RPM Steak & RPM Italian

As a steak lover, I had to try out these amazing restaurants. These two Chicago gem’s are owned by Bill and Giuliana Rancic. RPM Steak & RPM Italian will definitely put a hole in your wallet, but I promise it will be worth it. I had been dying to try both of these spectacular restaurants for years. I wanted to wait for a special occasion since both of them are so expensive.

I choose to go to RPM Italian for my Graduation dinner. There is no better place to celebrate than RPM Italian. As an Italian woman and someone who has lived in Italy, I can vouch for how spot on and phenomenal this menu is. I choose to go to RPM Steak to celebrate my first big girl job and promotion at my company. Both of these spectacular restaurants have amazing cocktails, phenomenal dishes and Delicious desserts. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or really feel the need to treat yourself, RPM Italian & RPM Steak will always make you feel happy and classy.

Eleven City Diner

I was watching Riverdale one night and I had the biggest craving for a milkshake. In case you don’t know, the Riverdale cast is notorious for grabbing a milkshake from Pop’s Chock’Lit Shoppe. It got me wondering where I could get a milkshake like that. I started googling, checking yelp reviews and browsing on Instagram for the best milkshake in Chicago. I stumbled upon a great little spot called Eleven City Diner.

Eleven City Diner is located in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago, right on Wabash Avenue. You know your’e there when you see a cute little patio and a dozen neon signs shining down on you. Eleven City Diner transports you back tot he 50’s with their vintage diner aesthetic. Not only is this place cute as hell, but it tastes just as amazing as it looks.

This diner is absolute spectacular and the service is friendly and fast. If you are looking for comfort food, then look no further. They have got is all from a delicious pastrami sandwich to their all day breakfast food, this menu surely wont disappoint. I always leave this place pregnant with a food baby. Their french fries are out of this world good. You must try the Potato Knish, it is a fluffy puff pastry with a gravy dipping sauce. IT IS AMAZING!!! I love grabbing a hot bowl of Bubbie’s Chicken Soup or Matzoh Ball Soup with a side grilled cheese when it’s cold outside.

The sandwiches are the star of this place. You cannot go wrong with any of their world famous pastrami sandwiches. The meat is shaved so thinly and perfectly. It practically melts in your mouth, it is so damn good. The Schwartzy is full of smoked beef brisket and it’s served on Challah bread. You can also try the Zenith (my favorite) which contains the best pastrami and corned beef on the planet, with swiss cheese and thousand Island served on rye bread. Don’t even get me started on the Ruben.

Breakfast is simply great here. You can order eggs, pancakes or even waffles at any time of the day. Everything looks and taste’s wonderful. I may or may not be obsessed with Blueberry Cream Cheese Waffles. I promise the Corned Beef and Pastrami Hash won’t disappoint either. If you really need your morning kick in the pants, order the Bad Ass Breakfast Sandwich. You get 2 Eggs with bacon, aged Wisconsin cheddar sauce on a challah twist roll, plus you get the house potatoes all for $13. What more could you need? You can also get a pretty great bagel with cream cheese on the go too!

You have to indulge in Eleven City Diner’s homemade Rootbeer. They have a big ole’ barrel on tap because of how great it tastes. You cannot leave before grabbing malt or a milkshake. Every milkshake and malt that is every ordered comes with the tin and a hat on top, which is code for a little extra milkshake and whipped cream with a cherry on top. You can;t get a milkshake more creamy and sweet than here. It not only looks so cute, but it tastes even better!

Every bite of every dish I have ever ordered was phenomenal! I'm not a connoisseur of Jewish delis, but this place can do no wrong. Make sure you check out the vintage candy shop too! It is chock full of some of my favorite old time candies like Candy Buttons, Neco Wafers, Rolos, Fruit Stripes Gum, Runts, Pop Rocks and so much more!

Parlor Pizza & Dessert Dealers

Pizza is the way to my heart. This pizza slays in all departments. The crust is fluffy and light and the toppings melt perfectly together. Parlor Pizza just might be my favorite pizza joint in Chicago (Sorry Lou Malnati’s).

Parlor Pizza has two locations, on in the West Loop and one in Wicker Park. The environment is very upbeat, loud and fun. The energy is always happy, great music echos throughout the restaurant and of course the smell of pizza lingers everywhere.

Parlor Pizza draws in large crowds every night for happy hour. This is the perfect place to grab a pizza with your friends and enjoy a cocktail or two. During the summer Parlor Pizza has one hell of a rooftop and a great outdoor patio. Not to mention the bar is a perfect spot to catch a game. The bartenders a very friendly and they tend to be very generous when it comes to pouring drinks. The staff Is very attentive and kind as well.

The menu is absolute hilarious. They have titles like “pre-pizza” and “not-pizza” for those Chicago eater’S who come to a pizza joint and don’t want pizza. I will say the parlor burger is great, the kale and artichoke dip is amazing, the parlor pizza bread is out of this world and the balsamic glazed fried mozzarella is phenomenal.

My favorite pizza on the menu is called “I Feel Like Bacon Love” and it has a leak bechamel sauce, bacon white cheddar, shaved yukon gold potatoes and scallions on it. It will be the best thing you taste all week. I also love almost all of the pizza’s on the menu. You might also want to try the “Cheesus, Mary & Joseph” or “Honey Boo Boo” or “Burrata Be Kidding Me” or
”Okie Dokie Artichokie” or “Save The Last Ranch” pizza while your are there. It is fun to go with friends, each of you can order a different pizza and share, so everyone can grab a taste. Plus, if you are not feeling any of the special pizzas, feel free to build your own.

