unique date ideas

Get Creative with your Dates in Chicago with 3 Unique Date Ideas

Feeling nostalgic for the past? Chicago Bagels, we got your back with 3 unique date ideas to fulfill your #tbt cravings! For LA, SF, Boston, DC, and NYC, check out our posts dedicated to your local city.

Cuddle in the Car to a Drive-in Movie
Better clean up your car and recline those seats back! Take your date to Cascade’s Drive-In, a popular hot spot for new releases. Best of all, they’re open 7 nights a week for you movie junkies.
unique date ideas

Hit up a Bowling Alley 
Bowling is one of those great sports you can be good at without having to be in shape. But you still gotta buckle up those (ugly, we know) shoes and get ready to impress your date, Bagels, because competition can get tough at the Pinstripes bowling alley. Fortunately they got live blues & jazz, Italian cuisine, and wine to help quench the potentially sub-par performance for a guaranteed good time.
unique date ideas

Share a Chocolate Malt (and fries and a burger, or two…)

Nothing beats burgers, fries & shakes from 25 Degrees Restauraunt. Though not an actual diner, their food is just as high-quality as one from back in the days. If you’re up for it, they also have fantastic mimosas, martinis & other cocktails for you to get your drink on. Check em out!

unique date ideas

4th of july in chicago

3 Spots for a Fireworks-Filled 4th of July in Chicago

Still finalizing your fireworks plans for your 4th of July in Chicago? Don’t sweat it (literally), we rated these 3 spots the best for Chicago regulars like yourself to check out!
3-D Fireworks
Yup, you heard us right. The Skokie Park District will be kicking off the 4th of July celebrations with a spectacular 3-D Fireworks Fest at dusk. The first 10,000 people will receive a free pair of 3-D glasses, starting at 5pm. There will also be food, drinks, and family games available to kill time. All the more reason to go early!

4th of july in chicago

Apparently this is what it looks like from 3-D glasses, but don’t take our word for it.

 4th of july in chicago

If you don’t have  plans during the day, the Skokie Park District will also be having a parade at noon, featuring marching bands, tumblrs, live animals, drill teams, vintage automobiles, and more! Why wait till nighttime to celebrate?
What: Skokie Part District’s 4th of July Celebration (Parade, Entertainment & 3-D Fireworks)
Where: Parade starts at Skokie Boulevard; Fireworks will be launched at Niles West High School
When: Wednesday, July 4th – parade @ noon, fest @ 5pm, fireworks @ dusk
Musical Extravaganza & Lakefront Fireworks
The Evanston 4th of July Association will be hosting a musical fireworks extravaganza to the radio station 90.5 FM that can be viewed from any part of the lakefront area east of Downtown Evanston.
4th of july in chicago
4th of july in chicago
Evanston’s 4th of July celebrations also start early, with a parade at 2pm off Central Street, and a band concert at 7:30pm at the Dawes Park Lagoon. Enjoy your day off with all the festivities they have to offer!
What: Evanston 4th of July Association (Parade, Band Concert & Musical Fireworks)
Where: Parade starts at Central Street; Band Concert will be held at Dawes Park Lagoon; Fireworks will be launched from Clark Street Beach
When: Wednesday, July 4th – parade @ 2pm, band concert @ 7:30pm, fireworks @ 9pm
Rib-tastic Fireworks
Watch the fireworks with a delicious plate of ribs from the best rib vendors around at the Naperville Exchange Club’s Ribfest. Although the Ribfest is ongoing from July 3rd to 7th, you can have free entry to the fireworks show at 7:30pm.  Enjoy the fireworks to the 95.9 FM “The River” radio station and nom along to the show with delicious ribs!
4th of july in chicago
4th of july in chicago
What: Naperville Ribfest 2013
Where: Knoch Park, 700 S. West St.
When: Wednesday, July 4thEntry @ 7:30pm; Fireworks @ 9:30pm

Best Summer Date Ideas in Chicago: Festivals

Hey Bagels,
It’s summer time and the weather is nice, what more could you ask for? How about summer festivals with a side of date ideas? This series will be dedicated to summer festivals that will be happening in your area. First we’ll take a look at some of the events in Chicago. These cool happenings are also some great summer date ideas in Chicago.
SausageFest Chicago– No, it’s not what you’re thinking…Unless if you’re thinking about hot dogs, sausages, and other encased meats at this delicious food at this festival. If you’re date is a foodie fanatic, this the spot for you.

summer date ideas in Chicago

Nothing is better that a street dog after a long day.

