The Ultimate Guide To Summertime Chicago

The Ultimate Guide To Summertime Chicago

What to eat, what do to, and everything in between!


When in Chicago, you might wonder.. what to do? Where to go? What to eat? Where to stay? Well have no fear, I have it all figured out for you.


Chicago has so many AMAZING places to eat. Honestly it's hard to decide to where to go. These are some MUST have places to eat that you absolutely need to try out.

1. Portillos

Portillos Buena Park

This is hands down my favorite place in Chicago. NOTHING beats cheese fries, a chocolate cake shake and a cheeseburger. Or a Chicago style hotdog. Or an Italian beef. Just remember, if you put ketchup on your hot dog, you will be shunned.

2. Deep Dish Pizza

You can't go to Chicago and not have Chicago style pizza, otherwise it's like you didn't even go to Chicago. My personal favorite is Lou Malnatis, but Pequods and Giordanos are a close second and third.

3. Molly's Cupcakes

Molly's Cupcakes on Sweetist

Yes, the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM is super cool, but the cupcakes... OVERRATED!!! Molly's is a must-have. The cream inside and on top of the cupcake literally is as soft as a cloud. I highly reccommend the peppermint cupcake which is sadly seasonal.

4. Gordo's Ice Cream

Gordo's Fully-Loaded Bars ~ Gordo's

If you're picky or just like to eat a lot, Gordo's is a good go-to! You start out by picking an ice cream flavor, then you pick what you would you like to dip it in, and lastly the topping! My favorite is the strawberry dipped in milk chocolate with smashed Oreo's on top. There are so many options, everyone can find one they love!

5. Joy Yees

Ugh, this pan-Asian restaurant is so delicious. I love the red Thai curry and shrimp fried rice. On the plus side, they also have about a million different types of bubble tea and fruit freezes.

6. Cheesie's

Cheesie's Pub & Grub

Basically, mac and cheese and grilled cheese had a baby and boom! Cheesies has a special place in my heart, especially because they are open until 3 AM.

7. Pita Inn

I grew up on this Mediterranean food. So yummy. Shish kaufta, gyro, chicken, falafel, steak, rice, and salad all for $8 during lunch time on the weekdays or $11 on the weekends and after lunch. What more could you ask for?

8. Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company

Pizza pot pie.... enough said.

9. Dick's Last Resort

If you're looking to have a silly time and bar food- Dick's Last Resort is a great place, not sure if it's super family friendly, but it's really fun. Each guest gets a paper hat and their waiter writes on it and puts it on their head. Sometimes they put some inappropriate things, but hey, it's all fun and games.

10. Oberweis

Exspensive-but super rich and creamy ice cream. The chocolate shake is to DIE for.

11. Hartigan's

You already know if the menu is written like this, the place is going to SLAPPP. By far my favorite ice cream. So many different flavors. I highly reccommend the Mint Mackinaw Island Fudge

12. Uncle Julio's

A little bit pricey but VERY worth it. High-quality Mexican food. My favorite part is the chips and salsa you get when you sit down, and the salsa changes every week. I had the watermelon salsa and it was SO good.

13. Reza's

Also a little pricey, but nothing hits better than some delicious kabobs. My personal favorite is the lamb shank. I would honestly get married to it if I could. Lunch time specials include an all you can eat buffet.

14. Carnivale

Renegade Craft \ Carnivale Restaurant chicago-spring

If you're looking for some fun, unique food, I recommend trying Carnivale. They have some really good food and desserts.

15. Alinea

If you're looking to ball out with a nice, expensive, boujee dinner- I would hit up Alinea because it will not disappoint.

16. 3 Arts Club Cafe

3 Arts Club Cafe

This place is all about the aesthetic. If you're looking for an Instagramable lunch, make your way here.

17. Summer House Santa Monica

Summer House Santa Monica - Chicago, IL on OpenTable

If you miss your beach house, especially in Santa Monica, go here and you'll feel like you're there!

18. Hampton Social

The infamous "Rose all day" restaurant where everyone goes and takes a picture. If you want to feel like you're in the Hamptons for a day, hit up Hampton Social.

19. Hamburger Mary's

There is nothing better than Hamburger Mary's. If you love burgers, you must go here. They have so many different types, you won't be able to decide. I highly recommend going on Friday and Saturday nights to eat while you watch the drag show!

20. Stan's Donuts

New 'Stan's Donuts & Coffee' Debuts In The Loop

If you like donuts, you will LOVE Stan's Donuts.

21. Bombo Bar

All I can say is...Italian Donuts.

22. Public House

After looking at those shakes, how could you not go to Public House?

23. Nutella Cafe

It's a cafe... of NUTELLA!!! What more could we want!?


Chicago is such a beautiful, amazing city. There is so much you MUST do!

1. Winky Lux

Winky Lux is a beautiful makeup company that has an awesome display of rooms you can go to and take some super cute instagram pictures.

2. Punch Bowl Social

Punch Bowl is a really fun arcade, bowling alley, and bar. It's fun to get together with friends and head over there. Not to mention... there is a super cute Instagrammable spot in there too!

3. Maggie Daley Park

Maggie Daley park is so beautiful. The whole park is just amazing and unique. I highly recommend going if you have kids or if you're a kid at heart.

5. Wndr Museum

This museum was supposed to be a few-months-thing only, but it was so popular they decided to keep it and switch around the different rooms every few months!

6. Shedd Aquarium

My absolute favorite place in Chicago! You can't go to Chicago and not check out the penguins and dolphins.

7. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

If you're an artsy hipster who likes a good pic for the gram. Hit up the the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

8. Buckingham Fountain

The fountain is so beautiful at night when it lights up.

9. Michigan Ave

Michigan ave is the equivalent of Rodeo Dr. So get your shoppin' on!

10. Millenium Park

The best part of Millenium park is the movies in the park. Bring a blanket, a nice cheese board, some wine. It's the ultimate summer date!

11. Navy Pier

Everyone's heard of Navy Pier, in fact, just within the last few years they installed a new ferris wheel. It's down by the pier and so fun!

12. Willis Tower

True Chicagoans like myself call it the Sears Tower. But the politically correct name is now Willis Tower. If you want to see the whole city from the tallest spot in Chicago, go al the way to the top of the Sears... uh I mean Willis..

13. Riverwalk

Walking along the river is so beautiful, you can even rent kayaks and go into the river yourself!

14. Magnificent Mile

It's a very long walk, but definitely worth the beauty.

15. Wrigley Field


16. Lincoln Park Zoo

So many animals! I highly recommend going for some family fun. In the winter they have zoo lights which is also really cool.

17. Water Tower Place

The water tower is such a cool building. Inside you can find shops and great restaurants.

18. North Avenue Beach

Imagine laying in the hot sand, tanning, looking up at the tall beautiful city buildings. This is a great beach with a stellar view!

Now you have a complete guide to the great city of Chicago!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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