You've come to the right place. Each Thursday until our list runs out, we'll be highlighting some of the best spots in Chicago (by neighborhood) for dining, lounging, and just hanging out in the summer. Of course many of these places can be enjoyed any time of year!
Special thanks to a few faves of ours, Anne Szkatulski, Emily DeYoe, and Cathy Yu--fellow legislative attorneys and Chicago-enthusiasts!
*If you have places you'd like to highlight in your area, just let us know and we'll post them.
Here we go!
Chicago's bread and butter is its wonderful downtown area, so we'll start there and keep working our way around this amazing city. Enjoy!
Pastoral. 53 E Lake St.
Favorite lunch place in the Loop. Amazing cured meats.
Bin 36. 339 N Dearborn St.
Favorite happy hour place.
The Purple Pig. 500 N. Michigan.
Great wine, very cozy, delicious tapas – another excellent place to spend a winter afternoon.
Grand Lux Café. 600 N Michigan.
Yummy fresh made desserts, nice entrée portions for reasonable prices, tasty brunch dishes, perfect drinks and city views at the window booths.
Quartino. 626 N State St.
I have never been disappointed here. Good ambiance, excellent Italian food, something for everyone. Fun to just sit at the bar for a cocktail, too.
The Wit Hotel. 201 N State St.
ED: Feels like you’re in Miami.
VW: Swanky downtown hotel with great rooftop lounge in the winter and open air in the summer.
J Bar. 610 N Rush St.
Lounge on the first floor of the James Hotel. Just around the corner from Grand Lux. Great music; small space, but fun.
Selected Works Used Books & Sheet Music. 410 S. Michigan, Ste 210.
Very hot and the owner has a cat, but they have an amazing selection of old books and the owner is super friendly.
POSH. 613 N. State St.
Vintage and new hotel/restaurant dishes and other apartment/kitchen doodads. A really great place to pick up a gift or a unique mug, towel, dish, map, etc.
Fantasy Nails. 46 E. Chicago Ave.
Cheap, dirty, but they have the best color selection and they do an amazing job – the manicures can last almost 2 weeks, and I haven’t gotten a staph infection yet!!