Chicago: What to Do in a City That Has it All


For a young professional, few cities top Chicago when it comes to launching a career in marketing or advertising. Moving here from San Francisco took a little adjustment (boots and a big coat), and in all fairness, I’m living in Naperville now, so I can’t really say I’m a Chicago resident, but since I’m near the biggest city in the Midwest, my apartment is now a destination for family and friends.

This holiday season, the folks are visiting from Sacramento, and I want to show them a good time. The problem is, I don’t know the best places to take them. My go-to resource for restaurant and business reviews is It’s big in San Francisco, and it seems to be catching on here in Chicago, too. I actually found a Naperville sushi restaurant on Yelp, in a strip mall next to Menard’s, that rivals even the best places in SF.

But while Yelp! is a handy resource (and a great tool for marketing research), nothing beats the advice of people who know you. And when you’re new to a city like I am, co-workers are invaluable when planning a sight-seeing itinerary. I asked a few colleagues here at Magnani Continuum Marketing to help me plan a winter weekend with my parents by sending me some of their Chicago favorites.

Here’s what they came up with:

Chicago must see/do Daytime Visit the Museum of Science and Industry Shopping on the Magnificent Mile Ice Skating at Millennium Park (or just watching with hot chocolate)

Chicago must see/do Nighttime A drink at the Signature Lounge – 96th floor of the John Hancock building. An improv show at Second City. Last minute theatre tickets – Wicked is playing now. Best Restaurant (fine dining) Frontera Grill Le Colonial Topolobompo Best Restaurant (value) Pizzeria Uno Quartino Fogo de Chao

Best Steakhouse Gibsons Ruths Chris Smith & Wollensky

Best Sushi Sushi Wabi Tank Friends Sushi

Best Breakfast/Brunch Wishbone Bongo Room m. henry

I think we’ll have our hands full just trying to hit a few of these spots, but I feel like I know this city a little better already, and I learned of a new website for dining and entertainment information and reviews. gives Yelp! a run for its money, especially within Chicago’s city limits. Thanks to everyone who participated.

How does this list stack up against your favorites?