Eating your way through Chicago

Eating your way through Chicago


After years of watching Anthony Bourdain on “No Reservations” I finally realize how to properly learn about a city, through its food. First a disclaimer on my best day I weigh somewhere around 135 pounds, not exactly the most ideal situation for trying all the many foods that Chicago has to offer. So if I can do it there’s no excuse for anyone else. After visiting Chicago for the 4th or 5th time (yes I’ve already lost track of how many times I’ve been there) I have come across some of the best food in the city. I want to use this post to highlight some of the places I’ve visited that I think other people should know about when visiting Chicago.

Signature Lounge ChicagoThe first place that I think is a quintessential place to visit when staying in Chicago is the Signature Lounge located on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building. This is a great place to grab drinks with friends as you take in the city in all its glory from the best vantage point. Quick tip: make sure to ask for a table next to the windows so you’re not stuck in the corner of the room, away from the breathtaking views. Also make sure to dress for the occasion. With drinks and cocktails priced around $12 its a cheaper option than paying $30 to go to the sky deck of the Willis Tower, plus you don’t have to worry about screaming kids up here. I would definitely recommend visiting at night when all of Chicago is lit up. This is definitely a great place to take a date or to wow a potential client. If you’re hungry there is also the signature room which is the restaurant on the 95th floor.

After a night drinking at the signature room you may find yourself a little hungover and the best remedy for your situation is a great cup of coffee and dessert. Look no further than Greektown and its assortment of cafes to do the trick. My two personal favorites are the Artopolis Cafe and the Pan Hellenic Pastry Shop. You can’t go wrong ordering the Tiramisu and coffee from the Pan Hellenic Pastry Shop which costs a measly $6. The cafe also specializes in traditional Greek pastries such as baklava among others. Its definitely a great place to stop and enjoy peace and quiet while sipping your freshly brewed coffee. If you love canolis then Artopolis Cafe is the place for you. Without a doubt they have the best canolis I’ve ever tried. The atmosphere is also something that must be appreciated as the cafe also serves as a wine bar with hundreds of vintage Greek wines.  You would also be wise to grab a loaf of fresh baked bread on your way out.

If Sushi is your jam, look no further than Sunda Chicago located in the River North

neighborhood. The restaurant is very  hip and bills itself as a hangout for local Chicago celebrities. I had the chance to eat here with a few friends and was not disappointed. We each ordered a roll and shared all the sushi which is something I would recommend everyone do. From lobster sushi covered with raw wagyu beef, to yellow fin, Sunda offers a wide variety of unique and fresh sushi. One of my favorite rolls was the firecracker roll which was made up of spicy tuna tempura cream cheese and jalapenos. This roll is perfect for people who are new to sushi and are not quite adventurous enough to eat raw beef. Make sure to save room for dessert as well and make sure to try the mochi. Mochi is sticky rice with ice cream which essentially looks and tastes like ice cream in a chewy shell. With flavors like green tea, and red bean you can’t go wrong trying this dish with a group of friends.
Finally if you’re looking for a great afternoon snack you can’t go wrong with either the Saigon Sisters restaurant or Flip Crepes.
Saigon Sisters is a great Vietnamese restaurant that offers traditional cuisine such as Vietnamese sandwiches which include pork and ham as well as my personal favorite the hen house sandwich which is made from chicken, lemongrass, ginger, peanuts, and lime. The food is very fresh at Saigon Sisters and its a nice break from the same old subway sandwiches. The meals are also very affordable with a sandwich costing just $7. Though I did not try it, they are also known for their pho which is a soup made from either chicken or beef.
Flip Crepes on the other hand is perfect for both a dessert as well as a savory option for a snack. As someone who was in Paris and never got a chance to eat a nutella crepe, I jumped at the chance to try the Flip Crepes version of the banana nutella crepe. I was not disappointed. The crepe is fresh as are the bananas, and they certainly don’t scrimp on the nutella. Flip Crepes also offer savory crepes such as ham and cheese as well as salmon and tomatoes. Overall Flip Crepes and Saigon Sisters, which both have vendors at the French Market, are a perfect place to get a cheap afternoon snack while walking through the downtown Chicago. After all isn’t it important to treat yourself to some gooey nutella after walking for what seems like miles while in the city.
These are just a few of the places I love in Chicago and welcome any places that you feel are also hidden gems in Chicago. With hundreds of restaurants to choose from you can’t go wrong with any of the above. Thanks for reading, and I hope to bump into you at the signature lounge in the future.

1 Comment

  1. I’m hungry now! The view tip is a good one and who doesn’t love crepes.


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