The Travel Brats

All Things Chicago: Hot Spots with Ryan Valdez

Episode Summary

In Episode 6, The Travel Brats interview local, Ryan Valdez, on all things Chicago from where to hang out, best time visit the Windy City, what to wear, and how to stay safe.

Episode Notes

Last summer, mine and Sofia’s friend, Ryan, moved to the Windy City. Back in April 2019, I helped Ryan go apartment shopping in downtown and we got to explore to some really awesome places before he moved there. Since then, Sofia has visited Chicago and Ryan got to show her around to some of the best night life and bars. We were happy to hop on a call with Ry to ask him about his experiences, reminisce, and get his insight on how to survive Chicago on a budget. Here are so of his top places to go:



Casual Dining



Imperial Lamian:


Ramen Takeya fulton market:


Cafe Ba-ba Reeba:


Au Cheval:


Best Day Time Activities

Depends on season:



Summer: (cubs games, "beaches", shops, Divvy bike, parks, rooftop bars)

Fall/Winter: (weather is brutal so limited options - Bulls game, second city, ice skating at McCormick or Maggie Daley)


Best Night Time Activities:

Concerts and Bars (Lincoln Park, Old Town, West Loop, River North)


Coolest buildings in Chicago: Hancock, Water Tower for shopping, Willis Tower







Point and Feather:


Three Dots and a Dash (basement bar):


What to Wear in Each Season

Fall: Light Jacket

Winter: Layer up, puffy coats, gloves, hats, be creative

Summer: Shorts, tees, tanks, anything goes

When is the best time to visit Chicago?

Ryan said: Summertime CHI is the best! - everyone is out & about, perfect weather, most things to do during this time


Best places for Music and Theatre:


CIBC Theatre:


House of Blues


How To Stay Safe in the City

Ryan said: not as scary as one might think - just be aware of you surroundings and try to have a buddy when you go out/walk through neighborhoods.