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Tag: Pizza

Chicago Food, Fun, and Relaxation ~ Road Trip

Chicago Food, Fun, and Relaxation ~ Road Trip

Chicago is one big city that sits in the Midwest of the USA. This is a dream comes true with a visit to this city. Driving in from Champaign, with my sisters Tina and Cherie, we see this massive modern American city, but as you explore you realize that the city has great neighborhoods that swallow the big city vastness. Each neighborhood feels like you are in your own hometown.

Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle b
Chicago Road Trip

Chicago Neighborhoods

Lincoln Park 

This was an excellent choice for dinner(see below). It is no the north side in Chicago. This area has some great restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. This neighborhood has the Lincoln Park Zoo (America’s oldest zoo) and the Chicago History Museum. The streets this evening had many out for dinner and to watch the Cubbies play ball.

River City North

Sending my sister off in the morning was sad. She is a lot of fun to travel with and drove 1,300 of 2,400 miles of the cross-country journey. Tina and I take the subway into River City North. We enjoy a glass of white wine and watch families enjoy the riverfront. We also enjoy Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria.

The neighborhood looks or feels nothing like it started as an industrial and warehouse district. This neighborhood is modern as the many buildings tower over the river. This neighborhood is known for art. It has the largest concentration of galleries outside of Manhattan. We enjoy exploring the many wonderful statues, theatre area, and the most restaurants in Chicago.

Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle b
Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle b
Old Town

Walking to Old Town was a fun adventure to see the other areas of the town. Old Town is filled with old Victorian buildings, churches, great pubs, coffee shops, and history. The streets are lined with beautiful trees.  This area was first settled by Germans. Around 1846 the immigrants established St. Joesph’s Parish. The history here is rich from buildings that survived the 1871 Chicago fire, to former speakeasies and ornate beautiful churches. We enjoyed a nice lunch at an Irish Pub.

Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle d
Chicago Road Trip

The Loop 

This is where you will find the “Bean” the name for the statue is Cloud Gate. The sculpture is by Indian-born British artist Sir Anish Kapoor. This was so gorgeous at the night. It is located in Millennium Park in The Loop neighborhood. The statue is a 110-ton elliptical sculpture of a seamless series of polished stainless steel plates and a 12-foot-high arch. The inspiration for the statue is liquid mercury. It is an incredible piece of art. Uber (see the discount code below) provided a great get around from one neighborhood to the next during the evening.

Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle b
Chicago Road Trip
Wrigleyville

Closing out the first night in Wrigleyville. A great night to see the stadium and experience one of the great bars in the area. It is a great spot day or night. It is a great place for nightlife. We enjoyed Sluggers, a great sports bar. My sisters enjoyed the batting cages and I took in a little music with the dueling pianos. This neighborhood offers some great Chicago experiences

  • Bring chalk to write on the Wrigley wall
  • Tour Wrigley Field
  • Go to a ballgame
  • Batting Cages
  • Shopping
  • Great restaurants
Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle
Chicago Road Trip
Wicker Park

Wicker Park is a wonderful neighborhood. It really takes to a small town feeling. It is close to the subway, has great shopping, and good bars. This neighborhood has many lush gardens with great events in the parks from movies, exercises, farmers markets, and concerts. This area is great for Wicker Park is known for local hipster culture, the art community, nightlife, and food scene. It was a great place to stay in an Air BNB (see discount offer below).

Old Navy Pier Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle

Old Navy Pier

This is a fun adventurous place to visit. Ellie (granddaughter) loves exploring the pier. The great boats, fun, and ice cream. We enjoy walking the pier. The Fifth Third Family Pavillion was so much fun. This is a beautiful place for a wedding, family fun, and weekly events.

The Navy Pier is on Lake Michigan and is 102 years old. We enjoyed an Uber (see discount code below) ride. They have this well set up for pick up and drop offs. Much easier than trying to park. The Old Navy Pier is the vitality of Chicago. Ellie enjoyed the Original Rainbow Cone even though she said it was not good she finishes it. The group enjoys a drink at the Billy Goat Tavern.

Chicago Food

Chicago sits in the Midwest has a history of all American food. This history is changing to one of sophistication and elegance. The dining experience is one set for the various neighborhoods in Chicago. The traditional American and deep dish pizza is found in each area, but the elegance is found with 25 Michelin-starred restaurants. Chicago is known for their yearly Taste of Chicago a food and entertainment weekend usually held the second week of July. There is a covering deep dish pizza this is a bucket list trip with deep dish pizza on the list.

Lou Malnati's Pizzaria Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria Road Trip

 Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

This was a fantastic place to take a crowd for lunch. There was a little bit of a wait but well worth the wait. They do allow you to order ahead of time. The pizza was enjoyed by the entire party. They had great selections with gluten-free and vegetarian options. The gluten-free crust was one of the best. They have a real family feeling to the pizzeria.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is a local favorite. The first restaurant opened by Lou, an Italian, opened a pizzeria in a Jewish neighborhood on an Irish holiday in 1971. They are always busy at all 51 locations in the Chicago area. Each pizza is hand created to each patron’s desire.

