THE BEST OF CHICAGO BY JAMES CURD
James Curd, one half of DJ duo Greenskeepers, gives us a complete “best of” guide to his home city. So now you’ll know all of the greatest things to do when in Chicago, including hearing some jazz, checking out beautiful girls, and getting shot, if anyone should feel up for that.
Best Time Of The Year To Visit Chicago
June – September
Best Cheese Burger
Kuma’s Corner, 2900 W Belmont Ave, Chicago +1 773 604 8769
It’s hands down the best burger in the city. Kuma’s heavy metal atmosphere does not keep the line out the door from getting any shorter. You would be wise to make friends with Frank, also known as “Big Black” who is the manager there. He will be the “Big Black” guy running the show and if he takes a liking to you, your wait may not be as long as it looks!
Best Record Store
Gramaphone Records, 2843 North Clark Street, Chicago +1 773 472 3683
It’s a Chicago historical monument for dance music. You can find all of you favorite classic Chicago house cuts on vinyl as well as the newest releases. It’s run by a great guy named Michael and if you tell them I sent you they might let you use the employee bathroom if you really really got to go.
Best Second Hand Record Store
Dusty Groove, 1120 North Ashland Avenue, Chicago +1 773 342 5800
What makes Dusty Groove so good is their knowledge of old records. They only sell records that have been through their rigorous screening process so you are less likely to have to spend hours sorting though random duds. Another great thing is they buy records daily so there is always something new, and if you’re like me and buy records based on amazing covers (sometimes you get lucky!) you can sell it back to them later for about 60% of what you paid so it’s just like you just rented it for a bit!
Best Place To Get Shot
Anywhere West of Western Ave and South of Randolph
Don’t worry though, if you are not in those areas there is still a chance to get shot almost anywhere in the city.
Best Place To See A Band
Set right downtown in Grant Park it’s the most beautiful setting for a music festival. The company C3 that runs it is the most organized and professional I have seen. With amazing acts over a perfect summer weekend in Chicago, it’s the best time to visit the city and go to a festival.
Best Place To Get Music Gear
Guitar Center, 2633 North Halsted Street, Chicago +1 773 248 2808
More of a person then a place, to be specific, is Dan Scalpone at Guitar Center on Halsted Street. Dan is the specialist they hired and he knows too much about this stuff. The best thing is that he is honest in what he thinks will suit your studio best. If you want an upgrade go and tell Dan what you have already and he will tell you what you need to make it better.
Best Place To Walk Your Dog
Montrose Dog Beach
This is a gated off area where you can let your dog run free on the beach with a bunch of other dogs. It’s fun to watch them run through the water and swim through the dirty diapers and dead bodies. Just kidding, the dead bodies are usually weighed down in much deeper water.
Best Place To Get A Sundae
Margie’ s Candies, 1960 North Western Avenue, Chicago +1 773 384 1035
Margies has been around since the early 1900’s and when you step through the door it’s like a time warp. Nothing has changed inside. It even smells like your grandma’s house. The ice cream is amazing and it’s served the old fashioned way in a metal boat.
Best Place To Hear Jazz
The Green Mill, 4802 North Broadway Street, Chicago +1 773 878 5552
One of Al Capone’s hang outs back in the day. It still remains untouched by time, with the original exterior as well as interior. Another place to be warped back in time and hear all kinds of good jazz.
Best Place To See Beautiful Women
O’Hare National Airport
Sorry fellas, the most beautiful women in Chicago are just here for an hour during their lay-over.
Best Place To Play A Round Of Golf
Cog Hill, 12294 Archer Avenue, Lemont +1 630 257 5872
One of the most historic golf courses in the United States. Be sure to wear a collared shirt to avoid the boring lecture from an old retired guy at the starters desk. He will try to convince you how important it is to the “sport” to wear one even though there is a girl who drives around selling beer, cigars and doritos in the middle of your game.
Best Dive Bar
Danny’s, 1951 West Dickens Avenue, Chicago +1 773 489 6457
Try and go on the fourth Tuesday of the month. It’s “The Smiths” night where a bunch of people in their early 20’s go to hear good old music for the first time. It’s like a high school prom for indie rock kids but the good music makes up for the bad fashion and dancing. Drinks are way cheap too!
Best Place to Eat Late
Bijan’s, 663 North State Street, Chicago +1 312 202 1904
Bijan’s is a French bistro where you can sit down at late as hell and have a great meal. It’s open every day until 4am!
Best Studio To Mix and Master Your Songs
Studio 11, 209 West Lake Street # 4, Chicago +1 312 372 4460
Alex Gross at Studio 11 has worked with everyone from Kanye West to all of the Hot Mix 5. The studio is built with all of its owner’s character and makes for a great environment to work in.
Sweet Mandy B’s, 1208 West Webster Avenue, Chicago +1 773 244 1174
Best I have ever had.
Best Mexican Food
Tecalitlan Restaurant, 1814 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago +1 773 384 4285
Authentic and well priced!
Best French Restaurant
Le Bouchon, 1958 North Damen Avenue, Chicago +1 773 862 6600
Very authentic French food. The steak frites and escargo are great. The restaurant is even running 220 electricity to give the lights that European glow.
Place to Play a Game Of Pick Up Basketball
Eckhart Park, 1330 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago +1 312 746 5490
Between the shit talking and bullying there is some raw talent on the court. For the last 10 years I was only known as “Nash” but I guess my game has slipped because the new kids call me “Bieber”. Say what’s up for me to Coco, Devin and Kool.
Best Tourist Thing To Do
See a Cubs Game
You will never understand how 40,000 people manage to get out of work on a weekday afternoon to drink themselves blind and watch a baseball game in the most beautiful stadium in the country.
Best Date Night
The Second City, 1616 North Wells Street, Chicago +1 312 337 3992
A famous sketch comedy and improv show that has been in Chicago for more then 50 years. This is where you may see the newest comic discovered. John Belushi, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Steve Carell, Tina Fey and more all got their start here.
Best Place To See A Movie
Showplace Icon Movie Theater, 150 West Roosevelt Road +1 312 564 2104
Free parking and brand new. It also has a luxury theater where you can drink alcohol.