meat-free since 1983, Chicago Diner serves up classic diner staples without any animal products. Yep, there’s steak and eggs, Reuben sandwiches and chilaquiles all without meat, cheese or eggs and just as good as the real thing. But it’s the oh-so-creamy milkshakes that will convert committed carnivores.
The South Loop has changed a lot since this 24-hour diner opened back in 1939. But the simple menu of eggs, bacon, pancakes and more has not, and we hope it never does. Stop by, sink into a red vinyl booth and get your fix of classic diner fare.
First-timers may come to Uncle Mike’s Place on the hunt for the perfect omelet or patty melt, but they quickly learn there’s much more to savor. The cozy family-run restaurant has a full menu of Filipino-American fare. Warm up with a bowl of lugao (chicken rice soup), try some tocino (Filipino bacon) with your eggs or go whole-hog with a side of spicy fried Spam.
Nestled inside two converted streetcars, this 24-hour gem will satisfy your cravings for both retro kitsch and greasy food. (It’s a favorite among Lakeview’s late-night bar crowd.) The specialty is the “slinger,” a plate piled with two burger patties, hash browns, two eggs, and chili, but you can also get a simpler meal of buttered toast and eggs any way.
1635 W. Irving Park Rd.; 773-248-2030
Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen
Grab a tray, your silverware and do your best to make quick decisions as you make your way down the cafeteria line. If you’re heading there for breakfast, we suggest the eggs or French toast — mostly because either is served with Manny’s famous corned beef, pastrami, salami or turkey. Oh, and ask for an extra latke. You’re welcome.
Museums are educational, entertaining and a great way to spend an unexpectedly rainy day when you are in a new city. When you can get into those museums for free, well, that’s just the cherry on top. Here are seven of the best free museums to check out on your next trip.
Red penguins adorn the outside of the 21C Hotel Museum in Louisville. Courtesy of LuAnn Snawder Photography.
This nine-room boutique hotel features contemporary art throughout the lobby and public spaces, as well as ina basement gallery area. Admission is free, and exhibits rotate. Grab a flight of bourbon in the hotel bar on your way out, because why not. 21C also has locations in Cincinnati, Bentonville, Ark., and Durham, N.C.
An a cappella group sings in a grand room at the Chicago Cultural Center.
The Cultural Center’s might among the Chicago’s museums is a little unexpected, especially since the city is so famed for its art and museum scene. But nestled along Michigan Avenue, the 1897 building could be an art exhibit of its own with this vaulted ceilings, mosaics and stained glass windows. Rotating art exhibitions incorporate the building’s beautiful spaces into their displays.
‘Eve Hearing the Voice’ by Moses Jacob Ezekiel, at Cincinnati Art Museum. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Cincinnati’s art museum is to die for. Before you’ve even made it into the main galleries, you will have already a mummy and a couple Van Goghs. It’s variety is reminiscent of London’s National Gallery (another fantastic free museum). Occasionally, a special exhibit will roll through town that costs you a couple bucks, but the rest of the expansive museum is free.
A piece of artwork from the Museum of Bad Art on display in Taiwan. Courtesy of Connie Ma.
This collection of “offbeat” art is a community-driven effort, accepting both monetary and artistic donations. You can decide whether the art is bad or just, well, artistic. The museum is free daily. There are also locations in nearby Brookline and South Weymouth.
This free museum suggests you pay $22 to get in, but that is considered a donation and is not mandatory. You can donate any amount or nothing. Officials understand that those on a budget like to appreciate art and history as well. Check out millennia of history at this museum just off Central Park. See dinosaur bones and get a picture taken with a life-sized version of Teddy Roosevelt.
A child takes advantage of one of the many interactive displays at National Museum of the United States Air Force. Courtesy of Marada.
Near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, this interactive military museum gives visitors a look into Air Force vessels through the ages. Visitors can climb in and out of cockpits and see planes soaring overhead. There’s also a nice tribute to Ohio’s own flight pioneers, the Wright brothers.
The Hope Diamond is on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. Courtesy of Ben_Lei.
All 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park run by the Smithsonian Institution are free and open every day of the year except Christmas. Not sure where to start? Head to the National Museum of Natural History (one of the best free museums on earth) at the corner of 10th St. & Constitution Ave. in Washington D.C. to see dinosaur bones, a solid gold Monopoly set and the famed Hope Diamond.
