The DEPARTURES Guide to Chicago

Courtesy Freehand Chicago

Where to stay, what to eat, and what to do while you're in Chicago.

If there's one thing that the ongoing influx of fantastic new bars, restaurants, hotels, and cultural gems flooding this salt-of-the-earth oasis proves, it's that Chicago is a city second to none. Perched alongside the massive Lake Michigan, the Windy City feels far from land-locked to locals, who—during the few sumptuous summer months—take full advantage of the beaches and parks running along the city's eastern-most edge. But even when the cooler weather hits and the metropolis lives up to its nickname, there's plenty to draw out locals and visitors alike to its ever transforming neighborhoods, buzzing with top-notch nightlife, first-rate restaurants, world-class theater, historic architecture, and plenty of Midwestern charm.


The Newcomer: Chicago Athletic Association
Named for the former occupant of its beautiful, late 19th century building, this new luxury boutique hotel wows in every deprtment, from dining to design. See the slideshow »


Cellar Door Provisions: Simple, Seasonal, Slow
This counter-service only restaurant serves creative dishes—like tartine with umami sesame butter, honey, and greens—on a weekly rotation. See the article »

Meals to Travel For: Alinea
This multi-award winning destination restaurant serves up modernist dishes from Willy Wonka-esque mastermind Grant Achatz. See the slideshow»

The Best Restaurants in West Loop
Randolph Street’s vibrant dining scene offers upscale comfort food, Michelin-starred eats, and dazzling cocktail bars. See the slideshow »


A Local’s Guide to Chicago
Fashion photographer Simon Perry shares his favorite places to eat, shop, and take in the skyline. See the article »

Eats Meets West at the Langham Chicago’s Spa
Center your qi at this spa, which is built entirely on the ancient philosophies of traditional Chinese medicine. See the article »

Photo Credit: © Anna Knott