Chicago – Head to the West Loop

 Cocktail at g.e.b.

For many years Chicago has been a frequent travel destination for me, mostly because Libby, one of my very best friends from college, lives there. But in the last couple of months, it was business, not pleasure, that took me to the Windy City. In fact, in less than 6 weeks, I visited  twice! Even though the trips were short and there wasn’t a whole lot of time for play, we still managed to squeeze in some quality girl time.

Thankfully, Libby enjoys good food and drink as much as I do, so there is never a doubt that my visits will be filled with incredible cocktails and amazing food.

This latest trip was no different. With only one open evening, Libby had me meet her in an area of town that allowed us to hit three (yes, 3!) hot spots in less than 5 hours.

I’m quite sure I’d run out of adjectives if I attempted to describe all of these experiences in detail, so instead, I’ll just tell you that they were all awesome in their own unique way. If/when you find yourself in Chicago, take my advice: hop in a cab and head to the West Loop.

When faced with the booming bar and restaurant scene that surrounds you, you’ll have a tough time choosing just one. Some are more difficult to get into than others, but with a little patience (and some strategic maneuvering), you won’t have to narrow it down to one, but instead get a sampling of a few like I did!

Just a stone’s throw from each other you’ll find all of this:


(Graham Elliot’s Bistro)
841 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 888-2258

On a previous visit a couple years back, I dined at Graham Elliot. Check out that post here.

 Cocktails at Maude’s Liquor Bar

Maude’s Liquor Bar

840 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 243-9712



Au Cheval

800 West Randolph
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 929.4580


Other hot spots:

Girl and the Goat

809 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 492-6262


837 West Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 445 -8977

The Aviary

955 West Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 226-0868

My friend Vivek has a great write up on Girl and the Goat as well as Publican and Aviary from his recent visit.


615 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL, 60661
(312) 377-2002

I dined at Avec a couple of years ago, and wrote about it here.

Coming Soon

Stephanie Izard’s newest creation, Little Goat, will be opening on West Randolph between Maude’s Liquor Bar and Au Cheval in the fall.