Parlor Pizza is attached to a smaller sweet shop called Dessert Dealers. They specialize in a concoction called a tacolato. A tacolato is a combination of a taco and gelato. They have so many wacky concoctions on the menu. You have to try them all. A couple of my favorite selections are the “Carmelo Anthony” and “Gimme S’more” and “Go Nuts” and “B-A-N-A-N-A-S” tacolato. My favorite tacolato is the “Cookie Monster” because it has cookies and cream gelato, Oreo pieces, cherries, fudge sauce, mini chocolate chips, whipped cream inside a double chocolate shell. Hope you pop by for a great slice of pizza and delicious tacolato!

Left Coast Food + Juice

Acai bowls are my weakness. Left Coast has the best acai bowl in town. There are two Left Coast Food + Juice locations in Chicago. The Lakeview and River North locations are both wonderful. Left Coast has elevated healthy food and delicious drink selections. I am a huge fan of their fresh pressed juices, coffee, wraps, salads and of course their acai bowls!

This is a great spot for a lunch break or breakfast on the go. The food is fresh, flavorful and hearty. The service is always friendly and the interior aesthetic is gorgeous. Left Coast has the perfect patio for a beautiful summer day. You definitely feel the west coast-California vibes when you visit. Everything is light and airy, the food is trendy and most importantly delicious.

The salads are refreshing and tasty. The wraps are hearty and a great option for a filling lunch. Left Coast is so wonderful because they serve breakfast all day long. My go-to option on the menu is the Left Coast Acai Bowl! It is packed with acai berries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana, almond butter, maca powder, hemp seeds, granola and coconut. I promise if you order this bowl you wont be disappointed! If you are looking to change up your diet or try something new, Left Coast is the place for you.

Ralph Lauren Bar & Grill

The Ralph Lauren Bar & Grill in Chicago is one of my favorite places to go for dinner. This restaurant is located in the Gold Coast neighborhood, it’s right on the corner of Michigan avenue and Chicago avenue. It is the perfect spot for lunch or dinner. A reservation won’t hurt to ensure you snag a great table later in the evening.

The RL patio is the place to be in the summer. With the fresh Chicago air and a lovely view of the famous Chicago Water Tower building, there’s no better spot in the city for dinner. Not to mention your are right next to one of the most historic landmarks in all of Chicago. The original Chicago Water Tower Building stands proudly in Jane Byrne Park right across the street from RL.

Diving into the menu, you can’t go wrong with any of the appetizers. I will recommend the crab cake as an appetizer, it falls apart like butter in your mouth. The salads change seasonally but, I swear that I have never had a better caesar salad in my life. The watermelon gazpacho is also a delight.

The number one reason I dine at RL is for the filet mingon. The fillet mignon is absolutely amazing and it comes À la carte. You can order a plethora of side dishes. The mashed potatoes are my personal favorite. I recommend ordering your filet medium or medium rare. The béarnaise sauce and garlic butter shallot sauce are absolutely phenomenal to pair with the filet mignon. Your mouth will thank you later.

I also would recommend ordering the RL burger. The burger drips with delicious juices in between a crisp and buttery bun. This is one of the best and most classic dishes you can order at RL. The fries are also a delight and they are seasoned to perfection.

Don't forget to order cocktails, you must try the round hill!  It was absolutely excellent. The desserts are also fantastic. I like to indulge in a little cheesecake every now and then. All of the desserts are baked and created in house!

The latest addition to RL is Ralph’s Coffee Cart. In the morning Monday- Sunday from 7am-10am you can enjoy a quick cup of joe at Ralph’s Coffee Cart. This cart is the cutest thing you will ever come across on Michigan Avenue. This cart is decked out with a cute little green bicycle, fresh flowers and all the coffee you could ever need on a Monday. I work right next store at retail store called Anthropologie. I often pass by this lovely cart in the morning and grab a spot of tea. The cart also has fresh baked pastries to soak up all that coffee in your stomach. The barista’s are very sweet and love to chat with you. You don’t want to miss out on this cute coffee spot.

The servers at RL were so kind and funny. Everyone is very accommodating and the atmosphere is beautiful. You can relax and sit back with ease here. You are guaranteed to have a fabulous time at RL. If you are looking for a great dinner spot or quick cup of coffee in the morning, The Ralph Lauren bar & Grill is the place! You must try this classic menu in Chicago.

Heritage Bicycles General Store

Heritage reigns at the very top of my favorite coffee shops list. The lavender and chai tea lattes are reason enough to visit. This cute little shop is located in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. This brand is doing so well that they have opened up a few more locations in uptown. Their latest venture is Heritage on wheels. They have a pop-up camper parked on the running path in Lincoln Park. It might just be the cutest thing in the entire world.

Heritage Bicycles General Store offers fresh pastries and treats daily. The cafe and store might be a little small but there is always room on the patio. The space itself is so charming and quaint,. There is a massive communal table that you can share with friends and neighbors alike. The staff are amazingly kind and genuine. 

This cafe is not just a cafe, it is a real bicycle repair shop. You can create a custom bicycle or repair a damaged bicycle. This place specializes in bicycles and coffee. As if this concept is not cute enough, their WiFi password is bicycles and beans!

The decor of this cafe is perfection. There are cute quirks and knick knacks everywhere you turn. The menu is hand written on chalkboards by a very detailed and creative human being. I always love looking up at the chalk boards and seeing what the newest little drawings and doodles are. There are Edison light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. A vintage typewriter welcomes you into the shop with the amazing aroma of fresh brewed coffee. There is even a massive vintage green bus parked in the middle of the outdoor patio. 