What: SausageFest Chicago
Where: Sheffield Ave. & Addison St.
When: June 15 & 16; noon  10pm
Eyes to the Sky Festival– Come out to Lisle Community Park from July 3-7 to see the famous hot air balloons at the Eyes to the Sky Festival. There will also be a carnival as well as a 4th of July fireworks show. Besides, what could be more romantic than strolling through the park and watching hot air balloons with your date?
summer date ideas in Chicago

Hot air balloons getting ready to take off at the Eyes to the Sky Festival

What: Eyes to the Sky Festival
Where: Lisle Community Park
When: July 3-7
Chicago Summer Dance – If or your date have two left feet, and have been wanting to go out dancing check out Chicago Summer Dance. From swing to salsa you can learn how to groove for free all summer long.
summer date ideas in Chicago

People dancing in Grant Park for Chicago Summer Dance

What: Chicago Summer Dance
Where: Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park
When: Jun. 27-Sept. 15; Thu-Sat 6-9:30pm, Sun 4-7pm

New To Chicago? 6 Websites to Help You Become a Windy City Native

Hey Bagels,

The “Getting Plugged In” series is back! We  previously covered New York and Boston. This time around we take a look at how to get plugged into the Windy City. And while deep-dish pizzas and Cubs games are great, there is more to Chicago than that. So if you’re new to Chicago, or plan on moving there in the near future, this is the post for you!


For the Artists- Chicago Hustles Magazine

Break into the underground scene with this online mag. With a goal of sharing the stories of Chicago’s creatives, Chicago Hustles Magazine showcases art, music, fashion and more from the Windy City.

One performance from the RIV Reunion at the Riviera Theatre


Foodies Unite!- Chicago Food Truck Finder

Food trucks are awesome. What’s even more awesome is the fact that Chicago has food trucks of its own. From tamales to gourmet empanadas, you can definitely find a taste of Chicago through Chicago Food Truck Finder.

Lucadores serve you tamales on the Tamale Spaceship, one of the many food trucks on Chicago Food Truck finder.


The Local Beet– If you prefer cooking your own food, The Local Beet has got you covered for fresh, local ingredients. With a list of almost 200 farmers markets to choose from, you can definitely find one that will be near you. Their websites also features a blog showcasing different recipes as well as links to their vendors.


Park there… No No, THERE!- Faspark

Everyone knows trying to find street parking in the city is a major hassle. Thankfully Faspark can show you where to park so that you can reach your destination that much faster. This app shows you available free, permit, and metered spots; and it also gives information on nearby parking structures.


2” (2 Inch)– Winter is always fun: snowball fights, skiing, hot chocolate. What isn’t fun about winter is having to drive through the snow. Enter 2”, a nifty website that tells you which streets to take when snow is on the streets and also tells you where not to park during snow season.

This is why we can’t have nice things.


Something Social & Interesting- The Hideout

A local Chicago bar known for being the “regular guy bar for irregular folks who just don’t fit in, or just don’t want to fit in.” From blue grass to blue comedy, there is always an event happening at this small joint. And although it does cost to get into these events, it’ll never cost you over $20.

There is always something going on at The Hideout, even if it is a rockin’ violin solo.

how to meet people

Top 10 Summer Happy Hour Bars in Chicago

It’s the official start of the summer!
Summer is here, and so are we! Perfect time to hang out with friends, soak up some rays and get Bagel’d. We want you to rock as hard as possible, so we put together a Top 10 Summer Happy Hour Bars in Chicago, just for you. We’ve also partnered with some of them to bring you some exclusive deals.
How to redeem the exclusive deals @ Sidebar Grille, Rittergut Wine Bar & The Florentine: Show the below map & mention “Coffee Meets Bagel”

Top 10 Summer Happy Hour Bars in Chicago

Fun Summer Date Ideas Chicago & Boston: Bye Bye Liver

Hey Bagels,
Time for another post on fun summer date ideas! This summer date idea is Bye Bye Liver, a satirical sketch comedy performance on young drinking culture.
We love it because the audience gets to be involved in the play and the cast is so hilarious you will not stop laughing!
WHAT: Bye Bye Liver PlayBye-Bye-Liver

Boston- 25 Union St @ Hennessey’s 
Chicago– 3914 North Clark St @ The Public House Theatre
Boston- Every Friday 8pm
Chicago– Every Friday & Saturday at 8 & 10 pm
3 Reasons to Check it Out

  1. Drinking Games with the cast- this play gets the audience involved by interspersing drinking games into the show! Play Never Have I Ever or Would You Rather right along with the cast.
  2. Comedy- nothing like laughing together to break the ice with someone new. Laugh a little or a lot at their clever sketches on those annoying people we’ve all seen at the bar.
  3. Cool Venues- Both locations have great vibes & drink deals!

You can buy tickets on the Bye Bye Liver website for $20 a piece- not too shabby for a great night full of drinking and comedy!
Boston Bagels- Get a 50% discount! We found a deal where you can get tickets for just $10.
This play is a perfect 75 minute ice breaker. Both venues put shows on every weekend so you Bagels have plenty of opportunities to check out this play with whichever Bagel you choose!
For more info check Bye Bye Liver out on Twitter Chicago@ByeByeLiver Boston@BostonDrinkers
Content: @SurprenantK

Fun Date Ideas: Chicago- 4/27 Festivals, Beer, and Bacon!

