If in Chicago during the summer an afternoon at "the ball game" is hard to beat and is a fraction of the price you'd pay to watch football in the UK.
Chicago even offers you two teams. On the north side are the world's greatest under-achievers; the Cubs. The fact that they haven't won anything for approaching a hundred years only seems to fuel the fanaticism of their supporters. On the south side are the traditionally working-class White Sox, world series winners in 2005. Strangely, a baseball game is the nearest thing in the US to the atmosphere of a football match in Britain. Both are within easy reach of the Loop via the red line subway.
Tickets can be booked online well in advance on each team's website. One word of warning though, beer prices inside both grounds are extortionate. So enjoy the build up in the pubs near the stadiums, particularly at Wrigley Field.
Cubs at Wrigley Field. Clark and Addison.
Sox at US Cellular Field. 35th St. Subway: Sox/35th St.
DIY Dining. Good for two people, better for more. I've heard several times that Koreans consider this the best place in town. This is as far as you could get from the touristy places, and it's about dining experience, not decor. Most of the customers will be Korean families, and the staff speak passable English. The prices are quite reasonable, especially if you share dishes.
Definitely go for the barbeque dishes. One order is enough to feed two or more people. They will promptly bring out a smoldering charcoal pot and grill, then bring you at least 20 little bowls of spicy vegetable side dishes, and a big plate of marinated meat, which you now have to cook on the provided grill. Between sampling all the bowls, and keeping track of what's cooking, you'll have plenty to keep you busy. Dining should always be this fun.
5247 N. Western Ave (773) 334-1589. Western or Foster busses, Brown line Western station is 15 min walk.
The Hancock building offers a better view of Chicago than the taller Sears Tower. Go at sunset and rather than pay to visit the observation deck, spend what you saved on a couple of cocktails in the bar two storeys higher. Sit back and watch the whole of Chicago light up.
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