Almost 7 years go, when we lived just like 45 minutes away from Chicago , was when our relationship with Chicago started. We love this city and it’s one of our favorite cities in US. No kidding, we try to take short trips to Chicago as much as we can. Then in 2013 we moved and we got so busy with work & life that we rarely visited Chicago.Then we moved to St.Louis in late 2017 and even though we were super skeptical about our move to St.Louis, knowing that we were just few hours away from one of our favorite cities brought some piece of mind. Since being here, we have visited our favorite city twice and my opinion about St.Louis has changed too. I actually love this city now.
Chicago is a food lovers dream city in true sense. So much to eat, so many cuisines to try and so many new & upcoming restaurants to explore.
FOOD FOOD FOOD !! Where & What to eat ->>
Chicago is a food lover’s dream. We have been to this city so many times in the last 8 years and have tried tons of good places but I don’t really remember the ones of the restaurants we tried long long time back but listing all of my current favorites.
**Will keep adding more to this list.**
- Wildberry : Favorite place to eat brunch. What we like to order here -> fresh Wildberry Orange juice, mexicana egg skillet (with extra fresh jalapenos) with a side of some delicious pancake specials. Food and service here is so so good!
- Eataly : I went there first time with bunch of blogger friends during the first food conference I attended hosted by Blogher. They have bunch of stuff to eat downstairs and proper restaurants upstairs. Downstairs do get the tiramisu, eat there/ take it to go! It’s that good. Upstairs try different restaurants featuring food from different regions of Italy.
- Wao Bao Water Tower : Ronnie loves to get baos from here for snacking. This time we saw they sell frozen baos too, so we grabbed 2 boxes of chicken kung pao . So good! Also in the same water tower mall, go upstairs in food court and try a slice of cheese pizza at the pizza shop that’s near fresh juice shop.
- Mercadito River North : This ended up being really good Mexican restaurant. We tried this place during our recent trip to Chicago. The flautas here are really good and so are the tacos especially chicken and mushroom and drinks and desserts are superb too! So much good food.
- Shanghai Terrace : This is on the pricier side but it’s a place to go if you like really really good chinese food. We went to this place almost 5-6 years back and I still have memories of that night’s dinner. We went with our friends, sat on the rooftop restaurant. The ambience was amazing and so was the food.
- Butterfly sushi : Small hole in the wall kind of place but such good fresh sushi. And if you are vegetarian, so many vegetarian sushi options!
- Havana : This one we tried during our recent trip. We had their plantain crusted fish and it was so delicious. On my to make list and then share with you guys soon. The flan was amazing and even the simple side dish of cuban black beans was so flavorful. And do get their Caipirinha , strong but good!
- Hub51 : Amazing fun place, not so great but descent food. Do get the nachos and carrot cake. Ok food but ambience is nice. Great place to hang around with friends.
- Public House : The whole point of going there is just so you can have your very own on tap hard liquor on your table. Great place to go with friends. We went to this place during St Patricks day when all we did was drank and ate all day long.
- Giordanos : A must place to go to try the real deal Chicago deep dish pizza. So good!! We have even picked it few times to take it to go and enjoyed it in our hotel room.
- Nutella cafe : BEST. NUTELLA ICECREAM. Just go for the nutella ice cream. It’s so addicting!
- Lou Malnatis : Good pizza and I love love the giardiniera here.
- Cafe Baba Reeba : Tapas place with good food, great ambience. It’s usually busy.
- La Josie : Another recent find. Great mexican food, super busy, drinks were really unique but delicious. Fun place for dinner.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME!!! Where to stay in chicago ->>
For the longest time, we always used to stay at Marriott on the Magnificient mile because it’s right in the heart of the city and close to shopping, parks, recreation and amazing food. One thing I would always do during our stay there was wake up super early while Ronnie would still be sleeping, get ready and leave to shop around for an hour or so before he would be all ready and then come back and we would head out together for brunch and site seeing.
We have also stayed at Rennaisance hotel in downtown which is very nice as well.
Since after having Aria, we try to always stay in Residence Inn as they have a kitchenette which is always so helpful with a baby and they are bigger, its like having a mini apartment so super roomy for baby to go around and feel at home.
SEE ROAM EXPLORE!! What to do in Chicago ->>
There’s so much to do & see in Chicago. Our schedule used to look way different without a baby than it looks now. So I am jotting down some great things to do in Chicago with/without baby/kids.
Without Kids :
- Broadway shows : I haven’t really watched any broadway shows since after we had Aria but they are soo much fun! I have seen a ton of broadways and here are some of my favorites Wicked, To Master the Art, The Phantom of the Opera, The Book of Mormon, The Elf
- Explore the city on bikes. We rented them one summer and just biked around the lake and in the city. So much fun!
- During St. Patricks we did pub crawl and it was so much fun going from one pub to another and getting drunk, meeting new people but next morning I felt horrible from all that drinking!
- John Hancock Signature room : View here is amazing at night! We used to go there with friends for drinks and appetizers. So much fun!
- Field Museum: This museum is huge and there is so much to see. We did it once just us and once with my parents. I wouldn’t recommend taking 3 year olds or under kids as it’s too much walking for them.
- Late night city exploring we used to do a LOT!! It no longer happens as she goes to sleep by 8-9pm and this time 2 nights in a row we ended up ordering food as we were too tired to go out and push her around in stroller.
- Watching concerts in park. We haven’t done this since we haven’t been to the city during summer but this is different for every kid as some might enjoy being in the park and not mind the concert while others might hate the crowd and thefeeling of not being able to run around in the park.
This was our second time in Chicago with Aria and it was so much fun. I have realised that lately I have been enjoying staying in more than going out so it’s a really nice change to explore with a baby!.
- Chicago Children’s museum : We took her this time for the first time and she had soo much fun! So much to do for toddlers and older kids.
- Shedd aquarium : I love this aquarium. Its just not fun for kids but adults too! We actually have been there before as well when she wasn’t born. Took her last year, it wasn’t her best day as all she wanted to do was run around and have fun but other kids who were with us had fun!
- Maggie Daley Park : So much to do for kids here. It’s really fun place to take your kids to have fun during summer or when weather is nice!
- Lincoln Park Zoo : We went there few years back, just us two and it was ok. I think after visiting STL zoo , I don’t like any other zoo. Our zoo is amazing!
I will keep updating this page as we visit Chicago again and keep adding more of our favorites! If you have any other favorites, please leave a comment!
Thanks for reading and following along! 🙂