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Flying Down to Chi-Town

Chicago; a cultural hub in America, another hot spot that people flock to, and for more reasons other than just the infamous bean and the deep dish pizza. 

What do you do, eat and see when you only have three days to spend in the Windy City? Below are how I spent my time, as well as my missed opportunities. With only so many hours but a vast number of places to see... how does one decide?

Things to Do

The Art Institute of Chicago was consistently voted one of the best museums in the world and I can totally see why! This place is massive and has so much different art to look at. Personal favourite- no matter how cliche it sounds, Monet's paintings were actually incredible, and given the amount of people that were looking at his paintings, I could tell! Getting to see his Water Lilies painting was incredible, as well as reading about him and how long it took to finish some of his artwork.

The museum had so much art spanning different cultures and eras including African, Roman, Greek, South East Asian, modern art, impressionism, and sculptures. 
When you somehow manage to get a picture without anyone in it!

Recommendations- figure out what you want to see before you start wondering around. We didn't even see the whole museum, and we finished the day looking at impressionism art (which is my favourite) but I didn't enjoy it as much because I was so tired. Learn from my mistakes and 1- use coat check and 2- if you decide to go through the whole museum and are feeling tired, sit down at one of the coffee shops inside and have a drink. There’s a pamphlet that you can grab once you’re in the museum and the back page has the best things to see within an hour, so if you’re pressed for time- you know where to go!

You can’t go to Chicago and not go to the Bean! It’s such a simple idea and yet it’s so cool. I went three times while I was there, once at night, and twice during the day. Due to the Trump protests, they actually blocked off the Bean from visitors as a safety precaution. As such, I took my favourite picture from the trip, see below!

Thankful for the sunny days!

View from the Ferris Wheel
Take a walk through Millennium Park and then make your way over to Navy Pier which has a Ferris Wheel that you can go on. On one side you see the view of the city, and from the other side you see the lake. I was lucky enough that my visit was super sunny (although a bit cold… and windy).

Rules to the Violet Hour include; no O-Bombs,
no Jager-Bombs, no Bombs of any kind and do not
bring anyone to the Violet Hour that you wouldn't bring
to your mother's house for Sunday dinner. 

The Violet Hour was one of my favourite spots of my trip. A speak easy that’s hidden and has great cocktails. It’s a very private atmosphere and if you’re lucky enough to sit by the bartenders (which we weren’t) apparently they do some great tricks! There are rules to the speak easy, and it’s very dark, so reading the menu has to be done by their candles, you can't use your phone though! It’s one of their rules, I did however sneak a shot of my drink! #rulebreaker #badass

Places to Eat

Conveniently located right next to the Bean/Millennium park is Wildberry Cafe, a brunch spot that's open from 6.30-2.30, cause we all know how much bloggers love a good brunch! We originally went in on a Saturday late morning but the wait was over an hour! Too long for a hungry gal like me so we went to another brunch spot called Le Pain Quotidien instead (see below). I returned on Monday morning, suitcase in hand, and there was still a 15 min wait for a seat, so you know this place is good! I had an apple caramel pecan french toast and it was great, however with coffee running at $3, I regret not spending a dollar or two extra and getting a decadent hot chocolate/latte. 

Le Pain Quotidien is a little brunch spot where you can either sit down to eat or buy something to go. With baristas doing their thang, as well as tons of pastries to look at, this place had a welcoming atmosphere to it. I decided on a Belgian Chocolate Waffle and my sister got brioche with berries, both with an early morning cocktail. Although very yummy with fast service, I was still a bit hungry afterwards

I don't know how you IG'ers do it for the gram cause this girl is starving and wants to eat right when my food comes!

You can't go to Chicago and not get deep dish pizza! Although most people that I know prefer thin crust, seeing as I haven’t been to Italy I can’t give a proper recommendation. (Right? Guess we know where my next vacation is!) However I have been to Chicago and deep dish is where it’s at! The popular spots include Giordanos or Lou Malnatis.

When I say that I devoured it, I mean that I burnt the roof of my mouth because I didn’t want wait for it to cool down! The crust is so crispy and buttery and they make each pizza in it's own pan. We decided on Lou's because we were hungry and tired and needed food asap. Touristing takes a lot of energy out of you.

Where to Shop

The store front of Burberry looks 100
The Magnificent Mile has great shopping including the classic Zara (no joke me and my sister went into Zara at least 4 times during my trip). It also includes high end retailers like Burberry, Zegna and Ferragamo. Although great stores, we didn't go in cause this girl's gotta save a dollah! 

There are plenty of Sephora’s downtown as well as a few different shopping complexes that you can run into and are multiple levels high. Nothing crazy different than what we have here in Canada (except for lower prices!) however anyone outside of North America would probably have a field day here.

Missed Opportunities

A collegue of my sister’s kept talking about the Chicago Architecture Tour which is 75 minutes and has you go on a boat (ship? vessel?) and it takes you down the Chicago river and shows you the old vs new buildings that they have. Apparently Chicago tries to ensure that their historical buildings and architecture don’t get forgotten about because of the new buildings that are constantly being built.

The Publican - I remember walking past this place and thinking that it would be a good place for dinner, and then the next day her friend recommended it for brunch. None the less, looks great!

The Girl & the Goat– Very highly accredited restaurant, and, as such, a few months wait for reservations. If that’s a bit too long for you, then by all means try out their smaller sister diner called Little Goat Diner.

Cindy's Rooftop - Located just outside of the Bean/Millennium Park with a great view. Although we entered for the view, we didn’t sit down for a drink and the brunch wait was an hour on the weekend. It would probably be nicer in the summer when you could eat/drink on the patio while over looking the Park.

Chicago- I can smell the deep dish pizza already and will be coming back for more!

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