The neighborhood guides are back! Out of all the content I produce for the site, I must admit this is one of my favorites. I love creating travel itineraries for you – and now that I’m living in Chicago I get to explore each neighborhood for the first time so it’s even more fun. We are starting with the West Loop area because it’s the area I live in and therefore spend the most time in. Moving to the West Loop was an easy transition for us because it reminds us of NYC. The area was and still is a meatpacking neighborhood so it has that “NYC Meatpacking” vibe – very industrial with lofts and new construction popping up everywhere. We are also in very good company with establishments like Google a few blocks away.
If you are planning a trip to Chicago – this neighborhood will definitely be in your itinerary because it has iconic restaurants and cool hangouts like the Soho House, Ace Hotel etc. The number of places to eat and drink is a bit overwhelming since for the most part, they are great. Stay tuned for more features that expand on hotels to stay in each area and new restaurants.
Start your morning with a sweat at Orange Theory. I finally tried it and loved it – reminds a little of Barry’s just because it has both the treadmill and then strength training component. The heart monitor really helps you push yourself and stay focused.
After your workout, grab a coffee or a matcha latte at the infamous Sawada Coffee. Sawada Coffee means serious business – Japanese latte art master Hiroshi Sawada’s and Hogsalt Hospitality ( folks behind Gilt and Au Cheval) opened this cafe and it has become a favorite in Chicago (they are rumored to be opening one in Tribeca, NYC…shhhh). If you want to see locals and experience a unique coffee shop in Chicago than this is it.
Have lunch at Bad Hunter because this veggie-focused restaurant is delicious and a must try! Not only is the space airy and fitting but the service was also on point. The restaurant does serve some protein but the winning dishes here are the creative veggie ones that make you think twice about what you’re eating ( in a good way!). The drinks are yummy and seasonal – start with the mermaid water! It was my personal favorite.
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Stop by the Soho House Cowshed Spa for a facial or body treatment.
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Picking a spot for dinner was NOT easy. The West Loop area has what is known as “restaurant row”- which means they are a ton of incredible restaurants to choose from. I have a few favorites but Duck, Duck Goat is one we love. Stephanie Izard is the Chef and Founder of Girl and The Goat, Little Goat and Duck, Duck Goat. You pretty much don’t come to Chicago and not eat at one of them!
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Thomas and I recently went to Booze Box and we had a great time. Do you ever go out and feel like the stars are aligned and you have a perfect night? The music, the people, and the drinks were great – we are so happy it’s only a few blocks away from the apartment. The bar is below Sushi Dokku restaurant and feels very much like a speakeasy – and in close proximity to other great spots.
Photography By: Jaclyn Simpson