Whether you are looking to get some work done or stopping by for a quick cup of coffee, Heritage is a wonderful place to visit. The coffee and tea menus are pretty dang great. This place is always packed with locals, so goodluck getting a table. I am a little biased to the original Heritage Bicycle General Store, it is my absolute favorite spot. I highly recommend a visit to this place to snag a chai latte or two. 

Beatnik

Beatnik is a Mediterranean dream restaurant that has taken over Chicago by storm. I have been waiting to visit this beautiful restaurant for a special occasion. I just so happened to have my 23rd birthday this July. Beatnik is Chicago's hidden urban jungle. You would never know walking in the West Side that there was a gorgeous restaurant right around the corner.

The ambiance of Beatnik is beyond amazing. There are imported vintage hotel chandeliers hanging form the ceilings, Beautiful hand painted tiles from India and incredible decor fixtures form all over the world. From the tapas style meridian food to the delicious cocktails, Beatnik is a killer brunch and dinner spot. 

The service was so friendly and great. Everyone I spoke with wished me a happy birthday. This restaurant truly made my birthday brunch so special. I ordered so many cocktails and dishes to share. The best thing on the brunch menu is the chai cinnamon rolls. The halloumi cheese fries are to die for. The potatoes three ways were delightful. The pork cheek fried rice was surprising a great great choice. The scrambled egg sandwich was the most amazing breakfast sandwich I have ever eaten.

I have been back to Beatnik several times this summer and I ordered the egg breakfast sandwich almost every time! There is practically a whole omelette sandwiched in between two grilled brioche buns. Not to mention there is a tons of delicious cheese, a pesto schemer and a nice juicy tomato in the sandwich too!

The cocktails were pretty great at Beatnik. I have indulged in the cava cobler (the prettiest and best cocktail), the white peach sangria, the second fiddle, freezin my nuts off, dark night &city lights, and tios safe word. All of these cocktails are fabulous and strong. 

This place is so trendy, they had to open up a new location due to demand. Beatnik on the River just opened in Chicago. This place is all the rage and then some. If you need a fabulous place to celebrate your birthday or  brunch at with your gal pals, this is the spot for you! 

Sprinkles Cupcakes

You have never tasted a cupcake until you have tasted a Sprinkles cupcake. Sprinkles offers both small and mighty sized cupcakes. This Chicago based company has taken the world by storm. Sprinkles specializes in gourmet cupcakes and crazy good flavors. Sprinkles designs special themed cupcakes for every single holiday.

Sprinkles has a cupcake ATM for those busy Chicagoan's who don't have time for long lines. The Sprinkles ATM delivers you a delicious cupcake of your choice with just a few quick taps and a swipe from your credit card. The ATM pops your cupcake in a cute little brown box for you to grab and enjoy on the go. 

Sprinkles is not your average cup-cakery. The flavor selection is out of this world. Some of my favorite Sprinkles Cupcakes include: Black and White, Chocolate Coconut, Sprinkle, Strawberry, Banana, Peanut Butter Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar.

Almost all of Sprinkles cupcakes are topped off with a little gum paste decoration. Sprinkles has a plethora of custom cupcake options on their website. You get to choose each and every flavor with custom decorations of your choice. Ordering cupcakes for your next birthday or anniversary or graduation function is a huge game changer. One of my favorite custom decorations is the cactus. I had a fiesta themed graduation party and I ordered two dozen mini cupcakes with the cutest little green cacti decorations. They were the hit of the party. 

I always stop by Sprinkles around the holidays to see what fun new flavors and cupcakes they design each year. You will never be disappointed after a visit to Sprinkles. Make sure you bring your sweet tooth when you visit!

Ice Cream Obsession

I scream, you scream, we all scream... I don't know I just love ice cream. There are so many great places in Chicago to grab some amazingly yummy ice cream. Here's a few of my favorite ice cream spots:

1. La Michoacana Premium Pilsen

This paleta shop is on of my favorite places to snag a  sweet treat. La Michoacana has several locations all throughout Illinois but the Pilsen location is the best one of all. This pink brick little shop is located in the heart of a cultural hispanic hub. These Mexican ice pops are chock-full of chunks of fresh fruit and available in a hypnotizing array of colors. There are shockingly made with real fruit and not processed garbage sugar like most Popsicles. One of my favorite features at La Michoacana is their pink walls. The stunningly vibrant pink walls make the perfect backdrop for your insta. These colorful ice pops sure are a great way to brighten up a nice, hot, summer afternoon.  

2. Jeni's Splendid Ice creams

This Ohio based ice creamery has taken over Chicago by storm. My personal favorite flavors are brambleberry crisp, salted caramel, brown butter almond brittle and the lavender ice creams. The intoxicating fresh waffle cone smell lingers throughout the entire ice cream shop. One of the best things about Jeni's is that you can taste test any of their unique and wacky flavors. The ambiance of Jeni's is very fun, colorful and sweet. I highly recommend getting three scoops of your choice and a free waffle crisp in a bowl, this way you can try three of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams crazy good flavors. If you are looking for a specialty ice cream in Chicago, Jeni's is the spot for you. 

