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Revisiting Chicago West Loop

Pilates at Studio LaGree

I can't say that I particularly enjoy exercising. But if you're going to spend all day eating all the best food in one small centralized area... you should probably do some exercise. We ended up signing up for a LaGree pilates class. Note that it's been over a year since I've been to a class (when COVID stopped in-door classes, I stopped. When it re-opened, I did not go back), so no matter how easy the class was going to be, I knew I was going to die. This class was a work-out. I'm used to doing reformer pilates, but LaGree is something else. Long story short, after a one-hour workout, you'll feel pretty deserving of all the food you're going to eat.

(Note: You will need grippy sock. They sell them at the studio, but they're a bit of a rip-off.)

Draft latte at La Colombe

I know, I know. La Colombe is not from Chicago. And yes, I know Intelligentsia is. Also yes, Intelligentsia is delicious. But have you had a fresh draft La Colombe latte? Don't you want a caffeinated milkshake that is light, foamy, and did I mention caffeinated? This was THE perfect thing after a hard work-out, especially since the weather outside was warming up quick.

Have a burger and a Bloody Mary at Au Cheval

Walk around the West Loop or along the river

Dine at Girl and the Goat

You've probably already come across Girl and the Goat when researching Chicago, so there's not much more I need to tell you. What I forgot, was just how good it was. Everything - and we ordered so many many things - was just so so good. It's impossible to make a lot of recommendations as the menu changes so often. Some of our favorites - the cornbread, their famous wood oven roasted pig face (sounds weird, I know. Get over it, order it, and enjoy it), the sautéed green beans (absolutely addictive), and the coconut mango dessert. On top of that, they seemed to have had a better wine list than we all remembered! The wine list was wide enough to satisfy whatever you're craving, but also tailored to being super economical and delicious! Despite going to many "more expensive" restaurants on this trip - we had some of the best wines during our G&G dinner.

Top the night off at Lazy Bird

There are A LOT of cocktail bar options to choose from in the West Loop. The Aviary, Moneygun, Kumiko, and The Darling are definitely some not to be missed. But this time, it was Lazy Bird that really stole my group's hearts. I had never heard of Lazy Bird, and honestly wouldn't have considered it, if it wasn't for our waitress at Girl and the Goat. She recommended that we had there for drinks, and given its popularity, hooked us up (she really is the best. She called to let them know she was sending us and sent us with a card, in case they didn't believe us). Thank goodness she did - because it was awesome.

Lazy Bird is located on the basement floor of The Hoxton hotel. To get to the bar, head to the back of the lobby, go down some sketchy looking stairs, and walk down the even sketchier long hallway before you enter the bar. You can't miss it - you can see the beautiful blue bar from the hallway. Speak to the hostess by the door and hope that they have space for you.

The drinks menu here is extensive (multiple options for every spirit), and the vibe was the casually cool (not overdone) speakeasy. There's a lot of space, so even though it was packed, we were all able to seat comfortably and speak to each other without screaming at one another. I had their house Negroni, and hands-down, one of the best Negronis I've had all year (I've been on a Negroni kick... which I know is a little weird for the summer months). We went to many cocktail bars on this trip, and this is the one that we keep reminiscing about. If you want to go - plan early. We actually tried to go back later on in the trip, and couldn't get a spot!


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