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At the end of October, I took my first trip to Chicago and had the most wonderful time. I absolutely loved the city and exploring as much of it as I could. I also had some seriously good food while I was there, so I thought I’d recap where I ate (that I loved) and some of the highly recommended spots I wasn’t able to visit so that if you are visiting the city anytime soon, you can look into visiting them, too!
First off, we stayed at The Thompson Hotel and absolutely loved it. The hotel was beautiful, cozy, and had fantastic service. Located on The Gold Coast, I also really loved it’s location as it was steps away from stunning lake views and walking distance from all the beautiful shops on ‘The Magnificent Mile‘. I also realized that everything is pretty spaced out in Chicago, so getting around to explore different parts of the city from where we were staying was easy. I enjoyed breakfast in bed each morning, a comfortable bed, and we also enjoyed the hotel restaurant (Nico) downstairs for appetizers and cocktails during Happy Hour. I highly recommend staying here to anyone visiting Chicago!
Now, on to the really good stuff: FOOD. Here are the places we ate that were dang good.
- Au Cheval — This modern, diner-style burger joint lived up to it’s hype for sure! When I mentioned I was visiting Chicago, I received countless recommendations from you all to go to Au Cheval, so it was at the top of my list. We went early one morning (to avoid the long wait) and enjoyed one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten, if not the best. Absolutely delicious in every way! My husband also enjoyed the Fried Bologne Sandwich which was absolutely melt-in-your mouth freaking incredible. I can’t wait to go back here next time I visit.
- AVEC — After my event one night, we enjoyed a late dinner at AVEC. It’s a fairly small restaurant serving modern Mediterranean style appetizers. I very much enjoyed the food. Namely, the chorizo stuffed bacon-wrapped dates.
- Le Colonial — Located just around the corner from our hotel, this was our first stop for a late lunch upon our arrival to Chicago. My brother and sister and law recommended it and I very much enjoyed the food at this famous, Vietnamese restaurant.
- Girl and The Goat — I’ve been hearing about this restaurant run by famous chef Stephanie Izard for years, so I just had to go. We celebrated Clayton’s birthday here and shared a ton of small, globally inspired plates and enjoyed every last bite!
- The Aviary — Prior to Clayton’s birthday dinner at The Girl and the Goat, we celebrated with cocktails and small bites at The Aviary. It was an experience like no other with the most impressive, over the top cocktails that you’ll ever have. Although over the top, I will say they were absolutely delicious and the experience was so much fun. Beware though, the drinks are freaking STRONG and will get you drunk AF.
- Cindy’s Rooftop — such a stunning view of the lake!! Plus, it’s right by “the bean” so that you can be a tourist like me 😉
Okay, so that sums up my favorite spots we ate. Now, here are a list that came highly recommended by you guys + my favorite foodie friends in Chicago:
- Kai Zan Sushi — according to my good friend, Shea (@thefoodiest) “their omakase is the best I’ve ever had”
- Duck Duck Goat — Chef Stephanie Izard’s other concept, I really want to go here next time I visit.
- La Scarola — an old school, Italian hole in the wall spot that is a Chicago staple.
- RPM Italian — Great italian for a celebratory dinner.
- Purple Pig — I really wanted to go here but didn’t make the time.
- Pequads — According to locals, it’s the go to spot for Chicago Deep dish.
- Portillos — I was told by a good friend to go here and “Get the Italian Beef with hot giardinera, half dip and fries. It’s authentic AF Chicago food.”
- Lone Wolf – West Loop bar with an awesome whiskey collection.
- Maude’s Liquor bar — another great restaurant and bar in the West Loop.
- R&M Champagne Bar — Also west loop
- Do-Rite Donuts — for really good donuts
- Greek Isles — great greek food in Greek Town
- Big Star — Great drinks and tacos in Whicker Park
- Hai Sous
- Fat Rice
- Mott Street
Okay, that sums up all that I know based off of my first trip to Chicago. I do know that I can’t wait to go back and explore the city more because I absolutely loved it and the people were SO NICE and friendly. Are you from Chicago or you’ve been and have a favorite spot that I didn’t share? Please let us know all about it in the comments below!! I’d love to know for the next time that I visit!! Thank you!