Chicago Round-Up. Everything But the Cupcakes.

We are back from Chicago! Sadly. Unfortunately. Waaa. We had a blast and kind of might have considered moving there a few times (might still be, as a matter of fact). We packed a lot in (in the course of the weekend and in our suitcases) in the short time we were there, which basically means we ate a lot. We really did. This post doesn’t even include any of the Cupcake Crawl; which will be posted very soon!

Gino’s East Pizzeria
When we arrived in Chicago, Sues’s sister and fiance were working, so we decided to wander around Michigan Ave. (their apartment is dangerously close to it) and noticed Gino’s East. Sues remembered hearing it was a must-try for Chicago pizza, so we wandered in. It was super busy for a Friday afternoon and there was graffiti everywhere. We’re talking on the walls, on the floor, on the tables, on the chairs. Legit, the whole restaurant was pretty much covered. We understood the appeal, but it was kind of dirty and gross. Anyway, though neither of us are huge deep dish pizza fans, we figured we had to order it being in Chicago and all.
The deep dish pizza was good, but we weren’t overly impressed by it. We both thought there was way too much crust involved and overall prefer thinner crust.
Later that day, Sues’s sister said she wished we had called her because she would have suggested we go to Giordano’s for pizza. Next time.
South Coast
We had dinner on Friday night at South Coast. Sues had previously been to Coast and had a fabulous experience and really wanted to go back. Since South Coast was recently opened by the Coast people and close to Beth and Adam’s apartment, we went there instead. The service wasn’t amazing, but the food was soooo, soooo good. One of the best things about Coast is that it is BYOB. South Coast has a “full” bar and if you want to bring your own wine, it’s a $20 cork fee per bottle (yes, per bottle!). So, we ordered from the bar, though they were lacking certain key alcohols like vanilla vodka and other essentials.
However, the beef and asparagus appetizer we ordered was delicious.

And the sushi? It was definitely better than much of the sushi we’ve had in Boston. We highly recommend Coast or South Coast for their sushi.

Yes, we ordered a lot. But we ate every single bit of it.
Sisters reunited! So many people told Sues and Beth they look alike this weekend not even realizing they’re sisters. That doesn’t usually happen!

1700 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616

Hancock Center

After our sushi dinner, we went to the Signature Room, located on the 95th floor of the Hancock Center. The views were absolutely beautiful (especially from the women’s bathroom!). We ordered a couple drinks- some sort of alcoholic hot chocolate, which was absolutely perfect for the chilly weather.

We also couldn’t resist the s’mores dessert. YUM.

Signature Room
875 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611


Bijan’s Bistro and Bar

We stopped in here for a late breakfast and had really good, inexpensive food that made us not want to eat cupcakes for at least a couple hours.

Bijan’s Bistro
633 North State Street

ChicagoIL 60610


Navy Pier
Navy Pier is one of those tourist attractions you just have to go to if you’re visiting Chicago. We had fun wandering around, watching the creepy carnival that was taking place and checking out the dogs there for Howloween.

Beth and Adam as ghosts!

Navy Pier
600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-PIER

Vintage Wine Bar

Another one of the best things about Chicago? It’s the home of Jessi. Taking full advantage of the fact that Jessi’s brother lives in Boston and Sues’s sister lives in Chicago, our little meet-ups occur quite often. We split up, Sues met up with Jessi and Laurel at Vintage Wine Bar, while Chels went to Lou Malnati’s (below) where we hung out, chatted, and sipped some wine. Jessi also made it out for part of the cupcake crawl.

Vintage Wine Bar
1942 Division Street
Chicago, IL


Lou Malnati’s

Chels met up with the mister friend for dinner and had heard lots of great things about Lou’s. Now this is how deep dish pizza probably looks and tastes in Heaven. The actual crust is really thin and buttery which is what Chels prefers. We ordered a medium cheese, pepperoni, sausage, and spinach pizza along with a Caeser salad which was fantastic. A lot of pizza places miss the salad boat by just tossing any old thing together, but Lou’s was on par. With 28 locations throughout Chicago and the suburbs, there really isn’t any excuse to live in or visit Chicago without stopping by Lou’s.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria (various locations throughout Chicago and Suburbs)

CornterStone Cafe

The CornerStone Cafe is Beth and Adam’s favorite breakfast spot and it’s pretty obvious why. The husband and wife owner are super friendly and remember most people who dine at their restaurant. Oh, and the food is pretty much amazing and incredibly inexpensive.

