You’ll be surprised at this #1 museum pick

Pont neuf, Ile de la Cite, Paris - France

It’s time to play “Chicago or Paris?”

Test your knowledge of french chicago by guessing the answers to the following two questions:

  • Where can you get fresh, delicious, traditionally-made baguettes, pastries, quiches, sandwiches, and classic entrees like boeuf bourguignon?
  • Where can you visit the museum that TripAdvisor.com users rated the number-one museum in the world?

If you answered “both” to the first two, congratulations – you are very clever. Of course Paris has marvelous food waiting for you literally on every corner, but Chicago offers plenty of options to make French expats and Francophiles feel right at home. Chicago doesn’t have a true French “neighborhood” – instead, there are countless restaurants, cafes, bistros and bakeries all over the city, from Old Town to the Magnificent Mile to Hyde Park and many surrounding suburbs. Many of these offer an array of French wines to accompany your crepes, baguettes, salads and quiche, or you can BYOB.

Not the Louvre 🙂

What may surprise you – as it surprised us – is the second answer. Last year TripAdvisor.com’s users picked… not the Louvre, but the Art Institute of Chicago as the #1 number-one museum destination in the world. Among its many treasures, the Art Institute houses the greatest collection of French impressionist paintings outside Paris. It’s open every day from 10:30-5:00 except for American thanksgiving (the 4th Thursday of November), Christmas and New Year’s Day. On Thursday nights the Art Institute is open until 8:00 p.m., and admission is free after 5:00. That’s just enough time to grab a baguette sandwich from Maison Parisienne and head down to 111 South Michigan Avenue to enjoy it in Pritzker Garden before going inside to visit Seurat’s Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte.

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