So I recently returned from my annual summertime Chicago trip that I do every year with my sister Alana and I have to say, it was quite a trip for the books! The people, the views, the bars, the restaurants, the activities, and just everything about that city is amazing… at least in the Summer :). I’ve never been there during the winter and plan to keep it that way. I think I’ll just plan on sticking to my summer travel there. During our 5 days out there, we decided to check-out a few new places courtesy of Alana’s good friend Nikki who lives there with her husband and her brand new adorable son Owen who was barely 3 months old when we got there in mid-August.
I had heard about a hotel, The Godfrey, as one of the best in Chicago so I decided to pull the plug and book our stay there. The location was easy and we walked to a lot of places to eat and drink. When we checked-in, the front desk could not have been nicer. I struck up a conversation with the gentleman checking me in and explained we were there for my sisters birthday. I asked if he had any room upgrades and without hesitation, he upgraded us to an Executive Suite…umm… SCORE! We got to the room and we were not disappointed. It was spacious and had a beautiful view of the city. We decided to rest our eyes for a bit and laid down in our king bed. OH. MY. GOSH. I don’t even know where to start regarding this bed. It was the best and not just a cozy hotel bed, but the best cozy hotel bed we’ve ever slept in. It ended up being a talk of our weekend, we were just in heaven. The pillows were fluffy and we just sunk right into the bed. If you’re one of those people that likes an extremely firm bed, this one isn’t for you. For everyone else, this is heaven. I ended up having the hotel send me the info on the bed and pillows and while I tried to get a similar bed at home, it just wasn’t the same. Needless to say, I can’t wait to stay at this hotel again. Oh and another side note, they have this badass rooftop bar that has awesome food and killer views. On Friday and Saturday nights it becomes one of the hottest bars to get in to but of course if you’re staying there, you get in immediately 🙂
I’m definitely a sucker for an awesome rooftop or patio bar so when I find one with delicious wine or cocktails, I’m hooked. Nikki suggested we check out the bar named Cindy’s located right across the infamous Chicago bean. It’s at the top of The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel and you have the option to either make a reservation (should you want to eat) or do first come for serve for their common tables. Browsing the cocktail list I had no idea what to order. I thought about keeping it simple and getting a glass of sparkling rosé (my go-to) but I decided to try something different. Unintentionally, I accidentally ordered a gin drink named “We’ll Always Have Paris”. When I had realized I had made the mistake, it was a little late so I just went with it. Well, let me tell you, this was the best mistake I’ve ever made. I tasted flavors I never even knew were possible. I wish I could describe it in words but I simply cannot. If you’re a gin drinker, this drink is definitely for you. If you aren’t a gin drinker like myself, this drink is definitely for you! Don’t worry, that wasn’t a type-o, everybody will love this drink. It’s a hidden gem on the menu and trust me when I say, you won’t regret ordering it.
On our way out after our second round at the bar, both Alana and myself noticed these two girls at the corner of the bar eating the most delicious looking scallops we’ve ever seen. We asked the girls about the dish and they said it was incredible and ended up offering us a bite! I ended up saying no only because Alana and I gave each other a look knowing we were coming back the next day for those scallops and low and behold, Sunday afternoon rolled around and we showed up back at Cindy’s! The deal with their food there is that most items are meant to be served family style (3-4 people) but if theres only 1-2 of you, you can order half orders. It’s awesome and convenient. Alana and I got the same two seats the girls from the previous day were sitting at and we immediately ordered our Paris drinks and a half order of the scallops. We got our drinks in hand and we were as happy as could be. Well needless to say, the scallops absolutely did not disappoint and we stuffed them in our bellies alongside some of the other appetizers we had ordered. The GM also surprised us with an incredible dessert for Alana’s birthday that was DEEEEELISH. We were so stuffed by the time it came out, but somehow we found some room in our stomachs to eat a few bites each 🙂 Between the tasty cocktails, delicious food, and over-the-top customer service, I can honestly say this bar/restaurant is at the top of my list and I highly recommend anytime you’re in Chicago, make this a mandatory stop. Oh, and not to mention, they have one of the most badass views of Chicago and Lake Michigan you’ll ever see so that doesn’t hurt 🙂
The next stop we made during our bar hoping in Chicago was at the London House. It offered a swanky downtown Chicago vibe with a skyline of all the beautiful high-rises. Everything about this rooftop was just cool and trendy — the people, the food, the drinks, and the vibe. I opted for a glass of the sparkling rosé since it was pretty hot out and a refreshing glass of bubbles is always a good idea. This is the perfect spot to hit up after work or on a weekend afternoon before making an appearance at a trendy restaurant to get your night started.
The Aviary: Apparently this bar is quite famous in Chicago so it was a must on our list during our trip. Alana had been to this bar before years ago and had yet to stop talking about the best cocktail of her life that she got there. They only take reservations so we made sure to make them prior to our trip. We opted for the 3 drinks/person package which runs you $65. I know, a bit of sticker shock to say the least. The drinks there are clearly more on the pricey side, but let me tell you, it’s actually totally worth it. The experience inside is unlike any other and the drinks are pretty much indescribable. Unfortunately I can’t remember the names of the drinks we ordered (and the menu isn’t available online as it changes pretty frequently) but you can see from the pictures below how creative and unique the drinks are. Since the menu does change regularly, I will definitely be including this stop on each and every single one of my next trips to Chicago so I can experience the new cocktail list.