Weekend Trip: Chicago

True Story: When Joey and I plan vacations, we plan them around baseball stadiums.  I mean if we’re going to go somewhere, we might as well hit up a baseball game while we’re there, right?  Chicago had been on our radar for our a while now and though I’d like to pretend it was for mature reasons like architecture and history, honestly it was because A) Ferris Bueller, B) “The Bean” and C) Wrigley Field.

Turns out Chicago has all of that, plus tons of other fun stuff and we seriously ended up having a blast!  Fun neighborhoods, amazing houses, baseball fanatics, incredible architecture, WATER (so sorry, so landlocked), and oh my god, the food.  So good.  It all made me so happy.  So thanks, Chicago, for being so awesome and showing us such a good time!

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Thursday evening flight // The cutest hippest Chicago studio apartment // Dinner and drinks at Mott St. which was INSANE

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The most beautiful Chicago day // Neighborhood strolling // Breakfast & Bloodies at Mortar & Pestle // Iced coffee at Intelligentsia

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Walking to the Cubs game // Was hoping to run into some Gallaghers under the train tracks // WRIGLEY! // Bleacher seats or bust // Game time  

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Cleaned ourselves up from sun and beer at the game and went on an amazing Chicago Architecture River Cruise // Beautiful, informative, interesting and highly recommended!

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The aptly named Doughnut Vault // May have ordered a few too many // My head for scale // Gospel at Millennium Park // Having fun at Cloudgate

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Urban mini golf // Hiding from the rain under a tree // Joey never lets me win // But I got a hole-in-one, so who’s really the winner here?

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Rain = Art Institute of Chicago time // Espresso break // Dinner at Girl & the Goat // Fresh brioche with MISO BUTTER (!!!) and heavenly goat empanadas // Post-dinner drink at Vivo

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But first, coffee // Requisite deep dish pizza experience // Mine was disappointing // Joey’s was better but still not mind-blowing // Joey’s cheese pull picture skills are on point, though!

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Navy Pier // Bike ride along Lake Michigan // One last beer/meal in Chicago — I got a burger and did not regret it!

Where We Stayed:

Large Studio: Lincoln Park/Lakeview

We loved the location and style of this little Airbnb.  In walking distance to restaurants, coffee shops and Wrigley Field!  Plus we got to live out our dream of living in a hip studio apartment, if only for a weekend.

Where We Ate/Drank:

Mott St. // EVERYTHING IS GOOD HERE

Mortar & Pestle // The service was seriously top notch and I had some life-changing muesli?  Don’t know that those words have ever been used together in a sentence but there it is

Intelligentsia // Great coffee if you can get past the fact that the employees are so hipster it hurts

The Purple Pig // Meh.  Food was hit and miss and service was slow as hell on a very busy Friday night

Bow Truss Coffee Roasters // Get your coffee here then walk over to The Doughnut Vault

The Doughnut Vault // Get the buttermilk old fashioned and tip well because their staff is killing it in there!

Girl & the Goat // DO IT!  Make a reservation weeks in advance OR go right when they open and they will seat you if you promise to be done before their reservation comes in

Vivo // Can’t vouch for the food but I had a good, albeit way over garnished, cocktail

Osmium Coffee Bar // Good coffee in a bar setting

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria // Sadly unimpressive

Forbidden Root // The beer was just okay but the burger is A+

What We Did:

Cubs Game at Wrigley Field // Bleacher seats, for the win!  Seriously such a fun crowd.  Someone asked me if it was like the Rock Pile and my answer is NO.  The fans in the bleachers were actually watching the game and knew baseball as opposed to sitting in the Rock Pile because the tickets are cheap and you just want to spend your money on beer. 

Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise // Highly recommended!  Go at sunset for the full effect of seeing Chicago in the daytime and all lit up at night.

Millennium Park // Concerts at the pavilion, a walking trail, mini golf and, of course, Cloudgate (aka The Bean)!

Art Institute of Chicago // Worth it just to see A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, which is much bigger than I had expected. 

Navy Pier // You can walk along the pier, ride the ferris wheel (if you’re braver than me!) then rent a bike and ride along the coast of Lake Michigan.

I hope you’re all doing something extra fun and summery this weekend!  Happy Friday!

7 thoughts on “Weekend Trip: Chicago

  1. Stumbled across your blog…. Nicely done 😉 Agreed Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is NOT all that.

      • There are a lot of great places to go. My favorite is Chicagopizzaandovengrinder.com Just be prepared to wait….. it’s worth it for your next trip to Chicago:)

  2. Hi Lauren! I know Joey from high school and stumbled across your blog awhile back. I LOVE your writing voice and your subject matter! Had to comment on this post because I live in Chicago and wanted to say bravo! You did everything I would have suggested… except the pizza. Next time try Pizano’s (totally agree that Lou Malnati’s and most deep dish is not all it’s cracked up to be).

    • Hi Shayla! I have a high opinion of you Standley Lake alum 🙂 And thank you so much for that blog compliment! You live in such an amazing city. It’s funny, when I was researching pizza places I kind of got the feeling Chicagoans don’t actually eat/like deep dish. Pizano’s next time!

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