Year in Review: A Look Back at Better Chicago’s 2019

Year in Review: A Look Back at Better Chicago's 2019

2019 was a big year here at Better Chicago. In May, after 12 years as Make It Better, we became, simply, Better and launched a new website and redesigned print magazine. And just last month, we introduced you to our new president, Jessica Cline.

Although our name changed, our mission — to help you live, love, work, and play with greater purpose — remained the same, and we continued annual favorites like our Philanthropy Awards and Best Of reader vote to connect you with the local nonprofits and businesses that are making a difference in our communities.

Through it all, you, our loyal readers, continued to come back again and again to discover a new favorite restaurant, the latest fashion trends, the best local events, and the ways you could make the most impact in Chicago and beyond. From the serious to the fun, here are some of the articles you loved the most this year. And here’s to an even better 2020!

Chicago’s 25 Most Powerful Women 2019

25 Most Powerful Women 2019

With impressive resumes, accomplishments, and success, not only are these women at the top of their game, but they all give back to the community in meaningful ways. From retail and tech to education and even the White House, these 25 inspirational women are generating buzz around Chicago and beyond.

18 Trips to Take Before Your Kids Turn 18

18 Trips to Take Before Your Kids Turn 18
Glacier National Park (Photos by Wendy Altschuler.)

Traveling together gives us wonderful opportunities to engage with each other and bond over new experiences. Plus, you’ll have plenty of great photographs to spark storytelling, even after your children leave the nest.

5 Great Book Club Picks: These New Titles Will Be a Huge Hit at Your Next Meeting

Book Club Picks

Book clubs offer the perfect opportunity to read and discuss a variety of titles, especially genres that you may not choose on your own. Here are five great picks for your next book club meeting.

Chicago’s 12 Best Sandwiches — 2019 Edition

Chicago’s 12 Best Sandwiches — 2019 Edition
Fry the Coop’s Nashville Fried Chicken Sandwich (Photo by Kailley Lindman.)

The sandwich is one of life’s great and most satisfying edible joys: the perfect handheld meal, to be consumed on the run at lunch hour or sitting at an outdoor café table with a glass of rosé.

6 Family Road Trips to Take From Chicago This Summer

family road trips from Chicago
Photo courtesy of Macaire Douglas.

These destinations are 10 hours or less from the Chicago area, so the drive can be done in a day if you are adventurous, and we’ve even suggested great places to explore during a much-needed pit stop.

Our New Normal: Mass Shootings in America and What You Can Do to Help Stop Them

Our New Normal: Mass Shootings in America and What You Can Do to Help Stop Them
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

There have been 385 mass shootings in the United States in 2019. People of all ages and races have been shot at places of worship, schools, the workplace, festivals, bars, and shopping centers. If you are ready to take action (and you should be!), here are some ways you can help, both locally and nationwide.

Here’s the Real Story Behind the Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich — Plus the 7 Best Places to Get One

Here’s the Real Story Behind Chicago’s Own Italian Beef Sandwich — Plus the 7 Best Places to Get One
Photo courtesy of Al’s Beef.

Chicago’s own Italian beef sandwich is so much more than merely meat and bread; it’s a reflection of the enduring Italian-American influence on the city, a memory of the Union Stockyards that transformed Chicago into the world’s butcher shop, and a reminder of the broad-shouldered men and women who work with their hands and, when the lunch bell rings, grab a hearty sandwich with both of them.

8 Genius Lipstick Tricks From Expert Makeup Artists

 

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A simple swipe of lipstick can have a major impact on your look, but with so many shades and styles, lipstick can be a little tricky. We asked makeup artists to dish on their best lipstick tricks.

7 Eco-Friendly Fall Sweaters to Snuggle Into This Season

7 Eco-Friendly Fall Sweaters to Snuggle Into This Season
Photo courtesy of Amour Vert.

There is something wonderfully comforting about slipping into a cozy knit or wrapping a cardigan around yourself as you drink your morning coffee. Here are seven of our favorite picks.

13 Perfect Chicago Pizzas We Are Crazy About Right Now

13 Perfect Chicago Pizzas We Are Crazy About Right Now
Roebuck’s Sun God pizza (Photo by Galdones Photography.)

Pizza is the perfect marriage of bread and cheese, with the freewheeling ability to morph styles and flavor profiles, happily incorporating nearly any ingredient in its path.