Sooo ya girl finally made it up North! I hadn't visited any state on the Northeast Coast so I was super excited to head north to Chicago for the first time. First things first, who knew Lake Michigan was so beautiful? Like omg what a sight to see when landing. I always thought of northern cities as just blah cities so I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful the landing was.
Since Thursday was still a semi-work day for us, I headed across the street from our hotel to eat (I was starving) to this beautiful restaurant called Indian Garden Restaurant. The place was beautifully decked out and empty so I enjoyed a solo lunch of Chicken Samosa and my fav Indian dish, Shrimp Masala. So good, so fresh and the service was great!
Later we went on apartment tours and let me tell you...Chicago's rent is definitely not Houston BUT those views are worth every penny. Like truly, the Chicago skyline with lake Michigan in the background was breathtaking from the high rises we visited. After touring a few places, we walked several (read: 20 blocks) to the Chicago riverfront to dine at Pizzeria Portofino. When I tell you this place was a vibe. First of all, Riverfront Chicago is beautiful, the music was a vibe, the service was great and the food was fresh. Definitely was a great way to kick off the weekend.
Later that night, we headed to BLVD Steakhouse. Honestly, I wasn't impressed. For the caliber of restaurant it appeared to be, the service was extremely slow, we were seated probably 45 minutes after our reservation, table service was slow and the food was subpar. We ordered a crab cake and it tasted like a crunchy tuna sandwich. lol. Steak was dryyyy. Like seriously. I'm good love.
Since ya girl works for herself now (shoutout to Untamed Marketing), I spent the first half of the day doing client work. Afterwards, I explored the popular Miracle Mile Shop area, which was about a 5 minute walk from our hotel. This area was cool! Lots of shops and much to explore. I love shopping but also don't care to shop in stores anymore so I walked for maybe an hour, bought a few things and headed back to the hotel.
It's FriYAY so you know we had to hit the town. We first had a cute dinner at The Hampton Social. The vibe was very chic and the food was amazing. I ordered the Crab + Shrimp Bruschetta and Linguini + Clams. Afterwards we headed to a popular area of town similar to Houston's Washington Ave, a diverse scene of clubs and bars. We found a cool vibe, linked up with some new friends and enjoyed the night.
We shall call Saturday, the tourist day. The day started off with of course...food. We grabbed a light lunch at RPM Seafood just to get us going for the day. We ordered East Coast Oysters and Cheese-Baked Focaccia. Yummy for sure!
With visiting the famous Chicago Bean. I wasn't sure what to expect but it was definitely a quick visit stop. Idk why I thought it would be a longer experience. lol. After visiting the Bean for all of 10 minutes, we headed to this museum pop up called Womanish.
Founded by two sisters, Womanish is four floors of all things inspired by Black women. Our history. Our childhood. Our depth. Our plight. Overall the museum was a very exciting and beautiful place to visit. The trip took about 30 minutes as a lot of the areas are quick walk throughs anddd it was too crowded to stop in all the areas. I would've loved for certain exhibits to have more depth and history to the details of what inspired the rooms.
After leaving the museum, we stopped by Giordano's to order their famous Chicago style pizza but didn't realize the wait is about an hour. Sooo...we ordered it later for room service. Next on the food hunt was Chicago's hot dogs. Several blocks later, we stumbled upon a food stand called... you guessed it...Chicago's hot dogs. I was really excited to try a Chicago style hot dog and it's safe to say...it did not disappoint.
What do you after you've partied? You turn up! Omg Joy Street during the daytime was a whole vibe. My vibe. If you know me, you know I love house music. We even ran into some Houston folks so that turned into a good time.
Sunday Fundayyy. Okay so we definitely wanted to check out Chicago's Chicken and Waffles but they have a crazy long wait. So we made a reservation and headed to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated's Headquarters so I could snag some pics. We shopped a little near the area and to my surprise one of the online stores I shop at, AKIRA, is actually based in Chicago. So of course, I did some shopping.
After about 2 hours passed, we headed back to Chicago Chicken and Waffles. The wait for food was pretty long but BAYBEH, the meal I had puts all Sunday meals to shame. This was one of those Anita Baker Sunday type meals. That I'm going to take a nap after type meal.
Fast forward to later that night and we ended the evening with a spontaneous bike tour around the city. The vibes were everything. It was literally the perfect way to end the trip.
Thoughts on Chicago: Chicago was unexpectedly nice! I literally had no idea what to expect. I'd for sure visit during the warmer months, as multiple locals reiterated how chilly the winter months are, you can find me in Chicago when it's warm outside.
Bloopers: Here’s my list of things I wish I had known but learned very quickly. So I actually don't have a list for this trip. I felt well prepared and well packed for once!
Quick tips that I did to help make my trip breezy: Pack light. Literally I was so prepared for this trip because I packed light for once.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to share and stay tuned for the next Untamed Travels.