Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Heart Chicago!

When I think about it, it was the one city I thought I could skip on my tour of the US (was I wrong!!). We still havent visited the West Coast cities together, so having missed that opportunity on Thanksgiving week (coz the prices skyrocketed until P waited to see whether he would have leave or not), we decided to spend four days, three nights, in Chicago. It would be a restful holiday and we'd do all the main sightseeing in the first two days. Boy, were we wrong...the minute we stepped into Chicago, we had unending lists of options in terms of touring and eating.

My favourite view of the city (rosy-tinted??) during evening's pink twilight

We stayed in a hotel on the Magnificent Mile, which is all beautifully lit up at night with Christmas lights and decorations. This whole section contains some of the most major department and designer stores. And we were a short walk away from the Hancock Observatory and the Signature Lounge, where my hubby snagged a seat with this view!

On top of the world (of Chicago)

The gastronomic scene was just as wonderful and diverse. We had the pizza pies (Lou Malnati's was my fave with its buttery crust pizza), Chicago dogs, great Mexican tortas and churros, a night at Andy's Jazz Club, awesome 'Double Cheezborgers' at Billy Goat's Tavern, and the local Goose Island beers.

Pizza pie at Giordano's

Chicago dogs

The most awesome Churros with a dark chocolate dipping sauce (from Xoco's)

Cheeeeezborgers!! at Billy Goat's Tavern

On our last day, we had a very lazy, slow-paced brunch at the Original Pancake House - the yummiest list of pancakes, some with Swedish lingonberries, some original favourites such as pecan pancakes and buckwheat pancakes (which I would love to try out at home). They also had this wonderful baked pancake called the Dutch Baby, which I did not try because it came without their lovely tropical hot syrup.

Our breakfast at the Original Pancake House - Georgia Pecan Pancakes, Southern Style Hash Browns with Cheese and Scrambled eggs with all the meats

At the end of our fourth day, as we left to catch our plane, my heart grew heavier as I thought about all the restaurants and sights I hadnt seen yet. I had even studied the bus schedules to Goose Island wondering if I'd make it there during our short stay. After a ride on the gigantic ferris wheel, one late evening at Navy Pier, I wanted to stay here forever. There is a European section uptown where I'd wanted to sample a Montreal style brisket and a Cashew Butter and Fig Jam Sandwich (at Hopleaf), which would sadly go untasted.

Needless to say, I fell in love with Chicago. It was warm and friendly, it was the first city where we had a chat with the locals and saw the city from their perspective. The magnificent buildings, which rose from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1871, were breathtakingly beautiful and towered over us as if to say, you can't vanquish us without a fight. They were colossal and each followed a unique architectural insight, whether it followed a cascading water motion or built with a curve to mimic the natural curve of the river below or looked like two giant corn cobs! The entire scene with the giant ferris wheel of the Navy pier was my most favourite view of the city, the close second favourite was the one I saw from the Hancock tower, all lit up at night.

Do share your experiences visiting Chicago or living there. I wish I could go back again....and live there!


  1. Oh, Vinita! I just love Chicago too!! (Although the winters may be a bit too cold for me.) The food is increadible. I mean, even the hot dogs are fine cuisine there. Hot dogs!! Navy pier is so fun.

    I have family in Chicago so I have a great excuse to visit. We went over the summer and it was scorching hot, but we still had a blast.

    Here is a post from our time at Navy Pier:

    I'd love to see the city at Christmas sometime... all decked out for the holidays. It sounds so pretty.

    Thanks for sharing. All your foodie pics are making me a bit hungry now. ;)

    1. I absolutely fell in love with the food, the culture and the people of friendly! Loved your Navy pier post...made me miss the city all over again. Did you grow up in Chicago or did your family move there later?

      I really miss the hot dogs on Navy pier and the great snacky pretzels and other goodies. It was the first time I had a hot dog loaded up with giant slices of pickle and chillies!

      Do share your post on your food experiences in Chicago, I noticed there is one at the end of the Navy pier post. :)

    2. My parents both grew up in Chicago. I was born there, but we moved to Georgia when I was a baby, so I don't remember the city at all. My mom's side of the family still lives there.

      I should have known to leave you a link to the foodie post. Here it is...

      Also, more sightseeing:


    3. Oh cool! Its nice to have ties to the place you were born in. Thanks for all the links, looking forward to some great reading today. :)

  2. For share! This is a foodie's dream! Glad you gave it a shot :)

    1. Thanks, Johanna...and welcome to my blog! :)

  3. I love Chicago! Such a fun town with amazing food and sights - glad you had a great visit!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie, I was really surprised at the variety in Chicago, especially a German festival at the end of it near the huge Christmas tree display at the Daley Centre. We were so glad to have spent four days in the city taking in the sights and culture.