Eats Travels USA

Being a Non-Tourist in Chicago

Third time’s the charm because this was the longest I’ve stayed in Chi-town and the most I’ve done and seen while there.


The first restaurant I enjoyed during this trip was The Southport Grocery and Cafe. Oh my yum. This is a small cafe and grocer and had incredibly delicious brunch. My friend and I split their bread pudding pancake [must try] and I had a summer squash and kale omelette with mashed potatoes. Seriously such a great meal with so many flavors.

Another brunch hit was Mortar and Pestle. We started with funnel cake and watermelon salad, both were delicious. I had focaccia with a poached egg and heaps of cheese, which was great. One of my friends got the decadent grilled cheese and it was amazing, especially if you like cheese and bread.

I will admit that we got take-out one night before going out because we were tired and it was amazing. Big Star has incredibly yummy tacos and guacamole. I had fish tacos and they were great. The restaurant itself looks like a great place to grab a bite and hangout and slightly reminded me of Dallas, Tx. It’s also across the street from The Violet Hour.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for, deep dish pizza. We went to Pequod’s because apparently that’s what the locals like and I don’t blame them because this was amazing. I don’t have many words for this except that your eyes will probably be bigger than your stomach. I can usually eat way more pizza in one sitting than I’d care to admit, but could barely finish one slice of this amazing deep dish.

Late Night food is a whole other topic. Luckily, there is an incredible late-night spot right across from where my friend lives. That place is the Golden Apple. They serve anything and everything you could want after a night out and we may have stopped here more than once…


We started the weekend off by going to Three Dots and a Dash, which is a Tiki Bar. I know, I know, a tiki bar in Chicago sounds crazy. This place makes you feel like you’re in a Hawaiian bar, but with a mixologist preparing your tropical drink to perfection [drinks are very strong and artistic – trust me].

Violet Hour was another hit. We waited outside to be let into the Speakeasy through a secret wall entrance [get there early to avoid the long wait]. Once you enter you are immediately swallowed into another world with luscious velvet drapes and tall chairs. The drinks here [while expensive] are incredibly delicious and are crafted to perfection by their mixologists. They use incredibly unique flavors in each cocktail.


  • The Bean at Millenium Park
  • Buckingham Fountain [wow]
  • Architecture Boat Tour [do it!]
  • The Lincoln Park Zoo [free]

We kept the touring to a minimum while still seeing a lot of Chicago. We also went to a Shakespearean Improv show at the IO and watched the Cubs game from Murphy’s Bleachers right next to the stadium.