A Secret Guide to Chicago’s Hidden Hotspots

We look forward to welcoming thousands of our colleagues to our hometown of Chicago, Illinois, for Staffing World 2017 this October! While you’re in town, we want to make sure you feel right at home.

Our beautiful, bustling city is the source of some of the country’s tastiest food and iconic attractions. Here in Chicago our culture is as deep as our pizza.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best hidden hotspots that you won’t want to miss during your stay in the Windy City. We break it down by restaurants, bars, things to do, and some of our favorite neighborhoods!


Gene and Jude:

You can’t come to Chicago and NOT buy a Chicago-style hot dog, and Gene & Jude’s is arguably the best place to get one. It is located on the outskirts of the city, near O’Hare Airport. People everywhere make the trip just to get their hands on a Gene & Jude dog and hand-cut fries. Just be careful, whatever you do, DO NOT order ketchup on your hot dog !!!

2720 ​​N. River Road, River Grove, IL


Superdawg Drive-in: 6363 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646

The sausage circle: 2622 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

Byron’s hot dogs: 1701 W Lawrence Avenue Chicago, IL 60640 | 1017 W Irving Park Chicago, IL 60613

Al meat:

They have been serving excellent Italian beef since the 1930s. It’s the best place to get your hands on thin, juicy slices of beef, hot and sweet peppers, all on an Italian-style roll. They have many locations throughout the city, including one less than two miles from the convention center.


Johnnie meat: 7500 W North Ave, Elmwood Park, IL 60707

Mr. Beef in Orleans: 666 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654

Portillo’s: Many locations in Chicagoland

Lou Malnati’s Pizza:

Lou Malnati may not be such a secret, but it’s definitely the best place to get Chicago’s most famous food, DEEP DISH PIZZA! This pizza has it all – ooey-gooey cheese, great sauce and a butter crunch Cortex! There are dozens of locations in the Chicagoland area … so a perfect cake is never too far away!


Pequod Pizza: 2207 N Clybourn Ave. Chicago, IL 60614

From Giordano: Many locations in Chicagoland

Chicago Brauhaus:

Transport yourself to Germany and taste the best German food Chicago has to offer! It’s always Oktoberfest at Brauhaus, with its extensive collection of beer steins and polka music!

4732 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

Kuma Corner:

If you like burgers and music, this is the place for you! Kuma’s is known for its creative burgers, all named after heavy metal bands. From Slayer to Black Sabbath, you won’t want to put down these giant burgers. They also have a great selection of beers and whiskey and some delicious mac n cheese.

2900 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 | 666 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60657 | 1570 E Golf Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60173

Manny’s Cafe and Delicatessen:

This old Chicago cafeteria-style restaurant has the number one corned beef sandwich in the city. It is right on the edge of the circuit, only ten minutes from the exhibition! A great place to have a sandwich and a cup of soup!

1141 South Jefferson Street Chicago, IL 60607

Glazed and infused:

Stop by for a quick morning snack! Glazed and Infused has a variety of fresh donuts every morning; They have everything from classics to long johns with maple bacon and banana cream pie donuts.

Five locations in the city.

Molly’s Cupcakes:

Best known for its filled cupcakes and fun atmosphere, Molly’s is the perfect place for an after dinner sugar craving.

2536 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614 | 419 E Illinois St Suite 120, Chicago, IL 60611


Safe house:

A spy-themed bar for a fun night for dinner and drinks! SafeHouse is full of secret passageways and hidden doors. This bar is so secret that, in fact, you will need to recover a password to enter!

60 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611

Beercade Headquarters:

This ‘Beercade’ will leave you feeling nostalgic for the days of pinball and classic video games. Not only are all the old games free, but they also have dozens of craft beers to enjoy.

213 W Institute Pl, Chicago, IL 60610

Coco Club:

A great place if you are looking for something a little more exclusive, but just as fun. Coco Club brings the story of a speakeasy from the Prohibition era to the present. Be ready for cool cocktails and great music. Reservations and dress code required.

3350 W 47th St, Chicago, IL 60632

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge:

If history is your thing, you cannot miss this lounge that is more than 100 years old. Green Mill was even a favorite haunt of the legendary Chicago Mobster, Al Capone. The vintage atmosphere is completed by live jazz music.

4802 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60640


Since the 1930s, this hole in the wall has been home to some incredible artists, making The Hideout Chicago the most iconic dive bar at The Hideout Chicago. He is known for showing everything alternative from punk rock, indie and even country. Don’t let the exterior of the building scare you, visit us for good drinks and fast service.

1354 W Wabansia Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Things to do:

Oz Park:

This park offers a peaceful green space with fun statues of your favorite characters from the Wizard of Oz. It’s a great place to walk around and enjoy Chicago’s beautiful fall weather.

2021 N Burling St, Chicago, IL 60614

Chicago Pizza Tour:

The tour gives you a taste of some pizzerias out of the way EATEN. You’ll also get to know a couple different neighborhoods in Chicago!

Chicago movie tour:

See some of the well-known locations from nearly 100 big screen movies shot in the city. Sit back and watch movies like ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Ferris Buller’s Day Off’ and ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ come to life before your eyes.

Driehaus Museum:

Go back to Chicago’s Gilded Age. The museum is intended to display the architecture of the 19th century mansion and the historically accurate artifacts that fill it.

40 East Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60611

Chicago History Museum:

Immerse yourself in Chicago and learn more about the history that makes our city so great. Lincoln’s Chicago, Sensing Chicago, and the Fifth Star Challenge are just a few of the exhibits the museum has to offer.

1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614

Places to go:

Lincoln Square:

You don’t want to leave this promising neighborhood. Lincoln Square has the charm and history of the past with many cozy shops and stops for you to enjoy.

While you’re there take a look: Gene’s Sausage Shop, Timeless Toys, Old Town School of Folk Music, Savory Spice Shop, Merz Apothecary, The Chopping Block, The Book Cellar, Amy’s Candy Bar, Ampersand Wine Bar, and Rock & Roll Vintage.

Wicker park:

This trendy neighborhood has something for everyone: eclectic shops, big-name restaurants and bars, great cafes, and big-name retail boutiques.

While you’re there take a look: Reckless Records, Myopic Books, Wormhole Coffee, Quimby’s Bookstore, Antique Taco, and Piece Brewery & Pizzeria.


Andersonville is a picturesque neighborhood steeped in Swedish heritage. It is a great place to buy something sweet and go for a walk. Shopping in Andersonville includes everything from quirky little shops to boutiques offering designer knockoffs, jewelry, and other great gift items.

While you’re there take a look: Swedish American Museum, First Slice Pie Café, Candyality, Hopeleaf Bar, M.Henry, Hamburger Mary’s, Alley Cat Comics, and Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities.


If you need to escape the hustle and bustle of Chicago, take a short trip just out of town to Evanston. It is the home of Northwestern University, so there is so much to do! College town borders Lake Michigan, so expect some pretty scenic views!

While you’re there, take a look at: Space, Bat. Bar, The Stained Glass, Evanston Ecology Center, Block Museum of Art and Evanston History Center.

This is just a small sample of everything our great city has to offer! Don’t be afraid to walk around, get lost and discover your favorite places! We hope you fall in love with this city as much as we do. We are looking forward to having you here!

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