1. Our food
Italian beef. Chicago-style hot dog. Deep-dish pizza. All Chicago inventions. All of which put other regional local delicacies/abominations to mankind like the Philly cheesesteak to shame. We even have The Mother-In-Law, a tamale on a hot dog bun. Covered in chili. Which is actually way better than it sounds. Oh, and our restaurant scene is tops in the country, especially better than New York's.
2. Our festivals
From Lollapalooza and Riot Fest to Pitchfork and North Coast Music Fest to Spring Awakening and (new this year) Chicago Open Air, Chicago has turned into ground zero for the summer music festival circuit. And that doesn’t include free shows in Millennium Park and about a billion other summer street festivals.
3. Our cost of living
Noodling around on Numbeo's cost of living tracker to find that Chicago’s is comfortably lower than NYC’s, which comes along with more purchasing power than the Big Apple. Our rent is also lower than DC's, LA's and, of course, San Francisco's.