24 October 2010

Weekend recap: Playing tourist

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago, Food

Hi everyone! Happy Sunday! I cannot believe next weekend is Halloween. Where did October go???

Anyhow, tonight I’m talking about playing tourist in your own city. I love doing it in Chicago and I’ve lived here almost six years!

Sure, sometimes playing tourist is frustrating, crowds, actual tourists, etc. but it’s fun to see the city through other people’s eyes and learn things you may not have known before!

And this weekend I got a chance to do just that by taking a food and cultural tour of Bucktown/Wicker Park with Chicago Food Planet! It may have been rainy, cloudy and cool but that won’t keep me from some great local food.

I don’t spend a ton of time in these Chicago neighborhoods but there is some awesome food/shopping over there. We got to visit some of my favorite places to eat, learn more about each establishment and go on a walking tour of Wicker Park too, seeing some of the amazing homes and architecture. And after all that food, the walking felt GOOD.

Here’s some pictures from the tour:

George’s Hot Dogs – Keepin’ it real with its well-known Chicago-style Hot Dog. SO tasty.

Hot Chocolate – Known for the decadent desserts and hot chocolates. Seriously, this was some of the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. And the homemade marshmallow? Two please.

Sultan’s Market – Best falafel sandwich I’ve ever had. I would definitely go back, even just to dine in the cool decor

iCream – You literally make your own ice cream on site (flavors, sweetners, etc.) and it’s zapped with liquid nitrogen. We had a vanilla cream soda with nutella ice cream and it was REALLY good

Liquid nitrogen turning the creations into ice cream

Yep, after all of this, I didn’t need to eat at all for the rest of the day. But I got some coupons for these places to use on another visit and I will definitely use them!

The food-filled day also helped take my mind off of a bad trip to the salon last week. Fortunately, my hair wasn’t butchered, but my stylist’s recent personal problems crept in to the appointment and my usually relaxing salon visit turned in to a stressful, unenjoyable two hours. Then to rain on my parade more, there were no buses or cabs to be found so I walked most of the way home, took a sad picture and shed a few tears along the way. Not a fun way to end the week.

What about you? How was your weekend? Do you like to play tourist in your city?

FTC Disclosure: Chicago Food Planet provided me and a guest with complimentary tickets for the tour. All opinions about the tour and the food is my own.


  1. Grace says:

    Yum! I love homemade marshmallows. They are fun to make and even better to eat!

  2. Kate says:

    I did the Near North tour a few years ago through work and loved it! So much fun! Also, I am jealous AS HELL that you got to eat a falafel sandwich at Sultan’s Market. I miss that place — and their extra spicy falafel sandwiches — more than I can express in words.

  3. nic says:

    Aw man…sorry to hear that the hair appt. turned mucky. Walking home in the rain because the jerkstore buses are nowhere to be found sucks ass too and I don’t blame for being teary eyed. I’ve so been there! Solidarity!

    This should perk you up- I got a flyer in the mail from Nordstrom yesterday. Apparently there’s a sale. And…we should go. Because SHOES. Or CASHMERE gloves and scarves. Or PARTY DRESSES. Or EVERYTHING.

    Hope you’re doing okay. You’re fancy, you know.

  4. Chelsa Bea says:

    Lady, I need to come to Chicago and visit you just so we can spend the entire weekend eating. I love when you do these posts!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    That hot chocolate and ice cream sounds insanely amazing! I’ll have to come back to Chicago sometime and check it all out.

  6. Nora says:

    Ahhh! This post makes me hungry.

    I’d love to try a homemade marshmallow.

  7. stephanie says:

    Homemade marshmallows??? I have never even heard of that! Sounds like such a fun day. What a great opportunity. I don’t think people often enough play tourist in their own city! And falafel sandwich??? I had one in Morocco and it was AMAZING!

  8. Lacey Bean says:

    Ummm that sounds like SO MUCH FUN. I love being a tourist in my own city. There’s always so much to do/explore!

  9. Okay, so, last time I was in Chicago I had that hot chocolate and YES. Just yes. Next time I’m in Chicago you have to PROMISE to take me for that falafel and ice cream. It’s inappropriate how much I love falafel. And ICE CREAM.

  10. Allison says:

    holy crap, i need to go get that hot chocolate the next time i’m there.

  11. SMB says:

    Love seeing the Chicago through your eyes! I live in LP and totally need to branch out!

    BTW, love your bangs and your new haircolor is so fall-chic!! embrace it :)


  12. Lil' Woman says:

    I WANT that hot chocolate and I’m not sure if iCream is the best name….something nasty came to my mind at first.

  13. this sounds amazing! I totally need to do this next time I’m in Chicago!! Nutella ice cream? Drool!

  14. I love playing tourist in Wicker Park.

  15. YUM! The homemade marshmallow + hot chocolate sounds amazing :)

  16. Erin says:

    Food tours are so much fun! The next time I have someone visit who likes to eat I’ll have to take them on one of these.

    I got my hair cut on Saturday and, while I like it, it’s a little shorter than I envisioned. But thankfully my stylist didn’t share his personal issues! In fact, I know very little about him and I’ve been going to him for over a year. If you need a break from your current stylist mine’s in Roscoe Village and he’s awesome.

  17. Ask Alice says:

    That hot chocolate looks SO good mmmmm! Small talk at the hairdresser is fine but life problems are a bit much :(

  18. Stephanie says:

    You so need to eat breakfast at Hot Chocolate. It is amazing!!!!

  19. The last thing I want to do at a salon is hear about somebody else’s personal problems. I go there to have some zen time and come out looking and feeling better than I did when I went in.

  20. mandy says:

    Hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows? Yes, please!! Sounds like a great weekend. Minus the salon visit. I’m sorry it wasn’t as relaxing as you had hoped.