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Radar Image Elks Veterans Memorial Building

Chicago's Elks Veterans Memorial Building

Though it was renovated this spring, few know that the Elks have their National Memorial (and Headquarters) in Chicago. You may never walk by this stately building, which sits opposite Lincoln Park, but you might have zoomed past it in a bus many times. It reminds me of Ulysses S. Grant's tomb in New York with its grand columns, muscular sculptures, and incredible dome. The Elks basement has a few medals, letters, and miniature parade floats in glass cases, and there's something about those reli ... Continue

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Radar Image Rainbow Flowers

Rainbow Flowers in Lakeview, IL

It's tempting to buy cheap orchids at Trader Joe's, I've done it myself, but next time consider a local florist. There's a lot to understand about flowers, whether they're potted or cut, and most of us don't know the half of it. Besides, orchids aren't supposed to be as cheap as carnations! Nor are they supposed to be growing in pots the size of thimbles. Try Rainbow Flowers in Lakeview; it's a small storefront but they have a healthy rotating collection, and they'll stop you from taking those s ... Continue

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Radar Image Bookman's Corner

Chicago's Bookman's Corner

This bookstore is about the experience, not about finding the third edition of The Brothers Karamazov with the translator's note by so-and-so in less than five minutes. To say that this store is unorganized is a massive understatement: books are loosely grouped by subject matter (see the index cards taped to the shelves), they're spilling out from every shelf, every corner, and they might even be erupting out of the floor. But who cares? You never know what you'll find, maybe a 600-page volume a ... Continue

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Radar Image Getaway Hostel

Getaway Hostel, Chicago

I'm not much for amenities when it comes to traveling. I just need a comfortable bed for a good night's sleep, nice people to keep me company, and internet to keep me mobile on the go. I was happy to find Getaway Hostel so, well... hospitable as I booked my trip to Chicago. It's like a giant happy family opened up a dorm and invited all us young broke kids to crash. Expect the bare basics when booking a room, but the awesome people you'll meet and beautiful neighborhood make up for it. I highly ... Continue

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Radar Image The Snail Thai Cuisine

A Slow Kitschy Romance

Feng Shui buff? Dollar-store Valentines Day decorations alongside a gigantic painted nautical scene alongside some abstract pieces of art alongside traditional carvings make for an adorably kitschy dining experience. Yet miraculously, nothing feels out of place; it's simultaneously as tacky and as comfortable as your grandmother's dining room. The Snail boasts one thing that your grandmother's dining room didn't have (unless of course your grandmother was a Thai restaurant)... orgasmic Thai di ... Continue

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Radar Image Tuman's Tap & Grill

Culinary Bear Hug

Step beyond the swinging saloon style doors of unassuming Tumans and you'll be in a standard neighborhood bar.  On its eastern wall, you'll see a relic of Tumans past: the old sign from when it was known as Tumans Alcohol Abuse Center. Grab a seat wherever; it's never so busy that a table will be unavailable. During favorable weather, Tumans' patio is some of the best outdoor seating around: an empty lot across Leavitt provides an unobstructed chance to catch some rays while enjoying some c ... Continue

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Radar Image Honey 1 BBQ

God Bless The USA

Savory, sweet BBQ sauce with a kick on the back end. Sweaty rib tips sharing a tight squeeze in a small basket with hot links. Stringy, peppery, soft pulled pork--topped with a tangy coleslaw--spilling from a pregnant bun. This, friends, is Honey 1. A small, blink-and-you'll-miss-it storefront BBQ joint in West Bucktown, Honey 1 makes one glad to be American. Ignore the swine-decorated red walls upon walking in; instead, take in a glorious whiff of hickory, courtesy of the in-house smoker. The A ... Continue

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Radar Image Big Star

First Class Grub

Taquerias are a dime a dozen, yet Big Star takes the familiar formula of cheap street fare and classes it up. Like, a lot. Utilizing organic, sustainable ingredients, the former Pontiac space slings some first class tacos, amongst other things. The borrego is a must: braised lamb shoulder, radish, and scallion come in the perfect corn tortilla, not too dry or meal-y. The panza is just as good, with queso fresco, crispy pork belly and guajillo salsa. Both come in at $3, only a little more than th ... Continue

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Humberto Jose Castello

Poetry: Deep in the Heart of Chicago

Chicago is home to a series of extremely gifted and innovative spoken word poets, but what is spoken word and how does one find it? Follow Nina Williams around to some of the most interesting neighborhoods in Chicago to find out what this scene is all about.

Bringing Out Baby

Just because you have a new little one in your life, doesn't mean your days of going out on the town are totally over. Join Nina Williams as she brings out the baby all over Chicago.

Kitchen of Dreams

The equipage of the kitchen: the stockpile of the heart. Do you have what it takes to furnish your cooking space? Join Jill Jaracz on a culinary voyage 'twixt Oriental crockery and mass-produced Swedish stuff, as Jill prepares to lavish you with the secret of her sparkling kitchen: the addresses of the stores she patronizes, and some suggestions. Get ready to cook something. I hope it's tasty and doesn't take til 3 am. I hate that.

NFT Video

Kings of Jerky

NFT makes a visit to New Beef King in Chinatown NYC to pick up the ultimate afternoon snack—beef and pork jerky.

RIP 10/27/2016


RIP 10/27/2016

Revolution Books

RIP 6/27/2016

The Spertus Shop

RIP 3/8/2016

Red Hen Bread

RIP 3/8/2016

Donut Doctor


Jane Pirone on the Monocle's Urbanist Podcast


NFT co-founder Jane Pirone appeared on The Urbanist, a popular podcast produced by Monocle, to talk about what role do guides have in opening up a city. ...

NFT Co-Founder Jane Pirone On Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio


NFT co-founder Jane Pirone offered travel expert Peter Greenberg a few NYC secrets on a Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio podcast. ...

Co-Owner of NFT Featured in The Grey Lady


Not only is NFT co-founder Rob Tallia one of the masterminds behind one of the best selling guidebooks in New York, he also likes to take photos late at night, write for a popular blog in Fort Greene, ...

Now Out on Amazon Kindle: NFT Collected Essays: 2005-2010


Follow NFT's intrepid editors as they poke, prod, and explore the cities they work, play, and (gasp) entertain their out-of-town friends in the brand new ebook Not For Tourists: Collected Essays 2005- ...

The Gang's All Here


This just in from NFT headquarters. With the fresh off the printer release of the 2011 Guides to Seattle, Philadelphia, and Atlanta, the new editions of all 12 NFT Guidebooks are now available. Even b ...

People will talk

"CityGrounds coffee bar serves artisan coffee, loose leaf tea and locally produced pastries, cakes and breads for the neighborhoods of Lincoln Park an ... more