From Chi Town, With Love
Updated: Jun 25
From the Chicago Bean to North Avenue Beach, this city is one that has it all. If you're a foodie like me, then the Windy City is the place to be for any cuisine you fancy. Speaking of windy, here in Chicago the wind blows strong enough some days to put a little "extra chill" in your bones. Wintertime Chi is a season of its own, one that can send the average person inside during the long months of endless snow.
For now, we'll enjoy these summer months of Chicago sunshine, taking in these extended days of warm weather. Before the pandemic, the city was a lot less restricted: This giant silver bean better known as "The Bean," could be visited by tourists without the barriers surrounding it. Since the city's official re-opening on June 11, 2021, popular festivals like Lollapalooza and Taste of Chicago are set to return this summer.
Head to Millennium Park for all the best photo ops by the Bean, amazing skyline views, and ice skating during the winter months.
My Favorite Restaurants to Try in The Chi:
Breakfast & Brunch Spots:
Batter & Berries
Kale My Name (The Tea Party is a must)
Cornerstone Cafe Lincoln Park (multiple locations available)
The Biscuit Man
Hash (temporarily closed, but this place is so good!)
Lunch & Dinner Spots:
Pisco Peruvian Restaurant & Bar (Must Try)
Chicago's Home of Chicken & Waffles (Black-owned)
Harold's Chicken (Chicago staple)
Parson's Chicken & Fish
Palace Gate Ghanaian Cuisine (Must Try)
Pearl's Southern Comfort (Black-owned)
*Fun Fact: I am not a fan of the famous Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at all, but if you're looking to try some while you're here, I recommend Giordano's or Lou Malnati's. Garrett's Popcorn is also a Chicago staple and a must try before you leave, which is why there is a Garrett's conveniently located inside of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Chicago has plenty to offer to make your weekends feel endless. From bar crawls and festivals, to movies in the park and volleyball on the beach, there is always so much to do. The Lakefront Trail is a great place to enjoy a breezy afternoon by the lake, Lake Michigan to be exact. Choose to walk, jog, or bike along the lake for some pretty awesome views of the city. Enjoy beautiful artwork along the trail or at any of the wonderful Chicago museums. Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, is the city's iconic baseball park, located on the North side of Chicago. Chicago has not one, but two baseball teams, The Cubs and the Chicago White Sox. If you're a Chicago native, well then you know you can only cheer for one of the two teams. Next time you're here, I recommend visiting both baseball parks, as well as Solider Field, home of the Chicago Bears, Chicago's NFL team.
Art and Culture
On your walks around the city, you are sure to see so many awesome pieces of art. There are some really cool murals and paintings on brick walls and on sides of buildings, all throughout the city of Chicago. It really is a fascinating sight to see...
"Art speaks where words are unable to explain."
Uptown is the place to go for some really amazing street art! Separate from Downtown Chicago, Uptown is laid back, with plenty of good vibes and good eats.
I love houseplants so I'm always looking for new plant stores and places to shop for new plant babies.
Here's a list of local plant shops to find new plants, plant pots, and other unique items:
Windy City Plants
Plant Stand Collective
Plant Shop Chicago
Plant Salon (Black Owned)
My Favorite Bars and Late Night Spots:
Punch Bowl Social Chicago
Three Dots and a Dash
"Going to Chicago, was like going out of this world."
- the late Muddy Waters, musician and "Father of modern Chicago Blues"
It's no surprise that some of the most respected and acclaimed musicians, authors, and artists hail from Chicago. Chicago is the home of blues and architecture. The long list of musicians, singers, artists, and athletes that grew up in Chi City tend to always pay homage to the city that raised them. Rightfully so, seeing as though this city is one that is rich with culture, more specifically: Black Culture. The Black Panther Party even has deep roots here, as recently seen on the big screen in the movie Judas and the Black Messiah, starring Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield. The movie centers the life of the late Fred Hampton, who was the Deputy Chairman of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. Countless movies centered around life in Chicago have hit the big screen; some have been filmed right here in the Windy City (see Soul Food, Barbershop, and Love Jones). Of course, there is the hit T.V. show The Chi features an all-star cast, many of whom are from Chicago, and it is filmed right here in this city.
More to Explore
The Shedd Aquarium is known for its interactive encounters, 4-D experiences, and workshops for all ages. Admission is $39.95 for adults, but the museum offers Free Museum Days and discounts for residents, members, and first responders. One of the largest aquariums in the world, the Shedd Aquarium was built in 1930 and it sits on Museum Campus. Adler Planetarium and The Field Museum of Natural History are also located on Museum Campus.
Hyde Park & Washington Park
The DuSable Museum of African American History (located in Washington Park): Before the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture was built, the DuSable Museum was the largest museum of African American history in the nation. It is named after Jean Baptiste DuSable, also known as "The Founder of Chicago,"when he settled here in 1779.
The Silver Room (located in Hyde Park): An eclectic shop with a expansive library, featuring plenty of books written by Black authors. Come here to find all things art, culture, and community.
Celebrate Pride Month in the historic Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, by visiting the many clubs, bars, and coffee shops in the area.
Chicago is a city where all cultures are celebrated and embraced. Here you can find foods from any cuisine and festivals that celebrate all cultures. Locals recommend traveling to certain areas of the city if you are looking to try a specific food or buy a particular style of clothing. Chicago is known for its mini pockets of neighborhoods like Little Vietnam, Chinatown, and Little India, with restaurants, shops, and stores that feature products specific to a particular culture. Historic events like The Great Migration and Red Summer have unfortunately kept the city of Chicago segregated and made it difficult for People of Color to access and reside in certain areas of the city.
Nonetheless, Chicago has a lot to do, learn about, and see: there is always something going on in the Windy City.
It should come to no surprise that the summer time is the best time visit Chicago, due to the harsh months of winter that are promised here each year. So don't delay, plan your visit to Chicago today!