by McKayla Bane, copy editor
Need a break from the craziness of school but don’t know where to go? Do you want to have fun but have no desire to spend lots of money? Read on to hear about great cheap places you can go around the city.
Chicago is home to many parks, museums, coffee shops, thrift stores, and so much more! In fact, there are so many options it’s hard to narrow it down to the best, but Oak Street Beach would definitely be at the top of the list.
Although usually pretty busy, the beach is a great place to escape to after a full day of classes, and in the summer time when it’s hot and humid outside, a nice cool jump in the lake is prime.
From Oak Street Beach you can access a biking/walking/running trail that will take you to Navy Pier to the south, or to more beaches and Lincoln Park Zoo to the north. Navy Pier is an excellent place to visit for great views of the city and of the lake, while Lincoln Park Zoo is a great place to go kick around a soccer ball, throw a frisbee, or see some exotic animals.
Coffee is the love language of the city. With more than enough coffee shops to account for, it can be overwhelming narrowing down the field to some of the best ones to go to.
If you’re looking for a short walk, DropShot Coffee and Snack bar is the place for you. It’s the go-to spot for Moody students desiring to be off campus, but not too far. Big Shoulders is another great coffee shop just a few blocks away from school. What it lacks in seating, it makes up for in great tasting coffee.
Looking to get your donut fix but aren’t feeling Dunkin? Big Shoulders also sells the legendary Do-Rite donuts right in their shop, and you also might want to try emerging legend The Doughnut Vault.
Another great coffee shop that’s a little farther away is Sawada Coffee. Owned by the world renowned barista and latte art expert Hiroshi Sawada, the shop is best known for selling a killer matcha latte. The matcha latte is a little pricy, but for the taste you’re getting, it’s a game changer. Sawada also offers a large amount of seating which is perfect for long study days.
If you are an international student, Chicago also offers a number of ethnic food markets and restaurants for when you are craving a taste of home. H-Mart is a Korean market with a new location close to campus, just a couple blocks away from the Quincy stop on the brown line. Joong Boo Market is a 4-minute walk from the Belmont stop on the blue line, and offers Korean and Pan-Asian ingredients, as well as prepared foods in its Snack Corner. And of course, Chinatown has dozens of shops and restaurants and has its own stop on the Red Line.
As far as restaurants go, Chicago has a ton of options. Silver Spoon is known for their incredible and inexpensive Thai cuisine. Demara is an Ethiopian restaurant with a large menu of authentic Ethiopian food, and again at a great price. And Saigon Sisters serves updated Vietnamese food in its restaurant at Lake and Clinton and at its bahn mi counter just around the corner in the French Market, another great food destination.
The city is full of great places to visit, incredible places to eat at, and coffee shops to relax in. The opportunities to explore new places are endless!