3. Gordo's

Gordo's ice cream has a couple locations throughout the Chicago land area. I am a huge fan of the South Loop location right off of Polk St. At Gordo's, they specialize in dressing up a Popsicle of your choice with all things sweet and delicious. I would try the mango, strawberry, pistachio or the hibiscus tea flavored Popsicle. Once you pick your Popsicle, you can dress it up with milk, white or dark chocolate. There are a plethora of toppings to choose from. My go-to toppings include sprinkles a.k.a jimmys, heath, fruity pebbles,  oreos, pretzels, cookie bits and cinnamon toast crunch squares. Don't forget to snap a photo of your creation on their beautiful black and white ceramic tile wall. Gordo's can fix your sweet tooth cravings in a heartbeat. 

4. Amorino

To be very blunt, gelato is 100% better than ice cream. My absolute favorite gelateria in Chicago is Amorino. They are located in the Gold Coast neighborhood in Chicago. They specialized in floral gelato, coffee and macrons. You have your pick of pure and insanely great flavors to complete your rose of gelato. I highly recommend the amareno, cioccolato, fragola, nocciola and my favorite pistachio. Depending what size cone you get, you can snag up to 5 flavors on your cone. You can top off your work of art with a mini cone or a macaron of your choice. Amorino is a fun and unique way to cool off this summer. There's nothing like a sweet italian treat to beat the summer heat. 

5. Bombo Bar 

Bombo bar is attached to a restaurant called Bar Siena. Bombo Bar is located in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago. This spot has a walk up window outside Bar Siena. Bombo Bar can cure your sugar fix instantly. One of the best things about Bombo Bar is the fresh made gelato. Bombo Bar's food and sweet treats come from Italian roots and the owner Fabio (who won Top Chef on Bravo) designed the menu with Italy in mind. You wont find fake and over processed gelato here. Bombo Bar's gelato is rich and creamy. Each flavor you pick actually tastes pure and like the actual ingredient it is! The pistachio gelato is my favorite pick at Bombobar. You might also want to try the salted caramel, smores, birthday cake or double chocolate flavors. 

6. La Bodega Del Barrio

La Bodega Del Barrio is attached to a restaurant called Barrio. La Bodega Del Barrio was created by another top chef alum, Katsuji Tanabe. La Bodega Del Barrio has a great menu ranging from delicious coffee picks to some crazy fun themed churros. This summer, they launched a new special treat, churro cones are the latest dessert trend in Chicago. This delightful little shop has vanilla, chocolate or swirled soft serve ice cream to choose from. The churro cones are smothered in cinnamon sugar, with a candy coated rim. You have your pick of ice cream toppings, some of my favorites are chocolate pretzels, sprinkles, fruity pebbles and even edible glitter.  I highly recommend popping over to River North, and trying one of  La Bodega Del Barrio's new and incredibly tasty churro cones. 

 

Soho House Chicago

Soho House Chicago is as bougie as it gets. Located in the heart of the West Loop, Soho House Chicago is the best of the best. Whether you are seeking out a fabulous brunch, some afternoon tea or a posh dinner; Soho has it all.

Soho house Chicago has quite a few restaurants with in their grasp. Soho features The Allis Resturant, Chicken & Farm Shop, Fox Bar, Taverna Restaurant and The Nava Restaurant. Soho House is a members only club & hotel located on 113 N Green St in Chicago. 

Soho House Chicago exudes excellence, from their marble table tops, dazzling chandeliers and dainty Liberty London plates. This West Loop spot is the perfect place for catching up on some work or afternoon tea dates with your best friend. 

Brunch is always s good idea. The Allis has delicious baked goods like a chocolate croissant or a moist slice of banana bread. One of the top brunch eats at The Allis is the Avocado Toast. On a thick piece of plum multigrain bread you get a perfectly seasoned poached egg on top of a yummy schmeer of avocado. 

Soho has some amazing brunch items and a couple of my favorites are the Eggs Benedict, Quinoa Pancakes, Acai Bowl and the berry loaded French Toast.  

The absolute best thing to order at Soho is the Afternoon Tea. You and a couple of your friends can enjoy a gorgeous tower of goodies and a great selection of loose leaf teas. You choose a pot of tea that comes in a beautiful black and white floral tea pot, cup and saucer. A couple of my favorite tea selections are the Italian Green Almondine, Mallorca Mellon and the Second Flush Darjeeling. 

The Afternoon Tea features a selection of three dainty finger sandwiches, raspberry puff pastries, decadent chocolate cake, some macaroons of the day, lemon tarts, fresh bread, red velvet cakes and yummy scones. All of these amazing treats come on a three-tear tower in the signature Liberty London and Soho House collaboration tea set. I promise the signature black and white floral tea set won't disappoint you. 

When dining in at  The Allis I highly recommend the delicious Steak and Potatoes, Smoked Turkey Club, Roasted Chicken and Midwest Meat and Cheese Selection. I try to save my special occasions in life for dinner at Soho House. 

The cocktails at Soho are almost as a amazing at the Afternoon Tea. You should try the Soho Negroni, Speakeasy, Soho Mule or the Sparrow Tale.  There is also a huge selection of wines and beers available. The bartenders are very friendly and can whip up anything you desire. 

I had the pleasure of staying at the hotel for my 22nd birthday. The pool, lounge, upstairs restaurants, cowshed spa and gym were spectacular. Each hotel room at Soho is completely different and unique from the next. This stay-cation was the best decision I ever made. I highly recommend splurging on a summer evening at Soho House. 

Antique Taco

My favorite tacos in all of Chicago are from Antique Taco. Hipsters, murals and margaritas, oh my! This little hole in the wall packs a punch. From the margaritas of the day, to the amazing cheese curds. If you are looking for a finger licking good time, Antique Taco is the spot for you.

