Chicago, America’s “Second City,” has no shortage of shopping opportunities, entertainment, and cultural attractions for visitors of every stripe, but it might be best known for its historic sports franchises — and their rabid fans — and thick, saucy deep-dish pizza. When you’re in town, why not enjoy both?
Plan your visit well in advance to reserve good seats at the stadium, and shop around to find the best deal at some of the most affordable hotels in Chicago. Don’t forget to bring your foam fingers . . . and your antacid tablets!
U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago White Sox
Nearest public transport: CTA Red Line, Sox–35th Station
Take the Red Line to “The Cell” to see the White Sox at work in the south side Armour Square neighborhood. Cheer on the Sox to the sounds of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” the team’s traditional introduction song, as players take the field.
Before the game, take the short walk over to Miller Pizza Co. for a hand-tossed pie or a quick slice to go. This family-owned restaurant has been baking delicious, affordable pizzas here on this corner for more than 30 years.
Soldier Field, Chicago Bears
Nearest public transport: CTA Bus #128, Soldier Field Express; CTA Red, Green, and Orange Lines, Roosevelt Station
Sing along with the Bears’ classic fight song in iconic Soldier Field. Enjoy a great view of the Lake Michigan shoreline on your way to see the monsters of the Midway.
Image via Flickr by davidwilson1949
Just west of the stadium, visit Giordano’s for a traditional deep-dish from one of the restaurants that put this pizza style on the map. Be prepared to wait for one of these special pies, as they require a long preparation and baking process: The best Chicago-style pizza joints don’t cut any corners.
United Center, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks
Nearest public transport: CTA Blue Line, Illinois Medical District Station
Whether you’re coming to see the famous inflatable bull and the sounds of the Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius” during the Bulls pregame show or cheer on the Blackhawks, Chicago’s professional ice hockey team, you’ll be visiting the United Center in the Near West Side neighborhood.
Before the game, try one of Chicago’s best thin-crust pizzas at Coalfire. This trendy pizza café serves up artisan pies with exotic meats and cheeses from its 800-degree coal-fired oven.
Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs
Nearest public transport: CTA Red Line, Addison Station
Wrigley Field, named for the founder of the chewing gum company, has been the home field of the Cubs, Chicago’s lovable losers, since 1916. If you get tickets in the outfield bleachers, be aware of one of baseball’s oldest stadium traditions: Home runs hit into the Wrigley bleachers by the visiting team must be “rejected” and thrown back onto the field.
Image via Flickr by atalou
In the off-beat Wrigleyville neighborhood, why not go a bit Bohemian with your pizza choice? Try the popular mac-and-cheese or chicken-and-waffle pizzas at Dimo’s, paired with your choice of local craft brews or a tallboy of cheap, ice-cold lager — a favorite on a steamy midsummer afternoon.
Whatever your sport of choice and whatever your pizza preference — from spicy meat-and-sauce bombs to light, crispy vegan specialties — you’re sure to leave Chicago with a taste for more.
Cory Hanson is an American travel writer specializing in North American and European travel. This is a sponsored post. Find a full sponsored content disclosure here.