Expert Picks

Your Weekly Guide for What to Do, See, Eat, and Drink in Chicago

Photo courtesy of Riot Fest

This week in Chicago, you’ve got plenty of reasons to trek to Elmhurst for both art and beer, Riot Fest makes its return to Douglas Park, Ravenswood hosts its annual art walk, and it’s prime Oktoberfest season.

Photo courtesy of Elmhurst Craft Beer Fest/Facebook

September 5-22: Horse Girls
This play scares me to death, and I am so excited about it. The Lady Jean Ladies is South Florida’s most exclusive horse club, and it is led by a 12-year-old girl. Something sinister threatens the stables and stability of this club, and its members go into crisis mode. Are you not frightened? Details: September 5–22 at Greenhouse Theater Center
– Tanuja Jagernauth

September 12: Wild Onion Beer Dinner at Maddon’s Post  
As bittersweet as it sounds to bid summer adieu, I’m personally here to welcome our first fall beer dinner of the season with wide-open arms. Especially since it includes Midwest brewery Wild Onion and Wrigleyville’s delightful new Italian-Polish restaurant, Maddon’s Post. On September 12, the latter will spotlight fall flavors and pair them with beers like Crazy Fingers Pale Ale, Pumpkin Ale, and the 2018 Coffee Drago Barrel Aged Stout. The event is 21-plus, and menu details are TBD. Details: September 12, 6 p.m.; $45
– Matt Kirouac

September 13: Dan Cummins: The Happy Murder Tour at Thalia Hall 
The word “prolific” gets thrown around a lot with comedians, but with seven albums and specials under his belt, Cummins is certainly worthy of the term. In addition to his half-hour and full-hour Comedy Central specials, he has had multiple late-night appearances, from ​Conan ​to The Tonight Show t​o ​This Is Not Happening.​ He’s also got an enormous online following and a widely popular podcast called Timesuck, which gets about a million downloads a month. Details: September 13, 8 p.m.; $25–$35
– Matty Ryan

“Women of 4G”/Photo by Joe Mazza/Courtesy of Factory Theater

September 13-15: Riot Fest 
Break out your safety pins and start sculpting your mohawk, because Chicago’s premiere punk rock festival is here. The three-day carnival brings together punk, rock, and hip-hop artists for a raucous weekend of moshing and head-banging. Blink-182, Bikini Kill, Slayer, Patti Smith, Jawbreaker, and the Flaming Lips are just a taste of the festival’s 15th anniversary lineup. Details: September 13-15 at Douglas Park; $49.98-1,499.98
– Jessica Mlinaric

September 13-29: World Music Festival 
The 21st Annual World Music Festival Chicago features 50 artists representing over 20 worldwide countries and regions. The festival is spread across the city at a variety of venues. Stay up all night at the Chicago Cultural Center with the Ragmala, a traditional Indian classical concert rarely held in the U.S. Meanwhile, ¡SÚBELO! — A Celebration of Pan Latin Music and Culture brings musicians from Peru, Puerto Rico, and Mexico to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Other highlights include the Chinese ska band MABANG! and the Congolese collective KOKOKO!, who create DIY electronic music by upcycling cans and containers into instruments. Details: September 13-29, various venues; free
– Jessica Mlinaric

September 14: Elmhurst Craft Beer Fest 
This fifth annual event features 100-plus beers from loads of Chicagoland breweries like Forbidden Root, Afterthought, Maplewood, and More (More Brewing that is, but there will also be many more breweries). Expect beers from national breweries like Allagash and Firestone Walker as well, plus live music performances from Moonshine Brothers and Petty Cash, and food from Barbeque Jim’s Catering. Details: September 14, 1-6 p.m.; tickets are $40 before September 7 or $50 after, and $20 for designated drivers
– Jim Morris

Through September 14: Women of 4G 
This play takes place in a future 75 years from now. An all-female crew and their male captain depart on a mission to Mars, when tragedy strikes and the captain is murdered. Captain-free, the crew discovers what their actual mission was all along. Details: Through September 14 at Factory Theater
– Tanuja Jagernauth

Photo courtesy of Ravenswood Art Walk

September 14-15: Ravenswood Art Walk 
This is a great chance to explore the work of hundreds of local artists displaying everything from painting to pottery. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Chicago street festival without live performances, as well. You can also grab food from food trucks or pop in on the film festival. Kids get their own corner, with kite making, musical games, art, and more. Details: September 14 and 15, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; $5 suggested donation
– Samantha Lande

September 14: “What Came After: Figurative Painting in Chicago 1978-1998” at Elmhurst Art Museum 
You might have heard of the Chicago Imagists—a group of Chicago artists who made representational art that reveled in humor, surrealism, and grotesqueries. But what was the legacy of that movement, and how was it challenged? This group exhibition explores the lesser-known—but wildly talented—generation of artists that followed.
– Claire Voon

September 14: Oktoberfest at Beermiscuous Highwood 
Beermiscuous Highwood, the craft beer store and bar with an enticing selection, has been open for a year now, so their Oktoberfest serves as their anniversary party as well. That means on September 14, they’ll be tapping an array of German beers for $5 and a variety of their favorite brews that have made this spot so special. If you come hungry, there will also be a German-inspired dinner in the evening.
– Jim Morris

September 15: “Plant Strategies” at Goldfinch 
Chicago artist Jordan Martins loves to play with process and technique: He manipulates images by translating them from photographs and collages to scans that he prints out and paints. Each is dizzying—a web of color and line resulting from unseen but elaborate manual labor.
– Claire Voon

Photo courtesy of Taco E

Restaurant Opening of the Week: Taco E
I’ve long been a huge fan of Nana and the folks behind the family-run Bridgeport restaurant where organic and Latin dishes shine (especially for brunch). So I’m super enthused about a new casual venture in the neighborhood for them. Taco E echoes Nana’s Latin, organic ethos, operating initially as a carryout and delivery restaurant next door to Nana, offering items like chicken tinga burritos, tres leches cake, and slow-cooked pork stew. Next year, they’ll add fast-casual restaurant service and a full bar.
– Matt Kirouac