Mar 17

Things to Do on the Mag Mile

The Magnificent Mile is well-named as it is indeed pretty darn magnificent. Sometimes called the Mag Mile, it runs from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side. It’s basically the main thoroughfare between Chicago’s Loop business district and its Gold Coast.

So what is there to do on the Magnificent Mile? We thought you’d never ask. So here we go with a quick run down of all the fun things to do on the Mag Mile!

Chicago Crime Tours

How does a tour of local crime scenes sound? Right? Then check out Chicago Crime Tours – a tour that takes you by bus to explore several historic crime scenes including where local gangsters John Dillinger and Hymie Weiss stood just before their deaths.  You’ll investigate everything from Al Capone to the sit of the St. Valentine’s Day massacre and the tour takes between 90 and 120 minutes. They also do a night crimes tour from June through the end of October and from May through October they do a Crime and Pizza walk – because nothing says gangsta like cheesy pizza! Oh, and be sure to check Groupon for any deals.

EscapeHouse Chicago

Have you ever done an escape house? That’s where you’re locked into a room that’s filled with puzzles you have to solve to get out (well, obviously you can be let out any time you want, but that’s not the point).  Then check out EscapeHouse Chicago a fiendishly clever house of fun. You can book a whole room for yourselves or join a group of strangers and make friends forever as you bond over your quest for a key.  They email you a password the day before and then you make up your agent name (we were Agent .007 and Agent Orange Is The New Black). The place presents so many fun challenges that really pick at your brain.

#Awning #manufactured and #installed by #gallaghertentandawning for @escapehousechicago in @chicago

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360 Chicago

How does drinks 94 floors above the city sound? Then 360Chicago is the place for you. It’s housed in the observation deck at the John Hancock Center – that’s over 1,000 feet in the air – and has the most spectacular views you’ve seen in a while alongside a full bar! Best of all is TILT, an exhilarating one-of-a-kind attraction that literally TILTs visitors to a 30° angle over Michigan Avenue. It’s all glass – and all terrifying if you’re scared of heights.

Ending the weekend on top Photo by @bryan_zxc #360chicago #chicago #citylights

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That alone should be enough to get you started having fun in the Magnificent Mile! There’s so much to do that we’re just scratching the surface – but we’ll revisit this topic soon and add more items!

Mar 17

Healthy Restaurants in River North

Now winter’s moved on, it’s time to shed any of those last, lingering holiday pounds we added. We thought it might make a great blog to look at the best healthy restaurants in River North – places with great taste and healthy portions. We’re happy to say we found a good few and so let’s get into them!

LYFE Kitchen

We really loved what we found at LYFE Kitchen – an establishment that offers up both gluten-free options as well as vegan ones. Yes it’s a chain but that’s not always a bad thing. We sampled the corn chowder, Buffalo “chicken” strips, ancient grain stir fry, the chia chocolate budino pudding cup and the kale banana smoothie (What? We were hungry!). We enjoyed every single thing we tasted and the staff were quite friendly to boot. It’s not a cheap place to eat but I guess you get what you pay for and we’ll definitely be going back.

Ending a very green weekend with a green Grilled Veggie Salad. 10% of March sales from this salad go to local charity @gardeneerschicago …good for your body & your community!!

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3 Greens Market

3 Greens Market is a fantastic gem hidden away over at 354 W. Hubbard Street. From wine to jazz to indoor golf, there’s a lot going on here – but of course the glue that holds it all together is the absolutely amazing food. From Au Cheval burgers to the most wonderful, 18-feet long salad bar, 3 Greens is a casual restaurant, coffee shop, grab-and-go marketplace, and bar, offering a diverse assortment of food and beverage choices under one roof. It also serves small batch and bottled cocktails, wine and beer, as well as a full coffee bar. The eclectic decor, a mash-up of 1960s and 1970s design, evokes vintage rec rooms and living room spaces.

I need to remind myself to take lunch away from my desk from time to time, especially considering I work steps away from actual heaven on earth 👌🏼 📍: @3greensmarket | River North

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Breaking Bread

The healthy and tasty lunches at Breaking Bread are pretty awesome too. Located in the 1871, they’re all about fresh veggies, fresh baked bread and the odd surprise like soup or ice cream. And it’s just $5 to boot! When we went, they had baked potatoes with chili and cheese that were fantastic. If you’ve never eaten in the 1871 space before, you’re in for a treat. All seating is at one huge table so you’ll get to meet all kinds of people.

It’s easy to eat healthy when you know where to go (if you’re not making it at home, that is), so we hope this helps you with your options. If you know of any other great places, be sure to let us know so we can share those with everyone too!

Mar 17

Date Nights Ideas in the Gold Coast

As Spring sprungs (it’s early, we get to make up words), we no longer just have to Netflix and chill as much anymore. But what options are out there? We put together a list of funtastic (we’re doing it again) date night ideas for you right here in the Gold Coast.


