long weekend in chicago

By now I know you are all sick of hearing about Chicago, but I promise this will be my last post about our trip.  Whenever I go somewhere new I always have anxiety about missing out on something that is a "must" in a place.  In some irrational part of my mind, I am certain that I will never visit that place again so I have to soak it all up and have everything planned out so I can see and do it all- and then take a vacation from my vacation!  That being said, here is my pared down list of things you MUST squeeze in if you are in Chicago for a long weekend:

Where to Eat and Drink:

Avec: This is a place to go with friends!  They have small plates and larger entree type options, but the best bet is to go with a group and order as much of the menu as you can.  DO NOT miss the focaccia- taleggio cheese, ricotta, truffle oil and herbs- it was AMAZING.  

MK: Josh and I went here for our anniversary dinner and we were blown away.  The pumpkin soup was delicious.  (My disclaimer: I usually do not go for pumpkin but I had to try the seasonal specialty soup... and I am so glad that I did.)  We both enjoyed our main courses, but the very best part of the meal was the side of handcut french fries with truffle dipping sauce- we didn't even stop to think to save room for dessert as we were licking the truffle sauce bowl clean!  If you are smarter than us, save room for a "Cake Shake." The table next to us had one and it looked phenomenal.

Cafe des Architectes: The best breakfast...and luckily for us it was right in our hotel!  We had great intentions of trying other brunch spots we had heard about (like the Publican) but we loved the coffee, fresh pastries, and eggs benedict so much we ate here every morning.  

Flight 1551: A great place for a glass of wine or tapas in Old Town.

Le Bar: Another stroke of great luck was that the bar in our hotel was "the place" to have a drink in downtown Chicago.  In addition to a great selection of speciality cocktails, they also serve Garrett Popcorn with every order!

What to Do:

Architectural Boat Tour: An absolute MUST in Chicago.  We used Wendella Tours, but the Chicago Architectural Foundation also has a tour that is a little longer and is supposed to be even better.  

Art Institute: Monet, Picasso, Renoir...all under one roof!  This is definitely worth a visit.

Running Tour: Obviously, I loved this experience and you can read all about it here.

Millenium Park: Go see Cloudgate (aka The Bean) and take your picture- it's just part of going to Chicago!

Second City: We went and saw "The 100th Review" and it was hilarious.  The Second City is the training ground for TONS of Saturday Night Live Stars so it is hysterical.  BUT approach with caution if you don't like a little off color humor!

Where to Shop: 

Michigan Avenue: Termed "The Magnificent Mile" this mile long stretch has everything from Chanel and Saks to Forever 21 and Zara.  My personal favorite, Bloomingdales, is located on the North end in the 900 Shops.  

Oak Street: Right off Michigan Avenue, Oak Street features smaller boutique stores like Tory Burch and Calypso St. Barth.  Be sure to stop in Bravco for some discounted beauty supplies while you are there!

Haberdash: A great men's store featuring clothing and accessories.  They even offer a barber so guys can stop in just for a shave!

As a disclaimer, we stayed within walking distance (or sometimes short cab rides) of our hotel for most of our trip.  (In case you want another great recommendation, we stayed at the Sofitel Water Tower in Gold Coast and it was WONDERFUL.)  If we had stayed longer, we certainly would have ventured out into some of the neighborhoods and smaller communities to see more of the city.  

There you have it- my recommendations for your next long weekend in Chicago.  Please post additional comments and recommendations if you have them.  I would love to go back some day and see more of the city's "musts!"


1 comment:

  1. Looks like an awesome trip! Thanks for the restaurant suggestions. The running tour sounds fun... especially the part about going at your pace!