I’m back! I had the best weekend in Chicago with my hilarious friend Elisha — we lucked out with mild/cool weather (none of the eye-watering, cheek-stinging wind I had been slightly wary of) and instead found ourselves navigating the el and buses and walking around the city feeling mighty fine! After a 5-hour Amtrak ride from St. Louis, we were famished when we arrived, so we headed straight over to Big Star for the best tacos of my entire life (being hungry had something to do with their deliciousness, but they were damn good).
Of all the tacos we ordered, the taco de papas con rajas was my favorite (and vegetarian!). Elisha highly recommended the taco de panza. It was all delicious — just be warned, we were there at around 2pm on a Friday and it was still (or already?) packed. Here’s the menu if you’d like to drool on your keyboard right now.
Big Star: 1531 N Damen, 773.235-403
After we were fully functioning human beings again (did I mention how hungry we were?), we went shopping in Wicker Park, which had some really great stores. I’m so glad we skipped the “Magnificent Mile” and came here instead. Much more up our alley (though I didn’t take any pictures of the Wicker Park shopping district, I do recommend it).
Though we didn’t do much of the touristy stuff this time around, we did make a point to visit Millennium Park, where we took a zillion pictures of the “Bean” and enjoyed the views of the skyline and architecture before walking right past the ice skaters for a cup of coffee.
One of the highlights of our trip was riding the el to Logan Square for breakfast Saturday morning at Lula Cafe. It was amazing!!!
Lula Cafe: 2537 N. Kedzie Blvd., 773.489.9554
Apparently the pastry chef there is a genius — she made the above bittersweet chocolate banana turnover that Elisha and I regretted not buying 5 more of — the crust was flaky, the filling the perfect balance, not too sweet, just right. And below, red lentils with squash, topped with a poached egg for breakfast? Yes please. And an important note: we got there exactly 17 minutes after Lula Cafe opened and barely got a table — it’s amazing and worth the wait! After eating, we went right next door to City Lit Books, a great local bookstore, where a lovely man was just starting story hour for the local kiddies, playing his guitar and singing gently about his love for good books. It was so heartwarming to see kids flowing in through the front door with their parents to enjoy the morning there.
Also while in Logan Square, we walked a few blocks down to Tusk, where we chatted with the amazingly talented and friendly owner, Mary, who has curated a beautiful collection of clothing and makes much of the jewelry she sells there (both Elisha and I bought really awesome necklaces). Mary also has great vintage pieces which she sells for really reasonable prices. We were so smitten with her!
Tusk: 3205 W. Armitage Ave. (at Kedzie), 423.903.7093
Just be sure to check the hours – in Mary’s words, “I’m really not a morning person.”
We just had the best time and were so impressed with the people we met — we wanted to be friends with each and every one and bring them all back to St. Louis with us!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for pictures from the rest of our trip! Hope you had a fantastic and fun weekend!