5 of The Coolest Places in Chicago You Don’t Know About

things to do in chicago unknown underrated off the beaten path chicago
Share This:

Whether you’re a tourist visiting Chicago for the very first time, or a native looking to switch things up, consider visiting these places for a unique and unforgettable experience!


1. Stony Island Arts Bank

6760 S Stony Island Ave Chicago, IL 60649

Image result for stony island arts bank


The Stony Island Arts Bank is a hidden treasure on Chicago’s South Side. The humble building sitting on 67th and Stony Island serves as a “hybrid gallery, media archive, library, and community center”. Along with an enchanting aesthetic, there are dozens of events every month. Take a trip down for some early morning yoga, or listen to a panel discussion on the history of Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood!



2. Uptown Poetry Slam at Green Mill Jazz Lounge

4802 N Broadway Chicago, IL 60640

Image result for green mill cocktail lounge


Did you know that Chicago is the birthplace of the poetry slam? In 1984, the competition was started to showcase the city’s diverse talent. More than 30 years later, the tradition lives on. Every Sunday from 7-10 pm, poets from all across the country recite their best work over the smooth sounds of the The Green Mill Quartet.


3. Demera Ethiopian Restaurant

4801 N Broadway Chicago, IL 60640

Image result for demera ethiopian restaurant


When most people think Chicago food, they think hot dogs, Italian beef, and deep-dish pizza. While these are indeed staples of a good Chicagoan diet, you’d be surprised at what else the city has to offer. Stroll down Broadway Street in the Uptown neighborhood, and you’ll find Ethiopian restaurants on almost every block. My personal recommendation: Demera Ethiopian Restaurant. Hands down the best honey wine in the town!


4. Garfield Park Conservatory

300 N Central Park Ave Chicago, IL 60624

Image result for garfield park conservatory


If you like gardens and greenery, the Garfield Park Conservatory is an absolute must-see. A stark contrast to the urban city, the lush trees and colorful flowers create a perfect nature escape! With the cost of a donation of your choice, explore an array of plants from countries from all around the world. It’s also a great place to take the kids – there are fun educational tours offered everyday!


5. B.L.U.E.S on Halsted

300 N Central Park Ave Chicago, IL 60624

Image result for blues on halsted


Blues music has a rich history in Chicago, and you can get acquainted every night at B.L.U.E.S. The venue is small and often crowded, but the atmosphere and talent makes it a night worthwhile. Performers range from new artists to national blues legends. The drinks served up by the bartenders are truly legendary, as well!




What’s your favorite underrated spot in Chicago?


About Lauren Victoria 87 Articles
Lauren is a Chicago native and budget traveler obsessed with foreign languages, neuropsychology, dancing, and applesauce. She recently quit her full-time job in social services to be a human English dictionary in Madrid, Spain.
  • IUnique E Williams

    Thank you for the great places to visit in Chicago. I will be visiting the city in the upcoming months and I like to visit places that local visit more than tourist.

    • Awesome, I hope you have fun!

  • Reuben Ganda

    Drove to Chicago once from Atlanta. I wish I knew about these places back then. Maybe on my next drive there.

  • Kellyn Jeremy-Aponte

    I’m down for that Ethiopian food!