10 Things I Like About Chicago

Lest my Windy City friends worry, there are a few things I like about Chicago…despite what my last post may have you think. So, in no particular order, I present the top 10 things I actually like about my temporary home:

Tapas and paella at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba!

Tapas and paella at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba!

1. The Food. I love to eat and luckily for me, Chicago has a lot of delicious places to do just that. Seriously. I have a running list called “Places to Eat” on my iPhone and it just. Keeps. Growing! Don’t ask if I have a favorite restaurant. I couldn’t possibly choose. (Okay, if I absolutely had to choose, it’d be Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba in Lincoln Park…best tapas, paella and sangria I’ve had outside of Spain!)

Pumpkin cupcake

Pumpkin Patch cupcake from SugarBliss Cakes

2. The Cupcakes. Need I say more? If you know me and/or follow me on Instagram, you know I love cupcakes. Lucky for me, Chicago has a TON of cupcakeries…and I love them all! Especially the Pumpkin Patch cupcake at Sugar Bliss. That is my fave!!

Bacon waffles at Bakin' and Eggs

Bacon waffles at Bakin’ and Eggs

3. Bacon and Brunch. If there are two things Chicagoans love, it’s bacon and brunch. Sometimes simultaneously. I’ve had bacon waffles at two different places already and loved them both. The waiting in line for brunch, however, I could do without…

Day at the zoo...

Day at the zoo…

4. Lincoln Park Zoo. I love zoos, so it’s no surprise that I immediately took a liking to Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s like a little oasis from the concrete jungle, because sometimes Chicago can be a bit too “city” for me. I like to be surrounded by trees and wild animals. It soothes me. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?!

Date night at the aquarium...

Date night at the aquarium…

5. The Shedd Aquarium. Okay, so I’ve got a thing for animals. Sue me. I’ve been here twice now (once for Jazzin’ at the Shedd, where they have live jazz playing throughout the aquarium, complete with fireworks across the lake at Navy Pier)…so romantic!

Just waiting for the train. #CTAlife

Just waiting for the train. #CTAlife

6. The CTA. Even though I miss driving, I do not, however, miss sitting in rush hour traffic. Enter the Chicago Transit Authority. My daily 40-minute(ish) train ride to and from work also gives me plenty of time to catch up on reading. Bonus!

I swear there were apple!

I swear there were apples!

7. Different neighborhoods. I like this because it reminds me of Baltimore and how every neighborhood has its own distinguishing characteristics. My neighborhood hosted an Apple Fest in September and everyone either had a baby, one on the way, or a puppy. Or, in some cases, they possessed The Trifecta.

Beach day at Lake Michigan...granted, this was taken in Michigan. But it's the same lake.

Beach day at Lake Michigan…granted, this was taken in Michigan. But it’s the same lake.

8. The Lake. When I moved to Chicago this summer, I was confused when everyone kept referencing the beach. I’d think to myself, That is not an ocean people, it’s a lake. But I do like being close to a body of water, it’s relaxing.

Food truck festival...yummm!

Food truck festival…yummm!

9. The Festivals. You could probably file this under the food category, but Chicago’s festivals are so awesome, they need their own entry. The Taste of Chicago is typical and touristy. I should know, I was one of said tourists two years ago. For “the authentic” Chicago festival experience, you need to visit the neighborhoods. (See #7)

Fact: Red wine makes me sleepy.

Fact: Red wine makes me sleepy.

10. Being able to buy wine at Walgreens. Being from Maryland where you have to drive to a liquor store to purchase adult beverages, I didn’t know how convenient it’d be to have alcohol available at supermarkets, convenient stores and Wal-Mart, etc. Need me to pick up a bottle of vino on the way to your potluck? Sure, let me just stop by this City Target right here and get some Barefoot…and some lip balm…and this cute skirt. Oh, are those yoga pants on sale? Eighty dollars later…


6 thoughts on “10 Things I Like About Chicago

  1. Susan Friedland-Smith says:

    L’Oreal, we need to talk. So I’m from Chicago (suburbs mostly, but did live in both Rogers Park and Bucktown for two years). What about the pizza?! May I suggest Lou Malnati’s? Also, you must check out Super Dawg (hot dogs). I know that hot dogs are terrible for you. There’s just something about a hot dog in Chicago. And Mindy’s Hot Chocolate (okay, I’m biased–my BFF from middle school worked there for a while). All amazing. You’ll have even more reasons to if not love, at least somewhat like Chicago a little more.

    • L'Oreal Thompson says:

      Hi Susan, thank you so much for commenting and sharing your suggestions! I absolutely LOVE Chicago deep dish pizza (Giordano’s is my fave, but I’ll definitely have to try Lou Malnati’s…thanks for the tip!). I’ll also have to try Super Dawg…I actually had my first authentic Chicago hot dog on a walking food tour in Bucktown where I also had Hot Chocolate (although it was actually iced when I went because it was in the summer). Mmm…now this is making me hungry!! 🙂 haha

  2. Stacey says:

    I like that six of your reasons were basically about food…and loved the nod to not one, but two informal education institutions. Your kids room roots are showing…

    • L'Oreal Thompson says:

      Haha Thank you for reading and commenting, Stacey! You know you can take the girl out of the Kids Room, but you can’t take the Kids Room out of the girl! 😉 And yes, I spend about 95% of my time in Chicago eating…so many places!!

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