Score coveted reservations at hot restaurants, bypass the worst traffic snarls, chug illicit beer and more with this insider guide to hacks, tricks and secrets that will help you make the most of the city.
Stool pigeon We’d tell you the secret to snagging a reservation at TABLE fifty-two (52 W Elm St, 312-573-4000), but there isn’t one—after Oprah endorsed it, reservations became impossible to get. But five bar stools are available every night—you just need to get to the restaurant 15 minutes before opening (5pm; 4pm Sundays) so you can snag one. —David Tamarkin
One-night stand We wanted to tell you about the best cheap seats at Wrigley—sections 417–424 that run $26–$52, or 516–18 and 523–525 for $11–$22, which give you a bird’s-eye view from behind home plate—but good luck scoring those with the North Siders playing just about unbeatable ball at home. Instead, tell your boss your bike got a flat and you’ll be a few minutes late. We won’t rat you out if we see you in line at 8am on weekdays (9am on weekends) for the 1,000 or so standing-room-only tickets ($15) that go on sale after all other seats are sold. Key tip: Tickets are limited to two per customer. —Tim McCormick
Knocking on heaven’s door Though it can be hard to spot, lesbian nightlife has existed outside of Andersonville since the 1950s. While several ladies’ clubs have closed their doors due to lack of clientele over the years, Lizard’s (3058 W Irving Park Rd, 773-463-7599) has stuck around since pre-Stonewall. But once you find the dive, you have to knock to be buzzed in—then you can hang by the jukebox and the dartboards like the regulars. —Trish Bendix