By Dan Morgridge
You don’t want to add to your carbon footprint. You’ve sworn off parking in this city. You drive a talking car that fights crime and you don’t want to have your date be biased. For whatever reason, tonight’s date is going to be car-less. And that’s okay! If you’re up for a little transit of the public manner, you can reach all sorts of destinations in the city. In fact, we’ve laid out a date where you can hit stops all over the city, and barely walk farther than you would to find the nameless one-way street you left your car on during the last date. Convince your special someone, or find someone who’s up for a train sampler – tonight, you’re going on an “L” date.
The Occult Bookstore
1164 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642
Since no one is picking anyone up, probably best to find a place you can intersect paths with enough to do in the meantime. A coffeeshop is wussing out – wait among the literature of the damned! Just off the Division Blue Line, this bookstore has plenty of curiosities to pass the time and/or start conversation. Maybe you can even find a nice charm spell to win over your date tonight. If nothing else, you’ll find out how easily they get weirded out!
464 North Halsted St # 1
Chicago, IL 60642
Ok fine, let’s class this date up a little bit. Just off the Grand Blue Line, Piccolo Sogno is in a pretty underwhelming neighborhood. But hot damn do they offer some high-end finery in the menu department. Plates run from the teens to the mid-20s, so snack sparingly if the wallet is trim. But that backyard patio is worth the price…
Chicago French Market
131 N. Clinton
Chicago, IL 60661
Granted, if you did do dinner at Piccolo Sogno, you probably won’t be able to finish your meals, transfer to the green line, and make it to the Clinton Green Line stop before the French Market closes. That would be a shame, so either do a weekday lunch at Piccolo (what, you both don’t have sick days?) or skip the fancy dinner and find some noshing materials in the Market’s many offerings. You can find tasty Bahn Mi offerings from Saigon Sisters, or bizarro grilled cheese concoctions from Spicy Monkey. Or just go right to feeding each other fine cheeses and meats from Pastoral like you know you will, you gluttonous love fools.
Green Mill Cocktail Lounge
4802 North Broadway Street
Chicago, IL 60640
It’s time for another transfer, so head north via Red Line. You’ll get a long lovely view of the city as you head past all of Lincoln Park to arrive in Edgewater at one of Chicago’s most timeless venues. Jazz isn’t going anywhere, and neither is this once notorious mobster den of lovely, lovely vice. Have a drink or two, listen to some tunes (or the occasional poetry slam) and hope you ate enough to act as a base before the booze starts convincing you that mid-conversation winks are a great idea.
1100 West Bryn Mawr Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660
Serving breakfast at every hour of the day, Nookie’s is clutch for that last stretch where maybe you don’t want the night to end just yet. Open ‘til midnight on weekdays and all 24 hours on Friday and Saturday, it’s the perfect place to sit on the same side of the table and figure out which omelet sounds more amazing than the last. And with the lakefront trail just two blocks away, why not finish the evening with a little lakeside stroll?
Dan Morgridge didn’t even mention the free busker-serenading you’ll get on some of the stations, but oh baby – busker serenading.