We were able to head back to Chicago for Independence Day and my 30th birthday (yikes!) thanks to an aptly timed professional development conference for work. My boss has been wonderful about letting us add on a few days when we attend conferences to enjoy the destination, and I usually also take my husband along since he can easily work from our hotel room.
It was really hard to believe we hadn’t been to Chicago since 2010, and that was also during Independence Day weekend. Since this was our second trip, we decided to focus on a few things farther away from the city center that we weren’t able to do before, and we collected tons of recommendations for places to eat and booked a bunch in advance to help build out our itinerary.
We stayed at the Sheraton downtown as part of the conference portion of our trip, which was very nice. But even better was the Hyatt across the river where we stayed during our personal time, which I was able to get for $80/night on priceline! Only having to pay for one flight, a few $80 nights at a hotel and some of our food made the trip acceptable to my husband, who enjoyed reminding me we just got back from Morocco, Spain and Portugal a couple of months ago.
The weather was beautiful the first few days– bright blue skies and warm– but it got overcast, rainy and hot for a few days in the middle before straightening out for our departure. It didn’t bother us at all aside from making some of our photos a little boring with gray skies and clouds.
We visited SO many restaurants that this post will focus more on our foodie adventures than anything. We love trying everything and anything and even a couple appetizers and a house cocktail can give you the flavor of a place. Here’s a whirlwind recap of our adventures in Chicago.
Slurping Turtle– Pork Belly Bao (delicious), Spicy Tan Tan Men Ramen (very good), Red Miso Ramen (very good)
The Untitled–Drunk Devil’s on Horseback (not the best we’ve had), Beef Cheeks & Scallops (excellent), House Pretzels (ok)
Glazed & Infused– Blueberry-Lemon Glazed (very good), Maple Bacon Longjohn (very good, but not the best we’ve had)
Al’s– Italian Beef (very good)
Portillo’s– Chicago Dog (very good)
Uno Pizzaria– Numero Uno Deep-Dish Pizza (excellent)
The Bedford– Roasted Mushroom and Gruyère on Toast (excellent), Gin Marinated Olives (excellent)