Pequod Pizza Chicago

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Pequod Pizza, 25 years in business, is a popular place in Lincoln Park. We arrive with the dreams of deep crust pizza and watch the Cubs play ball. Arriving we realize that the wait is down the street. Heading into the small hostess station they tell us, “there is an hour for a table about another hour for service from seating.” We walk around the block and decide to find a place with appetizers to wait out the hour seating time. We find a great place called Distilled Chicago.

New York City mayor’s press secretary Eric Phillips has put in his vote on Twitter for the best pizza “Chicago pizza is the best pizza in America, and it’s not even close.” The tweet has a photo of Chicago-style deep dish pizza from Pequod’s. We return for our pizza as our buzzer for the table goes off.

We take the pizza back to the Air BNB for snacking and dinner on Saturday evening. It is a fabulous bucket list experience. Normally a thin crust pizza lover this was a true experience. The crust is caramelized and not as heavy as expected. The cheese strings as you take a bite making it a true cheese pizza. The sauce is the best to date. It is loud and excitable as the patrons are enjoying the final innings of the Cubs game.

Distilled Chicago

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Distilled Chicago was a fantastic find just down the street from Pequod Pizza in West Lincoln Park. We sit at the bar. The decor is black and gold with an early 19th century feel. The Cub’s are playing on the TV. It is neighborhood experience as locals enter to enjoy the local menu with a modern twist on bar favorites. We enjoy a glass of wine and a beer. It is best known for being a whiskey bar with our 100 varieties. These are paired with the menu items.

The food is fabulous. We order the mac ‘n’ cheese bits, sliders with fries, and Italian beef egg rolls. The Italian beef rolls turn out to be a delightful surprise with the Au Jus Sauce. This fusion of Asian and Italian together well and our the favorite of the night. The mac ‘n’ cheese bits are crispy and tasty. The dipping sauce is house ranch. There is a good textual experience. The fries are crispy and the bacon jam brings the classic slider to a unique experience the arugula brings a fresh peppery flavor, caramelized onions, and the top quality Angus beef takes a bar classic to elegance. This became dinner. It is a great place to enjoy a ball game, the community, and an American classic menu with an elevation.

Scone City

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Scone City located in Wicker Park is wonderful for a morning after bar hopping or late night in Chicago. Jessica and Tim Canning along with chef Laurie McNamara took on the endeavor in a specialized sweet and savory scone menu. This place was perfect stop as my sister Cherie is heading to the airport to return to her family in Idaho. It was so wonderful sharing this experience with here. Seeing places and enjoying the cross-country journey. I truly miss her every day. She enjoyed a sweet blueberry w/ lemon glaze scone she says, “It was delicious!! Sweet. Soft. Perfection!!! Soooo tasty.” They have savory scones as well. I enjoyed a hot Vanilla Bean Latte with the house-made vanilla syrup. It is a perfect start to a day of exploring Chicago.

Bangers and Lace

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Bangers and Lace, a local bar in Wicker Park, has a rustic lodge atmosphere and is a great place for a good drink and great company. The patrons are friendly. The bartender for the evening was an instant win with a Big Lebowski shirt. The best feature is the is the classic beer tap handles. The restaurant’s name is  Bangers for the British term for sausage and Lace for Brussels Lace, the intricate veil of beer foam that clings to the glass side. This was a great evening spot near the Air BNB for cocktails and a glass of wine. They have a menu of sausages, English beans, vegetarian option, and Belgian fries.

The atmosphere is friendly, fun, and did get crowded as the night went on. It is a great place for sports, conversation, and good drinks. What a fun experience.

Kanela Chicago Foodie Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle
Kanela Chicago Road Trip

The last morning of the road trip in the Midwest is brunch at Kanela, the Greek name for Cinnamon. This restaurant place is Wicker Park neighborhood on a street with many older shops. It is a great place, voted best in Chicago by USA Today,  for a Sunday morning brunch. The coffee tops and wonderful after an evening at Bangers and Lace.

Brunch includes California Benedict and Fried Egg Sandwich this was an exceptional meal. The hollandaise sauce perfection with a nice touch of heat, the poach egg picture perfect. The sandwich was fabulous with the chili aioli brings the flavors together. The seasoned potatoes nicely cooked not too soft or undercooked. It was a nice brunch with my sister. We do agree that this is a great place for brunch.

Tina, Cherie, and Tammy Forchion Chicago Road Trip 4Chion Lifestyle
Tina, Cherie, and Tammy Forchion Chicago Road Trip

This was a fantastic weekend with my sisters. This was one of the few trips we have taken just the three of us. It was hard saying goodbye to Cherie, but we have some fantastic memories and stories. Stay tuned as the road trip continues.

Special offers for you

Air BNB  $40 in travel credit when signing up

Uber Get your first ride free (value varies by location) use the code tamaraf2187ue

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    Travel: 11/1/18 – 3/5/19
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Follow the entire road trip here:

Discovering The Great Outdoors of Arizona ~ Road Trip

The Journey to Zions and Beyond ~ Road Trip

Over The Rocky Mountains We Go ~ Road Trip

Journey For St Louis BBQ ~ Road Trip

Motor Raceway to USA Gymnastics ~ Midwest Road Trip

The Middle of the Midwest Champaign ~ Road Trip

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