Scofflaw is a great cocktail bar that should start the night off perfectly. It’s small but loud and the drinks are strong. They’re open Mon-Fri  from 5pm-2am, Saturday from 11am-3am and Sunday from 11am to 2am – and the kitchen remains open pretty late (1am during the week, 2am on Saturday).

 The food is nothing to scoff at either; the burgers taste great – but at the end of the day it’s all about the cocktails. We sampled the Rolling Blackout (Tequila, Aveze, Orgeat, Coconut, Lime, Activated Charcoal), the Partisan (rye, East Indea Solera Sherry, Honey, Black Walnut Bitters, etc) and the Two Charles (Gin, House Ginger Liqueur, carrot, lemon and salt).

Cozy Noodles & Rice

There’s nothing like a cheap date when the company is rich – and so we suggest you try Cozy Noodles & Rice. Cozy is a simply, yet uniquely, decorated Thai restaurant. Blended using a combination of both Thai and American cultures, the restaurant’s atmosphere is different from your usual traditional Thai restautant.

Who need my mom's recipe?

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We sampled the battered and fried chicken wings, pad khee mao, and their crab ragoon. The management are a very friendly bunch and as far as dates go, it’s homey and intimate.


Maybe it’s a light date and you’re meeting for a coffee. If so, check out Gaslight – it’s a coffee shop for coffee lovers. There’s lots of seating areas including numerous small tables for two, and it’s dimly lit. Can we say romance? And best of all – even if you’re not in love with your date, you’ll fall head over heels for their coffee and pastries. It’s a coffee lover’s paradise and you and your date might make it your new home away from home.

So whether you’re looking for cocktails, food or coffee, you’re covered with any of the above options.  Happy dating!

Mar 17

Guide to Living in River North

River North is one of Chicago’s favorite neighborhoods to work and play in. See what the buzz is all about with our River North neighborhood guide.

Food and Drink

Asado Coffee Roasters
363 W Erie St

This coffee shop is new and somewhat tucked away, which makes it a hidden gem in an otherwise busy neighborhood. Relax with a cup of joe!

Brett’s Kitchen
23 W Superior St

Here you’ll find some of the best and cheapest coffees in River North. At the corner of Superior and Franklin, it’s hard to miss while walking through River North.

The Boarding House
720 N Wells St

Fancy is the name of the game at The Boarding House. Upon entering, you’ll notice a gorgeous chandelier made from wine and champagne glasses. Luckily, it won’t set you back too much – the items on the menu are quite reasonably priced.

"Swipe Right": cocktail of the night 😋 #chews312

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100 W Ontario St

You haven’t had all Chicago has to offer if you’ve never eaten Portillos. Try their hot italian beef, cheese fries, chopped salad, and chocolate cake shake for the best (and fattest) meal, ever.


Navy Pier

There’s no shortage of things to do on Navy Pier. Even if you’re put off by hoards of tourists, you have to come for a day or evening at least once.

Lookingglass Theatre
821 N Michigan Ave Chicago

Lookingglass Theater is the 5th Chicago institution to receive the Tony Award for regional theater. At this theater, you’ll find renditions of classic literature and myths.

Headquarters Beercade River North
213 W Institute Pl Chicago 60610

Arcade games for every taste? Check. Over 70 craft beers and delicious craft cocktails? Covered. As if that wasn’t enough, Headquarters Beercade also has delicious bar food.

Don't do it.

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House of Blues
329 N Dearborn St Chicago

At House of Blues, you’ll find some of the best national and international artists, and more regularly – blues acts. Come in on Sunday for their special “Gospel Brunch.”


The Merchandise Mart

A great place to grab a bite if you work in the area, and an awesome place for interior design inspiration if that’s more your style.

900 North Michigan Shops
900 N Michigan Ave

7 levels. Luxury retailers, boutiques, and restaurants – all alongside the Magnificent Mile.


River North Gym
222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza

An installation within The Merchandise Mart – the perfect place to fit in a workout during the workday.

River North CrossFit
330 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654, USA

A great place to get in a high intensity workout, even if you’re a beginner!

Without a doubt, there are a number of other amazing places in River North. What would you add to our River North neighborhood guide?

Author: Maddy Osman, an SEO Content Strategist who has a passion for blogging. Her lifestyle blog, ChicagoCheapAss, shows young adults how to find the best deals and values in Chicago!

Feb 17

Things to Do in the Magnificent Mile

There’s a reason that the Magnificent Mile is world renowned, and it’s not just about the shopping. Here are some of our favorite things to do on the Magnificent Mile – why not make a day of it?

