We Asked the Waldorf Astoria Chicago’s Concierge for His Insider Tips

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Mar 01, 2016

by TRAVEL INSIDER WRITERS

From Lincoln Park’s Green City Market to Chicago’s best coffee spot, Edward Tobin, a concierge at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, opens his little black book to share the best things to do in The Windy City.

When my friends are in town, I take them for a drink at…

The Aviary, an intimate bar in the West Fulton Market district. It’s a mecca for culinary cocktails and small bites; the creativity is off the charts.

For a business meeting, I book a table at…

C Chicago in the River North neighbourhood. It’s an American restaurant with high ceilings and loads of space – the tables are not close together – and the service is excellent. Because it’s American, you might think it’s just steak and seafood but it has great chicken and pork chops, too.

My favourite breakfast place is…

The Little Goat, a diner and bakery owned by a chef called Stephanie Izard and located in the West Loop area. It’s a wonderful, homely local experience.

And for the best coffee, I go to…

 

Intelligentsia Coffee. It has several outlets in the city, uses sustainably sourced beans and the staff is really well trained. They’re now in LA and New York but it started here in Chicago. 

If you want a market experience, don’t miss…

Green City Market in Lincoln Park. It’s on every Wednesday and Saturday morning. You’ll find locals and many of the city’s top chefs there. It has a great vibe and live music performances.

For designer fashion make your way to…

Oak Street in Chicago’s Gold Coast district. It’s a boutique shopping spot with labels like Prada, Chanel, Ted Baker and Lanvin.

Chicago’s most exciting outdoor experience is…

An architectural sightseeing river cruise. It runs for about 90 minutes. You can get great photos and it’s a good way to learn about the city’s love affair with architecture, especially since the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

The best place to buy a gift or memento is…

Mary Mary in River North. It has a unique vibe with beautiful jewellery and home décor.

The best daytrip is to…

Milwaukee – it’s Wisconsin’s largest city, located on Lake Michigan, about 90 minutes north of Chicago, and it makes an excellent road trip. Don’t miss the Milwaukee Art Museum. It has a fantastic roof designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. I also recommend afternoon tea at The Pfister Hotel, which opened in 1893 and has old-world charm and grandeur.

Chicago’s best-kept secret is…

Buddy Guy’s Legends, a live-music venue owned by artist Buddy Guy. There’s blues music seven nights a week and a Cajun-inspired food menu.