CornerStone Cafe
2753 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL

Millennium Park

We had way too much fun in Millennium Park. Period. The bean is seriously the funnest thing ever and we probably could have hung out there all day having photo shoots. There are countless creative opportunities here.

Millennium Park


If you think that was a lot of food, get ready. Because you haven’t even seen the cupcake consumption yet. Basically, we all gained 20 pounds this weekend. We were so sad to leave, but we have a feeling we’ll be back. There’s so much more to do (and more places to eat!)

Other spots we hit up:

Cru Cafe & Wine Bar: This place was awesome and our waitress was super fabulous. Then again, any place that serves cheese platters is OK with me. Plus, Adam got two dinners!

Cubby Bear: We went to Cubby Bear in the Wrigley Park area for a night out and to see Mike and Joe, a really great cover band that Beth and Adam love. Cubby Bear was lots of fun and made us realize that the guys in Chicago are cuter, taller, and nicer than guys in Boston.

Carmine’s: Not the most fantastic service, but the restaurant has a great atmoshphere and the food was deliciously rich and amazing.

Kit Kat Lounge: Typed words can’t do this lounge justice. Just plain fun! And we got to hang out with Adam’s fabulous brother, Jason!

Thank you to everyone who helped make the trip a success… from the airport pick-ups, to the wonderful hospitality, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. We appreciate it all! And, Beth and Adam, since you showed us so much fun, we’ll probably be back soon. Just warning you!

[Sues and Chels]

9 Responses to "Chicago Round-Up. Everything But the Cupcakes."

  1. Lily says:

    I. LOVE. Chicago! Reading your post makes me want to go back right now! I live in Minneapolis, so Chicago is just a 6 hour road trip away… Every single time I go there, I consider moving!

    I’m SO glad you went to Coast (or South Coast). I was in Chicago a year ago and had planned to go there, but we completely missed it because we spent too much time at Tavern in Millennial Park and then at a jazz bar. I even had my own sake in my bag, that ended up coming back home w/ me.

    Anyway – thanks for the review! Now, I really want to get back there!!!

  2. Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer says:

    I am so excited about your timing on this post as Hubby and I will be heading there in a few weeks. Thanks for these suggested killer food places appreciate it!!

  3. Sarah says:

    Mmmm Lou Malnati’s… so good.

    Gotta love Millennium Park. The only place where people have no qualms about lying down on the ground in the city. Last time I was there, I got gum on my back.

  4. transienttravels says:

    I’m glad you guys had such a good time. I have never been, but now I want to go more than ever!

  5. ~Madeline~ says:

    Looks like you had a fantastic time in Chicago. It’s always been a place I would love to visit. One day. Until then I’ll live vicariously through you two. Can’t wait to see the cupcake pics!

  6. Darius T. Williams says:

    Wow – you guys have been ALL over! I live here and I don’t even get down like that – lol. I’m glad to see you guys had a great time in the windy city.

    PS – I know a much better pizza joint than lou malnatis and ginos east. Next time, hit a brotha up!


  7. Pam says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I absolutely love it!

    I live in Chicago, too and I haven’t been to half of those restaurants. I agree that Gino’s isn’t the best…Lou’s and Giordano’s are by far my favorite pizza places. And the Kit Kat Lounge and Cubby Bear? Always a great time. The bean is pretty fantastic, too. I work down on Michigan Ave by there and it’s always fun to walk around that area and people watch.

    I’m glad you enjoyed Chicago! It’s funny because I guess I take it for granted…the city I absolutely love and want to move to is Boston. I literally have a crush on the entire city, if that’s even possible. I’ll have to ask you guys for some good restaurant suggestions before I head out there in December!

  8. Sassy Molassy says:

    I love the pics, especially from Millenium Park. Looks like you guys had fun taking photos and exploring Chicago and all of it’s great eats. I totally agree on deep dish…too much crust drowns the goodness. I haven’t visited Chicago, but want to soon.

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