I'm visiting next weekend with two ladyfriends from Toronto. We are in our early 30s and are visiting to eat, drink, and run the St Patrick's 8k. We've all been to Chicago before, so the main focus of our trip is hitting up as many interesting spots as we can for whatever is new and best in food and drink.
For reference, we love restaurants like Toronto's Bar Isabel, serving food that is exciting, interesting, focused on fresh ingredients, good seafood, a little meat, lots of veg, not too fussy, but with good service. We love craft beer and hope to some shopping for booze to bring home, and we also love good, refined cocktails and wine bars. We're also game for more low-key bars/food (street food, dive bars, etc), for balance.
I'm hoping you can take a look at our itinerary and let us know what's good where we're going, or if we're astray, fill in the gaps, and suggest amendments.
We arrive Thursday, March 13, in the morning. Our plan is to take transit from Midway to Union Station for baggage storage. After that, we're hoping to do a bit of a foodie walk, hitting Doughnut Vault for snacks and then Xoco for lunch. After that, we'll continue with a touristy walk via Magnificent Mile and Millenium Park, hitting Binny’s, Eataly, Pastoral, Intelligentsia and the French Market on our way to get our bags and check into our Airbnb apartment.
Thursday evening we have a reservation at 5:15pm for dinner at Girl & the Goat (all we could get). We have made an 8pm reservation for drinks at Aviary, and also hope to hit Au Cheval and/or Publican for later drinks and snacks. Any tips for these spots?
Our earliest plans for Friday, March 14 are a 1pm reservation at Blackbird. After we hope to hit the Art Institute for the afternoon. We plan on getting to Berkshire Room for an early evening drink when they open, then carbo-loading for our race the next day at Slurping Turtle. If you have another recommendation for an easy, more affordable carb-heavy meal (eg. sushi?) in that neighbourhood, I'm open to suggestions. Also any additional spots we might grab an early drink without going overboard before the race.
On Saturday March 15 we run the race in the morning. Our plan is to spend the afternoon wandering Wicker Park/Bucktown etc refuelling in food and drink. Destinations include: La Pasadita, Atomix, Map Room, The Bristol, Bluebird, Hot Chocolate,Trenchermen, The Violet Hour and of course Big Star. We're good at noshing small bites, sipping a bit, and wandering, so if you can suggest additions or a plan of attack for this Saturday crawl, that would be great!
Sunday we fly back to Toronto in the afternoon, but we're hoping to do brunch at Dusek before we go.
Thanks in advance - we can't wait! (And we hope the weather gives us lots of sun for walking, too!)