Travel Magazine

Your Layover Guide to O’Hare

By Urbanmatter Chicago @UMatterChicago

Look, everyone knows that flying can be a real pain in the ass – but trust us when we way that it totally doesn’t have to be!

Make your airport experience suck just a little less this holiday season by trying out the best places to eat, drink and relax with our O’Hare Layover Guide. 

Flying has never been this awesome.

Where to Eat

O'Hare Layover Guide

Photo Credit: Rick Bayless

Tortas Frontera

Brought to you by the King of Chicago Mexican food, Rick Bayless, Tortas Frontera is just the pick me up you need after waiting in those long security lines. Voted the number one airport restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit, this sandwich concept is the must go-spot in ORD. Head to Terminal 1 to get a taste of amazing sandwiches, delicious flatbread and, the pièce de résistance, an unreal margarita menu.

Layover Guide

Photo Credit: Wow Bao Instagram

Wow Bao

One of Chicago’s favorite Asian concepts turns to the skies in Terminal 5. Offering everything from steamed bao to rice and noodle bowls, grab a bite at Wow Bao and you’ll almost forget your in an airpot. Almost.

Layover Guide O'Hare

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Billy Goat

Yes, we know it’s touristy. And yes, we know it’s really just burgers and beef. But we’d be lying if we said any layover in Chicago was complete without some true, down and dirty Chicago grub. Located in Terminal 1, the famous/infamous Billy Goat Tavern is serving up the best cheeseburgers, fries and Italian beef sandwiches in the whole of O’Hare – making this simple stand a must visit for anyone passing through the airport.

Layover Guide O'Hare

Photo Credit: Travel PR News

Summer House Santa Monica

It may be one of the newest additions to the O’Hare lineup, but Summer House Santa Monica is definitely one of the best restaurants for anyone traveling through Chicago. Based on the Lettuce Entertain You concept of the same name, this California inspired eatery and cocktail bar is serving up great burgers, an unbeatable wine list and one of the best damn breakfast sandwiches I have ever tasted, no lie.

Where to Drink

Layover Guide O'Hare

Beaudevin Wine Bar

Sometimes the only way to make it through your layover is to get totally and completely smashed. Don’t worry, we get it. Beaudevin Wine Bar might be a massive airport chain restaurant, but it also happens to have one of the most extensive wine lists in Terminal 1, making it a definite must for anyone looking to sip their way to boarding.

Layover guide Chicago

Photo Credit: Hub51 Instagram

Hub51

Beer, cocktails and sushi. Could there be a better combo? Honestly, I don’t think so. Stop by Terminal 5 to kick back and relax pre-flight at Hub51 – I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Layover Guide O'Hare

Photo Credit: Stanley’s via Chicago Bar Parties

Stanley’s Blackhawk Kitchen & Tap

What kind of guide would this be if we didn’t give you at least one good ole’ fashion sports bar?

Look, this Lincoln Park transplant may not be the fanciest place on this list, but there is no better place in O’Hare to grab a beer and watch the game. Don’t miss out on the Hawks, Bulls, Bears, Cubs or Sox just because you’re traveling, head to Terminal 2 to find Stanley’s and make the most of your time on the ground.

What to Do

Layover Guide O'Hare

Yoga Room

Not everything at the airport has to be wildly stressful. Spend your layover getting ~zen~ in O’Hare’s yoga room. With space for 6-10 people at any point in time, you should have plenty of time to do a flow or two pre-flight.

O'Hare Layover Guide

Hilton Health Club

Get some last minute exercise in at the Hilton Health Club, located right across from Terminals 1, 2 & 3. With a full stock of machines, equipment, weights and even a lap pool, there’s no reason you should have to miss a work out because of travel.

Layover Guide O'Hare

Photo Credit: Rivers Chi Instagram

Rivers Casino

Have quite a bit of time before your next flight? Though Rivers Casino isn’t technically inside of O’Hare, it is just minutes away – meaning those of us waiting 2 plus hours to board can easily hope on over for a round or two of poker. Offering gaming, shows, food and drink Rivers is great option for anyone looking to spruce up their travel time. Hey, you might even make back some of that cash you spent on flights.

O'Hare Layover Guide

AMC Dine-In Rosemont

If gambling isn’t really your cup of tea, the AMC Dine-In movie theater is also located just moments from the O’Hare terminal. Spend your layover withe dinner and a show at this absolutely massive AMC theater located in Rosemont. Just don’t get too relaxed, you wouldn’t wanna miss your flight, right?


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