Two posts in a day? What? This post on where to eat and drink in Chicago is the second part of the Chicago Travel Series:What to do in Chicago. Chicago has some great restaurants and many wonderful places to grab your favorite drink or even try a new one.
Where to eat in Chicago
Gino’s East- Gino’s East has perfected the art of Chicago-style pizza. Like most of the pizza chains, there are several locations throughout Chicago. The Gold-Coast, Superior location has fun graffiti covered walls. Between the golden crust, delicious sauce and loads of cheese, Gino’s East will change your opinion about how to eat pizza.
Lou Malnati’s- If you have talked to anyone from Chicago about their favorite pizza place, 9 times out of 10 they will say Lou Malnati’s. The Lincoln Park cafe location is great if you’re staying in the area, but it’s not a full service bar (although they do carry a variety of beer and wine)
Giordano’s- Another solid Chicago pizza place that should be on your list. Everyone has a different favorite, so why not try them all?
Portillo’s Hot Dogs– Chicago hot dogs are a “must-have” when you visit Chicago, and Portillo’s Hot Dogs are infamous.
Kim and Carlo’s Chicago Hot Dog Stand– Not only does this stand have Chicago style hot dogs, but they offer turkey and vegan style too.
Bruna’s Ristorante- Bruna’s has been around for almost 100 years making it the third oldest Italian restaurant in Chicago. The small restaurant feel combined with rich history and authentic Italian cuisine makes it worthy of a visit.
Zia’s Trattoria- If you’re looking for more fine dining Italian, then make a reservation at Zia’s. This beautiful restaurant serves fine Italian in Edison park. Each room in Zia’s has it’s own personality, so be sure to walk around while you’re there and take it all in.
Hoyt’s – If brunch and bottomless mimosas are your thing, you will not want to miss Hoyt’s. It’s a part of Royal Sonesta hotel located along the river. The food is good, classic brunch choices, but the bottomless mimosas are the perfect way to start your Saturday or Sunday.
Scout Waterhouse & Kitchen– If you’re looking for a fun bar before a game, or a place to settle in and watch it, look no further than Scout. Do yourself a favor and order the roast
Siena Tavern- Siena Tavern is a Chicago Italian kitchen with unique pizzas and entrees. Order the caramelized Brussels sprouts pizza. You won’t be sorry. However, drink prices are a little steep, so keep that in mind when ordering (because the prices aren’t on the menu).
Forbidden Root- Enjoy beer flights, delicious crack cocktails and a curated selection of delicious food at Forbidden Root, Restaurant and Brewery. Forbidden Roots cocktails have unique flavors mixed in. Their mule even has their own “Sublime Ginger” beer. The dinner menu focuses on quality, not quantity. Although there weren’t an overwhelming amount of choices, there were several vegetarian and healthy options.
Tavern on Rush- If you’re craving a delicious brunch, check out the menu at Tavern on Rush . Their chilaquiles and eggs with chorizo was my favorite meal from one of my Chicago trips. The restaurant feels like a country club, with all of the dark wood paneling, but everything from the food and drinks, to the decor is picturesque.
Big Star- Big Star knows their tacos. Their menu is simple, tacos, chips and salsa, queso fundido, salads and a couple of sides. Big Star’s al pastor and chorizo tacos were my favorite. They have vegetarian friendly tacos as well.
Shake Shack- Yes, I realize we now have a Shake Shack in Dallas, but my first experience with this place was in Chicago. Their shakes are made with custard, so they are extra thick and creamy. Their burgers are amazing and the shakes are even better, so stop in if you have never tried it.
Chicago Diner- If you are looking for a vegetarian/vegan restaurant with infamous vegan shakes, look no further than Chicago Diner.
Where to grab a drink in Chicago
J Parker Rooftop Bar- The rooftop bar at Hotel Lincoln is one of the coolest in the city. It overlooks the city, Lincoln Park, and gives you an unobstructed view of the river. Their signature cocktails are just perfect.
Green Mill Cocktail Lounge– Take a step back into time, the 1920s to be exact at one of the most historical cocktail lounges in the country. The Green Mill is a historical jazz club where you can listen to live music and sit in Al Capone’s famous spot. Be sure to bring cash, since it’s cash only to get in and buy drinks, however don’t expect to overpay. Prices are extremely affordable.
Yak-Zies- Yak-Zies is in Wrigleyville and right across the street from the stadium. The food isn’t anything to write home about but the drinks are affordable and our waitresses are super friendly. The bar has a fun atmosphere and great prices. It is worth checking out next time you are in Wrigleyville.
Headquarters Beercade- HQ Beercade is one of the coolest bars to visit in Chicago. It is a giant arcade with alcohol where all games are free. Go back to your childhood with a huge variety of arcade games to play while drinking.
Signature Room Lounge- You can pay to visit 360 Chicago and get some amazing views of the city, or you can go to the Signature Room Lounge on the 96th floor and enjoy the view for free. Grab a drink, walk around the lounge, and take photos from 96 floors above ground. I am not exaggerating when I say they have the best chocolate martini I have ever had.
Ladies, don’t forget to check out the restroom while you are there. The whole back wall is a window overlooking Chicago, so grab a selfie with a view.
The Wormhole Coffee- Walking in to Wormhole Coffee is like walking into a time machine to the 80s. All of the walls are covered in posters with characters from famous 80s movies. You will see figurines of 80s characters and a DeLorean like Back to the Future. Their coffees are great, but this place is a must see for the decor.
Heritage Bicycles and Coffee- This cool bicycle and coffee shop is worth a stop for a cup of coffee. The coffee is great and the bicycles and gear are fun to look at. This is a great coffee house to relax, read, or get some work done while you are in town.
If you are looking for fun things to do on your trip to Chicago, then check out post one of this series.
What would you most love to try? Leave me a comment below.