Ask an out-of-towner what they want to do when they visit Chicago, and they'll probably tell you they want to chow down on some deep-dish pizza. Chicago Pizza Tours owner and pizza aficionado Jonathan Porter leads parties on treks to some of the Windy City's most celebrated pizzerias with three different pie-themed tours. Guests sample Chicago's signature style with the deep-dish only holiday walking tour, enjoy slices with sides of adult beverages during pizza and cocktails outings, or visit the kitchens of four different restaurants during the original tour. Each outing takes visitors to local favorites across a wide range of styles and cuisines, from the caramelized thick crusts of Pequod's, the stuffed pies of Bacino's, or the Neapolitan-style creations of Spacca Napoli.
Recently, Jonathan Porter has teamed up with local writer and tour guide Jonathan Knotek to launch Chicago Prohibition Tours, a romp through some of Chicago's most famous speakeasies still in existence. During the 3.5-hour bus trip through the roaring '20s and beyond, guests can visit the old one-time haunts of gangsters and crooked pols, such as the Green Door Tavern or the Exchequer Restaurant and Pub, all while sipping popular cocktails from almost 100 years ago and communicating only through silent-film title cards.
Inside Old Temple Chicago’s showroom rests a diverse collection of furnishings and accessories imported from Indonesia and China. Pieces range in appearance from the simple to ornate and from purely functional to ornamental—pagoda-shaped stools built from natural wood sit beside crimson cabinets painted with intricate gold designs. Certain pieces date back as far back as the 16th century, though the shop stocks plenty of 20th-century designs to cater toward those who shudder to be reminded of a world without stay-at-home-dads. Beyond furniture, visitors can find accessories such as Buddha statues, colorful silk pillows, and hand-carved soaps.
Northwestern Cutlery's knife-sharpening tools have refined kitchen knives' razor-sharp edges for more than 50 years. Though the shop started as a knife sharpener for local packing houses and delis, it now also offers professional and amateur chefs hard-to-find cooking gadgets from brands such as Le Creuset and OXO.
The encapsulation experts at The Frame Shop at Michael Cleary preserve prize artwork and cherished memorabilia behind chic moulding and light-loathing, museum-quality glass. Since every project contains unique demands, dimensions, and quantities of dormant cicadas, prices can vary, though frame experts work with clients to accommodate both their design plans and budget constraints. Sustainability-focused products by Larson-Juhl lock away keepsakes with vintage and contemporary moulding styles ($21.75–$275/ft.). An 8"x10" photo might gain depth and character with a 2-inch border of precision matting ($18+) cut with Wizard International technology that can trim oval, circular, or specialized v-grooves for personalized designs. In its 25-year history, The Frame Shop has won commissions from the Smithsonian, White House, and State Department, and has used its expertise on projects as diverse as shadow-boxing a piece of the Berlin Wall, mounting game-worn autographed jerseys, and reconstituting the self-destructed fragments of a spy college diploma.
These plant- and mineral-based Green Planet Paints contain no lead or noxious volatile organic compounds but are just as durable and vibrant as the typical can of paint. Choose from colors such as Neptune (bright blue), Juniper (forest green), Grenadine (dark red), Nutmeg (light brown) and Autumn (crunchy leaf with a touch of compost).
At Back to Bed's South Loop location, manager Kip Wilkinson puts customers at ease with a friendly attitude, helping them find a bed that fits their individual needs and budget. The experienced delivery staff also sets up new beds and removes old ones, with a variety of delivery options available. At the show room, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, and Simmons Beautyrest mattresses await rigorous testing, and the sleep-savvy employees help shoppers determine if they're more suited to a firm or soft mattress or to creamy or chunky peanut butter. Aside from a wide selection of mattress types and brands, Back to Bed also offers accessories such as ergonomic memory foam pillows.