My Favorite City: Chicago


Wednesday, November 14, 2012 | 8:45 AM





Chicago, the City of Broad Shoulders, is the third largest city in the U.S and our next stop in our My Favorite City travel series. Chi-Town is a city for everyone-from travel snobs to family vacationers, gourmet diners and foodies to deep dish pizza fans. Chicago has many wonderful museums, sites and attractions for every travel taste.

Travel blogger extraordinaire Pola Henderson, author of the excellent urban travel blog Jetting Around,  takes us on a tour and gives us her best recommendations for visitors to Chicago...Enjoy!


Chicago - Skyline

(photo courtesy of


Author: Pola Henderson

Pola Henderson is the founder of Jetting Around: City Travel Blog, dedicated to exploring cities and their culture. Her writing and photography showcases European and North American destinations. Pola grew up in Krakow, Poland, lived in North Africa, and has called Chicago home since 2002. Traveling internationally has been a part of her life since she was 3 years old.

Travelers can get great destination scoops on the Jetting Around Facebook page, and tweet with Pola on her twitter feed.




Chicago Must Do's For Travelers

See the city from above – Chicago is the birthplace of steel skyscrapers and famous for its modern architecture.There are many places to take in the skyline views, e.g. the Signature Lounge at the John Hancock Center (no cover charge, you can enjoy the views for the price of a drink), or the Skydeck at the Willis Tower (commonly referred to by its former name, the Sears Tower). The Ledge – four glass balconies extending 4 ft from the tower’s walls – lets you look down to the street below from the 103rd floor (1,353 feet).

Hear blues or jazz – The city is known for its blues, but it also has an excellent jazz scene. Try the Green Mill in Uptown, former Al Capone’s hangout, which has nightly jazz, or Jazz Showcase in South Loop, in business since 1947. For blues, head to Buddy Guy’s Legends (South Loop) or the intimate Rosa’s Lounge on the West Side.

Explore neighborhoods – Chicago is often referred to as “the city of neighborhoods” and some of the best entertainment options can be found outside downtown. Wicker Park/Bucktown are two hip neighborhoods on the near northwest side – great for boutique shopping and nightlife, Logan Square farther northwest has excellent dining, Wrigleyville on the north side is popular with post-college crowds, and Pilsen on the near south side has excellent Mexican fare and a growing art scene (galleries, murals).


(image courtesy of

Chicago Hidden Gem

Sol de Mexico restaurant - possibly the best Mexican food I’ve had outside of Mexico. Fantastic mole dishes and tequila selection. The place is located out of the way on the far northwest side and surrounded by car dealerships, but definitely worth the long hike from downtown.


Where To Eat

As well as the aforementioned Sol de Mexico, Lula Café in the Logan Square neighborhood, serving creative Contemporary American cuisine. It is high-quality food at reasonable prices, made using local ingredients when possible. The menu is both vegetarian- and carnivore-friendly. They also host Monday Night Farm Dinners, featuring special pre-fixe menus.


(image courtesy of The Logan Square Foodie)


Chicago Tips for Travelers

The Windy City isn’t as big as New York or as glamorous as LA/Hollywood, but it has plenty to offer visitors: unique architecture, numerous cultural institutions, 26 miles of pedestrian-friendly lakefront, diverse dining scene, plus music, theater and sports. Chicago combines big-city amenities with a down-to-earth, neighborhood feel.


(image courtesy of


Thank you Pola-Chicago truly is one of the most diverse and exciting cities in the world!

Do you have a recommendation, a travel experience or tips for travelers  to Chicago? Comments or questions about traveling to The Windy City? Join our discussion below.  And don't forget, you can explore the best travel resources in Chicago-from news and weather to hotels, restaurants and travel guides- at MetroMarks.

Want to be featured on My Favourite City? We're looking for bloggers, travel writers, city promoters and seasoned travelers who want to give urban explorers a personal tour of their favourite city. Email us at info@metromarks or for more details!





Pilsen, silver bean, Lula Cafe, Sol de Mexico, hidden gems, restaurants, Chicago, Illinois, my favorite city, The Windy City, The City of Broad Shoulders, urban, city, travel, vacation, tourism, Pola Henderson, Jetting Around, Signature Lounge, Skydeck, blues, jazz, clubs, Logan Square, Wicker Park, Wrigleyville

The Conversation

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Jude Kane wrote: 4:23pm November 14, 2012

I miss Chicago! Go to The Mutiny on Western Ave for a classic dive/rock bar.

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Adam Zettler wrote: 12:30pm November 15, 2012

Hi Jude: Thanks for the recommendation!

Looks like my kind of place!

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the lazy travelers wrote: 12:52pm November 16, 2012

there goes pola, making us want to visit chicago, as per usual!

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Pola wrote: 6:15pm November 16, 2012

You simply need to come visit, ladies! :)

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Ayden wrote: 1:28am November 18, 2012

I wish Toronto's waterfront was as nice as Chicago's. Watched some fireworks at the waterfront by the museum on a road trip in the States one night and it was great.

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