Chi-town, the Windy City, Chicagoland, Second City, New Gotham (God, I love the new Batman movies!)...whatever you call it, Chicago is an exciting city. Especially in the summer and fall before the frigid lake breeze starts to pick up. So we considered ourselves pretty lucky when I had a business trip to Peoria, IL scheduled for late September... weekend trip to Chicago, anyone? Definitely!
I actually haven't been to Chicago more than quick stop overs in years, but my Grandfather lived there and I have lots of friends who have lived there for extended periods of time so we had lots of good recommendations and resources when planning this trip. Christian's never been to Chicago at all, so it will be excited to explore it together. We only have 2 1/2 days so it will be a quick trip, but we're packing as much in as we can!
Of course, please leave me a comment if you think we're missing out on any must-eats or must-sees from our itinerary below...
Day One (Friday):
- Willis Tower (Sears Tower) Sky Deck
- Lunch at Lou Malnati's - it's a consensus among all of our friends, this is THE place to go for deep dish (Giordano's if you want to try double crust pizza)
- Shedd Aquarium then walk through Grant Park & Millennium Park
- Cocktails at The Aviary(Violet Hour & The Green Mill also come highly recommended, but they're a bit further out so we may not make them)
- Moto Lounge for "shared-bites" dinner if possible...if not, head to The Publican nearby or Girl & the Goat (a bit further)
Day Two (Saturday):
- Morning run on Lake Michigan 18-mile trail
- 10:30 am Brunch at Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill
- Architectural Cruise
- Free time to wander or go shopping
- 8:30 dinner reservation at Graham Elliott - we're excited about this one, he was the youngest 4-star chef to be named in any U.S. city and the mind behind Chicago's first "bistronomic" restaurant
Day Three (Sunday):
- Breakfast at Jam or Ann Sather Swedish Bakery
- Free Time...tour of Wrigley Field? Bears Game? Walk along the Lake? Shopping?
- Late lunch at Al's Beef or Mr. Beef for a classic Italian Beef
- Fly out at 7pm
So get out there and start gourmet globe trotting in Chicago...great pizza of course, but so much more so make sure not to focus only on the pies or you'll miss out on all of the other good eats. Of course, the culture, nightlife and water-side activities (in good weather) are not to be missed. Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have an amazing time exploring the Windy City. And as always...please share your good finds with the rest of us!