Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.


Kara Carmichael

Kara Carmichael is a staff member at Choose Chicago. A lover of travel and all things Chicago, she spends her free time exploring the city. She considers herself a public transit pro and rarely travels without a book (slash Nook app). The skyline, particularly from Lake Shore Drive or from an airplane descending into O’Hare Airport, still gives her goose bumps. Kara’s favorite days in Chicago begin unplanned and end in delightful discoveries whether it be a new restaurant, a new exhibit, or a new pair of shoes.


Announcing Chicago Restaurant Week 2016: Reservations Now Open!

Chicago Restaurant Week: January 22 - February 4, 2016

The reservation books are now open for the 14-day feast Chicago Restaurant Week. From Friday, January 22 to Thursday, February 4, dine at 354 restaurants (a record number that includes 54 new participants!) at deliciously low prices. Multiple-course meals pack in prix-fixe deals with $22 lunch options and $33/$44 dinner options.

62 Restaurants All Under One Roof! First Bites Bash January 21

First Bites Bash Chicago

It's the first foodie fête of the year and the date is set for Thursday, January 21, 2016.

First Bites Bash 2016 will take over Union Station's Great Hall and bring in over 60 Chicago restaurants to showcase small bites both sweet and savory. Executive Chef Tony Priolo (Executive Chef/Partner of Piccolo Sogno & Piccolo Sogno Due) will host this year's event, from which a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.

Broadway in Chicago's Big Fish Has a Big Heart

Broadway in Chicago's Big Fish

When I complained as a kid, my dad--like many fathers--would tell me that he used to
walk to school barefoot (even in the snow) and uphill (both ways). This was
clearly an attempt to get me to quit my whining, but I loved it. Some days the
story would be even more dramatic to put my latest grumble into perspective. And
he always told these tales with a twinkle in his eye.

Dine like the Obamas at Yoshi's Cafe in Lakeview

Yoshi - First Course - Blog

Ever wonder how the President and his posse of people dine during an inauguration? Well, now's your chance! Chef Yoshi Katsumura of Yoshi's Café in Lakeview will make you feel like a leader of the free world (or at least eat like one).

For this year's Chicago Restaurant Week dinner menu, Yoshi has prepared President Obama's post-inauguration menu. At the traditional luncheon inside Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol, The Obama's and Biden's join senators, House members,

What's All the Malort About?

Malort - Bottle - Blog

The new buzz word is Malört. Last week, my friends and I had a comical email exchange about this infamous Chicago liquor given its recent high-profile coverage in The Wall Street Journal article, "In Chicago, a Spirit Rises Despite Bitter Reviews."

My friend, a lifelong Chicagoan, received his first bottle of Jeppson's Malört as a gift more than ten years ago. So as you can imagine, Malort's increasing popularity among bartenders and 20-somethings has some

A Culinary Adventure at TRU

Tru Lead

Executive Chef/Partner Anthony Martin of TRU is a culinary god. My experience dining at TRU in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood was one of magic and whimsy. Yes, I know that sounds rather dramatic, but it's true!

Un-foie-gettable in Every Way

Photo of Nellcote courtesy of Potluck Creative.

Unfortunately for Californians, the selling of foie gras has been illegal in the state since July 1. So, perhaps, I'm celebrating Chicago's freedom by enjoying this fine delicacy. Or, maybe, I'm simply exercising my civic duty by patronizing restaurants that include foie gras on the menu. Gluttonous? Absolutely. There's no denying that. Serves me right for gaining a few extra pounds this summer. But every last morsel was worth its weight in... 

Olympic Kick-Off: 2012 is GREAT Britain

An invitation to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics at the home of the UK Consul General Robert Chatterton Dickson and his wife Teresa Albor was quite possibly the most exciting invitation to ever cross my desk. In that moment I thought two things: I'm honored. And there are TWO DEGREES of separation between me and Her Majesty, The Queen.

Get Your Geek On: C2E2 is back!

The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) is returning to Chicago on April 13-15 for its third year, and it's bigger and better than ever. Think pop culture: artists, actors, chefs (like culinary master Stephanie Izard), creators, authors, tatoo artists. Really cool stuff! And if you're up for it, you can dress up. Think of this is an opportunity to show off your inner superhero.

Posing for the camera at the 2011 event!
Here's a round-up of some of my favorite events and appearances:

  • C2E2

Neighborhoods of the World Series at Navy Pier

Chicago is known for being a city of neighborhoods. With more than 200 unique neighborhoods representing more than 100 countries, there’s a little something for everyone. And whatever your heritage, there is an event in Chicago to celebrate it.

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of celebrating my Lithuanian roots at Navy Pier’s Celebrate Lithuanian Independence presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Lithuania. The event was full of dance, folk music, art, food and amber. Lots of

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