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.
The 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