Chicago, I miss you already.
If you ever watch my Instagram stories you’ll know 2 weeks ago Bill and I were in Chicago for the self-made long President’s Day weekend. We decided to keep it low-key and just spend a day doing the touristy stuff and spend the rest of the 4-day weekend exploring different parts of Chicago and BOY WAS IT FUN. Since it was such a long weekend and we crammed a lot in, I’m gonna do two recaps because I know if I were you, I’d get sick of reading after Friday’s adventures.
Housing: The Westin River North – We used HotelTonight to score a deal here. If you haven’t used HotelTonight, I highly recommend it. We ALWAYS use it when we can. It pretty much lets you book swanky hotels for cheap if you do it up to 5 days before. A procrastinator’s dream. Use this my code JPAPHATSALANG for $25 off your first booking (hotels all over the world). The location was perfect – right on the river and fun bars and restaurants nearby!
Drinks: After working remotely, we got our shit together (which was tough considering we were up at 4:30 am for the flight) and headed to Mercadito Chicago, which was literally across the street from the hotel. Such fun vibes here – I felt like I was transported to Mexico with the colorful decor and woven light fixtures. As Bill would say, veryyyyy bougie, very me, which became the theme of the trip. Get the spicy margs and guac with pomegranate seeds. The TITS.
FRIDAY AMUSEMENTS (fun, food, drinks, things, in no particular order):
aka the longest I’ve been on my feet since my days working at Target:
SoulCycle – slightly hungover, I was committed to seeing what all the hype was and I’m OBSESSED. The class was fun, the instructor was upbeat but not annoying (I secretly wished I was her), and we got our first and only really sweat session in during the trip. I’ve been to plenty of spin classes here in the cities but it was just a different environment that was addicting to be in.
Protein Bar – If you’re ballin’ on a budget or in a hurry, this is a small chain with yummy egg bowls, smoothies, and wraps. We picked up egg white bowls after our workout for a quick breakfast!
The Bean – because did you even go to Chicago if you didn’t flick it!?
Intelligista Coffee – hipster coffee shop. I got the vanilla latte with non-dairy milk (not soy but something I didn’t catch) and it was up there with the best lattes I’ve ever had. So creamy and delicious. Reminded me of Spyhouse and Urban Bean, which is why I probably liked it.
The Hampton Social – if you’re basic, you will love this place. I loved this place. The decor was very Cali with lots of greenery, anchors, mason jars, and of course the hammock and the rosé all daylight. We went for a late lunch so it wasn’t too packed but it definitely gets there. We went with their calamari and split the burger. The ranch was to die for. I could swim in that shit. Drinks were good – overpriced but you could like, not order at least one, you know? Go for the vibes, stay for a glass of their rose of the day and an attempt to get a picture of the wall.
Eataly – If we didn’t just eat at the Social, I would have gone HAM in this place. Not only is it a GIANT Italian grocery store with fun knick-knacks, they also have multiple restaurants, wine, gelato, a bakery, cheese, and more. Bill and I grabbed a glass of wine while shopping. After rubbing the cheese blocks that we weren’t supposed to touch and Bill dropping his sample spoon in the clean pile (I was livid), we ended the with some pistachio and chocolate gelato.
The Navy Pier (kinda) – if you don’t actually go to the Navy Pier and go into the park right next to it, you get the prettiest view of the skyline.
Barcocina – Grabbed more spicy margs and queso at the bar here while we were waiting for Bill’s friends. It was like 60 degrees out so they had the windows, patio, and firepits going which was so fun. The atmosphere was super hip, great music, cute decor, and I think I pretty good shrimp quesadilla but my mind’s a bit blurry there.
Cheesies – I had to add this because unlike Barcocina and the Hampton Social, this was a like a dive/pizza/something place?! Reminded me a college pizza place with a bar. Like you can get Busch Light there. Need I say more?
AGAIN, I know this is not Yelp, but I think these breakdowns are nice, especially since we got to venture a little bit out of the city. Thank you all for your recommendations!! Round 2 will is posted here (ft. the Restoration Hardware visit, more brunch, and MORE libations).