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Literary Travel Guide: Chicago

Literary Travel Guide: Chicago

A Literary Travel Guide: Chicago

Chicago is one of my favorite cities...okay, probably my FAVORITE city. So it comes as no surprise to my friends and family that I chose Chicago as my first travel guide post. I haven't been to all of these places, but I've been to most. I've included anything with a book or literary connection - however minor it might be. If you have any additions to this list, please feel free to contact me here! Scroll to the bottom, or click here, for a map of everything listed below.

Literary Destinations in Chicago:

Literary Travel Guide: Chicago | Literary Destinations

Literary Travel Guide: Chicago | Literary Destinations

Author of A Moveable Feast, among other notable works

The American Writers Museum is a museum of American Literature and writing that opened in Chicago in May 2017.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation is a nonprofit cultural organization based in Chicago, Illinois, United States, whose mission is to inspire people to discover why design matters.

Non-profit organization in Chicago, Illinois

  • Lorraine Hansberry House | 6140 S Rhodes Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

Author of A Raisin in the Sun

  • Carl Sandburg House | 4646 N. Hermitage, Chicago, IL

Wrote the poem City of Big Shoulders, where Chicago got its nickname

  • Chicago Authored at the Chicago History Museum | 1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

The first-ever crowd-sourced exhibition in our new café-style space from authors that define the character of Chicago and help us understand the complexity of our great city.


Chicago's Best Libraries:

Literary Travel Guide: Chicago | Best Libraries

Literary Travel Guide: Chicago | Best Libraries


Bookish places to eat in Chicago:

Literary Travel Guide: Chicago | Bookish Places to Eat

Literary Travel Guide: Chicago | Bookish Places to Eat

a culinary bookstore

  • the Albert | 228 East Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611

Chic spot offering chef-driven New American fare & scientific cocktails in an Einstein-themed hotel.

English ales plus fish 'n' chips & shepherd's pie in a bi-level space with a loungey library vibe.

Literary-themed upscale Irish pub with leather banquettes, extensive beer list & American bar fare.

Farm-to-table American fare in rustic space with exposed brick, old library books & distressed wood.

Map-lined watering hole touting more than 200 global beers, plus travel books for browsing.

Upscale farm-to-table bar eats & a large beer & whiskey menu served in a traditional Irish pub. (Lady Gregory was an Irish dramatist, folklorist and theatre manager)

Laid-back, cash-only dive bar near Second City with a storied past, old-school jukebox & funky art. Includes a bookshelf near the front door.

Lounge with vintage library decor serving the same upscale American menu as Gilt Bar upstairs.

A bit Hogwarts-esque featuring lots of bookshelves. A sprawling yet comfortable room comprising a variety of spaces where you can meet, mingle, canoodle and indulge.

  • Vol. 39 | 39 S LaSalle St #200, Chicago, IL 60603

Hotel lobby lounge featuring bar-cart service & small plates in posh digs with law books & sofas.


Literary events in Chicago:

Literary Travel Guide: Chicago | Literary Events

Literary Travel Guide: Chicago | Literary Events


Chicago's Independent Bookstores:

Literary Travel Guide: Chicago | Independent Bookstores

Literary Travel Guide: Chicago | Independent Bookstores

Volumes Bookcafe is Wicker Park's new neighborhood independent bookstore cafe.

Tri-level used-books store stocking 80,000 tomes & hosting periodic concerts & poetry nights.

An indie bookstore in Roscoe Village

Sandwiches, soups, salads & coffee served in a comfy eatery, part of an independent bookstore.

Indy-minded all-around bookshop known for its feminist & kid focus, with regular author appearances.

Independent bookstore offering a wide selection of new & used titles in vast, industrial-chic digs.

Low-ceilinged & mazelike bookshop with a literary vibe & a wide stock, plus a kids' section.

Veteran bookseller featuring a wide variety of general & children's literature plus LGBT titles.

Indie bookstore offering offbeat titles, graphic novels & magazines, plus readings & special events.

Resource for buying & selling of used books, with literary events, browsing & community space.

Community-minded nonprofit bookstore stocking thousands of donated used books for adults & kids.

Map of the Literary Travel Guide: Chicago - 

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Kate Greathead

Kate Greathead