We know we gave you SF Bagels some fun stuff to do last weekend so this weekend we figure we’ll send some fun date ideas with dome dating tips over the Chicago way!
First up if you happened to miss Baconfest, what some may say is one of the most fun events in Chicago, don’t worry because the Beer and Bacon Fest is waiting for you.
WHAT: Fat Cat’s Beer and Bacon Fest
WHEN: 3 p.m. this Saturday 4/27
WHERE:  4840 North Broadway Avenue (near the Lawrence/Argyle/Wilson Red Lines)
Fun dating tips– Make sure your Bagel isn’t a vegetarian before you take them here!
3 Reasons to Check it Out

  1. BACON & BEER– well duh but, omg so many kinds of bacon and beer, chicken fried bacon, candied bacon, bacon popcorn, and over 20 specialty beers
  2. Fat Cat– this is a cool bar with cool seating and an outdoor area, you can check it out for this event and if you like it come back again for some classic cocktails or a Sunday Mad Men screening with $2 drinks
  3. Good Deal– $40 for a pre-sale ticket that gets you lots of beer and bacon: e-mail chicagoevents@rocketmail.com for your ticket!

Added Bonus: Great deals every week! Mon-$5 burgers, Thurs- $5 martinis, Sat- $4 mimosas, and that’s just to name a few. Plus free showings of Mad Men every Sunday at 9pm. Fat Cat has great inexpensive drinks and some of the best mojitos!

Fun Date Ideas #2

Next up, definitely one of the best events in Chicago, the Pastoral’s Artisan Producers Festival. While this may seem a bit dull and just for old farming folk, it’s actually a really fun event. Great for you Foodie Bagels, So give it a try :)
Fun dating tips– festivals are great for dates because there’s always something for you and your Bagel to do, taste, learn, or talk about!
WHAT: 3rd annual Pastoral’s Artisan Producers FestivalAPF 2013
WHERE: 131 N. Clinton St at the Chicago French Market
WHEN: 11-3pm 4/27
3 Reasons to Check it Out

  1. Free!- we always love free events, there are free tastings of hundreds of artisan cheeses, meats, beers, liquors and more. Not to mention getting to meet the producers and hear their great culinary techniques. Here’s a list of who will be there.
  2. Beer & Cheese- what more could you ask for?
  3. Exclusive– a lot of these great products can only be purchased at Pastoral, so if you enjoy something snatch some up while you can! And there are some fun events happening as well, learn how to make your own tea, book signing by Singerman’s Ari Weinzweig, and much more

Added Bonus: If you can’t make it this Saturday, the Chicago French Market is open every week with great vendors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Give your Bagel some fun options and have a great time! Hours are M-F 7:30 am-7:30pm Sat 8:30am-5:30pm. So whether you want to keep your fun date ideas casual or step it up a notch, you can have a great time anytime of day here.
Content by: @SurprenantK

Best Urban & Fun Date Ideas: Chicago

Welcome back to Urban Dating: Easy & fun date ideas from urban experts!
Our second stop is Chicago! We hit up food, drink and travel writer Amy Cavanaugh  for some easy and fun date ideas in Chicago that you and your Bagels can enjoy. These places you can enjoy all year round and are some of the best things to do in Chicago in the summer!
Who: Amy Cavanaugh
Why you should listen to her: She is a freelance food, drink, and travel writer who regularly writes for Chicagoist, Serious Eats, and Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism bureau. She has also been recently published in the Boston GlobeChicago Tribune, Eater, The Brooklyn Rail, Time Out Chicago, and elsewhere.
Her Top Date Pick: Exploring her favorite Chicago neighborhood, Andersonville
3 Reasons Why You should try It:

  1. An abundance of great restaurants
  2. Centrally located on Clark Street
  3. Lots of fun, eclectic shops to peruse in

Insider Date Tip: Start with wine, end with beer, and in between, sample Southern fare and peruse some great stores.
Fun Date Idea #1: In Fine Spirits
Where: 5418 N. Clark, Chicago, Il

  • Offers free tastings the first Friday of each month from 6-8pm
  • Offers choices of beer, wine or spirits
  • Free wine tasting each Saturday from 3-6pm

Fun Date Idea #2: Brimfield
Where: 5219 N Clark St, Chicago, IL

  • Shop is filled with vintage housewares
  • You can look through plaid blankets, beautiful wooden furniture, taxidermy and bar accessories

Fun Date Idea #3: Big Jones
Where: 5347 N Clark St  Chicago, IL

  • Amy’s favorite restaurant
  • Serves Southern dishes based on historical recipes
  • Chef Paul Fehribach uses sustainable & organic ingredients
  • You can order a pimento cheeseburger, sweet tea-brined pork loin or Appalachia cider pie

Fun Date Idea #4: Hopleaf
Where: 5148 N Clark St  Chicago, IL

  • Best beer bar in Chicago
  • Huge draft list featuring craft & Belgian brews
  • Has a bootle list with more than 250 beers
  • Dark and cozy, perfect place to plan the next date

Check out more of Amy’s fun date ideas and food recommendations on her blog and follow her on Twitter for updates @AmyCavanaugh
We’ll be posting more fun date ideas in all our CMB cities, urban dating from the experts. So keep a look out on the CMB Blog!