A few weekends ago, I drove to see my dear friends Tyler and Jenna who live in the oh so glamorous city of Chicago. While I’ve visited them multiple times over the past 10 years, this weekend felt a bit fancier to me. It could be that we are nearing 30 and our pockets are a bit deeper so that we can afford $20 cocktails (without crying) but this weekend was one for the books so I thought I’d share a bit of the highlights with you. Check out my quick weekend getaway to Chicago.
Weekend Getaway to Chicago
The only way I’ve ever traveled to Chicago from Cleveland is via car. I’m relatively accustomed to the five or so hour drive with plennnnnty of tolls and slightly hair-raising traffic once you’re close to the city. Overall, the drive was easy and dare I say delightful because my friend Melanie was in the car with me!
Jenna and Tyler live in the West Loop (I like to pretend that I know all of the neighborhoods of Chicago) and I absolutely adored their city dwellings. We spent Friday evening eating delicious apps and drinks that they had graciously prepared for us and catching each other up on our lives.
After sleeping in a bit, we dragged our drowsy eyes to Kanela Breakfast Club, a Greek-inspired breakfast and lunch spot in Wicker Park. Since everything on the menu sounded SO TASTY, I went with Tyler’s recommendation of chorizo and eggs. It was plate-lickin’ good and I highly recommend this place! They also had yummy looking juices and Jenna let me try a sip of hers (citrus kick= spicy in a good way). I would order this if I visit Kanela’s again!
After our bellies were full, we headed out to a few open houses as Tyler and Jenna are starting the house hunt. I absolutely love to look at houses so this was quite a treat for me! I’m crossing my fingers that Jenna and Tyler get a place with a rooftop patio. Hint, hint…
After oo-ing and ah-ing at fancy city homes, Tyler dropped us girls off at Scratch Goods. Scratch Goods is a self-service mask bar that only uses all-natural ingredients in their skin care products. We had signed up for the DIY mask bar class and it was so. much. fun. The afternoon started off with learning the various skin and health benefits of Scratch Good’s powders and then we got to concoct the mask mixtures according to our own skin’s needs. I chose to mix the matcha and charcoal powders with the honey turmeric juice. After lots of steamed towels, jade rolling, and vitamin-rich serums, our faces were glowing! This was a relaxing (and educational) girls weekend activity that I also think would be very fun for bachelorette or birthday parties.
After our mask experience, we set out to shop a bit! My favorite stops that we made were The Fig Tree and Smitten Boutique. These two stores were full of fun trinkets, cute cards and unique gifts that anyone would love to receive.
Next we headed to Sawada Coffee to try matcha for the first time. Mel and I ordered military lattes (expresso, matcha, honey, cinnamon…sounds good, right?!) but unfortunately neither of us really liked the matcha flavor. (I think it kind of tastes like seaweed!) You live, you learn! If you love matcha, go here.
Jenna had told us all about Soho House so we stopped inside to see what it looked like and…um…it’s beautiful! Go there! We couldn’t resist some fancy desserts at The Allis, which is one of the restaurants inside of Soho House. Some ladies were enjoying high tea next to us and I forgot if I was in Chicago or London. I love when this happens!
A bit of downtime and sprucing up was necessary before dinner so we headed back to the apartment. Something I’ve picked up about big city life is everyone eats dinner very late. (Side note: Jenna had told us about this popular restaurant called Au Cheval located on restaurant row in Chicago. We put our name in at 5 pm…and there was a 5 hour wait. Whaaattt?!) Since I don’t get to see these girls too often, champagne was in order so Jenna made us reservations at RM Champagne. The bubbles, cheesy flatbread, warm fireplace and moody lighting were all delicious. I definitely suggest pre-dinner or post-dinner champagne here!
We walked the short distance to Au Cheval and engorged ourselves on fries, burgers and yummy cocktails at 10 PM. All of which had a fried egg on top. (Okay, not the cocktail.) I’m not sure this place warranted a five-hour wait but it was yummy!
With a few more hours of energy left in us, we strolled to The Office. This exclusive speakeasy bar only has space for 14 or so people at a time and reservations are necessary, so the experience is super personalized. As we were lead down the steps to The Office, we passed waiters carrying drinks that were smoking and others that were wrapped in bubble wrap. Where had Jenna and Tyler taken us?! Upon being seated, we each told the bartender our favorite tastes and drink preferences. While we waited for our customized drinks, we ogled at the price tags of the spirits from the prohibition era. For example, one 4 oz shot of bourbon costed $200. (No, we did not buy this.) This Cleveland girl had to roll her eyes a bit but I did feel very f-a-n-c-y. The cocktails did not disappoint and we all passed around the cups in a circle taking sips of one another’s drinks. Mine tasted of gin, cucumber and something slightly spicy…it was the best drink I’ve ever had! While The Office is a bit pretentious, it was a very cool experience!
After sleeping in s bit, Jenna made us a hearty yet healthy breakfast of avocado toast, scrambled eggs and nutritious smoothies. Mel and I shortly after left to make the trek back east with big smiles, full bellies and lighter wallets.
My belly (and heart) loves Chicago! Thank you to Jenna and Tyler for being such gracious hosts and amazing tour guides. The next time you take a weekend getaway to Chicago, I hope you’ll visit my above stated recommendations. Let me know what you think!
What’s your favorite Chicago find?