brunch - chicago - travel

Wanderlust Wednesdays: Chicago

This is the first Wanderlust Wednesday i’ve done in MONTHS – or should I say, one full year? That’s awful.

Regardless, this week’s post comes to you while i’m still IN Chicago, and is ABOUT Chicago. See what I did there?

My best friend moved here in August 2009, and I’ve been here minimum 1x per year since. However, the great thing about Chicago is that it’s HUGE and there is always more stuff for us to do! Not to mention my annual trip is scheduled for Halloween…

Halloween 2009 – Swine Flu

Halloween 2010 – Peter Pan and a Trophy Wife

Halloween 2011 – Kate and Pippa Middleton
Halloween 2011 (Party #2) – Teen Girl Squad!

As you can see, we like to have fun with the halloween costumes. Stay tuned for 2012 costumes (as they are already in the works!)

But every time I come to Chicago, I see/do/eat at somewhere new that makes me like it a little more.

This time, we focused a lot on eating our way around Chicago (the best way to do it, in my opinion). We also walked a lot (great weather), went to Lake Michigan (the beach… as hard as it is for me to say that!) and shopped. 

But here are three stand out places to eat:

1 – Jam (Blue Line – Logan Square stop)

This breakfast/brunch place is very different in the selections they use. For example, the waffle of the day was served with boiled chicken on top (they said it was their version of “chicken and waffles”). We enjoyed an egg sandwich with pork shoulder (i removed the pork shoulder, of course) and zuchinni bread pancakes with a toasted marshmellow on top. I’m sad to say that i don’t have any photos from the restaurant, but i found one from their website 


2 – Letizia’s Fiore (Blue Line – California stop)

This restaurant was originally opened in Wicker Park by Letizia, an adorable Italian woman who hand makes everything in the restaurant. We had already eaten dinner, but we went there for Wine and Tiramisu – delicious. I hope to go back here sometime for dinner, because everything on the menu sounded incredible. And the ambiance of the patio with a glass of wine, tiramisu and girl talk was perfection. Also, we were at the Logan Square location

3 – Chicago Diner (Brown Line – Belmont stop)

We picked this resturant because it was vegetarian – and I wanted the option of eating anything i wanted on the menu 🙂 What we didn’t know was how amazing it was going to be! We enjoyed Avacado Tostadas and Sweet Potato Quesadillas. Their slogan is “Meat Free since ’83”, but they are not vegan. They have many options for cheese for all of you dairy lovers out there, but you can easily avoid if that’s what you’re going for.

In the non food department, I had been told by a friend that the Chicago Cultural Center was worth going to – and FREE. It was absolutely gorgeous and full of different exhibits and rooms to explore. When i arrived, there was a man playing a piano concerto he had composed. He was playing it in this room

the Tiffany Glass Co. ceiling 

the view of the room (see the piano?) when you walk up the grand staircase

there were other gorgeous rooms, full of mosaic tile walls and ornate sculpted moldings and elaborate glass windows and ceilings everywhere. it was such a pretty building, and reminded me a lot of old libraries or cathedrals in Europe. Ok, one more room.

Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall Rotunda – so gorgeous
I am totally taken with this building and the experience, I cannot wait to go again. It’s free all the time and updates its exhibits all the time. Located downtown on the corner of Michigan Ave/Washington Ave – right across the street from Millennium Park.

Another great thing to stop by on the weekends is the Logan Square Farmer’s Market. It runs all year long (outside June – October, inside Nov – May) and there are tons of local farmers, cheese makers, florists, home made soaps/candles, etc! Plenty to see, do, and taste. It runs every Sunday morning from 10am-2pm. (Located in Logan Square)

There are obviously tons of different things to do in Chicago, but these are just a few highlights from THIS trip. I’d highly suggest all of these places!

And i’d definitely suggest Chicago if you’ve never been. Lots of culture, and always something to do in lots of different neighborhoods!