Note: A version of this post was previously published here as a part of my freelance work.
When you find yourself in Chicago with 24 hours to spare, what do you do? Well, I happen to have spent a little over 24hrs in Chicago this past month, and I have some things to recommend…
The Flying Saucer is a modern brunch spot with an old school vibe. The ambiance feels like your classic diner joint. The menu follows suit with traditional egg breakfasts, but throws a twist with vegan options and Mexican-inspired breakfast flare. Don’t know what to order? The huevos volando is one that you won’t want to miss. The menu is also extremely affordable.
Humboldt House is a bohemian woman’s dream. The space is filled with unique artisan jewelry, wall hangings, and other home goods. Everything has a free-spirit vibe, but with a clean un-cluttered aesthetic. Little touches here and there, whether it’s a geometric earring or a hand-thrown mug. It’s hard not to go crazy in here.
The aesthetic at General Store is a lot like Humboldt House – clean, white, soothing – however the product itself is a bit more simplistic. The assortment is great for unique, high end home goods, and their hat assortment is off the chain. Even if you can’t afford anything here, do stop in for the visual stimulation. It’s a beautifully curated space.
It’s really important to keep your exercise routine up while you’re traveling. If you have a minute to do so, I highly recommend booking a class at Shred 415. The class alternates between 10 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minutes of bootcamp-style weights. The instructor changes it up, moving between intervals, to keep you entertained and pushing yourself the entire time. The satisfaction afterwards is extremely rewarding. I promise your clothes will be drenched with sweat, and you’ll feel like you’ve just torched a million calories. Ok, maybe not a million, but definitely enough to go out and enjoy that Chicago restaurant scene. Another plus? The endorphin release keeps you smiling all day long.
Save your money for dinner, because you’re definitely going to want to eat at Momotaro, and you’re definitely going to have to spend money. Sadly, this is the truth of the matter for a nice dinner in Chicago. The city isn’t home to the James Beard Awards for nothing. Chicago takes its fine dining seriously. Momotaro itself serves a menu much like Japanese tapas; you order small plates to share as a table, and then you top it off with the restaurants artisan sushi. The small plate format allows the chef to flex his muscles in crafting the perfect bit. Each forkful (or chopstickful) artfully melds flavors, changing in your mouth throughout the tasting experience. The drinks at Momotaro are also a must try. The options are peppered with Asian influences – matcha, cherry blossom, and wasabi. Myself, I tried the Lucky Peach, made with George Dickel 8yr Tennessee whiskey, Stirrings peach liqueur, shiro miso, orange, and lemon. It was one of the most inventive and delicious drinks to touch my lips in a long time.
So there you have it, 24 hours in Chicago. A big thank you to my girl Chelsi for hosting me and showing me around. You. Are. The. Best.