Labor Day weekend may mark the unofficial end of summer, but it should be by no means depressing! That extra day off gives us a chance to squeeze in one more summer vacay, filled with barbecues, fireworks and plenty of All-American goodness. It’s a time to get outside, to explore, to cook out, to see a new city — and some cities know how to celebrate the end of summer much, much better than others. Here are the towns that top our list of best places to make the most of your Labor Day getaways.
The Queen City knows how to celebrate Labor Day: Riverfest, a big fireworks show that draws people from the whole tristate area to the surprisingly scenic Ohio riverfront. The show starts at 9:05 p.m. Sunday, but stake out your place and find somewhere to park early, because both the Kentucky and Ohio sides of the river are always packed full by showtime. Some restaurants along the river, like Moerlein Lager House, the Beer Sellar and Bar Louie host viewing parties, but get your tickets in advance. And check out a Reds game while you’re in town — they’re home all weekend. For food, try Eli’s BBQ along the river, Strong’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in Newport, or one of the many eateries in Over-the-Rhine.
Live your best life (and Labor Day getaway) in Chicago, Illinois
Winters in Chicago come on hard and fast, and everyone there knows it, so the locals squeeze every last drop out of summer. On your Labor Day getaway, the beaches will still be popping, the outdoor patios at all the best restaurants will still be buzzing, and you can enjoy America’s pastime one more time since the White Sox are in town. You can grab a drink on a rooftop patio or stroll along the Riverwalk while the nights are still warm enough to do so. The Chicago Jazz Festival is also takingplace over Labor Day weekend in Millennium Park, and it’s free.
Get your nature and city fixes in Denver, Colorado
One could argue that any time of year is a good time to visit Denver, and you’d be right, but Labor Day is one of the best. The dry heat of summer is starting to break, and some of the aspens in the mountains are beginning to turn some gorgeous shades of yellow. September in the Rockies means less chances for natural disasters — wildfire risk has dropped, monsoon season has died down — which makes for some great hiking. And in the city, cooler September weather means more enjoyable craft brews on patios, and uninhibited views ofthe mountains. Downtown’s Civic Center Park is also hosting A Taste of Denver, so make sure you show up hungry.
Philly throws a giant two-day Made in America Music Festival during your perfect Labor Day getaway. And what better time to not only be in a patriotic place, but dance your butt off at a patriotically-named fest? It’s the fourth year for the festival, which is held on multiple stages throughout the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Jay-Z curates the lineup, meaning it’s a must-see. Coldplay and Rihanna are headlining this year, with performances from Chance the Rapper, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and more. Make sure to get your tickets now.
Get back to basics in Midwestern Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Time for your Labor Day cookout. The weekend wouldn’t be complete without a barbecue, so why not center your trip around some smoked meat? Milwaukee is throwing the Big Gig BBQ on Sept. 4, and it’s bigger and better than any backyard barbecue you’ve ever been to. There will be brisket, ribs and BBQ from 10 of the best local and national grillers. And in a city that’s home to storied beerslike Pabst Blue Ribbon, Schlitz and MillerCoors, it’s safe to say you’ll have some quality hydration with your grub.
It’s that time again. The music, the scene, the nonstop partying: The music festival.
The great and glorious Lollapalooza kicks off tomorrow at 4 p.m., one day earlier than ever before. Which means only one thing for Chicago: One extra day of massive blow-out parties, must-see after shows, concerts, food, new friends, art and anything-goes after parties. And this year promises to one-up last year’s lineup, with names like Flosstradamus, The Last Shadow Puppets, Radiohead, Disclosure and LCD Soundsystem.
If you haven’t gotten tickets yet, there’s still time to catch the event of the season. But if you can’t drop everything and fly to sunny Chicago right now, here are 8 more seriously good summer music festivals you can still make before it starts to get cold again.
City Folk Festival
When and where: September 15–18 in Ottawa, Ontario
The New Pornographers, Dropkick Murphys, Marlon Williams and Charlotte Cardin will all be at City Folk Festival, so naturally you should too. They’ll all be hitting the stage with the beautiful Lansdowne Park as their backdrop. And because indie rock goes best with a cold craft beer, local hangout Beau’s Brewery will be onsite providing plenty of the good stuff. Plus, there’ll be food, and plenty of it. Notably, the festival is vegan-friendly so everyone can chow down in harmony. Don’t forget to stop by the affiliated Marvest for some seriously local music, food and drink. Everything is sourced from within 100 miles.
