Welcome back friends! For those of you who know me personally and follow me on Facebook and Instagram then I apologize for oversharing this Chicago trip. Actually, I changed my mind #sorrynotsorry! I want to share with everyone just how awesome this trip was from start to finish.
My boyfriend, Willy, booked this trip weeks ago and wouldn't tell me where we were going so... surprise #1! The morning of, as we were getting prepared to leave, Willy looked at me and said "I have one other surprise for you baby" my heart sank to my toes... then he said "Johnny, you ready?" Johnny is Willys roommate which was... drum role please... surprise #2???? I freaked out! Why would Johnny be a good surprise for me? Great the three Amigos taking on Chicago, this should be fun (that was sarcasm, just in case you were wondering). Don't get me wrong, Johnny is one of my best friends and I enjoy hanging out with him but I was expecting a completely different trip. After about an hour in the airport Willy BLESSED me with surprise numero trés! I turned around and there she was - the greatest surprise of all - Janine! I cried I was so damn excited. Now, we were ready to take Chicago by the Bulls, I mean balls... haha!
We stayed in a 3 bedroom Air bnb - in my eyes, the best way to feel like one of the locals. I suggest you try one out if you have not done one before. I am pretty sure we did Chicago the way the locals do through and through. Thankfully, Johnny and Janine had some friends living in the area who helped pin point exactly what to do and where to go while we were there.
Obviously we just HAD to try the famous deep dish pizza. We decided to take a leap of faith and try out Giordanos. It was pretty darn good - filling but delicious. We also went for the Garlic Parmesan fries which were AMAZE, I encourage you try them as well!
Later that evening Willy made reservations for us to eat at the acclaimed tapas restaurant Girl and the Goat. We ordered about 10 dishes off of the menu as suggested by our waiter, who was highly informative of what the menu entailed. I just love that! We got the Raw Oysters, Pan Fried Shishito Peppers, Roasted Beets, Seared Diver Scallops, Pan Roasted Steelhead Trout, Grilled Marinated Pork Belly, Sugo, Crisp Braised Pork Shank, Goat empanadas and the Irish Car bomb bread with swiss butter. Unfortunately, since the food and experience was just too good, I do not have pictures of the food. But keep these dishes in mind because if and when you are in the area, please try them out!
We had a night cap around the corner at Aliss at the SOHO house which was so lovely - great ambience, extensive menu and wonderful service.
The next morning we took the more hipster approach and ventured out into the artsy part of town - Wicker Park for thrift shopping and donuts! I got an amazing vintage coat with fur that I am just dying over it, STILL! Willy bought a vintage varsity jacket and Johnny bought a vintage Levis jean jacket. Janine purchased her very first hat and hat box - thus making our thrift shopping experience a memorable one! Click the links below; these are definite shoppes to hit up!
1. Eskell - trendy fashion
2.Goorin Bros. - hat shoppe (Janine bought her hat here)
3. Mojo Spa - adorable spa/handmade Cosmetics
4.Rudy's Roundup - eclectic trinkets
5. Una Maes - Vintage/New (we bought our jackets here)
We ended our shopping trip with some KILLER donuts at Stans Donuts - the perfect ending to a wonderful day!
That night we went back into Wicker Park for dinner - we ate at this awesome Tex-Mex Dinette -Doves which was both delicious and quirky all at the same time. After dinner we went to this club called Bar Deville which was literally like the Williamsburg of Chicago. The bar was cool - you enter into a dark low key bar equipped with all the essential whiskey and gin choices possible, continue on towards the back area with a pool table and in the back, back room was a DJ and lounge area.
The next day we did as the tourists do and did some sight seeing. We visited The Bean and went to the Willis Tower where we braved the sky deck on the 103rd floor. An observation deck made of complete glass - the first steps were a bit intimidating but after that was just such a cool experience! We also had brunch at the most incredible pancake house I have ever eaten at - The Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe. The Pancakes were on another level, I now understand why the wait was almost 2 hours long!
Because NO day can go on without a proper meal we ended our night at The Purple Pig and then drinks at The Violet Hour. The Violet Hour was probably one of the highlights for me, it was as if we fell into a rabbit hole. The bar had such an Alice in Wonderland feel - dark, tall curtains, large tall green chairs - the ambiance left such an impression on me! I would absolutely recommend this place - it is somewhat hard to find off of the street but a door in the middle of this graffiti lined brick wall is where you will find this luscious lounge!
I encourage you all to visit Chicago - if you do please hit up at least one of these suggested places! You will not be disappointed! xoxo, Amanda
sugar with style
Fashion merchandiser gone baker gone home renovator gone DIY obsessor gone MAD! Follow my journey, order some treats and get INSPIRED, xo!