Skip To Content

    23 Hidden Gems You Must Visit In Chicago

    ♫ This is my kind of town, Chicago is ♫

    We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to send us what they think are the best hidden gems in Chicago. Here are the results.

    1208 W. Webster Avenue, Lincoln Park

    "Perfect for a sweet-tooth craving!"

    Submitted by racheld483b54f23, BuzzFeed

    2. Chicago Cultural Center

    78 E. Washington Street, The Loop

    "It’s an amazing building, completely free, and always has really interesting art exhibits."

    Submitted by brynnee, BuzzFeed

    3. Kuma's Corner

    2900 W. Belmont Avenue, Avondale

    "Where all the items on the menu are named after metal bands, and the two-hour wait is worth it."

    Submitted by whitneys458e71496, BuzzFeed

    4. Baby Wants Candy Improv Show

    The Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Avenue, Lincoln Park

    "They perform improv musical shows at 10:30 p.m. every Friday. I've never laughed and cried so hard in my life."

    Submitted by Natalie Jachym, Facebook

    5. Ferrara Original Bakery

    2210 W. Taylor Street, University Village

    "You can stop in and have a delicious lunch at a reasonable price! If you go on a weekday, you can expect to dine next to Chicago's finest boys in blue or lawyers from the court building a few blocks away. A few scenes from the Chicago Fire TV show were also filmed here!"

    Submitted by Debbie Kopsky, Facebook

    6. Myopic Books

    1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Wicker Park

    One of Chicago's largest and oldest used bookstores, Myopic Books buys and sells over 80,000 editions of books. And they have a strict no–cell phone policy.

    Submitted by Sarah Hon, Facebook

    7. Original Rainbow Cone

    9233 S. Western Avenue, Beverly

    The shop has been around since 1926 and serves a signature layered cone that includes chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House, pistachio, and orange sherbet flavors.

    Submitted by Quinlin Kelly, Facebook

    8. Harold Washington Library

    400 S. State Street, The Loop

    "The ninth floor has a winter garden, which is basically a big, beautiful atrium with free Wi-Fi. It’s the best place to kill a few hours."

    Submitted by lmaccarthy, BuzzFeed

    9. Rub BBQ

    6954 N. Western Avenue, West Rogers Park

    This homestyle BBQ restaurant serves HOME-SMOKED kettle chips and coleslaw with almost every meal, and has some really genius, unique items on its menu — including custard-filled cornbread, pictured above. Wipe up your drool.

    Submitted by Megan Medina, Facebook

    10. Maggie Daley Park

    407-461 S. Columbus Drive, The Loop

    The park has slowly been opening, and currently the ice skating ribbon and playground are open to the public. The ice skating ribbon has been noted for its breathtaking views of the skyline.

    Submitted by Sarah Fisher, Facebook

    11. Pequod's Pizzeria

    2207 N. Clybourn Avenue, DePaul

    "Best deep-dish pizza I’ve ever had!"

    Submitted by annies47aff637e, BuzzFeed

    12. Big Monster Toys

    21 S. Racine Avenue, West Loop

    Visitors have described entering Big Monster Toys as feeling like you're entering Oz.

    Submitted by nataliaz4af141a22, BuzzFeed

    13. Pizano's Pizzeria

    864 N. State Street, Near North Side

    "This place is truly a family restaurant. The pizza is Mama Malnati’s (of Lou Malnati's restaurant fame) original famous recipe, and the wings are out-of-this-world amazing."

    Submitted by nataliek4215f0766, BuzzFeed

    Marc Monaghan for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

    5153 N. Ashland Avenue, Andersonville

    "The theater troupe, The Neo-Futurists, are the longest-running troupe in Illinois, and this show is comprised of 30 plays in 60 minutes. The cast throws an after-party pizza show if they sell out, and you roll a die for what you pay."

    Submitted by ryannc2, BuzzFeed

    15. Superdawg Drive-In Restaurant

    6363 N. Milwaukee, Norwood Park

    "Best hot dog and fries anywhere, served in a box. Car hop service by the best hops ever. The place is living history."

    Submitted by miker498b895b4, BuzzFeed

    16. 57th Street Books

    1301 E. 57th Street, Hyde Park

    "Fantastic little indie bookshop."

    Submitted by emilyspatulahandsk, BuzzFeed

    17. Ann Sather Restaurant

    3411 N Broadway Street, Lakeview

    "If you are in Chicago and haven't had a cinnamon bun here, all I have to say is...for shame!"

    Submitted by Lauren Pfeifer, Facebook

    Central Business District

    This underground walking system is used by tens of thousands of pedestrians each day and connects to CTA trains and buildings over roughtly 40 blocks in the Central Business District.

    Submitted by William Zambole, Facebook

    19. Headquarters Beercade

    2833 N. Sheffield, Lakeview

    This incredible bar's most unique trait is its wide selection of FREE arcade games. From classic games to pinball, this place has it all. And the drinks are priced well, too.

    Submitted by kb1014, BuzzFeed

    20. Mario's Italian Ice

    1068 W. Taylor Street, University Village

    "If you have a sweet tooth and want something cool and refreshing, go there because they make homemade Italian ice and it’s to die for."

    Submitted by elizabethd4eae12122, BuzzFeed

    21. Chicago Pizza And Oven Grinder Co.

    2121 N Clark Street, Lincoln Park

    "Rumor has it, the house above the now-restaurant served as a lookout post for Al Capone's henchmen. The atmosphere is gorgeous and homey and warm and gorgeous. For dessert, DO NOT SKIP THE TORTONI. A local Chicago Italian ice cream shop makes this special just for for CPOGC."

    Submitted by Kari Shrode, Facebook

    22. Puppet Bike

    Various places in The Loop

    Puppet Bike is a traveling puppet show where puppets dance under a disco ball to oldies songs. It has a perfect five stars on Yelp.

    Submitted by mariak421e182d6, BuzzFeed

    23. Promontory Point at Burnham Park

    5491 S. Shore Drive, South Side

    "This place has the most underrated view of the skyline! The South Side never gets enough love."

    Submitted by lmaccarthy, BuzzFeed

    Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form