Nothing But Net: 171 Great Chicago Web Sites

Lost in front of the Web address bar? Search engines letting you down? We scoured the Web to find the sites that make the lives of Chicagoans better in the real world, winnowing the chaff from the wheat to give you the best real-estate search, the most active foodie forum, the top local news sources, and much, much more.

Just defining the criteria for this list flummoxed us. Fantasy baseball? Too frivolous. A cocktail database? Not Chicago-specific. Svengoolie’s blog? Uh, no. We settled on listing those essentially local sites we thought would be most useful or interesting to people who live right here. (And we left off the most obvious, such as ChicagoTribune.com and SunTimes.com.) Of course, there’s no way we could ever have checked out everything. What’d we miss? Tell us in the comments below.

THE LIST >>

171 Chicago Web sites we love—and why—divided into categories including news, sports, arts & culture, shopping, real estate, music, parenting, and more.

 

MY FAVORITE SITES >>

Four local experts on music, politics, food, and design share the Web sites that keep them up to date in their fields.

 

TIME LESS WELL SPENT >>

Besides the useful sites listed in this article, local Web culture offers several others that are just good for leisurely browsing.

 

GET WIRED >>

Six spots that we think vie for the title of perfect neighborhood Wi-Fi café

 

JUST THE LINKS, PLEASE >>

A downloadable bookmark for quick access to all of these sites! PLUS: a list of just the links

 

NET PIX >>

Almost two million photos on Flickr have a Chicago connection. From an earthbound angel to an eerie nocturnal landscape, here are 13 local pix that click.

 

 
Illustration: Quickhoney

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comments
6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Try www.ctunet.com and get the true facts on the daily education situation in Chicago!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Story about 171 Best Web Sites in Chicago should include www.choosechicago.com, but it doesn’t. Under travel, you have www.enjoyillinois.com, which is really a state site even though your criteria mentions Chicago sites. I am not complaining about enjoyillinois being on there. I just thought www.choosechicago.com should definitely have been on there.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

www.choosechicago.com for great information on Chicago.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

dood, just went on choosechicago.com. that web site is not even for people who live here. it's for visitors. as for ctunet.com, i prefer district299.com, which is already on this list.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Here is another Chicago-baseed web site that I found
out about on Gapers Block:

www.libraryofinspiration.com

(Contains addictive essays by Chicago writers on
literature, movies, and music).

Thanks for all the tips to the others. Kept me up
late last night!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

how funny that your story on great web sites...still isn't online

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

The library of inspiration site has some good reading on it. Thanks for the info.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

www.ctunet.com is a factual, news-oriented site. Granted, news just isn't as exciting as the National Enquirer or People. Then again, 299 isn't Vanity Fair either...especially when most of the posts are from George Schmidt who certainly isn't Dominic Dunne!!!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Check Out TheDailyBride.com it's a new Chicago Wedding Planning site that uses video.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

secondcitycop.blogspot.com was ranked. What a great website to get some insight on CPD officers and what they have to go through.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Thanks for chosing Sharkforum.org as one of the best art sites! We work hard at it and the site is being remade at this very moment to be even better.
Mark Staff Brandl

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

What a great article! I especally enjoyed forgottenchicago.com. Their photographs are breathtaking.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

The correct website for Rep. Fritchey's blog is www.johnfritchey.blogspot.com. It's as good an insight as you're going to find from an insider anywhere.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

I am so glad that you posted the Chicago Latino Network website as one of the best sites, it is by FAR the best resource for Chicago's large Latino professional ommunity. It is so successful it has spawned very bad, laughable imitators but none compare to CLN.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Try CPD's gis.chicagopolice.org

You can examine individual crime incidents for two week time periods using the Crime Incident map or view crime summarized over longer timeframes by various geographies including community area and ward using the Crime Summary map. If you choose to summarize crime by Census Tract and click a tract number from the summary table you’ll see population and economic information related to that location.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Please check out www.thelocaltourist.com

It gives great things to do each and every weekend in the City. I enjoy receiving this update every single week.

Theresa Carter does a fantastic Job.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Check out www.thelocaltourist.com......it's a great website and Theresa Carter, who runs the site is super - she does an excellent job!!!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

You missed www.thelocaltourist.com - you really need to add that to your internet article NOW!! It's a really great source for everything I need in Chicago!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

In the sports area, I was surprised that you didn't list www.theheckler.com. These guys have been at it since I think at least the beginning of 2003. It is a hilarious LOCAL website that spoofs (like The Onion, or as the old Blue Line used to do for the Blackhawks) sports teams in Chicago. It is a riot and a must see for any sports fan!!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

In the sports category, I was surprised not to see www.theheckler.com. These guys have been at it since at least 2003; what started as an "Onion" type of paper roasting the Cubs, it now includes all Chicago sports and is hilarious. Please check it out!!

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