It took a while to figure out where I could buy British food supplies in Chicago (rather than stockpiling it after each visit home) and of course where I could play football on a Saturday morning. Here are a few key places you'll need to know about.
Cost Plus World Market You'll find quite a few of these stores dotted around the city and here you'll find a lot of your dry goods necessities. A good selection of chocolate, tea, mustard, Branston, Marmite etc. It's also a great place for shopping at Christmas time, when you'll find mince pies, Christmas cake, selection packs and Christmas crackers to name a few. It's also just a great shop to explore.
Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods Nick Spencer moved to Chicago from Yorkshire a few years back and has opened a much needed British shop. Specializing in British and Irish bangers, pork chipolatas, back bacon and black and white pudding, the shop also has all the other obligatory necessities!
You will find a few bits n' bobs, such as Heinz beans, PG Tips, Marmite, Lyons Syrup in some of the more mainstream grocery stores such as Treasure Island, Dominicks, JewelOsco and Marianos.
For Magazines / Newspapers:
Since loosing Borders, the only bookstore to find British magazines or newspapers is really Barnes & Noble. You'll find three stores within the city. It's good for your British home, cooking, gadget and hair magazines (so the wife tells me).
For Footie / Soccer / Rugby:
Where to buy footie gear: Chicago Soccer For all things soccer related, head up to 4839 N. Western Ave or to one of their other retail locations listed on their website.
Where to watch the footie and rugby: Try Fado, The Globe or Temple Bar. Details can be found on the following page.
Where to play footie: Contact me and I'll see if we can fit you into our Tuesday night / Saturday morning roster. Otherwise check out Sports Monster.
Other useful things to know:
Chicago Park District is a great resource for activities within the city for both adults and children alike. You will find parks, pools, sports activities, outdoor movies, child play centers and many other activities to do in hundreds of locations around the city. The website isn't the most user friendly, but combined with web searches you can usually come up with some great things to do in the city. In addition, during the summer months be sure to check out activities taking place at Millennium Park. My wife is a huge fan of the Saturday morning free yoga, pilates and zumba classes held in Millennium Park during the summer months.