5 Fun Finds While Visiting Chicago

by Janis on March 29, 2013

We spent last weekend in Chicago — one of our favorite cities for a quick weekend getaway. While it’s tough to skip our long-time favorites, it’s always fun to make a few new discoveries.

Chicago5 Fun Eating, Drinking, Shopping and Sleeping Finds While Visiting Chicago

Bongiorno's Chicago1. Discovering Delicious Thin-Crust Pizza  

Yelp led us to the general direction of a “hard to find pizza place near Trump Tower” said to have good thin crust pizza, which we prefer over Chicago’s thick-style pizzas.

While walking through a construction zone around the Wrigley Building, we stopped to admire a beautiful golden retriever– named Simba — whose walking companion told us he owned the place.

We headed into Bongiorno’s Italian Deli & Pizzeria and were delighted with the Prosciutto E Funghi thin crust pizza and reasonably-priced glasses of Italian wines.

 

Nordstrom's Rack, Chicago2. Experiencing an Upscale, Un-crowded Nordstrom’s Rack

Just off Michigan Ave at 101 East Chicago Ave, we discovered a newish Nordstrom’s Rack.

We usually stop in at the Rack on State Street to peruse the racks of shoes.  This Nordie’s Rack is newer, cooler, and with fewer throngs of shoppers, at least on Sunday.

 

3. Trying a New Wine Bar and Enjoying Our Favorite One we are always up for a good wine bar, so we tried Eno on North Michigan Ave in the Intercontinental Hotel.  Eno offers an immense list of wines by the bottle, and flights of wine,  cheese and chocolates.  What’s not to love?

We see that an Eno Wine Bar also just opened in San Francisco’s Union Square, so we will have to check it out on our next visit to the City by the Bay.

Juan and Jimmy, Bin 36What we missed at Eno was Juan, Jimmy  and Roberto, the friendly, long-time bartenders behind the wine bar at Bin 36, our favorite Chicago spot to enjoy flights of wine and cheese. Bin 36 is also a restaurant and a retail wine store, and features exclusive Bin 36 wines developed by wine director Brian Duncan in partnership with California winemakers.

 

Onion & apple soup, Berghoff, Chicago4. Savoring the Alsatian Onion and Apple Soup at The Berghoff Restaurant – Yelpers don’t give this historic German restaurant very high marks, but we decided to make a lunch visit anyway. The $5 Bloody Mary’s, a bountiful bread basket and this soup were hits.

The Alsatian Onion and Apple soup looks similar to french onion soup, but is sweeter with apples simmered alongside the onions in the broth.  The chicken with spaetzle soup of the day was also delicious, but the salad and the Reuben that followed weren’t so great.

We still think The Berghoff is worth a visit.  It dates to 1898 when Herman Berghoff opened the doors as a men’s only saloon featuring free corned beef sandwiches with the purchase of a stein of Berghoff beer.

 

Conrad Chicago5. Relaxing at the Conrad Chicago – the perfect oasis for exploring downtown Chicago and/or shopping til you drop on the Magnificent Mile.  Take a look inside the Conrad Chicago’s room 925, our home base for the weekend. The best thing about the Conrad is the superior service offered by its staffers, from those working reception to the bartenders at the Terrace Bar.

What’s your favorite Chicago discovery?  We want to hear about it, so please share in comments below.

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