Food and Drink

Cape Cod Room
140 E Walton Pl Chicago, IL 60611

You wouldn’t think it would be this easy to find fresh seafood in Chicago, but all you have to do is walk into this elegant dining place in the Drake Hotel. They’ve been serving up delicious dishes for decades – you won’t be disappointed.

Heaven on Seven
111 N Wabash Ave Chicago, IL 60602

Come in early – Heaven on Seven is only open during breakfast and lunch. Take a break from shopping for these spicy Cajun and Creole dishes.

We've got our delicious Cajun Cubano on the menu today!!! Don't miss it! 😍

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The Lobby
108 E Superior St Chicago, IL 60611

The Lobby really has it all – delicious food at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Satisfy your sweet tooth with delectable desserts – no matter what time of day you come in.

The Purple Pig
500 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60611

The Purple Pig is a collaboration between some of Chicago’s best chefs. Vegans and vegetarians might want to avoid it, but meat lovers will appreciate the chance to eat pig ears and pig tails – oink!


Navy Pier

Not far off from the Magnificent Mile is Navy Pier. Though it’s often billed as a tourist attraction, locals will find plenty of fun things to do.

Escape the gloomy weather and come inside Crystal Gardens, where it always feels like Spring 😍🌸🌺🌼 📸: @y.garmenova

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Love Locks / Magnifique Romance

Get a little fancy and check out Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile’s version of Paris’ Pont des Arts “Love Locks” bridge. This free exhibit will stay open throughout February, and you can bring locks, or purchase one at the premises.


900 North Michigan Shops
900 N Michigan Ave

Though there’s no shortage of places to shop on the Magnificent Mile, the 900 North Michigan shops are certainly a favorite of locals and tourists, alike.

Water Tower Place
835 N. Michigan

Another top shopping destination on the Magnificent Mile. Here’s where you’ll find all the kids’ favorites: the American Girl Place, The LEGO Store, and candy museum, Candyality.

The Shops at North Bridge
520 N. Michigan

6 blocks, 50 specialty stores, 20 restaurants, and 5 hotels. This shopping area on the Magnificent Mile is not to be missed!


Navy Pier’s Resolution Revolution

A partnership with FFC and VibeUp has brought this free series of winter fitness classes at Navy Pier. Classes run from February 2 to March 26, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

LA Fitness
355 E Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60611

Aerobics, aqua fitness, belly dancing, and more. Professional trainers will help guide you through exercises.
What are your favorite things to do on the Magnificent Mile? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Author: Maddy Osman, an SEO Content Strategist who has a passion for blogging. Her lifestyle blog, ChicagoCheapAss, shows young adults how to find the best deals and values in Chicago!

Feb 17

Your Guide to Chicago’s Near North Side

Near North Side is the place to be in Chicago. Check out our restaurant, entertainment, and fitness picks!

Foods and Drinks

The Purple Pig
500 N Michigan Ave Chicago, IL 60611

The Purple Pig has won some high honors – like in 2014 when Chef Jimmy Bannos Jr. was awarded the James Beard for “Rising Star.” You’ll understand the award once you get a taste of their amazing menu.

Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen
100 E Walton St Chicago, IL 60611

Choose between ordering at the counter, or a full-service experience. You’ll enjoy fresh, healthy, and locally-sourced ingredients at this casual dining staple of the neighborhood. Want to indulge? They also serve craft beers, wine, and other enjoyable beverages.

215 E Chestnut St Chicago, IL 60611

Grab a light snack at this Cuban coffee house. Like Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen, they’re all about fresh and natural ingredients. Relax for a bit with your coffee in the comfortable dining room.

Beatrix Streeterville
671 N St Clair Chicago, IL 60611

Is there anything Beatrix can’t do? This Lettuce Entertain You restaurant location (1 of 2) boasts a bar, salad bar, breakfast station, and sit-down service. They only use organic ingredients, and have gluten-free, and healthy options, too!

Pancakes, please. All of them. And sprinkle some berries in there so it's healthy. 📷: @ryaninthecity #EEEEEATS #InfatuationChi

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Chicago Riverwalk

Spend lunch taking in scenic views of the city from the river. There are plenty of places to sit and relax, including a number of fine dining options.

875 N Michigan Ave (btwn Delaware Pl & Chestnut St), Chicago, IL

Love great views of Chicago? As the name suggestions, you’ll get a 360-degree view of Chicago at this open-air SkyWalk, located at the John Hancock Observatory.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 E Grand Ave (at Navy Pier), Chicago, IL

Located at favorite tourist attraction Navy Pier, you can make a night out with dinner and a show. Enjoy dinner at a discount by mentioning “Shakespeare” at Riva Crabhouse before heading over to the play.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

There’s no shortage of exhibits and events at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Regular installations include masterpieces from 1945 onward, and you won’t want to miss the sculpture garden with beautiful views of Lake Michigan.


