Next month we will be taking a trip back to Chicago and, while we'll only be there a few days, there are so many spots I want to revisit while we're there. I've had quite a few people contact me about my favorite spots in the Windy City, so I've compiled a
Quenchers: this bar is less than a block from where I lived and, while it took us forever to finally try it out, I was instantly impressed. Great beer selection, free popcorn, and live music.
Scofflaw: Hip atmosphere without being too pretentious. Fun & unique cocktails- mostly with gin. Bonus: free freshly baked chocolate chip cookies at midnight! This was one of our favorite Saturday night spots.
Logan bar & grill: Pretty standard beer/ wine/ cocktail menu but the afternoon patio is perfect for chatting and people watching.
Violet Hour: This lounge is mildly pretentious, but serves superior cocktails. The door is unmarked and is fashioned like a speakeasy. You'll know you're there when you find yourself standing in a long line of hipsters next to a long obscure mural.
Danny's: Great for dancing! The DJ spins a great mix of... pretty much everything, and the crowd is the least creepy I've ever seen on a dance floor. Bring cash!
Green Mill: Al Capone used to frequent this jazz club. Need I say more?
Worth the Wait
The Doughnut Vault: Cash only, and they are open til they sell out, so get there early! On a Saturday wait times can be up to an hour, but as a doughnut connoisseur I can personally guarantee they are worth it. But seriously, get there early.
Hot Doug's: Again, get there before you're hungry and avoid it on Saturdays. But seriously... where else can you get a foie gras hot dog? Men's Health named it one of the places you must eat before you die (that's an international list, folks!)
|perfection at Alinea|
Alinea: I was never able to fork over the $250 to eat here but I've heard it's unreal- it's been on the "50 Best Restaurants in the World" for the past 7 years!
Topolobampo: Eating here was one of the best culinary experiences of my life. It didn't even matter that the only reservation we could get was a Tuesday at 5:00 3 months ahead of time. Rick Bayless knows how it's done. If you don't want to shell out a ton (or wait half your life for a decent reservation) try its sister Restaurant, Frontera Grill.
Girl and the Goat: You go here for the food, not the atmosphere. And the food is phenomenal.
Hancock Tower Signature Room: The opposite of the above: the $13 cocktails are nothing special but the view of the city by night can't be beat. Hint: the best view is the one in the girl's bathroom
|Cloud Gate, aka "The Bean" at Millennium Park|
Millennium Park: Some call it touristy; I call it classic. Bring a camera for bean pictures and a picnic for the grassy knolls by the lake.
Sear's Tower: I know it's technically called "Willis Tower" now but any Chicagoan will still call it Sears. Head up to that Skydeck if you're brave!
Second City: Where Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, John Candy, and Steve Carell all got their starts. They have tons of different shows and many are very affordable.
Music/ Movie in the Park: Anywhere and everywhere all Summer long. And almost always free!
Cultural Center: Provides tons of free programs and is just a lovely building to meander in.
Architectural Foundation Boat Tour: A bit pricey, but totally worth it if you're interested in history or architecture.
What are your favorite Chicago spots?
Image Credits: top image by me/2/3/4/5
P.S. Click here for part 2...