There are three Antique Taco locations: Wicker Park, Bridgeport and Chiquito. The environment is very cozy and cute. Wood tables with pull out stools are spread throughout the restaurant. When you order your food at the bar, you receive a cute little table number.

Antique Taco is decorated with little pops of color, traditional Mexican touches, neon signs and fresh flowers daily. One of my favorite features at Antique, is the free gum jar. It doesn't hurt to freshen up your breath after some garlic tacos.

My favorite tacos on the menu have to be the pork carnitas or the potato pablano . Antique taco specializes in creating traditional Mexican-American fusion food. The quirky plates and quaint mason jar margarita glasses are how they accomplish such a great aesthetic. The pork carnitas tacos come with shredded pork, BBQ sauce, spinach, cheese, onion, avocado and bacon. Each bite you take is like a little taste of mexico. 

The chips are served in a little blue carton (which just makes this place 10x more cute). Did I forget to mention that the guac comes in a fantastic tiny, colorful bowl and it's topped off with a slice of radish? If you don't Instagram your chips and guac, did you even go to Antique Taco?

You cannot leave this restaurant without ordering the chili cheese curds. These beer batter fried nuggets are little pillows of cheese, covered in chili, onions and scallions. These curds would make Wisconsin natives proud. 

Antique Taco has an agua fresca, they make it special with fresh, seasonal fruit everyday. I highly recommend trying whatever flavor juice they have that day. One of my favorites was the cucumber pear agua fresca, it was so refreshing and yummy. I always get the agua fresca whenever I go and I am never disappointed. 

Margarita Mondays are what I thrive for. The margaritas are simply to die for. Antique Taco has a house rosemary margarita on the menu. It is made with fresh lime juice, rosemary, simple syrup, tequila and a cute garnish to top it off. If you have never been to Antique Taco, then I would order the House margarita. I am a huge fan of the seasonal margarita. One of my favorites was a pear thyme margarita. Antique Taco also adds a fun striped paper straw to any drink they sell. 

If you are not a margarita fan, then order yourself the horchata milkshake. It tastes like as if  cinnamon toast crunch cereal and ice cream had a baby. It will solve your sugar fix instantly. 

If your'e lucky the Flowers For Dreams flower truck will make an appearance outside Antique Taco. It is a great opportunity to snag some fresh blooms for your coffee table. 

Don't forget to grab a seat outside when the weather is nice. Antique Taco has some colorful tables set up on their patio. Patio season is upon us and nothing is better than sipping on a margarita while basking in the summer sun. Check out the gorgeous mural on the outside of the building at the Wicker Park location. Cacti, Frida Khalo, hipsters and great tacos are what you need in your life. 

Summer House Santa Monica

Summer House Santa Monica is a great way spend your Saturday morning brunching or out for fun, casual dinner with friends.

Summer House is one of my favorite escapes during winter. When you need a break from all of the snowy and rainy 30 degree weather in April, Summer House provides that tiny glimpse of spring we are all longing for here in Chicago.

The environment transports you to a beautiful beach bungalow in California. You can soak up some sun in the Vitamin D room where greenery hangs from the ceiling and shines in the sunlight through the ceiling made of glass. Their restaurant is famously known for their obsession with summer, even sporting a huge countdown to summer in their main entrance.

Summer House has a trendy West Coast inspired menu. The menu is very broad -- you will find salads, pastas, fish, burgers, tacos and even poke bowls! My favorite menu options are listed on the cocktail menu of course. Summer House has a fantastic selection of California wines that compliment a plethora of hand-crafted dishes from the wood-fried grill.

I recommend the avocado toast or the scrambled egg sandwich. The burgers are without a doubt a great choice for lunch or dinner. “The Impossible Burger” is plant-based and it shockingly tastes like real meat. It is definitely worth a try. The crispy beef tacos are also a delightful choice.

I definitely have to recommend the shoe string fries, ordered in either regular and sweet potato flavors. One of the best things about Summer House is that the menu is always evolving. Summer House also sources their ingredients locally, which helps inspire the seasonal food dishes on the menu. You never know what you are going to get when you dine in at Summer House Santa Monica.

How can I forget to mention the bakery? In the entrance of the restaurant, there is a bakery with delicious treats for purchase. One of my favorite ways to end my meal at Summer House is to snag a bacon chocolate chip cookie from the bakery. I like to sneak some oversized chewy chocolate chip sea salt cookies to-go from the bakery every now and then, too.

Summer House is also the perfect destination for a birthday celebration. The staff always selects a massive cookie of their choice and plop a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top for their birthday guests. They even top it off with a lit birthday candle. The bakery counter offers a variety of fresh-baked pastries, cookies and muffins, along with locally-sourced coffee and specialty espresso drinks.

Summer House makes you feel right at home in a gorgeous environment with even more amazing food selections. The staff are very kind and greatly uniformed. No matter the season, rain or shine, you will be transported to the laid-back vibes of the west coast in Santa Monica whenever you visit. Summer House is a great place to shake off those Chicago winter blues

 

Tuco & Blondie

Tuco & Blondie is a vibrant Mexican cantina in Lakeview. The atmosphere is perfect for a quick bite for lunch or a night out with friends. The menu offers tacos, fajitas, nachos and other Mexican classics.

