WHERE TO STAY
• The Viceroy: A mix of Art Deco and mid-century flourishes — with plenty of brass embellishment — feels at home in the skyscraper-filled Gold Coast neighborhood. Rooms from $242.
• The Robey: This new, already expanding Design Hotel is the first cool place to stay in Wicker Park. Minimalist interiors keep guests’ eyes trained on the property’s beautiful crowd. Rooms from $276.
• The Ace Hotel: Rooms with turntables and acoustic guitars, plus a communal fire pit in the open-air bar, might make this the coolest Ace Hotel yet. Rooms from $240.
• The Conrad: The slightly corporate lobby belies sumptuous marble bathrooms, massive suites, and iconic Michigan Avenue views. Rooms from $349.
WHERE TO EAT
• Giant: Jason Vincent isn’t a household name outside Chicago, but few chefs are more locally beloved. His latest, 44-seat neighborhood spot serves flat-out-fun food such as parmesan-crusted onion rings and uni shooters.
• Parachute: The trailblazing proprietors of this no-frills hotspot bend and break the rules of Korean cuisine to create original and memorable meals — think tapioca croquettes topped with furikake and chicken-and-egg bibimbap.
• Elske: Restrained Nordic influences add color to the clean flavors at this buzzy husband-and-wife operation, where desserts are as much a star as the main courses.
• Alinea: Chicago’s most influential restaurant is fresh off a total renovation. Mark off your entire evening for a meal at this temple to culinary drama.
WHAT TO SEE
• The Chicago Architecture Biennial: At the Chicago Cultural Center, 140 artists from 20 countries have installed multimedia exhibitions centering on the theme “Make New History.” City-wide public programming will include sound installations and lectures by such global luminaries as Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando. On view through Jan. 7, 2018.
• Museum of Contemporary Art: To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the institution has just unveiled its $16-million makeover. Up first in the redesigned spaces: a Takashi Murakami retrospective.
• The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare: Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s innovative, new venue opened on Sept. 19 in a glassy, adaptive-reuse building whose seating towers can be reconfigured for each production. Currently playing: James Thierrée’s The Toad Knew.
• The Chicago Riverwalk: In a project that has drawn comparisons to New York’s High Line, the south bank of the Chicago river has sprung to life with wineries, cafés, and gelaterias.