Monday, May 19, 2014

"Chicago, Chicago I will show you around..."

Guess who's baaaack!!!? Did you miss me? Apologies for the unannounced radio silence at the end of last week, but I was travelling for work and just couldn't pull off the juggling act. But now that I am back in action, I thought I'd give you a fun little detour from my usual "all about NYC" posts and share some favorites from Chicago.

First off, let me just say that I LOVE Chicago. Granted I have never been in the dead of winter, but with each visit I make to Chi-town, I fall a little more in love. I'm a sucker for a good cityscape and the architecture in Chicago is unrivaled, plus much like NYC (and other "I could live here" favorites like Boston and DC) the city is truly urban, with people walking from place to place, using public transportation, enjoying beautiful parks and living all throughout (as opposed to cities where people primarily live outside the urban center). Having visited several times now, here are some favorite eats and adventures from lovely Chicago. Any of you have something to add to the list!?

I have had a lot of awesome meals in Chicago and think it's safe to say that their cuisine rivals (in both diversity and deliciousness) the best Manhattan has to offer. 
Homestead - Ate here on Saturday night, can't remember the last time I loved a meal so much! This farm-to-table spot has an inventive menu intended for sharing so you can taste tons of unique dishes in just 1 visit. Every ingredient is fresh and dishes are served at a leisurely pace so you can enjoy every bite!
* Piccolo Sogno (due) - For straight up awesome Italian eats, from antipasta to pizza or pasta, head to Piccolo Sogno or its second location Piccolo Sogno Due.
* Lou Malnati's Pizzeria - NY and Chicago may not be able to agree on how to make "the best" pizza, but there is no denying the incredible deliciousness of a tasty Chicago deep dish pie. Check out one of Lou's many locations to judge for yourself.
* Rudy's Bar and Grille - After strolling Millennium Park, you're probably going to need a place to throw back a few beers and watch "the game" (whatever sport may apply!) Rudy's is located just off the park, has lots of tvs, a great beer menu and their bar food is totally top notch (the Breakfast Burger anyone!?). Plus they serve most of their burgers and sandwiches on pretzel buns (YUM).

                                                                                     To Do
"The Bean" in Millennium Park is a Chicago landmark
There's no shortage of activities, planned or leisurely to do in Chicago, whether you're young or old, into being outside or in.
* Architectural Boat Tour - if you do one touristy thing in Chicago, I say do this. With the Chicago River flowing right through the middle, the best way to learn about the history of the city and its beautiful buildings is on one of these boat tours. There are tons to choose from, just click HERE.
Millennium Park - This park has it all: green spaces for lounging, cool sculptures, art and plazas, an awesome stage for performances and a super convenient location. Be sure to visit Millennium Park if for no other reason than to snap a fun picture of your reflection at Cloud Gate (aka, "the bean"!) 
* Wrigley Field- It doesn't get more iconic than a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Built in 1914 and now the second oldest MLB park still in use, check out a game from inside the stadium or watch from one of the perfectly situated rooftop bars surrounding it.
* Navy Pier (and Children's Museum) - Located along the shoreline of Lake Michigan (the only lake I've encountered that's so big it doesn't skeeve me out!) the Navy Pier has an awesome collection of carnival games, rides, restaurants and even a Children's Museum (never been but read great things).
* Shop the Magnificent Mile - Just like 5th Avenue, but in Chicago. An awesome mix of affordable and "just looking", stroll the Magnificent Mile down Michigan Ave and shop until you drop!
* Walk around - Chicago is a walkers dream. Lots of wide, clean sidewalks, public parks, bridges, beautiful buildings and unique, distinct neighborhoods make Chicago the perfect place to spend an entire day wandering. Biking more your style!? Just like NYC's Citi Bikes, Chicago has a bike share program with racks throughout the city.
* Still on my "to do" list: The Shedd Aquarium and The Art Institute (because obviously I need reasons to come back!)


  1. Love Chicago! Wish we were going anytime soon. Gonna check out your NYC recommendations!

  2. @Crafty Lumberjacks, here are a few of my favorite NYC posts:
    Thanks for reading!! xox, m