Chicago Travel Guide

This month, Austin had a change of scenery from ATL, as his latest work adventures took him to training in Chicago. I've never been so it was the perfect excuse to go explore Chi-Town.

Before the trip, I consulted a few trusted sources for recommendations, so I definitely had a bit of help with this travel guide. Things started off rocky (I almost missed my flight) but I finally made it in Friday evening. PSA: American Airlines requires you to check your bags 45 minutes before takeoff. Needless to say, I cut it too close and they almost didn't let me on the plane. Good thing they did because Austin had dinner reservations at one of the best spots my first night.

I had a three-day weekend to spend and we packed in as much as we could (including food). If you're heading to the Windy City anytime soon, the following spots need to be on your list.

  1. Girl & the Goat: This restaurant has been on the hot spot list for years and it can take booking months in advance to secure a reservation. Luckily, we had the hookup on this occasion and were able to get a table the first night I arrived. The menu is incredible, filled with family-style plates to feast on. I ordered the scallops, Austin got the branzino, and we shared the chickpea fritter, roasted cauliflower and sautéed green beans. Everything was mouth-watering good.
  2. Little Goat: So many goats. This is the sister restaurant to #1 (shock) and we went for brunch the next morning. It's more of a diner vibe but they absolutely killed the brunch menu. Austin ordered one of their most popular items, the Bull’s Eye French Toast, complete with eggs cooked inside sweet onion brioche and crispy chicken topped with BBQ maple syrup. I die.
  3. Giordano's: Chicago-style pizza. That is all you need to know.
  4. Au Cheval: Be prepared to wait in line for the best burger you'll ever have. We knew there would be a wait but we weren't expecting a THREE AND A HALF HOUR wait. But we did it anyway. Luckily, Green Street Meats is right across the street so we had a round of drinks (or five) while building our appetite. I will recommend what I was told to get: the cheeseburger with added bacon and a fried egg. Your stomach will thank you.
  5. Brightwok Kitchen: This veggie-focused, Asian-inspired restaurant was a quick and cheaper stop for fresh bowls. I ordered a delicious brown rice, Thai Basil bowl. Pair things with an iced Masala Chai and you’re set.

In summary, Chicago has some damn good food/drinks and Charlotte needs to step up its game.

As far as the touristy sites, the Bean and Magnificent Mile should definitely be on your list. Be prepared to wait in looooong lines for Skydeck. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the top because of a three hour wait. It was the only sunny day that weekend and everyone came out to play. Guess I’ll just have to go back.

What are your recs for Chicago? Drop a comment if you’ve been and have other spots I should add to the list! xx