1457 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60642, USA

Shop, catch a movie, go bowling, eat, or drink with friends at NEWCITY! It’s really everything in one place, and is very convenient for those on the Near North Side.

The Magnificent Mile
625 N Michigan Ave Chicago, IL 60610 Near North Side, River East

Chicago is known specifically for the amazing shopping on the Magnificent Mile, which runs from the Chicago River to Oak Street in the Near North Side.

Sundays are meant for shopping along #TheMagMile.

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The Merchandise Mart
222 Merchandise Mart Plz Ste 470 Chicago, IL 60654

Business professionals come here for lunch, everyone else comes here for home improvements with regards to interior design. Either way, it’s a great place, and also plays home to startup incubator/coworking space 1871.


River North Gym
Located inside The Merchandise Mart

If you work or play near the Merchandise Mart, you’ll want to get to know River North Gym. They offer high-quality training and classes at a very reasonable price.

NTC Chicago
675 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

This workout studio offers free classes, but make sure to sign up at least a week in advance to secure a spot.

What’s your your favorite thing about the Near North Side? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Author: Maddy Osman, an SEO Content Strategist who has a passion for blogging. Her lifestyle blog, ChicagoCheapAss, shows young adults how to find the best deals and values in Chicago!

Jan 17

Your Guide to Chicago’s Gold Coast

If you’re new to the area, know that the Gold Coast is one of the best neighborhoods in Chicago. Between food options, shopping, and upscale fitness studios – there’s something that anyone can enjoy.

Food and Drink

3rd Coast Cafe & Wine Bar
1260 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60610

The 3rd Coast Cafe & Wine Bar is one of the Gold Coast’s favorite brunch spots. Maybe it’s because they serve breakfast all day, or maybe it’s because the atmosphere, staff, and food makes you feel right at home.

Pump Room
1301 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610

Pump Room has a rich historic taste, and is a favorite of visiting celebrities. Enjoy New American food and drinks in a supper club atmosphere. Their rooftop bar is open in the summer with beautiful views of the downtown.

What a pleasure it was to eat at this beautiful place! #pumproom#datenight#hippiesabatoge#houseofblues

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Mario’s Table

21 W Goethe St, Chicago, IL 60610

If you had an Italian grandma who started a restaurant, Mario’s Table would be that restaurant. Proprietor Mario has a lot of pride in his dishes, and the ambience is perfect as a date night spot.

Nico Osteria
1015 North Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611

Chicago’s Gold Coast has no shortage of top-quality Italian restaurants. Paul Kahan’s Nico Osteria is not one to be missed. You’ll enjoy their ultra-fresh seafood and flawless pastas made in-house. Craft cocktails and wine pair perfectly. If you’d like, sit at the counter and watch the cooks at work, preparing your meal.

Entertainment (Events and Attractions)

Oak Street Beach
1000 N Lake Shore Dr Chicago

Chicago really has it all, and the beaches are a special perk of the summertime. At Oak Street Beach in Gold Coast, you’ll find volleyball tournaments, delicious eats, and an amazing view of the city and Lake Michigan. Stick around for concessions, bike rentals, and water sport activities.

Old Chicago Water Tower
E Pearson St, Chicago, IL, USA

This historic water tower is the second-oldest in the United States. Inside, you’ll find a city gallery with collections from locals.

Broadway Playhouse
175 E Chestnut St, Chicago, IL, USA

If you love Broadway and theatrical arts, you’ll enjoy a visit to the Broadway Playhouse. At the north side of Water Tower Place, Broadway Playhouse was originally the Drury Lane Theater in 1970s.

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park, 901 N Clark St, Chicago, IL, USA

Take a break from the urban landscape with a stroll in Washington Square Park. It’s a registered historic landmark in Chicago, with beautiful trees, floral beds, and a Victorian fountain.


Oak Street

Oak Street is considered to be Chicago’s most prestigious shopping street, with couture houses, American luxury brands, and specialty boutiques.

900 North Michigan Shops

Don’t miss 900 North Michigan Shops, with 7 levels of luxury retail, fashion, and restaurants – all on the Magnificent Mile.


Equinox Gold Coast
Located inside 900 North Michigan Shops

Equinox has everything you need to get in a great workout, regardless of what you’re most interested in. Personal trainers roam the gym to help make sure your form is perfect.

Yoga Six Gold Coast
1150 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610, USA

One of the best yoga chains in Chicago, Yoga Six will help you advance your yoga practice.

Are you excited about living (or visiting) Chicago’s Gold Coast? Share what you’re most excited about in the comments below.

Author: Maddy Osman, an SEO Content Strategist who has a passion for blogging. Her lifestyle blog, ChicagoCheapAss, shows young adults how to find the best deals and values in Chicago!


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