We had a lovely visit to Chicago last week. It was planned around a family gathering in Wisconsin, which was great as we spent time the loads of family that I never have a chance to see. I've decided that Chicago is one of the few US cities that I could live in other than New York. It's big, it's beautiful, and there is a ton of great food! If we hadn't walked as much as we did, I would surely have gained 10 lbs.! I had to forgo soy milk and low-fat foods for the week but hey, we were on vacation and everything was soooo good! Read on to learn more about our fabulous trip . . .
A few months ago when I was planning the trip I wrote about Longman & Eagle where we stayed. It's perfect for the traveler who isn't expecting a great amount of luxury. The inn is situated above the restaurant and bar and there are only 6 rooms to rent. The rooms are intimate, with the toilets in the showers. Other than being on the smaller side, they're really well decorated and each one is unique. Plus they're very reasonably priced! Downstairs the restaurant is something to write home about, having been Michelin Star rated. It serves a variety of eats from delectable vegetarian dishes to a roast leg of venison. They're well known for their Whiskey selection and as a bonus, guests of the inn get two free shots of whiskey! We also ate at Lula, another Logan Square Neighborhood favorite. That was a major winner. Our last favorite was Mana, a vegetarian tapas place in Wicker Park .
Other foodie things we partook in, Garret's popcorn - the Chicago mix is best and wet-wipes are a must! Intelligentsia is a gourmet coffee company that could put Stumptown to shame. Locally roasted and freshly brewed, they staff is especially friendly. All of my East-coast family members could not believe how nice the hipsters were. Which brings me to another point about Chicago, everyone is so friendly and nice!
In addition to eating, we visited a few of the Chicago stores, we couldn't make it to all of the ones on my list unfortunately. Jack and I realized that we're really poor planners and dillydally too much. My favorite store that we visited by far though was BHLDN, Anthropologie's wedding label. The store design and visual merchandising in this store was marvelous. Truly inspirational, from the metallic plaster of paris walls to the custom designed jewelry display forms. Once the manager mentioned I could take as many photos as I'd like (I think it was in regards to the merchandise), I couldn't stop snapping away! I also found myself drooling over the gowns, shoes and jewelry. Even Jack marveled at the custom designed consoles and beautifully inlaid floors. If you're ever in Chicago, BHLDN is a must stop for a little design inspiration. Chicago, Windy City, Chi-town, you've won my heart and I can't wait to visit you again.