A Guide to (my favorite) Chicago Restaurants

One of my favorite ways to explore a new city is by going to restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Even though Mitch and I just moved to the city, we’ve been able to find some places we’ve always turned back to; I knew I had to share!

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Fig & Olive

olive oil cake


Summer House Santa Monica

burrata with warmed bread, Summer Water wine & guacamole & house-made chips

Mitch and I live in the Lincoln Park area; and tend to explore restaurants close to us. I broke up the post by restaurants, drinks, brunch spots & coffee shops (plus some doughnut shops as well).


  • Summer House Santa Monica: an airy restaurant with refreshing meals. If you’re crazing a trip to Santa Monica, this is a great option without the price of a ticket.

  • Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba: hello tapas! If you’re in the mood for light Spanish food, prepare to make a reservation at least a day before.

  • Pasta Bowl: located a couple blocks from the Zoo, you can grab a large bowl of pasta for under $15; not to mention the daily deals on wine, beer and more.

  • Urban Belly: probably our favorite spot in the city; the belly fire sauce is a staple in our home.

  • Rickshaw Republic: Indonesian street food with a limited menu but a great small environment.

  • Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co.: such a tourist destination, but the pot-pie style pizza is amazing! The wait it (normally) 2+ hours, but sometimes you can luck out during the week.

  • RPM Italian: another staple in the city, RPM Italian is a classic and fancier Italian restaurant. Mitch and I have been coming here for years.

  • Fig & Olive: I love bringing friends & family to Fig & Olive when they visit. The location is perfect, right in the Gold Coast, and the outdoor seating area is to-die for during the summer.

  • Drawl: In the mood for Southern comfort food with a twist? Drawl is your spot, with tons of whiskey options as well.

  • Del Seoul: a quick spot for Korean BBQ, the vegetarian bimbimbap is amazing.


  • Beatrix: located in the West Loop, this place is so cute & trendy (plus, you can get your points with the Lettuce Entertain You app!)

  • Gemini: I love the lox here. It’s cut so thing and garnished perfectly!

  • Wildberry: close to the bean, this place is popular among tourists and locals alike.

  • Delia’s Kitchen: Although this place is outside of the city, the healing latte is to-die for (and so are the lemon-ricotta pancakes).


  • Hopcat: If you’re a beer lover, this is the place for you! I love coming here in the summer, they open the huge windows that let in a breeze.

  • Summer House Santa Monica: if you’re looking for a refresing cocktail or summer water on tap, Summer House is perfect.

  • Kibbitznest books, brews & blarney: I discovered this small bar while exploring with friends and fell in love. The environment is laid back, you can play board games or read any book on the shelves.

  • LondonHouse Chicago: located close to Michigan Avenue, this rooftop car is perfect during the summer, boujie vibes all the way.

Coffee Shops

  • Colectivo Coffee: I will always love coming to this coffee shop since it’s originally from Miilwaukee, Wisconsin!

  • Sawada Coffee: One of cutest coffee shops i’ve been too, but no tea options! It’s connected to a couple different restaurants in one with a large & open concept.

  • Stans Donuts: If you are in the mood for a traditional donut, this is the place to go!

  • Firecakes Donuts: these donuts are huge, and they even have a vegan donut I love. I prefer firecakes over stans, but both are a great option.

  • Joe & the Juice: Although it’s a chain, this is one of my favorite places for Juice in Chicago.

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X. Natalie.