The space itself is gorgeous. There are glimpses of cacti all throughout the restaurant. A huge “MEXIFUN” neon sign welcomes you into the cantina. From the aqua blue chairs to the Frida Kahlo mural, this restaurant surely will grab your attention. My favorite spot must be the colorful piñata filled room in the back. You can also find a creepy but cool cat mascot, decked out in neon above some of the booths.

I am absolutely in love with the fresh chips and salsa. did i mention they are free? Make sure you ask for a side of guac because it is out of this world. Margaritas are the drink of choice here. I highly recommend you indulge in the Black Cherry or Cadillac margaritas.  The Cadillac margarita has don julio reposado, Cointreau, lime, agave and gran mariner. This margarita is a new twist on a classic margarita. My favorite margarita is the Black Cherry. This margarita is shaken with piedra azul reposad, triple sec, lime, agave and topped off with a juicy black cherry.

All of the cocktails at Tuco & Blondie come garnished with fresh fruit or a colorful swizzle stick. The cocktails are anything but disappointing. If you are with a group of buddies, make sure you snag a margarita pitcher. There is more then enough to share and the margarita options are insanely good. 

The service at Tuco & Blondie is fantastic. Every time I dine in, my server is always kind, attentive and quick. The food comes flaming out of the kitchen in record time.  The chili braised short rib tacos are a huge standout menu item. Everything was perfectly seasoned, sauced and cooked with love. My go-to at Tuco is the chicken tinga taco platter. These three tacos drip with flavor and zest. They might be a bit messy, but they are 100% worth the hassle.   

This colorful space is full of electric murals, great food and a spacious patio in the back, are reason enough to visit Tuco & Blondie. Make sure you visit the patio during the summer, ideally for sipping on margaritas and enjoying some gorgeous sun rays.

La Sirena Clandestina

La Sirena Clandestina is an explosion of Latin American cuisine. This restaurant might be small, but the flavors are big. Make no mistake, this restaurant packs a punch in every dish they serve. La Sirena Clandestina is located in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago. The tropical aesthetic will capture you and transport you to a little cantina in Mexico. The walls are covered in a rich aqua blue with touches of greenery all throughout the restaurant. Every table is decked out with a pop of natural beauty from the fresh cut flowers La Sirena Clandestina cuts everyday. I hosted a pop-up event at La Sirena Clandestina on a very snowy Saturday for my internship at Krispyfringe Vintage and had the best time hanging out in this cozy space.  

The food was spectacular. The smashed breakfast potatoes were almost as fantastic as the thick and juicy side of bacon I ordered. The french toast was also a great addition to my brunch. It was composed of thickly sliced bread, bananas, almond peanut butter and whipped cream. The potatoes were the clear winner here though. Each bit was perfectly crunchy and flavorful.

And how can I not mention the steak and eggs? Sliced steak is paired with a yuka tot, serrano salsa, fried egg and cilantro.  If you can handle some heat, don't be afraid to test this dish out.

If you are looking for an out-of-the-ordinary, flavorful breakfast, La Sirena Clandestina is the perfect spot for you. 

Nellcôte

Nellcôte is a gorgeous venue with a very swanky atmosphere. I popped over for brunch one Saturday to enjoy some bottomless mimosas and peach bellinis. Nellcôte is located smack dab in the middle of Randolph Street in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago. Nellcôte exudes elegance with antique chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and Italian white marble floors. The walls are plastered in eclectic art and beautiful, framed art works. Nellcôte specializes in small plates and tiny bites. I recommend you order two or more of their delicious menu items. Brunch is what I thrive for. I enjoyed the ever so savory breakfast sandwich. This sandwich was pure perfection. The sandwich included a fluffy brioche bun, smoked Canadian bacon, onion, tomato, a cheesy American omelette and a herb aioli to top it off. How could I forget to mention the delicious buttery herb sprinkled homestyle potatoes -- they were absolutely divine. If you are looking for a delightful brunch spot on the west side, then look no further. Nellcôte is the place for you and your gal pals.

Bake

Life is what you bake it! Bake Chicago is a gorgeous little bakery in Wicker Park, this spot is an explosion of color with cute little whimsical touches.  Trust me when I say you feel instantly happy the minute you set foot in this bakery. The staff is so lovely, and the treats are just as delightful. I held a pop-up event for my internship at Krispyfringe Vintage.  Bake has a huge selection of baked goods, ranging from coconut macaroons, to delicious candy sprinkled cupcakes. This bakery is full of classic American goodies that are truly baked to perfection. We enjoyed a cup of lavender flavored hot tea, a chai tea latte and some baked goods of course! Our favorite treats on display were the colorfully curated sugar cookies. We also snagged a cupcake or two from the cupcake bar. One of my favorite treats was the coconut macroon, each bite tasted like textured and buttery perfection. The shell of the macaroon was hard and crunchy, but the inside was soft and sweet. I highly recommend taking a trip to Wicker Park to enjoy some treats that will surely please your sweet tooth cravings. 

The Hampton Social

The Hampton Social features some of my absolute favorite girl’s night out treats. The Hampton social is in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.  Rosé all day is an understatement. The Hampton Social transports you to the east coast with their delicious sea food and cozy beach atmosphere. The nautical beach themed décor makes The Hampton Social pretty dang aesthetically pleasing. The waiters even dress in nautical stripes and wear Sperry topsiders.

Grabbing drinks with friends or eating dinner is essential! Rosé is the only drink that matters at The Hampton Social. In the restaurant, there are different themed sections. My personal favorite place to dine in at is the “Rosé all day” room. The Hampton Social is known for their iconic rosy pink “Rosé all day” neon sign. This room is full of white and copper accents and some very cute dainty string lights. If you don’t Instagram a photo of your frosé in front of this sign, did you really even go to The Hampton Social? This photo will be the perfect addition to your summer Instagram feed, I promise!