Backwoods Camping and Music Festival
When and where: September 1–5 in Stroud, Oklahoma
This is what road trips are made for: Stroud, Oklahoma is a small town just off the fabled Route 66. In this small, unassuming destination you’ll find adorable diners, throwback hotels and the Backwoods Camping and Music Festival, along with the treehouse parties, ferris wheel, waterslide, public art and music that go with it. This crossover festival hosts rock, indie and EDM alike, so plan to stage-hop to catch A Silent Film, Hippie Sabotage, Audien and The Young Vines.
Ohana Music Festival
When and where: August 27–28 in Dana Point, California
The two-day Ohana Music Festival benefits local nonprofit the San Onofre Parks Foundation, which works with the state’s parks to preserve California’s stunning coastline. So it’s only fitting that the entire thing is basically one big beach party. And the lineup boasts some serious heavy hitters, among them Eddie Vedder, Lana del Ray, Elvis Costello, Cat Power and Band of Horses. Grab some craft cocktails and artisan eats between sets, or wander through the Doheny State Park (where the festival is held) to explore grassy plains, dig your toes in the sand or swim in the beautiful Pacific. Preferably not after you’ve been drinking. This one’s not a camping festival, so get those hotel reservations now.
You can get your EDM, circus, costume-party, camping and dance-party fixes all in one place this year: Atlanta’s Imagine Music Festival, an uninhibited two-day romp through the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Or, more specifically, the ‘Imaginarium’, a fictional (obviously), ancient lost city. This fable makes room for a whole host of spiritual and oddball activities like drum circles, acro yoga, Qi Gong, art installations, live painting, a pool party, aerial cirque performers and a central fire. Local food vendors will keep everyone fed and watered. Oh, and there’s music, too: Come for The Disco Biscuits, Zeds Dead, Adventure Club and Dillon Francis. Stay for Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
Think back on it, and maybe you’ve heard of artists like Ariana Grande, Calvin Harris, Rachel Platton and Fetty Wap. The name of this festival—taking place at the iconic Nikon Jones Beach Theater—pretty much says it all: This is the festival to go to if you want to dance to tracks that dominate the airwaves. It is called the Billboard Hot 100, after all. And you’ll be treated to one seriously pretty backdrop—the Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh, New York. It offers more than 6 miles of Atlantic beach and miles of hiking trails.
Folks, the fabled Outside Lands is a Golden Gate Park mainstay—which means you’ll get to drink, dance and party amid a Japanese tea garden, museums and botanical gardens. Joining you, and providing the tunes, will be some of the most famous musical acts in the world: Radiohead, Ryan Adams, Lana del Ray and LCD Soundsystem. In case that wasn’t enough, there’ll also be plenty of laughs—Natasha Leggero and John Mulaney headline the comedy stage, which is likely somewhere between all the public art installations, musical stages, the future-minded Eco Lands, and more food, beer, cocktail and wine vendors than you could reasonably visit during the three-day affair.
This one’s an indie kid’s dream. Atlanta festival Wrecking Ball may only be in its second year, but that hasn’t stopped it from drawing the likes of Dinosaur Jr, Thursday, Motion City Soundtrack and Anti-Flag. If that’s any indicator, genres run the gamut from post-hardcore and punk to emo and indie rock. Plus, there will be tons of beer, and the city’s food trucks will swarm upon the festival to satisfy hungry festival-goers. Best of all, it takes place in the much beloved Masquerade, a tri-level music venue where infamous acts like Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Motorhead and Nirvana have all graced the stage. And if you’ve ever wanted to see this venue in all its glory, take note: Wrecking Ball is Masquerade’s very last blowout before the venue moves from its original location, so get those tickets now.
Country music lovers, take note: Eric Church, Kid Rock and Tim McGraw are headlining this year’s WeFest. And they’re joined by some lesser-known hard hitters, including Montgomery Gentry, Maiden Dixie and an obscure up-and-comer named Steven Tyler (maybe you’ve heard of him?) who will be performing with the Loving Mary Band. Camping is the name of the game at this Detroit Lakes, MN fest (though there are some hotels nearby, if camping’s not your thing). And they’ve got 10 different campgrounds for different strokes— among them, there’s an Accessible one, a few for families, and several for the rowdy young kids. But fear not: There’s still modern plumbing and restrooms for all. And the concerts themselves? They’re held at the outdoor amphitheater at the gorgeous Soo Pass Ranch.