We were in Chicago almost a year ago now shooting a film called Who Gets The Dog. I have been meaning to share all the great Chicago finds, so even though one year later, here it goes!
Chicago was great.. I loved being able to walk almost anywhere. It has sort of a similar vibe to New York City minus the chaos (but don’t get me wrong, I love NY)
The first week I made it a priority to work out as once work started I would have no time… I stumbled upon Energi Fitness, which I really liked! The staff was so friendly and the classes offered were great, challenging for sure but could meet needs at any level. They had a wide variety of classes from circuit-type boot camps to stretching. I miss the class “Knead to Stretch” deeply! On top of the excellent workout, they recycle. Thanks Energi!
My first weekend in Chicago we had a sweet Kind Lifer meet up! A fun surprise was when Marcy, a sweet lady who works for Chocolate Inspirations, came and brought chocolate treats for everyone to enjoy. Huge thank you to everyone who came out! It was so nice meeting you all.
Once work began, my adventure time got pretty minimal except for my days off. One weekend evening, my husband and I went to the Steppenwolf Theatre and saw a play called Airline Highway, which has since moved to Broadway. We had a lovely time. Another night Bear, Christopher, and I went to see the Chicago Bulls play! Nancy Reinsdorf, the wife of President and COO of Chicago Bulls, is a kind lifer and invited me to the game! She told me she makes recipes from The Kind Diet for the team! This tickled me, of course… Especially since she mentioned they liked them a lot : ) Nancy and her family couldn’t have been sweeter, thank you so much for everything!! On top of spending time with Nancy and her family, I met Scottie Pippen. He was really nice. Bear enjoyed playing basketball with him and I loved watching this!
Since work was so crazy busy I was happy to see a spa recommendation from a few of you kind lifers. I wanted to try the Allyu spa that many of you recommended but I didn’t get the chance to go. I did try out the Midwest Acupunture Group and got a treatment from a nice woman named Molly.
One major element to our time in Chicago was the snow… we experienced a blizzard! On many days, we got to cruz around the city in the snow: walking from Handle Bar to Michigan Ave was so beautiful. The lake view was also so gorgeous! Bear especially loved playing in the snow… and eating it! He got to spend a fair amount of time playing with friends in the snow at the Waldorf school he temporarily attended. If you have little ones you must check out these schools, they are amazing!!
It was fun to shoot this film in Chicago for many reasons; the beautiful snow backdrops, pretty cityscapes, and meeting such nice people! One of the film locations was a hospital and a nice lady named Michelle hooked our crew up with a delicious veg meatball dish and cupcakes. They were so good! Everyone on set loved them and didn’t realize they were vegan!
WGTD cast and crew wrap party madness!
With my time being super constrained, I hired chefs Amanda Skirp and Alia Dalal to cook for us. Both ladies do good healthy macro food and teach classes! If you’re in the Chicago area check them out. Some dishes I loved included miso soup, sautéed carrot arame with cilantro, adzuki beans and root veggie stew, winter collard green wraps with tofu, and chickpea cakes with tahini.
After reading all your restaurant recommendations online and talking about them at the Kind Life meet up, I got super excited about all the places to try! As a result, we decided we had to do a vegan crawl… Although we only made it to two restaurants in one evening, I continued the “crawl” by ordering lunch at work from the wide array of restaurants all month long.
We tried almost every place! Here are some of my favorite spots:
My husband and I had a date here. They offer a full vegan menu, which is great. I ate peppers, salad, and beets – all were good!
Had the Sesame Kale Macro Bowl (minus the tempeh), Rockin’ Morrocan bowl, Sweet Potato Fries, and Roasted Veggies. All were yum… thank you Native Foods for being in Chicago!
I really appreciate this business existing! When you need a healthy meal, they make it easy and quick. I made my own bowl with quinoa, garbanzo beans, red onion, sun dried tomato, olive oil, and lemon. I also enjoyed their Red Power juice, Green Energizing juice, and Mint Limeade.
Their Soul Bowl was pretty good, especially the sweet potato! The fried chicken and buffalo wings were great. The strawberry and peanut butter shakes were off the charts!!
The vegan Dimo Florentine was my fav! It was seriously great! Thank you PETA for alerting us to try it. I wanted to try the “Papas Bravas” as well but it was spicy!! I also tasted the veg Hawaiian which was so yum! Shoutout to their eco initiatives, if you re-use your pizza box or bike there, you get a punch in a card (that eventually gets you a discount)!
Great vibe! Got their French toast and biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Bear loved the French toast!
I never knew they had a vegan red velvet cupcake! Thank you kind lifer Perri for telling me about this!! It was SO delicious and fun to walk in with my son and get it. It might be the best cupcake I ever had.
Gelato! We got chocolate and mango, yum!
The Reuben at the Chicago Diner
I also liked these places but they have since closed 🙁
It was delicious!!! The peanut butter dessert was off the charts. I think it could challenge any fancy restaurant in the world. All their dishes were amazing. I wish I had tried it earlier as I went on my last night but will run there first thing next time around! I ordered the mataki mushrooms with kim chi and flat bread. It was all so good!
Owen and Alchemy
This place makes me happy!!I enjoyed these as treats and snacks. It’s almost like dessert since there’s so many yummy fruit and nut concoctions. The owner Anne is so kind and rocks for starting this business, thank you Anne!
I tried so many things!! My favorites were the Ca (cashew bowl), smoothie 83 (green juice plus dates/vanilla), Kn kelp noodle salad, juice 21 (blueberry, basil, and lime yum!) and juice 6 (green juice with coconut water + ginger).
Thank you Karyn for your plant-based influence in Chicago!!! At Karyn’s on Green we got the Spinach Salad, the Arugula Flat Bread, Basic Pizza, and Chicken Parmesan The Spinach Salad was so good!! At Karyn’s Cooked we got pizza and spaghetti with meatballs. Fun and tasty! I also got to try the Almond Butter Bar and Mud Pie as Karyn’s sent these to set. Thank you so much for that, so sweet!
I tried the seaweed and cucumber salad, their brown rice, and brussel sprouts. It was great, wish I made it back there.
Even though I did a lot of tasting, I didn’t get to try everything on my list… Here are some places I want to try another time: Heartland Café, Urban Vegan, Vegetarian Express, Kitchen 17 (for pizza!), Pick Me Up Café (their Buffalo Tofu Wrap or French Toast looks yum!), Upton’s Breakroom (Kabocha Squash bowl!), and Ground Control (looks so yum and fun!)
Thank you Chicago kind lifers for all the amazing recommendations!! And to all you Kind lifers who came out to the meet up. It was so nice to meet you all.
Have you gone on a fun adventure recently? For work or for play!?