Your Complete Guide to Chicago O’Hare International Airport

By TripIt

January 20, 2017

We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we say “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. Should I go for Ivar’s chowder or Beecher’s mac & cheese at SeaTac? Do I have time to do yoga at SFO’s Terminal 2? How long will it take to get to ATL’s Concourse E for a cocktail at One Flew South?

If you’re anything like us, then these are the types of questions you have. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to America’s airports. Today, we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

 

About ORD

Chicago O'Hare International Airport is located on the far northwest side of Chicago, bordered by the Chicago villages of Rosemont to the north and Schiller Park to the south. O’Hare is unique in that it has held a number of world titles, including busiest airport in the world in number of passengers for years, and most recently, busiest airport in the world by number of takeoffs and landings. O’Hare is one of the largest hubs for American and United. Frontier and Spirit also have a big presence at this airport. The airport has four terminals, including Terminal 5 (Terminal 4 is now an airport facility’s building), which is the recently renovated international terminal. While ORD is 17 miles from Chicago itself, the CTA Blue Line provides 24-hour rapid transit train service between Chicago and O'Hare. Complimentary Wi-Fi is offered for the first 30 minutes and then charged in hour, 24-hour and monthly access plans.

 

Eat

A number of O’Hare’s restaurants are Chicago-influenced, such as Billy Goat Tavern (Terminal 1), Chicago Cubs Bar and Grill (Terminal 3), Chicago Style Hot Dogs (Terminals 1, 2, and 3), Eli’s Cheesecake Café (Terminal 1) and Stanley's Blackhawks Kitchen & Tap (Terminal 2). One of its most renowned restaurants is Tortas Frontera, a Mexican-inspired restaurant coming from famous American chef Rick Bayless, and located in terminals 1, 3 and 5. The international terminal, Terminal 5, has some of the greatest dining variety of the entire airport (and a number of Chicago restaurants), including Wolfgang Puck Café, Tocco (for Italian), Hub 51, Big Bowl (Asian), The Goddess and Grocer (a local Chicago deli), and longtime Chicago burger joint, R.J. Grunts. Some of ORD’s restaurants are located in all (or most) of the terminals, including Chili's and McDonald's.

 

Drink

Chicago O'Hare International Airport has a lot of your token airport bars (that also serve food) if you just want a quick drink before your flight, including some places we’ve already mentioned, such as Chicago Cubs Bar and Stanley's Blackhawks Kitchen & Tap. For a good margarita to wash down your meal, look no further than Tortas Frontera, which uses fresh-squeezed lime in their margaritas. Elsewhere, there are a couple wine bars in O’Hare International Airport (both of which serve small plates), including Beaudevin Wine Bar in Terminal 1 and Bubbles Wine Bar in Terminal 3. For a taste of local beer, there’s Goose Island Brewpub, where you can try a number of their beers on draft and in bottle, as well as their sodas, including root beer, orange cream and grape.

 

Do

While Chicago O'Hare International Airport may be one of the busiest airports in the world, it surprisingly has a lot in the way of relaxing things to do—and not just shopping. For example, there are three Terminal Getaway Spa locations (Terminal 1 and 3), an XpressSpa (Terminal 5) and a yoga room (Terminal 3). However, it also has a number of local and designer shops, some of which are in most of the terminals, such as Brookstone, Barbara's Bookstore and Sunglass Hut. O’Hare’s website also has an in-airport (and beyond-airport) Excursion Planner, which provides directions to unique attractions in the airport, such as art, exhibits and kid-friendly points of interest, and tells you how long it’ll take.

Airport Lounges

While Chicago O'Hare International Airport has a Delta Sky Club Lounge in Terminal 2, the strongest airline lounge presence is from United and American, with numerous United lounges in Terminal 1 and 2 and American lounges in Terminal 3. Terminal 5 features several airline lounges, including Air France/KLM, Korean Air, British Airways (First and Terraces Lounge), SAS, Swiss and Swissport. Additionally, TripIt users can easily access information and whereabouts of LAX’s airport lounges thanks to the LoungeBuddy integration in the TripIt app.

Note: TripIt Pro’s LoungeBuddy perk will end on April 15, 2019. If you have redeemed your $25 credit, you will need to use it through the LoungeBuddy app. For information about when the credit expires and how to use it, please contact LoungeBuddy customer support.

Written By:

SPENCER SPELLMAN

Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he's not traveling, he's perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.