Thursday, December 3, 2015

Where To: Eat & Drink in Chicago

I am anxiously counting down the days/hours/seconds until this weekend because we are going back to CHICAGO! Chicago at Christmas is my favorite time of the year in the city and I can't wait to partake in some of our favorite holiday traditions that we developed throughout our five years of living there.  My family is coming with us and we'll be hitting up Michigan Avenue and State Street for some holiday shopping, having lunch at The Walnut Room and checking out Zoo Lights at The Lincoln Park Zoo.  Not to mention getting together with some of our friends! So excited.

Anyway, in the spirit of my brain being consumed by all things Chicago, I thought I'd share this that was actually a guest post on Sara's blog this summer: my favorite spots to eat and drink in Chicago.  There's about a billion restaurants in the city, but these are the ones we favored while living there... 


Little Goat  West Loop
Eat: Fried Chicken
We lived in the West Loop so Little Goat was one of our favorite restaurants.  The 'diner' vibe is so cute, and the food - amazing.  You honestly can't go wrong with any restaurant on Randolph Street, but this one has never disappointed us.  They also have a fabulous rooftop bar in the summer!

Terrace at The Trump  River North
Drink: White Radiance
Speaking of rooftop bars... if you're visiting Chicago in the summer, you MUST stop at The Trump to grab a drink. And I mean just one drink, because they aren't cheap ;)  But the views are beyond worth the steep prices - looking over the Chicago River, Michigan Avenue and River North will have you almost speechless.

Summer House Santa Monica • Lincoln Park
Eat: Pan Roasted Great Lakes Whitefish
Summer House Santa Monica has a super fun, laid back vibe.  The goal of this restaurant is to feel like you're not in the city, but in Santa Monica, and they've definitely accomplished this.  I mean they actually pump fresh air into the restaurant!  The food is delicious, too - especially the seafood.

Big Star • West Town
Eat: Taco de Pescado
If you want the best tacos in town... Big Star is your place!  While the menu may be small, there isn't a bad dish on it.  We loved going there after playing volleyball, sitting on the patio and just sharing a boatload of tacos. Yum.  They also have great drinks, make sure to try a jalapeno margarita!

RM Champagne Salon • West Loop
Drink: Sparkling Rose
Think shabby chic French bistro with an amazing wine/champagne selection.  It's a great place for a pre-dinner drink, especially while on a date as it has a really romantic vibe to it.  Very fun in the summer with an adorable patio (Chicagoans love their outdoor dining), but also really cozy in the winter with the roaring fireplaces.

Bongo Room  South Loop
Eat: White Chocolate & Caramel Pretzel Pancakes
Chicago has so many amazing breakfast spots, but one of the most unusual is the Bongo Room.  If you have a sweet tooth like me, you'll LOVE this!  I'm talking red velvet pancakes, chocolate tower french toast... are you sold?  So is everyone else, so make sure to get there early since they don't take reservations and can have long waits!

Bub City  River North
Drink: Back Porch Tea 
Bub City has it all - great food, delicious drinks, live country music and a crazy late night scene.  It's one of my favorite places in the entire city and you'll never not have an awesome time here.  Make sure to check out the ladies restroom while you're there, too - that's all I'm going to give away ;)

And of course, it's the land of deep dish so I would be remiss to not mention the pizza!  My personal favorite is Lou Malnati's, but you can't go wrong with any of the big three: Lou's, Gino's East, or Giordano's.  

Have you been to Chicago before?  Or better yet, at you hungry now?!  

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29 comments

  1. Saving this for our possible Chitown trip! Thanks beautiful friend!

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  2. I didn't go to ANY of these when we were in Chicago (altho we still had some amazing food because...Chicago! haha) I did have some pizza a Lou's tho! Can't wait to go back at some point--its one of my favorite cities ever!

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    1. P.S. have you been to The Purple Pig? It was our favorite meal of the trip!

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  3. More like thirsty!! I'm margarita deprived and that jalapeno marg sounds incredible! Chicago is one of our favorite places in the whole world and we love trying new places! Can't wait to add some of these to the list!!

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  4. I have never been to Chicago, but this makes me want to go-- especially for the champagne salon!

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  5. Chicago is my favorite city. I can't explain why. It just feels like home to me. This is a great list and one I'll be sure to look up when we go back to visit!

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  6. Oh how I love Chicago, and the food there is the best I've ever had! Definitely saving this for our next trip! Have an amazing time there, I'm sure it's purely magical during the holidays <3

    Green Fashionista

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  7. Hungry AND wanting to see all the holiday cheer in Chicago!!!

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  8. Yay for your Chicago trip! I seriously loved going when it was decorated a couple weekends ago. So much fun!

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  9. We're going to Chicago two weeks from today actually, and we're like DREADING the cold so bad we keep talking about how we plan on not leaving the hotel at all haha. Just kidding, we have to go to a wedding, but other than that I think we're going to stay in. But the zoo lights are tempting!!! Someone else wrote about that recently too. Maybe it won't be so cold??? (lolololololol)

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  10. We are headed there in 2 weeks...already got our reservations at wildfire, a plan to dine at lou's, see the tree at the walnut room and get our hands on several bags/pounds of Garrett's popcorn. Super excited to return ourselves!!

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  11. What a great post to save for when we visit Chicago! Emily for some odd reason has been talking about Chicago and that she wants to visit! She must have heard the name on tv or something! Xo

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  12. I want to take a Chicago trip just to eat and drink now! That city has some of the best restaurants ever, ever, ever!

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  13. These places sounds so good! I would love to go to Chicago...it seems like such a fun city! I hope you have fun on your trip!

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  14. I just want to get there to try that pizza!!!!!

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  15. mmmmm i LOVE little goat they have the best pancakes and of course pizza. lou malnatti + pequiods are my favorite. i have to try a few of the other places on this list! cant wait to go back soon. xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  16. Awesome list! Chicago is a magical city!

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  17. Ooh I am totally saving this for any future trips to Chicago!

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  18. We went to Lou Malnati's when we were in Chicago for all of 3 hours with a long layover :) It was delicious. We hope to head back there in the spring (just had a friend move there) and catch a baseball game!

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  19. What a fun trip! We just ate at Gino's East and it was amazing!! My wish list of things to do in Chicago was far too long for just one weekend so I'm already looking forward to our next visit. Hope you have a blast and get to do some great shopping :)

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  20. Definitely saving this! I really want to go to Chicago within the next few years!

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  21. Chicago is still on my list of places I'd like to visit... but I think I'll wait until it's warmer. ;)

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  22. oooh pinning this in the hope that we go back one day!

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  23. You know I'm all over this! Love your choices! We love Bub City so much we have had it delivered a few times. :)

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  24. I love this list, I don't go downtown enough anymore, but these places are great to check out when I am in the city!! Parlor pizza was such a great discovery when I was downtown a few months back and it is so yummy and they have craft beer! I love the zoo lights at LPZ, hoping to head down there for it this year too! We are ordering Lou's for lunch tomorrow at work, so excited!

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  25. just found your blog by chance and i love this post, as a born and raised Chicagoan! these places are all pretty spot on and as you know, there is always something new popping up in chicago! i have to agree with your RM champagne rec... one of my favorite hidden gems of the city!

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  26. So, so jealous that you're in the city this weekend! I hope you're having fun and gorging on all the food!

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  27. Lou's is my husband's favorite too! Though I'm a Giordano girl myself! We've never had Gino's... that's on our list for next time! :)

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  28. Little Goat & Summer House are two of my favorite Chicago restaurant -- great round-up!

    Xoxo,

    Ashley || Sed Bona

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