From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Departures' Guide to the Best of Chicago 2011

Politicians, mobsters, sports greats, literary scions andthe glamour of Prohibition-era intrigue are the stuff of Chicago legend. Butthese days, from the tony Gold Coast to the gritty South Side, the Windy Cityhas a newfound luster, born of the collision between tradition and innovation.Redefining American classics with imagination and humor, culinary daredevilshave turned this meat-and-potato-loving town into a gastronomic destination.Haute retailers have set up in dramatic spaces that reference classicism withina 21st-century context. But history buffs, fear not. In this City of BigShoulders, visionaries have always coexisted with a storied past. Capone-erajazz clubs and other historic nooks are always just an L stop away.

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