Right in restaurant-saturated River North, A Mano can easily get overlooked. It's a "garden apartment" restaurant in that it's down the stairs from the sidewalk and easy to pass by without a glance. But don't do that, because it's worth stopping in, especially on a Sunday when all bottles of wine are half off. Try the lasagna bolognese and the risotto.
Go to Vines on Clarks on a Wednesday (unless it's a game Wednesday - no specials on game days.) However, if the Cubs aren't playing that particular Wednesday, appetizers are half price, Miller Lites are a dollar, and Bacardi drinks are $3. The buffalo chicken nachos, which are already fantastic at full price, are even better for $4. The coconut shrimp is pretty good too.
Sluggers has something for everyone. Well, almost everyone. From the downstairs traditional sports bar with the plastic cups and frat boys everywhere, to the batting cages upstairs, which I don't care who you are, they are awesome. THEN, check out the dueling piano room, and if Desi or Jen are playing, sit back and enjoy some unbelievable chick talent.
Very trendy, and they know it. Very "upscale loft" feel, but nice and open, and the wine selection is ridiculously amazing. Right next door to the House of Blues, therefore perfect for a drink before a show. And somehow, they also manage to be a coffee shop, open at 6:30 AM. This astounds me.
I have been to Balance Health + Wellness for massage. Erin is an unbelievably talented massage therapist. As a musicians, my hands are a priority, and Erin helped make them feel better than they had in months. Booking a session with her was most certainly worth it.
The diviest of dive bars with karaoke 4 nights a week. I mean, considering the fact that 4AM bars in the neighborhood are practically nil, it's certainly worth walking in for an after-hours drink, but considering how divey it is, I was surprised that the drink specials were not better. It's ok if you are already in the neighborhood and want one more drink before bed.
K's Dugout is a dive bar dive bar dive bar, right next to a police station, which makes it a very unique experience. Pool table and cheap beers make it worth stopping by for one.
What an absolutely amazing find in the neighborhood! It is a tiny venue, but absolutely quaint. They are a coffee shop, a pastry shop, and a tango studio somehow brilliantly wrapped into one. Consider them for a party - they can host around 50-60 people. The empanadas are fantastic, and the tango teachers are extremely professional and wonderful.
The Chipp Inn is not necessarily a diamond in the rough......but definitely a gem of some sort. It's the tiniest hole-in-the-wall dive bar with a back room pool table so small that you have to use the really short sticks for some shots. However, you can always belly right up to the bar, and shots with the bartender are always worth it.
Amazing for late-night drunk food. Definitely go for a steak burrito. La Bambas doesn't know anything about a "burrito as big as your head" next to this place. However, if you are ordering beans and rice, double-check your order. For some reason that gets left out or messed up (which is no big deal if you live around the corner....)