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.

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!