This past weekend we went to Chicago- and had an absolute blast! Here is a recap of our getaway, and roundup of some of our favorite eats and things to do in the Windy City.
Now, I must say…I am absolutely NOT a Chi-town expert, nor do I claim to be. These are simply a few places we enjoy- feel free to take these recommendations or leave em’.
On this particular trip to Chicago, we stayed with our lovely friends William, Ahmet, & their fur-child Frankie. Let me tell you, their hospitality can’t be beat. From the hotel-style bed we slept in, to the heated marble floors in our bathroom, to the adorable gift bag they had waiting for us… it was practically the Four Seasons.
The best-of-the-best, salt of the earth people (& pup) right here.
How did we get so lucky?
Upon arrival to their home, an entire dinner party was thrown- in our honor. I almost cried because it was so thoughtful. Our friend, William, is a chef and a master when it comes to entertaining. He had the most beautiful and delicious menu planned (no surprise there), and every detail accounted for.
We started off with an artful cheese presentation, and a grilled caesar salad. Delish!
The main course was a tomahawk steak (which I had never heard of), and colorful roasted carrots with a cauliflower puree. The steak was MASSIVE and incredibly flavorful.
Check out my hubs with the remnants of the
Tyrannosaurus Rex we ate for dinner…
I mean…tomahawk steak…
For dessert, we finished with a gorgeous apple tart. William even made Lychee martinis. It is safe to say- they are my new drink of choice…
…I even woke up feeling them the next morning… 😉
It was totally worth it.
Speaking of the next morning…
*spoiler alert* breakfast was gourmet as well….
Check out these breakfast tacos….how freaking spoiled are we?! Mine did not have eggs, because I am allergic. But everyone else’s had an oozy, perfectly poached egg on top.
Both the food, and company, at William and Ahmet’s home was incredible. When we come back to visit again…I am not sure they will be able to get rid of us….
For those of you who don’t just happen to have friends who roll out the red carpet when you stay with them…and need a hotel…
– we got you, and this is not a sponsored post.
After having tried different Chicago hotels, our favorite (BY FAR) is the Swissotel. The staff, rooms, and location is wonderful. I will say- we have found killer deals for the Swiss on hotwire.com and priceline.com. Also, it is totally worth paying a bit extra for a city view on a higher floor. Believe us- it is stunning. If you choose to stay here, you will not regret it.
(image property of Swissotel Chicago)
Clearly, Chicago is a mecca for incredible dining. There are entire blogs devoted to Chicago eats, so I’m keeping my suggestions brief. Here are three places that we enjoy:
39 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654
Until I met my husband (who is an Illinois native), I thought I ‘hated’ deep dish pizza. I had only tasted a Wisconsin version of it, and thought it was dense, doughy, and bland. The crust tasted like water and flour to me. So, when he took me to Chicago for the first time and suggested pizza…I was hesitant.
boy…was I missing out…. OMG.
Lou’s pizza is somehow light, buttery, and airy while being ‘deep dish’ all at the same time. Also, you need to order the ‘Malnati salad’ if you choose to dine here. There are no words for the level of delicious flavors you will be met with….
(image property of Lou Malnati’s)
**Pro tip…. every Lou Malnati’s has a freezer area at the restaurant. You can purchase frozen pizzas and take them to go. This time we packed a cooler and bought about 7 pizzas to bring back with us…
…they should last us a few weeks…. 😉
You can also order frozen pizza’s online that can be shipped nationwide! Christmas is coming up, friends…
340 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
If you are looking to wow your significant other, this is the perfect spot. Snuggle in for candlelit fondue, wine, and a table-side serenade. It is pricey, but an enchanting special occasion eatery. We are already looking forward to our return to Geja’s…
(image property of Geja’s Cafe)
1751 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Our friends who hosted us, introduced us to this quaint restaurant. The sushi is incredible. Just look at that roll, the tots are addicting as well. If you have never been- it is a must try. Also, it is BYOB ($5 corkage fee)…so dust off a bottle of wine and head over. *reservations recommended
Things to do:
Similar to the deep dish pizza, until I met my husband, I was not into hockey- even in the slightest…
Coincidentally, it happens to be one of his greatest passions (besides me, of course 😉 ). The kid was on skates at 2 years old, and his love for the sport has only grown since then. I wasn’t kidding…look at this throwback. No skates allowed in the house, so he settled for Barney slippers and a hockey stick…
Realizing that hockey would be part of our lives, guess who has become a hockey fan?
My husband’s favorite team is the Blackhawks, and we had never been to a game together. He purchased the tickets about 6 months ago, and surprised me with them! Attending a game is truly an experience. The singing of the national anthem alone almost brought me to tears- so patriotic. Even if you are not a hockey fan, go to a game. It is much more than a bunch of toothless dudes smacking a puck around. Trust me.
Visiting Chinatown was another first for me on our weekend getaway. Although I have never actually been to China, Chinatown seemed highly authentic. Walking down S. Wentworth Ave in Chicago IL, instantly transported me to what I imagine would be a bustling street somewhere in China.
We ate at a bunch of different places in Chinatown. Hands down the best restaurant was called Triple Crown. It is Dim Sum style dining, which essentially means that you order many small dishes a la carte. Our favorites were the soup dumplings and the steamed pork buns.
2217 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
In addition to mouth-watering food, Chinatown has numerous small shops. Many of the items within the shops are similar, but still fun to breeze through. We left with some ceramic rice bowls and chop sticks, and have already used them… multiple times.
Chinatown was a perfect inexpensive day trip, we will be back for sure. Just be sure to bring cash, as many of the shops are cash only.
As you can see, it was a great weekend. We left with our hearts and bellies full. What could be better? We are incredibly blessed to have such wonderful friends who treat us so well. Life is about relationships, and bringing joy into each others lives. We feel so fulfilled by those we have chosen to surround ourselves with. I wish the same for all of my readers.
As I reflect on Chicago, I realize that it is a place one could traverse continually, always finding something new to explore. If you have never been- I highly suggest a stay in the Windy City.
You will not be let down…