10 Things You Absolutely Shouldn’t Do In Chicago, Illinois

© Tripp/Flickr
© Tripp/Flickr
Photo of Katie Mastropieri
9 February 2017

Whether you’ve recently moved to Chicago, Illinois, or you’re aspiring to fit in during your stay, this list will help you not stand out as someone from out of town.

Do not put ketchup on your hot dog.

No-one is going to push you off the bleachers at Wrigley Field (although we can’t guarantee that), but they certainly will give a few looks. Just try the tomatoes, sans the ketchup.

© midiman/Flickr

Do not ride your bike on the sidewalk.

By municipal code, unless you’re under 12 years old, keep your bike off the sidewalk. It’s funny to see this because it’s a dead giveaway that you’re not from Chicago. Divvy riders, we’re going to call you out.

Do not eat deep dish with your hands.

Yes it’s pizza, but it’s at least an inch deep, so use a knife and fork, you savage.

© Eric Chan/Flickr

Do not wait outside the doors when the L train arrives.

This will not help you or anyone else. It’s smart to wait to the side of the doors as people need to get around you. Unless you move as slow as molasses, there will be plenty of time for you to get on – so take it easy, killer.

Do not warn the out-of-towner about Malort.

You’re not doing anyone a favor by saying, ‘No! Ew! Don’t do it! It’s so gross!’ It’s an experience, and it’s our specialty liquor, so they need to give it a try – the outcome is always going to be amusing.

© Connie Ma/Flickr

On that note, do not warn them about Wieners Circle either.

This reminds us of the Mean Girls scene where Janis Ian and Damian take Cady Heron to her math class. When she gets there, she’s in for an entirely different surprise. All Chicago locals should take it upon themselves to treat their guests to a ‘chocolate milkshake.’ Don’t forget it’s cash only.

© Nicolas Henderson/Flickr

Do not diss the tamale man.

He will be making laps with his rickety cooler, but he is a legend, and everyone should eat these. If you are blessed enough to have him in your presence while you’re out and about, then whip out that cash because they’re a delicious game changer.

Do not think you’re crazy for smelling chocolate.

The Blommer Chocolate Factory in the Fulton Market area will have you salivating almost immediately.

Do not call Chicago ‘Chai Town’

If you’re going to be ridiculous enough to use this nickname for Chicago made popular by Kanye West, then please pronounce it as ‘shy town.’

Do not treat the Navy Pier Ferris wheel like it’s the London Eye.

While the new Ferris wheel is undergoing construction and is going to be a renewed phenomenon for Chicago, it’s not a must-see if you’re only in town visiting for a brief period of time. More cultural sightseeing includes The Cloud Gate or almost anything else.

© j.sutt/Flickr

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