I remember driving down to Chicago every year during the holidays to see A Christmas Carol, and staying in some bougie hotel just to have a mini staycation away from suburbia when I was little. And I remember feeling exhilarated by the cars honking and the people walking, and I distinctly recall a feeling that swept over me- I love this place. This place with frigid winters and horrific construction literally all the time, this place is mine.
As I grew up, that feeling solidified even more. In high school, my friend group would make day trips to go see the bean, or beach, or whatever popular spot we obnoxious preteens would swarm, and as we were walking home, my friends would often echo how relieved they were to head back to the burbs after a day in the city. On the contrary, I felt more energized during these excursions- I came alive in it.
And as I shipped myself away to Missouri, I’ve never felt such a pride pulse for something like throwing on my White Sox or Blackhawks ball cap to class. When I finally moved to my shitty apartment on the northern edge of Chi, and smack dab in the middle of Wrigleyville chaos, the word home reverberated through my mind instantaneously. Every time I go for a run down the bike path, every Portillo’s run, every time I stumble home from Wrigleyville bars, I get oddly nostalgic and appreciative to live in not just a beautiful, quirky city, but my city.
I love this place, like a lot if you couldn’t tell, and I wanted to share some of the best spots that I’ve recently discovered. Whether you’re a Windy City original, a transplant, or simply visiting this pretty city for the weekend, here are a few staples to add to your agenda:
If you haven’t been to this slice of french perfection- run, don’t walk.
While the outside is quaint enough, when you walk inside, you are immediately immersed in light colors, cascading chandeliers and decor that will make you want to go home and book a flight to France. And as beautiful as the decor is, it’s just no match for the food.
Their Madame Croque is absolutely life-changing, and they have french toast lathered in raspberries and dripped in a sauce that an actual ingredient might be nectar of the gods. Not to mention the Mousse au chocolat Barry Callebaut left me actually speechless. And in case all of their food didn’t turn this into the best brunch I’ve ever had- their mimosas with a splash of raspberry liquor absolutely did the trick.
I haven’t been this blown away by the combination of excellent food and dynamic service in a long time. Make a reservation immediately probably.
Alright, you’ve seen this one in quite a few of our photo shoots, but it’s being added to this list because it’s the best spot for a weekend getaway. Seriously, grab your girlfriends, book this place for a weekend, and throw the swankiest soiree because there is not a hotel or AirBnB you could ever find cuter than this place.
With two bedrooms, a killer living area and kitchen, plus a sick patio set up in the back, everyone has to hit up this spot at least once to experience the magic that is the DL Loft. Also, the owner, Debbi Lilly, isn’t just an event extraordinaire with an eye for design, but also just the best lady to work with, so book, um yesterday.
And here are a couple of the latest recommendations from Miss Kaleigh Glaza, your Chicago Editor:
Many Chicago guys still run in the “frat” variety of fashion…but not all hope is lost for guys who want to look good and feel good. We love bringing our guys to Jax & Debb in Wicker Park for fashionable, but still accessible looks that our GuyTalk team votes for. I’m even hosting a styling event there next Saturday, May 21st from 1:30-4:30 pm so come by and upgrade your, or your guy’s style.
Patio pong: It’s a thing we promise! And thanks to the newly opening SPiN bar and ping pong (not beer pong) lounge in the Loop, it’s easily attainable. A chain brought to Chicago by Susan Sarandon herself, SPiN is a multiple level ping pong bar that’s perfect for a group outing like a birthday party or happy hour. Drink, eat, and play ping pong next to stadium seating to really get your Forrest Gump on. They also recently opened an exclusive patio so you can play pin pong in the sun!
I never knew I was so competitive until I had a few cocktails and was challenged to a game of ping pong at SPiN.