Last weekend we headed to Illinois, to explore it’s Windy City or as it’s now more famously known, Chi-Town! The birthplace of the skyscraper and now home to one of the world’s iconic skylines, I was excited to visit the city that is frequently named the best city to live in the United States.

We stayed at The Conrad hotel which was set in the perfect location, a few steps from the Magnificent Mile (Chicago’s main shopping district) and walking distance from Navy Pier, 360 ChicagoLake Michigan and some of the cities best restaurants. You can find my recommendations from this trip on my Dining Guides page here.

Chicago seemed to have a bit of everything, from a Rodeo Drive style shopping district, to a Southern California style beach pier, backing onto Manhattan style skyscrapers. There is definitely something for everyone in this city. My favorite area was in and around Rush Street as each building was so original and the entire neighborhood had the perfect aesthetic. It may have been the summer sun talking, but I did need to blink to realize I wasn’t window shopping in Cannes!

Brunch will be your main meal everyday with the extensive list of popular places to visit. We managed to tick off quite a few in the time we had here, my favorites being Blue Door Kitchen and The Hampton Social. Make sure to book a reservation as the majority of places get booked up, especially during weekends.

Blue Door Kitchen was at the top of my ‘must try’ list as everyone I asked had highly recommended it. We ate brunch on the patio which was elegantly decorated like a French country house with a farm-to-table dining experience. We ordered the Fried Chicken Benedict and Chicken Waffles and loved both!

As much as we enjoyed staying at our amazing hotel, it made it very difficult to want to leave and explore the area, as it had the best rooftop bar in the city overlooking Downtown Chicago, only a short elevator ride away. Noyane, meaning ‘hidden roof’ in Japanese is a very popular bar with both the locals and hotel guests alike, serving Japanese cuisine and classic cocktails with a twist. The food was excellent and the cocktails even better, especially the Chocolate Snowball which was served in a take-out container.

Baptiste and Bottle is another great bar in the hotel that is famous for its wild and smokey cocktails. Come here to sip a cocktail made table-side as you take in the floor to ceiling windows that give you panoramic views of Michigan Avenue.

If you are flying out of Chicago O’Hare airport on your journey home, be sure to check out SummerHouse Santa Monica for good, quick food before you fly. It’s rare to be able to recommend an airport, so I’ll be the first to tell you about one when I do!

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