photo credit: Kim Kovacik
This weekend is Pride Fest, an LGBTQ+ festival in Lakeview that’s full of drinks, drag queens, dancing, rainbows, and plenty of food. But if you’re looking for even more things to do and eat nearby, we have you covered with this guide. It includes cooking classes, more drag, one of our favorite new Vietnamese restaurants in Chicago, and more.
Lasagna Night: Pasta and Drag Show
We’re big fans of Get In The Kitchen, a cooking school in Lakeview. For one thing, they host our favorite Indian pop up, Plattered By Niki. And on Friday June 17th, they’re doing a cooking class where you get to learn how to make lasagna with handmade pasta and then stay for a drag show. Click here for tickets and info.
Chicago Drag Show At Newport Theater
Newport Theater is a theater on the border of Northalsted and Wrigleyville that feels like a speakeasy. It’s dark inside, and hosts cabaret, burlesque, and comedy shows. And on Saturday June 18th, is hosting Chicago Drag Show. And while we admit the name isn’t very creative, the performances should be. Expect a mixture of traditional drag and cabaret, featuring queens like Muffy Fishbasket and Coco Shanel, and drag king Male Spice. More info and tickets here.
Eat Dinner At Dear Margaret
If you’re looking for a leisurely spot close to the festival where you can discuss important topics like the current (and best) season of Drag Race All Stars, book a table at Dear Margaret. This charming French-Canadian restaurant in Lincoln Park has tasty dishes like foie gras terrine with fluffy milk bread, duck breast with lentils, and a friendly team who will leave you alone while you get to the bottom of why Raja hasn’t won more challenges. In other words, it’s exactly the place where you will want to take extra time to finish off that second bottle of wine you ordered.
Grab Lunch At Sochi
Bright, airy, and with a menu full of some of our favorite Vietnamese dishes in the city, Sochi is a great spot to hit up for lunch before Pride Fest. Decorative greenery, upbeat techno music, and a busy dining room give this Vietnamese restaurant energy and warmth. And that vibrance carries on to the food. From the incredibly light egg rolls paired with a tangy fish sauce, to the fragrant ginger dressing of the seared duck salad, to the Shaking Beef’s buttery filet mignon, the food is full of exciting combinations of sweet, spicy, tart, and umami flavors.
photo credit: Kim Kovacik
Pizza At Zaza's
Zaza’s is a casual New York-style pizza shop within walking distance to the festival, and has very good pies. The crust is thin and chewy, glistens with olive oil, and provides a wonderful vehicle for Zazas’ long list of toppings. You can order by the slice or pie, with options like a sweet and spicy bacon jam, or soppressata with hot honey. For the New York-style purists, there’s also a great pepperoni (with cute little grease cups) and a white pie topped with fluffy dollops of ricotta. The restaurant is BYOB, and luckily there’s a Binny’s right across the street.
Chicken Wings To Go At Crisp
Crisp in Lakeview serves excellent Korean fried chicken, and our favorite order here is the sweet and spicy Seoul Sassy wings. Whatever version you choose, you can get five huge wings or a half chicken for around $10. This place is always crowded, so you can expect it to be packed this weekend. But it’s a casual spot with fast turnover, and if you loom effectively, you won’t have to wait long for a table. Plus, chicken wings are perfectly acceptable to eat on the go.
Hide From The Sun At Half Shell
If hours of standing in the sun is what’s causing you to hallucinate this weekend, hit up Half Shell. It’s a garden-unit seafood spot that looks more like a dive bar than a restaurant. But this dive bar happens to have some of the best crab legs around. Post up at the bar, have a couple beers, and keep both the cold and steamed crab legs coming until your Geiger counter readings return to normal. And yes, we know that UV radiation isn’t the same thing, it’s a joke.