The Chicago Bucket List


1. Eat at the Holy Trinity of chicken wings: Wings Around the World (03/28/10), Crisp, and Great Seas Chinese Restaurant

2. Throw an event with over 100 attendees.

3. Go on an Architectural Boat Tour.

4. Ride every stop of every El and subway line in one day.

5. Go sailing on Lake Michigan

6. Get in the RedEye (Page 14 – 04/06/10)

7. Visit Garfield Conservatory

8. Go to a Wrigley Field for a Cubs game and U.S. Cellular Field for a Sox game on the same day (need a rainout!)

9. Check out the Skydeck at Sears Tower

10. Attend 10 Chicago street festivals (Belmont/Sheffield Music Festival, Do Division, Mayfest, Ribfest, Andersonville Midsommerfest, West Fest, Chicago Pride Parade, Taste of Lincoln Avenue, Taste of Polonia, Octoberfest tbd)

11. Turtle races at Big Joe’s

12. Slam poetry at the Green Mill

13. Throw a BBQ at the Chicago lakefront (05/31/10)

14. Hit up Docks and AP Deli in the same day for eats

15. Tour the Board of Trade and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

16. Tour all of the breweries in Chicago for Craft Beer (Three Floyd’s, Half Acre, Goose Island, Two Brothers Brewing Company, Haymarket, Piece, Revolution)

