Chicago is such a great city! I’ve been there twice. The first time was with my husband about 3 years ago. You can find my comprehensive travel guide to Chicago here. Fun fact: that was actually my first ever travel blog post (oh, what a long way I’ve come since then!).
A few weeks ago, I joined the Butterball team on a press trip to Chicago to attend Turkey University (yes, it’s a thing!). We were only supposed to be there for a day and a half. But unfortunately for us, mother nature had other plans and our return flight was canceled and rescheduled for the following morning. Delay aside, our time in Chicago proper was extremely brief (Turkey U is actually in Naperville, IL). On the day of our arrival, we only had a roughly 2.5-hour window to explore the city.
With less than 3 hours, I knew I was going to have to be strategic. I made it my personal mission to hit up (in priority sequence, of course) the most Instagrammable places in Chicago. If you’re planning a visit to Chicago and looking to capture some sweet shots for the ‘gram, this is a great guide! And bonus, if you’re short on time, like I was, these instagrammable spots are all pretty close to each other.
Here are 6 of the best and most instagrammable places in Chicago.
1. The Hampton Social
My first order of business was to visit The Hampton Social. I mean, if you didn’t take a pic in front of the “Rosé all day” sign, were you even in Chicago?!
Beware, there are 2 Hampton Social locations in Chicago (Streeterville and River North). While the Streeterville location has a nice upstairs patio, if you want a well-lit picture with the sign, head to the River North location. The Streeterville location does have the “Rosé all day” sign, but it is on the ground level, far from any window, and has no natural light illuminating it.
2. The Allis at Soho House Chicago
This. Interior. I meannnn, come on! I had to be super stealthy in capturing this shot at The Allis (I actually was over-zealous and tried to capture another angle of the interior with my DSLR, before I was stopped by someone working there). As a heads-up, their official policy is that mobile phone cameras are okay, but professional cameras are not. While Soho House is a private, members-only club, The Allis on the ground floor is actually open to the public. I walked in with no trouble on a Thursday afternoon with no reservation and was seated immediately.
3. Sawada Coffee
Just across the street from Soho House is Sawada Coffee. I visited here on my first trip to Chicago and knew I had to return. I love the industrial chic vibes of this café. If you can snag one of the seats in front of the windows, you’ll have the best light to capture the latte art in your drink! My favourite thing on the menu is their signature drink: the Military Latte, which is a matcha latte combined with espresso, cocoa powder and vanilla syrup.
4. The Hoxton Chicago
Within a stone’s throw of The Allis and Sawada is The Hoxton Chicago. The Hoxton is a London-based group of boutique hotels, with locations in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Williamsburg, and Chicago. If you’re staying overnight in Chicago, this would be a great option. But even if you’re not, I recommend stopping in here for a quick drink or something to eat. In addition to the lobby, it has 3 restaurants & bars (Cira, Cabra & Lazy Bird). Each is instagrammable.
5. Little Goat Diner
Little sister to Girl and the Goat, owned by acclaimed chef Stephanie Izard, Little Goat has great food and a beautiful aesthetic.
When my husband and I visited Chicago the first time, we made the mistake of eating outside on the patio. In doing so, I missed an opportunity to capture the stunning interior, which is like a fresh and modern take on the traditional diner.
6. Au Cheval
Okay, unless you’re a foodie and find yolk porn or sizzling meat patties to be sexy (fellow food bloggers, you know what I mean!), you might not consider Au Cheval to be instagrammable per se. However, it is on this list because if you have time for just one meal in Chicago, friends, let it be the Au Cheval cheeseburger! It’s honestly one of the best burgers I’ve had in my life, and it is worth the long wait (depending on the day and time you go) and slowish service. But don’t just take my word for it – Bon Appetit declared it the best burger in America.
So, there you have it – 6 of the best and most instagrammable places in the Windy City. What are some of your favourite Instagrammable spots in Chicago?
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