You can opt for a glass of  rosé of the day or indulge in the ridiculously trendy frosé at The Hampton Social. Frosé is a boozy wine -based slushy that is both refreshing and delightful. At The Hampton Social, the frosé is pure deliciousness. The rim of the glass is coated in sugar, the frosé is infused with peaches and you get a cute little mint leaf in your drink! 10/10 would recommend trying the frosé!

I will also recommend the “The Surf Lodge” which comes in a big beautiful copper pineapple tumbler. This instagrammable cocktail contains cucumber-infused Absolut elyx vodka, pineapple, lime, sparkling wine and surprisingly jalapeno juice! I personally am not a spicy food or drink lover, so if you are like me just ask the bartender to nix the jalapeno juice. You can definitely share this drink with a buddy, it’s pretty big!

The dinner menu is absolutely huge, from burgers and fried chicken to crab cakes and oysters. They have entrees from the land and the sea. The brick oven pizza surely won’t disappoint. I am biased to the margherita pizza but friends of mine swear that the spicy BBQ chicken pizza is delicious choice too. Don’t forget to try the Maryland jumbo lump crab cakes. You should definitely order these two huge crab cakes as your starter.

My favorite dish is the steak frites. You get a great cut of marinated hanger steak that is drenched in a red wine herb butter sauce. I clear my plate every single time I order this dish. The steak cuts so smoothly and it truly tastes like a little slice of heaven. Did I forget to mention you get a bed shoe-string fries under your steak? Shoestring fries are quite possibly my favorite french-fries. 

If you are not hungry for a bite  then head on over to the bar and grab a cocktail. The Hampton Social often features live music throughout the week. I truly enjoy live acoustic music. The bands and singers that perform cover a wide variety of artists like Kanye West and  Whitney Houston. 

Don’t forget to make a reservation before going to The Hampton Social. It can get very busy! This restaurant takes you away from the city life and brings you straight to the seashore. If you feel like treating yourself or grabbing some gorgeous cocktails, The Hampton Social is the place for you!

Restoration Hardware & The 3 Arts Cafe

If you haven’t been to Restoration Hardware, then you need to schedule an afternoon out ASAP. Restoration Hardware is a historic building located in the Gold Coast area of Chicago. Restoration Hardware is first and foremost a home decor and lifestyle brand. The building itself has five levels. Each level has a curated theme like RH Baby & Child or RH Modern. You can meet with interior designers and purchase furniture, lighting fixtures, textiles, rugs, bathe-ware, decor and outdoor products.

In 1914, the building that is now Restoration Hardware used to be home to young women studying music, drama and visual arts. The courtyard of the building was built out into glass atrium where The 3 Arts Café resides today. The atrium has an absolutely stunning glass chandelier that looks over the entire restaurant along with a gorgeous green fountain in the middle of the cafe. Trees and plethora of greenery spreads throughout the café.

The best floors at Restoration Hardware are the Children & Teen and Outdoor Living Floors. The décor and environments you get to explore are super unique and fun. One of my favorite features on the Children & Teen floor is this massive furry circular chairs that spin. I always fond myself spinning every time I visit. The rooftop floor houses the Outdoor Living area and it is so serene and beautiful. There are running water features, and everything is very neutral and calming. I often grab my laptop and do homework on the rooftop. During the summer Restoration Hardware opens up the outdoor rooftop where there are some pretty comfy couches and fire pits.

Getting a table at The 3 Arts Café can be a challenge. I do not recommend going on Saturday or Sunday unless you wait outside before Restoration Hardware opens in the morning. It gets crazy busy and sometimes you even have to wait for a table for three hours! Weekdays are the best time to visit.

One of my favorite activities to do at Restoration Hardware is to go to the mini café and grab a glass or wine or two. Bring your best gal pals and go walk around for a couple hours. You can bring alcohol, tea or coffee all throughout Restoration Hardware. I personally like to pretend I’m rich and plan my future 2 million dollar home with my friends.

The 3 Arts Café has so many great menu items. A couple of the best items are: The RH Scramble, The Hand Cut Fries, The Smoked Salmon Board, The Truffle Oil Grilled Cheese and The RH Burger. The Smoked Salmon Board is something I wouldn’t normally try.  I personally am not a huge seafood person but one of my best friends urged me to try something out of my comfort zone. The Board comes with cucumber, pickled onions, fresh cheese and Texas toast. It is bizarrely delicious.

If seafood doesn’t float your boat than the Truffle Oil Grilled Cheese will. You have never tasted heaven until you have taken a bite out of this grilled cheese. Truffle oil is such a strange flavor, but it blends so perfectly with the toast and cheddar cheese. Not to mention you get the Hand Cut Fries with you order. I could eat these fries happily for the rest of my life. The garlic aioli sauce you get with the fries will rock your world.

If you have a sweet tooth I would check out the House-Made Chocolate Chip Cookies. You get three massive cookies served perfectly warmed up on a plate. These cookies are so beyond delicious, they even have little chunks of sea salt on top. Just imagine two hands pulling apart a gooey fresh backed cookie with chocolate strands dripping apart. No joke, these cookies are amazing.

Another one of my favorite menu items at The 3 Arts Café is the afternoon tea. I will often take my grandma or my friends for little tea dates at Restoration Hardware. My go-to tea is the Jasmine Silver Tip or the Bai Hao Oolong tea. You get a cute little tea cup and saucer with a unique metal tea pot. I like to sip my tea and gaze at the gorgeous chandelier.   

