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Chicago Travel Diaries

Updated: Dec 21, 2018

If all the raindrops were lemon drops

📆 August 2018

📍Chicago, Il

Since Chicago is one of the four cities that currently holds Michelin stars in the United States, it was natural that I would make my way to the Windy City. Here are my Chicago Tasty Travels!

Hojicha with floral latte art. pink Kate Spade card holder. iPhone 7 at Sawada Matcha
Hojicha. Kate Spade card holder. iPhone 7 at Sawada Matcha

Sawada Matcha I made multiple trips here during my stay in Chicago because it was only a few blocks away from my hotel. I ordered a hojicha latte with almond milk because it was rainy from the time that I landed. I also got their regular matcha latte with almond milk as well. The caffeine was appreciated for my walks around the city. They also ave goodies from Doughnut Vault! Two spots, one stop.

Because we all know that monsters have the best cookies.

Molly's Cupcake Arguably the best cupcakes I've ever had. The cake portion was so fluffy without being oily, and they make such unique flavors! My favorite was the crème brûlée (obvious, if you know me). I also got the s'mores, samosas, and peach cobbler. The frosting/topping and cake ratio was actually really perfect. Molly's is so mindful of the cupcake as a whole and didn't over-sugar the frosting, making it really palatable to someone like me. There were no leftovers. I took them to-go and enjoyed throughout the day 😇 Molly's also has the cutest school-themed interior with board games and sprinkles for ultimate wholesome fun and customizing.

The face you make when someone driving by yells, "YASSSS MAMA! GET ITTTTTT!"

Purple Pig One of Chicago's most reputable restaurants serving reimagined Mediterranean food. Each dish was incredibly delicious and shareable. I love Mediterranean cuisine because of the lightness that each meal furnishes. This was no different, it didn't sit super heavy in my belly so I had the energy to continue my city exploration and down my four Molly's cupcakes. I ordered the Pork Belly, Sweet Potato Polenta, Salt-Roasted Beets, and Octopus a la Plancha (clockwise). The Purple Pig doesn't take reservations, and the lines start before their opening. I suggest getting there early. The restaurant is spacious and has a large capacity, but it definitely fills up!

Purple Pig lunch spread

Here are some more pictures from this gorgeous city! You can't tell in this picture, but I'm horribly afraid of heights but felt like if I didn't check out the Sky Deck, it would have been an incomplete trip. I wouldn't do it again, but it was worth the experience. I found Millennium Park so striking. This is definitely attributed to the fact that I was seeing Millennium Park when no one else was there. It was like finding a little pocket of stillness in the arms of overwhelming skyscrapers and hustled occupants. The weather wasn't kind enough to stay for long, but the abnormal hush of the city was refreshing. I stayed by the River North district which is littered with evidence of design and creative art. It's an urban neighborhood with many trendy dining spots and perfect Instagram backdrops. Lastly, Navy Pier, a Chicago landmark that's located right on the waterfront of Lake Michigan. When I went, they were hosting a national cheering competition, go figure. It is saturated with shops, eateries, and things to do.

The weather was so reminiscent of my summer in Tokyo because the air was warm and damp with sporadic showers. So don't mind the sun dress and umbrella combo 😅 When I posted this picture on my Instagram, I got a few questions about how I managed to get the Bean to myself or if I had to Photoshop people out of this picture. I was lucky enough to go with @BetweenBalloons who was willing to wake up early in the morning with me for a photoshoot.

Getting charmed by cities is my kind of flirting

La Bodega Highly instagrammable and located near my hotel. The inside was decorated with playful piñatas and other related knick knacks. There was about six different flavors, I bought the fruit pebble, red velvet, and cookies n cream. They were warm and sweet but too oily for me. At least they made for a good looking picture.

Churros in front of their mosaic floor tiles
Mosaic floor tiles make for the perfect backdrop

3 Arts Club Cafe Whoever thought that it was a brilliant idea to have a cafe in a home-furnishing hardware store is definitely on to something. On a scale of one to aesthetic, bachelorette brunch, it has a maxed out score. This is partly due to the enormous chandelier hanging over a fountain that seems to promise an eternity of youth (scroll for the picture of the interior). I got their Black Truffle Grilled Cheese and the Salmon Platter. I regret getting a salad instead of fries with my sandwich. (I had a lapse of judgement and obviously lost a little piece of myself to think I didn't want fries). On that note, that's a matcha latte, not a green juice.

In my short weekend to Chicago, I also visited Alinea and Smyth. Due to their content, I've decided to post those experiences separately.

As a city, I appreciate the rich history in architecture design. It's popular to do the Architecture Boat Tour, but I opted out since it was mostly rainy when I visited. I can't wait to visit again; I'd love to see a cold Chicago!


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