Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Fullerton

Explore Chicago CTA Edition: This is Fullerton

This is Fullerton. Doors open on the right at Fullerton, transfer to Purple and Brown line trains at Fullerton. This is a train to Howard. Hey everyone, welcome back to the fifth installment of Explore Chicago CTA Edition! As always, I’m your blogger, Miguel Molina! Today, we are going to be having some fun with both eats, treats, and sights down at the CTA’s Fullerton stop. Be sure to bring your student ID card, ventra card (u-pass), and as always, a hungry belly. So come on, let’s go and explore!

Getting There:

There are three ways that I would recommend getting to Fullerton, depending on where you live and with time considered. The first way is the easiest. You can take the CTA Red line down from Loyola straight into Fullerton station (toward 95th). This may take around 30 minutes, give or take. Or, you can take the Intercampus shuttle from the Lakeshore Campus to the Water Tower Campus and take the El from Chicago and State north toward Fullerton (only one stop away). Lastly, you can always take an Uber or a Lyft, depending on the size of the group you are traveling with, and what time of day you are planning to visit the area.

Main Attractions:

  1. Lincoln Park Zoo: As one of the last free public zoos, and one of North America’s oldest zoos (it was founded in 1868); Lincoln Park Zoo is a fun place for families, students, and visitors to all check out! Inside, there are several different exhibits for the whole family to enjoy with monkeys, reptiles, birds, and so much more. Sadly, there is no Harambe, but it does have gorillas! During the winter months, the zoo becomes a popular attraction for an event called “Zoo Lights” where the whole site is lit up. Here you can go with your friends and sip away at your hot cocoa while going throughout the zoo and even find some ice carving demonstrations. Regardless of the season, you should definitely check out the Nature Boardwalk before leaving. This is a true Instagram worthy area for photos and a perfect place for that new profile pic that Facebook keeps annoying you about. With the background of the John Hancock building and the River North part of the skyline; this place offers excellent views of Chicago. Once you are done here, be sure to check out our next stop.
  2. Oz Park: From Lincoln Park Zoo just “follow the yellow brick road” to get to Chicago’s Oz Park. Commemorating L Frank Baum, the author of this literary classic, this park is open to the public and features the characters from the book. Be sure to be on the lookout for Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and of course Dorothy and Toto as well! This play is fun to visit in the summer months as well, as they offer free movies to the public (perfect for a friends’ night out or date night).

It’s Time to Eat:

  1. Cafe Ba Ba Reba: Who can say no quality Spanish tapas, paella, pintxos and jamón serrano? As one of my favorite Spanish restaurants, outside of Spain of course, this place has such flavorful and rich foods. This is a place that you want to ask your parents to bring you when they come to visit Loyola and want to treat you for a meal. Here are my suggestions for you to try:
  • Pintxos: (These are bite sized dishes) Chorizo wrapped dates and cheese (What is better than spicy sausage with sweet dates and salty cheese as the perfect three in one? That’s what!); Bacalao Croquette (this is a creamy and rich cod croquette with potatoes that is fried to crispy goodness and has an excellent aioli sauce with it)
  • Tapas: (Small Plates) Fried Calamari (nothing is better than a classic); Seared Spanish Sausage (a great way to try a variety of different kinds of Spanish meats from spicy sausage to blood sausage)
  • Paella: (Rice Platters) When you go to a Spanish restaurant you definitely have to try their paella! Cafe Ba Ba Reba is no exception. I would recommend two of their paellas. The Paella Valenciana (pork rinds, pork shoulder, pork belly, and pork sausage) is on point! If you are more into seafood, try their Seafood Paella (shrimp, monkfish, clams, and vegetables). Either one, be sure to add the extra virgin olive oil that is offered on the table, this elevates the food to another level.

Still hungry and looking for more to visit? Be sure to tune in February 6, 2018 as we go and start to explore more of the north side as we stop at Belmont on this edition of Explore Chicago CTA Edition. Doors closing.

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