The Windy City: Four Days in Chicago

People really seem to love this part of Millennium Park in Chicago

People really seem to love this part of Millennium Park in Chicago

Thanks to the miracle of the Internet – and especially – I found myself enjoying the delights of the greater Chicago area on a recent trip to meet 250 of my relatives. Yep. You read that right.  With several days to really cover some ground I decided to do a deep dive into the culinary world of Chicago! Unlike most cities, I had a few not so secret weapons working for me.  The first was the Twitter geniuses at the Chicago Tourism Authority.  The good folks at Choose Chicago were the most helpful and engaging of any tourism office I’ve interacted with across the country.  I’ll give specific examples below, but suffice it to say that if you are going to Chicago, the Instagram and Twitter feeds of the Chicago Tourism Authority are a must.  The second big weapon was my friendship circle.  There is a surprisingly deep love for Chicago in San Diego.  I’m not sure if San Diego is a hub for transplants or I tend to collect lovers of all things Windy, but I ran a standard ‘what should I eat’ poll and got several dozen responses.  I promptly mapped them using the Google, scouted out my trip, and got to work. I know it’s technically no longer acceptable to put “the” in front of Google, but I’m just starting to write again so am a bit rusty.

What follows is a series of adventures that center around food and craft beer, but also meanders to the many things one can do between meals.  In the spirit of this site, I also slide in a few references to some inspiring civic efforts in the city – for those who might be wondering what’s going on in the lives of Chicagoans.  Enjoy!

Day 1: Hopleaf, Map Room, and a delicious soul food restaurant called Big Jones

Brewery Interlude: Revolution Brewing, Three Floyds, Haymarket, Naperville (and The Cube) and The Open Bottle

Day 2: Chicago’s “Highline”, sharing bikes, Bongo Room for breakfast, the Willis Tower and Avec

Day 3: Tweet, a Jamaican run at Ja’Grill, Jazz at Andy’s Jazz Club, and Porkchop

Day 4: Millenium Park, Hyde Park, Valois, Au Cheval and The Purple Pig

I packed quite alot into a few days, but with a city that has so much to offer it’s easy to see why.  I hope you enjoy.  Oh, click here for my Chicago 2016 google map.

Bonus: The impressive work of UCAN to help the neediest among us.


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