The best item on the entire menu is the Truffle Oil Grilled Cheese. The truffle oil can be very overpowering, so if you hate truffle oil, then this dish is not for you. The bread crunchy and thick. Every bite of this grilled cheese is perfection. The Hand Cut Fries come on the side with a delightful garlic aioli dipping sauce. I highly recommend this dish. It will have you licking your fingertips by the time your plate is clear. 

Restoration Hardware and The 3 Arts Café are worth the trip out to Gold Coast. It’s a food lovers paradise. This place is one of my favorite things about Chicago.  

Goddess & The Baker

Goddess & The Baker is the perfect coffee shop hangout. The best location is in the Chicago Loop on Wabash Avenue. I often study or meet friends at Goddess. If you aren’t immediately sold by their cozy coffee shop aesthetic, then try the food!

Fun fact: Goddess & The Baker is owned by women (gotta love female entrepreneurs). Goddess & The Baker specializes in baked goods. I constantly break my diet and sneak a cookie or two when i'm on my way back from class. One of the most popular items on the menu is the rainbow cake. The outside of the cake may be white, but the inside has an explosion of color. Everyday Goddess & The Baker makes all of their baked goods from scratch. The first thing you see when you walk in Goddess is a delightful array of colorful baked goods like cookies, cakes, macaroons, chocolate and so many more sweet treats. highly reccomend snagging a birthday cookie for your friends and loved ones!

One of my go-to drinks at Goddess is the rainbow cake latte. The rainbow cake latte first made its appearance in June 2017 for Pride in Chicago. It is visually gorgeous, and it even tastes good. I love how Goddess and The Baker has teal coffee cups and saucers. Everything is so bright and happy. There’s no way you can’t feel anything but bliss after you hangout at Goddess & The Baker.

The tea and coffee selection at Goddess is spectacular. Some of my favorite tea selections are: Emerald Spring, Iron Goddess of Mercy, Blueberry Wild Child, Matcha Super Green and the Jasmine Peach. One of my weekly go-to’s is the Goddess Gringo Horchata. It’s that morning kick in the pants we all need on a Monday.

Breakfast is never a bad idea at Goddess. They just added an acai bowl to the menu and it is pure fuel. You get fresh fruit, topped with granola, coconut flakes, chia seeds and flax seeds. The morning sandwich is also a great way to start your day. Anything with bacon on it is almost an instant yes for me!

The star of the lunch and dinner menu by far is the baked mac-and-cheese. IT IS DELIGHTFUL. It is served in a cute little dish with a side salad. The cheese sauce is so creamy and thick, plus you can add bacon on top (which I highly recommend) because who doesn’t love bacon?

Goddess & The Baker is a cashless coffee shop so make sure you have your debit card handy. Whether you need a quick cup of joe on-the-go or need a cute coffee shop in your life, Goddess & The Baker is the place to be.

Bar Sienna & Bombo Bar

If you are looking for an Instagramable foodie spot,  Bar Sienna is your pick. Located on restaurant row in the West Loop, Bar Sienna is my go-to Italian ristorante.  Bar Sienna is a casual yet trendy Italian joint on Randolph Street . It’s a lively place focused on small plates, which makes it a great place to come in small or large groups when you want to go somewhere fun. The pizza alone justifies Bar Sienna's existence. Owner Fabio Viviani was a competitor on Top Chef. After his TV debut was over, he chose to bring his talents to Chicago and open up Bar Sienna. 

Bar Sienna has some of the best wood-fired pizza in Chicago. The crust is so fluffy and flaky. There are so many options when it comes to pizza, there's even breakfast pizza! Not to toot my on horn but I have been to Italy and I must say this pizza transports you to Sienna with every bite. The flavors are so intense and delicious, I think Fabio did a fantastic job bringing a little taste of Sienna to Chicago. 

Bar Sienna's environment is very loud, after all, it is a sports bar . The lower level of the restaurant has a large bar with a massive tree in the middle of it! The tree grows up to the second level and is covered in lights from bottom to top.  

I must recommend the cocktails at Bar Sienna. They are simply out of this world.  Make sure you order the BIG 21 cocktail on the menu. This drink can be served both in a glass or in a massive rose gold bowl. This cocktail is the perfect drink for sharing. I recommend sharing this bad boy with a couple of friends. It serves 4-6 people! 

There is this cute little walk-up window on the side of Bar Sienna called Bombo Bar. It specializes in a delicious treat called a bombolini. Bombo Bar also has house-made gelato. The cream-filled, hole-less Italian donuts comes in flavors ranging from vanilla bean custard, salted caramel to peanut butter and jelly and nutella cream! Luckily, they're served in portions of three, so you don't have to choose just one bombolini. As a chocolate lover I always go for the s'mores bombolini.  I also recommend a waffle cone filled with two scoops of gelato, but then again, there are gelato cookie sandwiches and they are also insanely good! 

My absolute favorite pick off the menu would have to be the s'mores hot chocolate. You get a biscotti, marshmallow whipped cream, hershey's chocolate, a donut, chocolate syrup and gramcracker crumble on top! It is pure deliciousness! In the summer they also have a frozen hot chocolate. I would go for the funfetti in the summer! The frozen hot chocolate has a matcha base with vegan pink whipped cream with a bombolini on top. You  are bound to leave with a sugar high after visiting Bombo Bar.