Windy City Rundown

If home is where the heart is then I’ve got homes scattered across the country.

One of those homes is Chicago. Now that I’ve moved back to the Midwest I’m taking full advantage of being within driving distance of the city, friends, and food that are so near and dear to me.

I’ve been home for a little over two months and have made two pilgrimages back to Chicago, once for a concert (more about that on Friday) and again this past weekend to celebrate both Elise’s birthday and NU’s homecoming.

There are places and people I’ve always made time for when I’d been in town over the last three years – must sees and must eats. Now, there are people and places that are more accessible to me, ones I haven’t seen in years or have never been to at all. I’m getting to delve deeper into this city – which at once feels familiar and foreign and reconnect with friends that bolster and buoy me.

I’m so thankful for that. Thankful for solo rides on the El. For running through the rain after a football game. For parking spots right around the corner from apartments. For cups of coffee direct from Colombia. For breakfasts that turn into walks that turn into long car rides together. For being able to come back home after all this time.

Here’s a quick list of a few of the places I frequent or first-traveled to during my last two visits to the Windy City.

Where I went (and where you should go too!):

Mindy’s HotChocolate (I always go here, at least once, any time that I’m in the city.)


Bavette’s – Pro-tip: bypass the upstairs and head to the downstairs bar. The service and ambiance are exceptional. We also saw a couple get engaged!

Smoque – I hadn’t been this happy with bbq in a loooooooong time. Also, byob means $4 tallboys to wash everything down.


Bongo Room – easy, quick, quality breafasts. And multiple locations! Plus their coffee is excellent and often replenished. 

Longman & Eagle – they had Anson Mills grits on their brunch menu, a grainery located in SC that GB&D carried. I teared up when I took a bite. 

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