Chicago is doing something right lately because my insta feed has been blowing up with Bean selfies, Wrigley Field couple pics and other overly saturated touristy photos… Like cool, we get it, you’re on vacation and yes I’m really jelly. I recently picked up the Austin Business Journal and on the front page was “CHICAGO – Things To Do in the Windy City” practically sending me a sign that it was time to book a flight. Perhaps the deep dish za is what really got me hooked though (since Gino’s East just made it’s Texas debut), aka time to get me some of the real deal. Flight booked!
Should you choose to plan a vaca consider mid September, as the weather is awesome (70’s-80’s), it’s the start of football season (a trip to Soldier Field is a must) and you can forget about counting calories since summer is basically over! This was actually my first time to the windy city and I couldn’t have asked for a better getaway. Here’s a recap of some things to check off your list while frolicking the town:As with any vacation of mine, a triple D pit stop is a must. Known for their fresh seafood and dynamite flavors, our first destination in Chi town was at the original Big & Little’s on Belmont Ave. Their soft shell crab po-boys, truffle fries and ahi ahi tacos were definitley off the hook. Standing on the glass ledge at the Willis Tower also means waiting in line for 3 hours just to reach the observation deck. Instead, opt for an afternoon cocktail at the 360cafe atop the John Hancock Center – free ride to the top AND you get to sip some bubbly! The views from here are much better also because the JH not only overlooks downtown, but the entire ocean (Lake Michigan).
Facing west, overlooking the Magnificant Mile – street with the best shopping and another must see!Chicago is pretty ideal for bike riding since there are bike lanes everywhere, including this awesome boardwalk along the east side of the lake. Divvy bike stations are all around the city so you can purchase a pass for $9.95 and ride around for 24 hours (30 min intervals), which was clutch except I think drinking and biking is illegal? So get an uber for that.We rode bikes through the zoo (which was free and amazing), up through some adorable neighborhoods to Wrigley Field. Plan your schedule so you can catch a Cubs game, this area knows how to party.Outside The Field Museum. I was absolutely blown away by Millennium park! Definitely make a day out of it when you’re there and plan to see a concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion, it’s beautiful! The bean is pretty cool too, although it’s a lot harder to take a selfie with it in the background than I thought…
One of our friends hooked us up with some pretty sweet tickets to the Bears vs. Packers opening Sunday game at Soldier Field (thanks JLR! xo). Highly recommend going to a game if you have a chance.
Crew.So in case you couldn’t tell by my last name, I’m super polish. I heard Chicago has one of the largest Polish populations in the states so Peter and I set out to find some authentic cuisine. We stumbled upon Podhalanka on West Division Street and it’s like I stepped into my babcia’s kitchen. Highly recommend this place. Potato Latkes and nalesniki (polish crepes). YUM!Since Mr. Trump is TV royalty these days, we had to take a peek at his place along the river. Stop by for a drink at the rooftop bar – it’s worth it for the views!
Looking for a quick bite on the go? Stans Donuts. All day. Everyday. They even have you GF and vegans covered.
Chicago in general is very clean, well kept and all around picturesque. The best way to learn about it’s history is feeling like a major tourist and taking the architecture tour along the river. For about $40 person, the guides take you on a 90 min boat ride and fill you with more Chicago knowledge than you know what to do with!Here we go – what you really came here for… We asked around for the best place to grab a deep dish pizza and it seemed that Pequod’s was the winner. I hate to break it, but that was probably the worst za I’ve ever had – no flavor or gooey cheese AND burnt crust. In an effort to get a positive deep dish experience we later headed to Giordiano’s and I left incredibly satisfied :D This is the place, people. I mean look at that cheese!All in all, Chicago is the bees knees. I hear it is notoriously brutal in the winter, so plan your trip accordingly. Food seems to be the common denominator for me, since Chicago is full of some delicious restaurants (also check out Girl and the Goat) and that’s all most Austinties seem to think/talk/dream about. It’s beautiful, the people are friendly and the skyline is insane. An extended 4 day weekend was the perfect amount of time, explore it and have fun! I sure did! :D