the breakfast club
, inexpensive, (312) 666-3166. the made-from-scratch menu items and cute cottage appeal of this popular a.m. spot (try the yummy stuffed french toast!) bring a bit of hominess to an otherwise industrial neighborhood.

gene & georgetti, expensive, (312) 527-3718. we love a good steak as much as ol’ mac himself, and g&g is where we go to get it. sure, it’s pricey, but the meat is aged to perfection, the vibe oozes old-time chicago, and we love the trademark everything-but-the-kitchen-sink “garbage salad.”

my pie pizza, inexpensive, (773) 929-3380. the dark decor may scream ’70s pizza chain, but the chicago-style pies here are anything but.

bike chicago rentals & tours
, (312) 755-0488.
bc runs free two-hour lakefront bike tours daily.

shedd aquarium, (312) 939-2438. the world’s largest indoor aquarium, the shedd houses more than 8,000 aquatic animals, from beluga whales to black piranhas.

blue chicago
, www.bluechicago.com. one cover gets you into blue chicago’s two bars within two blocks of each other. in the basement of the blue chicago store, also within spitting distance, every saturday is family night, with live tunes in an alcohol- and smoke-free setting.

steppenwolf theatre company, (312) 335-1650. steppenwolf has garnered national acclaim for its cutting-edge and consistently successful productions. and for illustrious alumni like john malkovich and joan allen.