Hidden gems of Chicago

Last week- during my final college Spring Break EVER-Nadia and I made our way out to Chicago for some quality BFF time and to visit some other friends in the city. Whilst there, we indulged in a healthy amount of shopping, martinis, museums and nightlife. This was also the weekend where the city dyes the river green for St. Patrick’s Day and all of the drunk people go nutso…. but we weren’t aware of that until we arrived. But admits all of the fun that we were having, there were three places I visited which really captured my heart and I want to share them with all of you!

If you’re itching to get out of The Loop and away from the exorbitant amount of tourists want to be ‘hip-and-trendy’, I encourage you to hop in a ten minute Uber and head out to the up-and-coming area of Wicker Parker. The Wicker Park area of Chicago has a very hipster-esque feel to it. It would be like if you took some dirt and rubbed it on Newbury Street. It features a handful of cool shops, lots of fun bars— oh, and did I mention tacos?

Big Star Tacos was by far one of the highlights of the weekend for me. It has an awesome outdoor patio area, which I was told gets pretty wild on the warmer days. Three majorly important things about Big Star that you need to know: their tacos are legendary, the margaritas WILL make you drunk, oh yeah, and their patio is PET FRIENDLY. I swear I might move to Chicago just for this reason.

My second favorite place was a Neapolitan pizza shop in Logan Square called Paulie Gee’s. Its super dark and cozy atmosphere inside makes dining an absolute pleasure. I ordered their classic pizza with fresh red sauce, mozzarella and basil—- YUM. I’m not entirely sure if the pizzas are supposed to be personal size, but I just about ate the entire thing by myself (oops). The pizzas are so thin, so they only take several seconds to rise in their impressive wood-fired ovens. We even got to meet the owner who was incredibly sweet. Truly a must-try if you’re in the Chicago area and looking for great pizza!

 

**For the record, I did eat deep dish pizza for the third time in Chicago this trip and I still wasn’t a fan, sorry guys!**

On our last day in Chicago, my friends Nadia and Hendrik decided that there would be no better way to kill a hangover then to take a ride to a local distillery in Ravenswood, Chicago. When we pulled up to the location, I was a little confused. The outside of the building sort of looked like it could just be a shanty office building— but the inside was from that! The name of the site is called Koval, and it was started by two Austrians, one who had grown up in the distillery business, and the other who had a passion for alcohol making.

Perhaps what makes Koval so unique is their incredible flavors that they manage to produce as well as their product designs. Their bottles are incredible unique and come at a very reasonable price. My absolute favorites were their gin and their rose hip liqueurs.

To learn more, you can check out their website at http://www.koval-distillery.com/newsite/ !

 

*Please note that many of these photos ((with the exception of the Koval photos)) are not mine. Please click on the image to see where they originate from if need be**

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