17. Check out the Chicago History Museum

18. Brunch at M Henry

19. Improv Circuit (Second City, Improv Olympic, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, Comedysportz)

20. Take a dance lesson and dance at Summerfest

21. Try 5 different beers from a) Hopleaf b) Map Room c) Quenchers d) The Globe Pub

22. Tailgate at Soldier Field

23. Catch a night of music at Buddy Guy’s Legends

24. Attend Veggie Bingo Night and a Dance Party at the Hideout

25. Eat smoked salmon at Calumet Fisheries (05/15/10)

26. Eat a piece of the Pyramid of Meat at the Fiesta del Sol

27. Purchase fireworks from Indiana and blow them up

28. Walk the entire Lower Wacker Drive

29. Visit Graceland Cemetery and find all of the famous Chicagoans

30. Eat at the Vienna Beef Factory Store (06/22/10)

31. Visit the Virgin Mary stain at Fullerton and 90/94 (06/22/10)

32. First Fridays at the MCA

33. Second Fridays in Pilsen Art District

34. Play a blind draw dart tournament at Di’s Den

35. Visit the Chicago Data Center, hub of the internet.

36. Eat at Smoque, Fat Willy’s Rib Shack, Smoke Daddy

37. Witness the Chicago Full Moon Fire Jam (05/27/10)

38. Watch Too Much Light Makes the Baby Goes Blind

39. Dim Sum Brunch and Shopping in Chinatown

40. Mario’s Italian Ice

41. Attending a Man-B-Que Beer & Burger Tasting, and MEATING

42. Eat a sundae at Margie’s Candies (06/22/10)

43. Watch a Cubs game from a company suite (07/03/10)

44. Eat at Girl & the Goat (07/07/10)

45. Sushi at Lawrence Fish Market (07/25/10)

46. Attend Yelp Summerfest (08/06/10)

47. Experience the Chicago Fire (08/08/10)

48. Italian Beef Crawl 2010 (09/25/10)

49. Spend an Afternoon at the Racetrack

50. Eat brunch at The Bristol

51. Catch a show at the Kingston Mines

52. Eat Harold’s Chicken Shack

53. Have dinner at Alinea

54. Eat blowfish at Ai Sushi

55. Take a tour of Wrigley Field

56. Win the Windy City Darters Championship

57. Check out the Berghoff

58. Go for the Maxwell Street Polish Sausage

59. Catch DJ Colette, DJ Heather, and DJ John Simmons at Smartbar

60. Gourmet Dim Sum at Shanghai Terrace at the Peninsula Hotel (01/25/11)

61. Try a Chicago Food Truck (05/18/11)

62. Chief O’Neill’s Sunday Brunch

63. Attend a Show at The Old Town School of Folk Music

64. Fried Chicken at The Southern (05/14/11)

65. Deep Dish at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria (05/23/11)

66. 5411 Empanada Truck

67. The Doughnut Vault

68. Check out a Cubs Rooftop

69. Dinner at Isla Pilipina

70. Banh Mi at Saigon Sisters

71. Brunch at NoMI

72. Get Cuts at Peoria Meat Packing

73. Monster Truck JAM!

74. Ribs at Gale Street Inn

75. Crawfish Boil at Toon’s

76. Sunrise at the Lake

77. Pig Roast at Frontier

17 Responses to “The Chicago Bucket List”

  1. DJ one of the Hotel Lockdown Swingers Events at the (can not publish) Hotel near O’Hare

  2. Mark Kotlick says:

    Thanks for selecting Calumet Fisheries for your Bucket List. Your article and pictures were awesome.

    Mark Kotlick

  3. An says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, that was the best seafood I’ve had in Chicago. Who knew deep fried shrimp could be so fresh! I’m now a salmon convert thanks to you guys

  4. Lori says:

    The Chicago History Museum has some cool tours of Chicago neighborhoods and of Graceland cemetary. One of my goals before I leave Chicago is to do all of them. Crisp is totally a good choice – love that place. I want to eat a hot dog at the Weiner Circle too.

  5. Tatiana says:

    Two events you should definitely add to the list:
    –Annual Green City Market Chef BBQ
    –Annual Frontera Farmers Foundation Dinner Like No Other

    Couple other things:
    –Swing dancing at the Green Mill on Thursday nights
    –Tour of Koval Distillery
    –Ride on the Speed Dog boat along the lakefront
    –Corned beef sandwich at Manny’s
    –Eat your weight in oysters at Oyster Fest
    –Take Devil In the White City tour, and Sex in the Second City tour.
    –Attend annual Strawberry Fest in Long Grove
    –Take Haunted Chicago tour on Halloween
    –Ride a segway on the lakefront
    –Dance polka at the Brauhaus

  6. printdude says:

    You only have 49.
    You’ve got the Italian Beff Crawl on there twice.

  7. Sammy says:

    sweet list.

    I would DEFINITELY insist on adding this:

    Kingston Mines for the best real Chicago blues. period. If you have a college ID, no cover sunday through thursday nights (go thursday and see Joanna Conner, will blow your mind)

  8. An Phan says:

    Kingston Mines? You got it!

  9. mark palmer says:


    I have a friend how owns a fireworks store in Indiana. Yes, Yes. I always have fireworks, a little low right now. I need to restock. When I have some extra cash, you can come with if you’d like

  10. Andy says:

    You should try more of the Chicago ethnic ‘hoods. Get Lebanese food on Kedzie south of Lawrence, walk Devon on Indian or Pakistani Independence Day, get Korean food in Albany Park (Maybe go to the Korean Festival there, compete in wrestling), and eat perogies at the Red Apple. Also, bike the lakeshore trail from Hollywood beach to Indiana.

    But most important, attend/race the Chiditarod.

  11. Tracy Karim says:


    If and when I make my return to Chicago, we should go eat Polish food and see Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind!

  12. An Phan says:

    Damn still have not seen too much light :(

  13. seth says:

    take smartbar off of your list. place sucks

  14. Jasper says:

    Hey yo you left Metropolitan off your brewery list. Well peace out aight

  15. [...] need a little more inspiration for your Chicago bucket list, An Phan (a.k.a. Goat King) created a great Chicago bucket list and he blogs about his adventures. Best of luck and I hope you enjoy exploring the [...]

  16. Stephanie says:

    Man I have to get cracking! I’ve only done 14 of those things. Was able to do the Cubs-White Sox 2 stadium double-header without a rainout. The only time they ever schedule them both at home at the same time is before the Air and Water Show, so that both teams are away during that traffic clusterf***.

  17. Ellie says:

    Can we get an updated list.. this is great, but it seems that you’ve stopped updating it.. bummer!!!

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