[Travel Guide]: Feasting & Drinking in Chicago

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All About CHICAGO:
Specifically, Chicago's food & alcohol scene ;)

To me, the best way to celebrate something is by treating yourself to a vacation. And that is exactly what I did when I went Chicago! I've been before, but this time was different because I planned to only do what I do best (aka eat and drink haha). Although I booked my flight very last minute (literally 4 days before leaving), I actually had our activities lined up for us this weekend before confirming our flights. Read on to see what we did (and hover over the photos for a photo description)! Please note that this itinerary is focused around eating & drinking, and not so much sightseeing. A little tidbit of sightseeing is listed below the itinerary.

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DAY 1
  • But first, coffee.
    • Literally, the first thing I planned to do was to grab my camera and roam around town to snap a couple shots of Chicago's architecture (it's seriously amazing). BUT first, as always, I had to grab myself a cup of coffee.
    • Having a love for espresso & matcha, I have heard many things about Sawada Coffee located in the West Loop area (a little far, but 100% worth it).
    • I ordered a military latte, and was NOT disappointed. This is the perfect latte for those matcha lovers who want a strong punch of caffeine. I definitely got hit hard with this, & I'm not typically affected by caffeine. Safe to say this espresso-matcha combination is killer.
  • Next up, I visited the Rookery Building, a historical Chicago landmark designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905.
    • Even though I was only inside for 5 minutes, I was mesmerized by the central light court in the lobby. It's a beautiful sight!
    • If you have time & enjoy learning about architecture, I would recommend taking the tour.
  • The weekend I came to Chicago was actually Lollapalooza, and I was notttt about walking through the crowds of teens. So instead, I decided to grab lunch at Cindy's, which had a stunning view of Cloud Gate.
  • One of the first things we knew we had to do was a beer tour around town.
    • We quickly found the Chicago Beer Experience online, and knew we had to join one of their tours. You can read about my experience with them here.
    • The best part of this beer tour was that they served us deep dish pizza at the end - YAS.
  • We finished off our first day in Chicago the best way that I think we could have: a club crawl.
    • Joining InstaBottles on their first ever Bottle Service Club Crawl through the city, we got a chance to visit 4 different establishments in Chicago in style. Read about my experience here.
Military Latte from Sawada Coffee
Rookery Building
View of Cloud Gate from Cindy's Rooftop
Chicago Beer Experience Tour - deep dish pizza from Giordano's
InstaBottles Bottle Service Club Crawl

DAY 2
  • If I told you it was easy to wake up in the morning after our crazy day yesterday, I would be lying. But with reservations for an all-you-can-eat brunch at Shaw's Crab House as a motivation, it wasn't too difficult.
    • Weekend brunch at Shaw's is heaven for a seafood lover.
    • In addition to having all the traditional brunch items, like eggs benny and omelettes, Shaw's presents you with a table of shellfish!! Yes, that includes all-you-can-eat oysters and king crab legs. As an oyster lover, it is safe to say that I had the best time here.
    • Read my full review of my brunch experience here.
  • After brunch, we were seriously so stuffed that we decided to walk around the city on the Chicago Riverwalk.
    • It's rather peaceful to walk around the financial district on the weekend. There aren't a lot of people on the streets, so we were able to get a couple nice shots of the Chicago River as well.
    • Walking around Chicago is easy as the architecture is gorgeous, and when the weather is nice, it really doesn't feel like you're walking for too long.
  • We also walked along Magnificent Mile, a street that runs through the city with a mixture of department stores and luxury shops.
  • After walking for a couple hours, we made it to Navy Pier.
    • This is a complete tourist trap! The whole 'peaceful' part of Chicago that I just mentioned above was stripped away once we ended this area.
    • Although the view was beautiful, I don't think I will come back just because of how busy it was.
  • You can't blame us for being hungry after walking around Chicago all day! Good thing we had delicious dinner plans to look forward to at Coco Pazzo.
    • Coco Pazzo serves up classic Italian cuisine for those looking for a special night out.
    • Both pastas that we ordered were absolutely delicious (I'm drooling just thinking about it). We also got Coco Pazzo's specialty: a whole grilled sea bream, that is filleted at your table.
    • I highly recommend dining here if you are in Chicago - you can read about my dining experience here.
  • To end off the day, we head to Untitled to dance off everything we ate & for a couple drinks to help with the dancing (haha).
    • They had three different rooms with a variety of music, so we never felt crowded. There was a room that we could sit in & chat, two rooms for dancing. So much fun!!



DAY 3
  • On our last day, we went for brunch at Cochon Volant, a french bakery, brasserie, and bar in the Hyatt Centric Hotel located on the Loop.
    • To wake us up, we got a coffee based cocktail from their "Daily Shaving" special. It is basically like a slushie -I highly recommend it!
    • I also had one of the best eggs bennys here, and a very delicious duck confit omelette that served in a cute skillet.
    • We actually ended up eating at Cochon Volant for 3 hours, ha! It is such a relaxing spot to drink and eat your day away.
  • With my flight at 5pm, we did one last walk around the city (including yet another Walgreens run!) before I hopped on the CTA towards their airport.
  • Thanks Chicago for the lovely weekend!! I will be back (to eat) soon.


  

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OTHER THINGS TO DO
  • As mentioned, Chicago is known for their architecture. I highly recommend saving a couple hours of your afternoon to go on Chicago Architecture Foundation's River Cruise . For 1.5 hours, you will get to cruise down the Chicago River while getting to learn about more than 50 buildings as you pass by them.
  • For the baseball fans, you should definitely visit Wrigley Field and watch the Cubs play. If you aren't a baseball fan, I'd recommend just going for a good time. Get a Chicago-style hot dog while you're at it!

  • Make your way up the Sears Tower, a 108-story skyscraper, and step onto the glass on the Skydeck for a view of the city. I went on a foggy, rainy day, but I'd recommend trying to go for sunset - it would be such a beautiful sight, for sure!

  • You can't go to Chicago and not take a picture with the bean! Cloud Gate has become one of the most iconic sculptures in Chicago, and is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park. Located right behind Cloud Gate are the Crowd Fountains, an interactive work of public art made of glass bricks with an LED display. It's a pretty cool thing to see!

  • There are so many other things in Chicago that I would love to see and do, but I just haven't had the chance to yet! As I visit Chicago again, I will add more attractions to this list. But for now, below is a list of things that I have yet to see. Maybe you will find interest in seeing them as well.
    • Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo
    • Shedd Aquarium
    • Art Institute of Chicago
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To check out all my Chicago-based blog posts, click here.

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