Before I dive into the awesome spots of Chicago, I must tell you the place to stay! Lately, I’ve been checking out beautiful Airbnb spots to get a more unique experience out of my travel (though hotels still have their place and time). My fav place in Chitown so far is Victorian Filled with Vintage Accents. (They are featured on the Airbnb Plus page, so you KNOW it’s good.) Mention my blog, Vagababe, to get a discount!
This two-story 1888 Victorian home is located on Roscoe Street. The house is equipped with a full living room, large and spacious kitchen, dining area, three bedrooms each with their own bathrooms, a library nook, laundry room and a lovely outdoor patio to have summer-time lunches. This completely renovated spot is thought-out from light fixtures to granite countertops all the way down to the modern, minimalist décor. Not a spot in the house has been over-looked.
The home is perfectly positioned between Boystown, Wrigleyville, and Southport. It’s only a 20-minute drive from O’Hare International Airport too.
If you want to live like a local, this is your spot!
Uncommon Ground (on Clark St. – Lakeview Location)
This place is definitely a local’s spot. Art on the wall is made by local artists, beers are organically crafted, and ingredients put into the dishes are grown on the rooftop (at the Edgewater location).
They are the FIRST certified organic brewery in the state of Illinois. Located just down the road from Wrigley Field, they are committed to serving 100% organic malted barley and hops beers. Any spent grain is donated to local farmers who incorporate it into their chickens’ feed. Talk about socially responsible!
Looking to check out the Greenstar Brewery at Uncommon Ground? They offer tours every Saturday at 1pm at 3800 North Clark Street.
Band of Bohemia
The FIRST Michelin-Rated Brewpub! How cool is that?
This is a chef-driven brewpub, owned by Craig Sindelar and Michael Carroll, opened back in 2015. This fine-dining space gives off a high-end loft space vibe with grande couches, vintage-like furniture, high-ceilings and brick walls. Their concept was to give the full-dining experience from exquisite food plates to quality craft beer (not dismissing their speak-easy like cocktail menu).
The Sixth, located in Lincoln Square, is creative craft cocktail bar served up with specialty ice. From the garnish to the unique mixture of ingredients to the style of the overall presentation, you will not be disappointed in the delivery. I suggest coming here on a date before dinner.
Artango Bar & Steakhouse
Talk about a culture-filled experience. This place has steak, tango and a jazzy vibe that immerses you into the Argentine roots. This family-owned restaurant is bringing the flavors of Argentine to Chicago. On any given day of the week, you could find several entertainment options – anything from a photographed tango show, to a live Jazz performance to tango lessons.
The Signature Room & Lounge (John Hancock Center)
Okay, this is super touristy but worth it to see the Chicago lights. From the 96th floor you can see planes landing, traffic down the highway and the Lake Michigan coast. Definitely a romantic spot day or night.
Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta (on State St.)
Pizano’s is (one of) the best deep-dish pizza pies I’ve ever had. Come here anytime of day or night but expect to be in a food coma after so be ready for a nap.
*Pro-tip: Cook up an egg in the morning (I like mine over-easy) and put it on top of a slice of over-reheated piece of pizza.
Dark Matter Coffee™ Osmium Coffee Bar
Dark Matter Coffee takes coffee seriously. They are hold each coffee bean they use to a high standard to make sure that you always have the best cup o’ joe. To even make you feel better about their coffee – sustainability and fair business practices are extremely important to them so you now you are buying coffee that matters. Read more about it their unique approach to coffee here:
– The Manifesto
– Barrel-Aging Program
Corridor Brewery & Provisions
This place is cool. And it’s busy. I’d say it’s worth a visit.
This brewery has it all: Craft beer. Cocktails. Burgers. Duck Confit Toast… meaning you can bring you can bring just about anyone here and have a good time. The interior is awesome too. High wooden ceilings with the brewery equipment exposed.
SoulCycle Old Town
Super cliché but I caved and went to my first SoulCycle class. My trainer, Brent, not only made it a fun experience but a truly SOULful experience. This place isn’t designed for you to just get your sweat on but to also unplug from your life and focus on centering back to what is important outside of your everyday mindless motions you power through. The atmosphere is club-like: loud music and dark. It can sound intimidating at first, you end up dancing to the rhythm of the music. So, though, there is not a SoulCycle near my home, I will be back whenever I travel to unwind.
Red Square Spa
Chicago can be an awesome place to visit by foot (with some Lyft rides here and there) but it is not fun when there’s rain or it’s a snowy, windy day. The Red Square Spa is the perfect escape from the outdoors climate. This place is authentic: Baltic Beer, Borscht, and Russian-Style Bathhouse. Grab a bathing suit and your friends head there.
The way to do it:
– Head down to the gender-specific spa. (Yes, it’s separated – male and female) and take advantage of the dry sauna (my fav), wet sauna, and hot tub. Cool down with the dump of cold water from the shower.
– There is one are sectioned off for women and men to go into a dry sauna together. Warning, it is 200F+. In this area, you can relax in lounge chair while you’re waiting for your massage (that’s if you added this on) or watch some Russian TV.
– Afterwards, head upstairs to the dining area to enjoy authentic Russian dishes with a drink from the bar.
The Girl and The Goat
I get it why people rave about this place. The food is spot on, the service is prompt (maybe TOO prompt, if there’s such a thing), and the décor is beautiful. Honestly, every single dish was delish. I ordered:
– Chickpea Fritter
– Goat Empanadas
– The Sourdough
Reckless Records (Broadway St.)
And just for my record fans, go to Reckless Records to get some great vinyl’s. The turn around is pretty high in here since it’s located in the busy city of Chicago with tons of record collectors. Basically, you’re guaranteed to find at least one record to add to your collection.