In typical Couple of Roamers style, Laurie and I visited Chicago and decided the best way to get to know the Windy City was to eat and drink our way through it. Here is our mini guide of our favorite food spots and breweries we visited!
First stop, Portillos! Known for their delicious Chicago-style Vienna hot dogs topped with mustard, tomatoes, onion, cucumbers on poppy seed buns. Um...delicious? Yes! Perfect for a ball game! Laurie opted for the Italian beef sandwich dipped entirely in gravy. I couldn’t tell you which I liked better but this is a must stop for anyone visiting Chicago.
Looking to impress some friends with lunch/dinner prepared by a James Beard award chef? Then look no further than The Purple Pig. Located on the Magnificant Mile, The Purple Pig features elegant, shareable dishes that will certainly please the palette. Pair your dish with one of the featured wines or, like I did, a local craft beer brewed specifically for the restaurant.
Who can come to Chicago without trying Chicago style, deep dish pizza? Very different from the New York style pizza I grew up with and love, Chicago deep dish is a totally different experience. Yes experience. This is not the grab and go pizza that New Yorkers are accustomed to. This is a sit down, bring the family and make a night out of it type of experience. There is much debate on who serves the best deep dish, just like who has the best pizza in New York (we all know Brooklyn) but Lou Malnati’s came through recommendation. So we followed the advice and we LOVED it! Even though it is somewhat of a chain, every pizza is handmade to order. Layered with sausage, mozzarella cheese and sauce, the pizza was simply delicious. And it’s heavy, so go with your appetite! It was so good we went back before we left a couple of days later and brought leftovers onto the plane! There were plenty of hungry passengers eyeing up my pizza box.
Living near New York puts us close to many great steakhouses. My favorite is Peter Luger in Brooklyn, NY. I didn’t think anything could ever come close to the tender, juicy cuts of steak served at Luger but Chicago Cut Steakhouse did come pretty damn close. Again, coming from a recommendation from a friendly local, we decided we were in the mood for a delicious steak after much siteseeing and a few drinks. At first we didn’t think we’d get in because of how everyone else was dressed and how we were dressed (comfortable because we were walking around) but the staff was super friendly and made us feel welcomed. The steak was perfectly cooked, the waitress was attentive and we left feeling more than satisfied with our experience. Next time we’d like to make reservations so we could sit outside and enjoy the riverside location.
“There is no such thing as a bad beer. It’s that some taste better than others.”
So what do we wash down all this delicious food with? Our drink of choice is beer! Light or dark, sweet or hoppy, it doesn’t matter. We love it all, well most of it. Laurie loves IPAs and I lean towards darker beers. Most breweries could satisfy both our tastebuds and we love the atmosphere. Open spaces where we can meet up with friends or spark up a conversation with a stranger. Beer may not be good for the waistline but it’s gaining in popularity and it’s not just for the college students anymore.
Chicago is home to quite a few breweries but we chose to visit Goose Island brewery and Great Central Brewing Company, both located in West Town. Great Central Brewing has this beautiful wide open space with large windows letting in plenty of light. When we visited it wasn’t busy but that could be because it was a Friday afternoon, earlier than happy hour, so I’m pretty sure most people were at work. I decided to try their Oktoberfest-style beer while Laurie, being the hipster that she is, chose an IPA. Both were delicious and strong, so we decided to leave before we got too buzzed up. We walked over to Goose Island tasting room and it was definitely busier with a vibrant crowd. Not as wide open as GBC but still a great place to socialize. I can’t tell you which beer I had (as I had quite a few at this point) but I’m sure it was good because I usually enjoy Goose Island brews.
So next time you’re in Chicago and your thirsty, stop by one of these breweries to quench that thirst. Don’t be afraid to spark up a conversation with a stranger, Chicagoans are usually friendly.
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Hey there! My name is Edgar, half of Couple of Roamers. Couple of Roamers was born in 2016 after my wife, Laurie, and I decided to sell our house and belongings in order to travel overseas for 6 months. Read More
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