Review of Chicago

My take on everything I did in Chicago!

Photo+from+Psychology+Today.

Photo from Psychology Today.

Over the long weekend, my mom and I took a trip to Chicago, Illinois. Located right on Lake Michigan, Chicago is known for its bold architecture and renowned museums. I expected to like Chicago, but the city ended up completely surpassing my expectations. The people we met had that “Midwestern friendliness” I had heard of before I went to Chicago but finally got to experience for myself (everyone was just so nice!). Also, the food there was so good, and I definitely never left a restaurant hungry due to the large portion sizes (I guess you just need more food to stay warm, haha). Although the temperatures were frigid and the high winds certainly didn’t help, the snowy weather failed to put a damper on the trip. In fact, I enjoyed my experience in Chicago so much that I’ve decided to compile a list of the things I did there, all of which I highly recommend. Keep reading to see how I spent my weekend in The Windy City!

Photo of the tour bus from chicagocrimetours.com.

Chicago Crime Tours

After we arrived in Chicago midday on Saturday, my mom and I had some time to kill before our 6:00 o’clock dinner reservation. A quick search on TripAdvisor recommended the Chicago Crime Tours, which conveniently met just a few blocks away from our hotel. The tour focuses on the stories of Chicago’s most notorious gangsters and murderers, including Cap’n George Streeter, John Dillinger, Al Capone, Frank Nitti, and others. While the tour guide gives the story, the bus takes a loop around the city. It even stops at several historic crime scenes, allowing tour-goers to explore the landmarks by foot. Our tour guide, Ana, was really energetic and kept the tour upbeat (despite the atrocities that were being described). Not only did I learn a lot about Chicago’s history, but I also was able to get a better feel for the city. A great option for older kids and adults of all ages!

My mom and I shared this massive piece of white chocolate coconut cake for dessert at Rosebud Steakhouse.

Rosebud Steakhouse

For dinner on Saturday, my mom and I went to Rosebud Steakhouse. It was freezing and windy out when we stepped outside the hotel, but luckily, the restaurant was only a minute walk down the street from where we stayed. This was definitely the fanciest restaurant we went to, and the food and the service were both excellent. I also loved the jazzy atmosphere and the music that was playing inside the restaurant. I had clam chowder as an appetizer, and then my mom and I shared rigatoni alla vodka, broccoli, and steak for dinner. The steak was delicious and the highlight of the meal! For dessert, we ordered the white chocolate coconut cake pictured above (yum).

My mom took this picture of me in the Modern Wing of the museum.

The Art Institute of Chicago

If you’re someone who likes art, then the Art Institute of Chicago is a must-see. The museum was founded in 1879 and is one of the oldest and largest museums in the United States, attracting 1.5 million guests annually. My mom and I happened to arrive at the museum right when it opened at 10:30am, allowing us to speed through the ticket line and the coat check. However, the woman at the ticket desk told us that the museum doesn’t get many tourists in January, which meant we would avoid the crowds. The museum is home to some very famous pieces, including works by Georges Seurat, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste-Renior, Salvador Dali, and Georgia O’Keefe, to name a few. Some of my favorite works were Two Sisters by Renoir, Stacks of Wheat by Monet, and Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte. No matter what type of art suits your fancy, there is something for everyone at the Art Institute of Chicago.

That cheese pull though. Photo by me of the deep dish pizza my mom and I got at Giordano’s. We ordered “The Special” with no mushrooms.

Giordano’s

On our last night in Chicago, my mom and I realized that we had yet to try a bite of Chicago’s famous speciality: deep dish pizza. Let me tell you, they are not joking when they call this pizza “deep dish.” This thing was massive and so filling! I was stuffed after only two slices. Shoutout to our Uber driver, who recommended Giordano’s as her favorite deep dish pizza restaurant in Chicago. Although Giordano’s doesn’t take reservations, the restaurant was huge, so we didn’t have any trouble getting in as a party of two. I’m not the biggest fan of cheese, but overall, I thought the pizza was really good! It tasted like what it looks like: a slice of pizza in the shape of a pie with sausage and vegetables inside. As a New Yorker, I’m still loyal to team thin crust pizza, but if you’re ever in Chicago, you should definitely try deep dish!