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The VICE Guide to Chicago

When we first started writing this guide, we didn’t really know Chicago from a hole in the ground. In fact, we thought Chicago literally was a hole in the ground—a huge, smoking crater crisscrossed by railroad tracks.

When we first started writing this guide, we didn’t really know Chicago from a hole in the ground. In fact, we thought Chicago literally was a hole in the ground—a huge, smoking crater crisscrossed by railroad tracks. Turns out we were wrong—Chicago is an actual city with buildings, people, cars, things, stuff, bars, food, and stores. We stand corrected—happily so, because it turns out that Chicago is pretty decent.

But what we did to make this guide work, since we were Chicago neophytes, was ask our friends who live and work there to write it for us. And they did. We cannot tell you their names because they hold incredibly prominent positions in the glittering indie intelligentsia of the Windy City, but we promise you can trust them. In fact, you’ve probably been to at least second base with most of them.

So here’s how the guide works. Each entry has a number next to it. On the map, each neighborhood has a number. Match them up, and you’ll know which things are in which neighborhood. Beyond that, you’re on your own. But we have two suggestions for you, and they are called Google and your phone. Used in conjunction, we promise that you can find anything in this guide. OK? Thanks.

PS: For a city that supposedly prides itself on its amazing hot dogs, you guys sure do get touchy about it when we bring it up. We’ve come to know it as Chicagoan Hot Dog Defensiveness Syndrome (CHDDS, pronounced “chids”). Every time we asked a friend from Chicago, “So is it true about the hot dogs?” they replied with one of many variations of, “Fuck off! That isn’t all we have here!” 

Um, that isn’t what we meant, guys. We just seriously wanted to know about the hot dogs. We really like a good hot dog. That’s all. Jesus.