A Guide to Chicago for Nebraska Fans Traveling to the Northwestern Game

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I've had quite few emails in the past week from Nebraska fans traveling to Chicago for the Northwestern game asking where they should eat/drink/play while they're here for the weekend. So I figured I might as well turn it into a post in hopes it will help some of you have the best possible weekend while you're here. But trust me, you're not going to need much help having fun this weekend. It's just going to happen on its own.

What's more fun than drinking with people from your own state when you are in fact out of state? NOTHING. It's a thrill and we all know it. So let's talk about the Husker bars around the city.

Where Huskers Like To Drink:

The biggest Husker bar (in my humble opinion) is Kirkwood. On any given Husker Saturday this bar almost feels like you're in Lincoln. They even try to serve Elk Creek, we all know there's no Elk Creek like real Elk Creek, but you gotta love them for trying. You can't walk into this bar without knowing at least ten people.

*drinking pretend Elk Creek. Shirts found here. 

It's located on Sheffield and Oakdale in Lincoln Park. If you're staying downtown it's like a fifteen minute cab ride. Or just jump on the train- more info on transportation below.

Last time Nebraska played Northwestern in Chicago this bar was packed the entire weekend. It also helps they have awesome bar food and good drinks. If you're the type of Husker traveler who likes to run into fellow Husker fans at away games (DAD, I'm talking to you) head here Friday night.

Division Ale House in Wicker Park is another favorite Husker bar of mine. It's not nearly as crazy as Kirkwood, but if you're in the mood for something a little more chill, this is your place.

They also have a killer brunch special where you get bottomless Bloodys and Mimosas along with a brunch item for like $20. I'm not positive on that price, but I know it's really affordable.

This is located at Division and Damen in Wicker Park.

Rockwood Place is yet another Husker bar located in Lakeview. It's between Sheffield and Newport. I've only been here a few times, but it's always super Husker friendly. Good food, cheap drinks.

And then there's this little hole-in-the-wall called Burwood Tap. Burwood isn't a designated Husker Bar by any means, I'm simply putting it here because last time Nebraskaland came to Chicago this is where a ton of people conjugated and it was just wonderful. Let's make this happen again Husker people, okay? Okay cool. I'll see you there around midnight on Friday. It's located on Wrightwood and Burling.

Where to Eat.

Everywhere. Anywhere. You really can't beat a meal in Chicago.

Maybe start with a fun lunch at Ditkas. I suggest this place simply because everyone I know from Nebraska likes to come here for drinks and dinner at least once while in Chicago. It's just a good atmosphere and if you're a Ditka fan he pops in here all the time. It's downtown right off Michigan near Chestnut.

And if you like Bloody Marys check out my post called 7 of the Best Bloodys in Chicago.

If you want to try some of the Chicago "hot spots" head to the West Loop and try your luck at Girl & The Goat or Au Cheval (best burger in the world,) or any of the other spots in that neighborhood. You're going to have to wait, but it will be worth it.

Or you can always spend a good hour or two walking around Eataly, sipping on a Peroni and eating a gourmet meat and cheese plate. Eataly is located downtown on Ohio and Grand.

Want a good patio? Head to Parlour Pizza, Green Street Meats, or Federales (all in West Loop.)

And if you want the best deep dish (again, in my humble opinion) do like the locals and head to Pequods Pizza on Clybourn and Webster. I know you probably think you have to get Giordanos or Lou Malnatis, but try something new this trip. Trust me on this one.

And if you're hungover on Sunday (or even if you're not) go to Portillos. Order the entire menu.

How To Get Around.

Don't be afraid of the CTA (Chicago's trains and buses). It's $2.25 for a ride and it's clean-ish and safe. Download a Chicago transportation app on your phone before you come and you'll be set. If you're riding the bus you'll need to get a CTA pass before getting on, you can get this at CVS or Walgreens (or just pay cash to ride the bus, but know they don't give change.) You can get a train pass at any train stop.

To get to Northwestern Stadium (which is just north of the city in Evanston) hop on the train toward Howard and get off at Davis. This will be the most economical way to get there.

If you're a taxi kinda person (I would suggest taxis for late night anyway) they're not badly priced in Chicago. Download the Uber app before you get here and make everyone's lives easier.

Or just get crazy and jump on a Divvy bike and ride wherever your heart takes you.

What To Do.

If it's nice out, go on an architecture boat tour. These are my favorite.

The Cubbies are in town! If you haven't been to a Cubs game you have to go.

There's also Oktoberfest 2016 going on, find more info here.

Head to the Lincoln Park Zoo, it's free! It's no Henry Doorly (nothing is) but it's decent and right now the leaves are starting to change in Lincoln Park so it's a gorgeous walk.

Why not head to a comedy show? Chicago is a comedy hub. I suggest Friday night shows at either iO or Second City. Check out Trap or Improvised Shakespeare at iO. Shows on The ETC or Mainstage at Second City are great as well. There's also great standup at Zanies in Old Town.

And if you're still around on Monday night and feeling crazy come try standup for yourself at the iO Theater open mic- I'm the host so I'll make sure the crowd is extra nice.

Or just spend your days eating and drinking, that's usually what I like to do.

Best hole-in-the-walls downtown are: Snickers, Rossis and Pippens.


What To Wear.

It's supposed to be mid 70s this weekend. But when you're in Chicago you should just always plan for rain, wind, and chilly temps JUST IN CASE. When in doubt, bring warmer clothes.

Or more specifically, why not just dress in Talk Herbie To Me gear the entire time? Wouldn't that be fun? I think so.

Find the entire selection by clicking here and here.

Where To Drink/Eat Around the Stadium.

(I can't speak first hand about these places, I was given this info from a friend who went to Northwestern. But he seems to know what's up.)

Bat 17.
1709 Benson Ave. One side is a restaurant and the other side is bar.

Tommy Nevin's Pub.
Located at 1450 Sherman Ave. Big Irish sports door with large outdoor patio.

Prairie Moon.
1502 Sherman Ave.

World of Beer.
1601 Sherman Ave.

As usual, take everything I've said for what it's worth. I don't claim to be an expert on what to do in Chicago, I can only tell you what I like to do here.

I just hope everyone has an awesome time. But really, that's not all that hard to do in Chicago. It's just a fun city.

See you all this weekend and GO BIG RED!!!

Pocket Tee Found Here.

*Feel free to share this post on Facebook, or with anyone you know traveling to Chicago this weekend. You can also send me a quick email at thedailytay@gmail.com if you have any other questions! 

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  1. I can completely vouch for Tommy Nevin's! So good and so fun!

  2. I've nominated you!
    Without your and Helene's blogtober, my blog would still only be read by me and my mom. This is my way of saying thanks!

  3. Don't forget Wine Riot https://secondglass.com/event-categories/wineriot/chicago-2014-fall/ and Open House Chicago.

  4. The purple line doesn't run it's full course on the weekends, so to get to Ryan field, you'll take the red line all the way to Howard and then switch to the purple line. Take the purple all the way to Central and you're about 3 blocks from the stadium. After the game, hang out for a while because the train will be a nightmare. Enjoy!