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Best Local: Bakeries

Find fresh baked goods at these Chicago and suburban bakeries!

Savor fresh breads, croissants, cookies and cake all around Chicagoland! Artisan bakeries and bread-makers provide an array of flavors, textures and bakery goods to the Windy City. Enjoy breakfast on-the-go or order something special to pair with your holiday dinners at these Chicago and suburban locations!  

Courtesy of hendrickxbakery.com

Enjoy artisan, Belgian bread-making and baking at the Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter. Bringing his baking craft from apprenticeships in Belgium, Hendrickx is known for their perfected fluffy and crisp croissants, with flavors like speculoos, Amarena cherry and traditional Belgian chocolate. Stop by on the weekends for their weekend-only brunch menu, just a 6 minute walk from State & Chestnut.

Courtesy of vegetariantourist.com

Have dessert first at Goddess and the Baker! The trendy gourmet bakery prides itself on dessert with sweet treats such as cakes, brownies, granola bars and light morning buns  — and each can be topped with a scoop of creamy gelato. For a limited time, order your Thanksgiving desserts with Goddess and the Baker, with selections like pumpkin walnut cake, salted caramel ganache tart or traditional apple pie. Only a 7 minute walk from Marquee at Block 37 or 73 East Lake!

Courtesy of thefork.com

Eat simple  — but delicious  — meals and breads at Le Pain Quotidien. The bakery uses all organic ingredients to create delicious breads, danishes, croissants and scones, all served with their homemade jam. For more savory baked goods check out their dessert menu, featuring fresh tarts, donuts and cakes. Only a 4 minute walk from Presidential Towers or an 8 minute walk from 215 West Apartments.

Courtesy of heloloa.com

Stop by the family-owned Leonard’s Bakery, known for their coffeecakes and cookies! The Jewish bakery has been open since 1908, serving old-fashioned favorites like challah, raisin rugelach and mondel breads. Their coffeecake creations include flavors like s’mores, turtle, kitchen sink and chocolate banana. Pick up a loaf for the holidays or simply for breakfast, only a 5 minute drive from NorthShore 770!

Best Local: Tea Shops

Best Places for Tea in Chicago!

Skip the coffee and grab some tea! From black to green, bagged or loose-leaf, Chicago has a variety of tea stores and cafes offering robust tea options. Check out these locations for delicious coffee house teas or stores for at-home use!

Courtesy of foodiereflections.com

Stop by TeaGschwender for quality loose-leaf tea! TeaGschwender stores their tea leaves in bank-like vaults, then carefully measures each bag for a mix of flavors. Try their fall collection featuring flavors like autumn spice, fireside glow and baked apple, or bring forward for the holidays and grab some of their Christmas tea and rooibos eggnog flavors! Only an 8 minute walk from State & Chestnut.

Courtesy of jeffmolander.com

Supply your in-home collection with tea boxes from Adagio Teas Chicago. Their selection spans an array of chai teas, black teas, oolong teas, herbal teas and matcha. Don’t want to commit? Try their samplers, which offer a variety such English earl grey, jasmine teas and sweet tooth teas. Located across North State St. from Grand Plaza or a 7 minute walk from AMLI River North.

Courtesy of opentable.com

Serving breakfast and lunch, the hole-in-the-wall Cafe Vienna also featured an array of imported tea from Vienna. Their tea comes in thick bags with a kettle for perfected steeping. Flavors include roasted almond, butter truffle and orange grapefruit. The tea smells as good as they taste! The cafe is located across Clark Street from Kent or a 10 minute walk from the Belden Stratford.

Courtesy of rompworthy.com

Enjoy proper afternoon tea at The Allis. Their afternoon tea, served daily, includes small pastries such as finger sandwiches and cakes, along with teas such as hot chocolate pu-erh, Italian green almondine and black Canadian ice wine elixir. Add a glass of rose or champagne to pair, only a 7 minute walk from Catalyst Apartments or an 8 minute walk from Arkadia Towers.

Best Local: Candy Stores

Visit these candy stores in Chicago!

Saturday, November 4th is National Candy Day! Stock up for Halloween or enjoy some custom treats like truffles, homemade candy or caramel apples. From chocolate connoisseurs to sugary confectioneries, these Chicago locations are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Courtesy of yelp.com

Find classic candy flavors with gourmet taste at Whimsical Candy! The artisanal candy store sells custom candy bars, La-Dee-Dah nougats and fluffy marshmallows. Only a 4 minute walk from 215 West Apartments or an 8 minute walk from EnV Chicago.

Courtesy of candyaddict.com

Stop by the family-owned See’s Candies for delicious chocolate, toffee and brittles. For Thanksgiving the candy store features assorted delights, seasonal pie truffles and pumpkin spice lollipops. You can also build your own candy box as a gift or just to take home! The storefront is located across State St. from Marquee at Block 37 and only a 5 minute walk from 73 East Lake.  

Courtesy of pinterest.com

Bigger is better at IT’SUGAR Chicago New City! The candy store features jumbo, cereal-box sized candy along with kitschy sweets and holiday treats! For the adventurous the store also features life-sized gummy food like gummy pizza or sushi bites. Only a 10 minute ride on the red line from State & Chestnut.

Courtesy of upchicago.com

Stop by Candyality in the Water Tower Place! Voted the best candy store in Illinois by the Food Network, Candyality includes an array of licorice, chocolates, sweet candy and retro finds! For Halloween season try their Death by Gummy Bear mug. Only an 8 minute walk from State & Chestnut.

Halloween 2017

Enjoy the Halloween season with these Chicago activities!

With Halloween only a week away, Chicago is preparing for the holiday with plenty of spooky activities! Get in the spirit with trick or treating, haunted houses and bone-tingling performances at these Chicago events.

Courtesy of broadwayworld.com

Get in the spooky spirit at Mercury Theatre Chicago with their performance of The Hypocrites’ Dracula. The play is a modern adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel of the same title, the play is a mix of passion, humor, cruelty, and blood sacrifice. Only a 17 minute ride on the 22 bus from Kent!

Courtesy of lpzoo.com

For family-friendly Halloween activities, visit Lincoln Park Zoo’s Spooky Zoo Spectacular! Celebrating its 31st anniversary, the event allows patrons to trick or treat in a free, safe environment. Dress in costumes and bring some candy! Only a 5 minute walk from The Belden Stratford.

Courtesy of partyslate.com

Stop by The Haunted Hotel event at the Godfrey Hotel for a tour of over 20 haunted hotel rooms! Stay afterwards if you dare for a rooftop party featuring drinks and more haunted tales.  Only a 7 minute walk from Grand Plaza!

Courtesy of timeout.com

Try some Halloween-inspired cocktail creations at Three Dots and a Dash. The River North bar will host a ‘Disco of the Dead’ event on Sunday, Oct. 29 featuring ghoulish concoctions and Zombie Disco Jams music. Located across the street from AMLI River North or a 5 minute walk from Grand Plaza.

Best Local: Sushi

Sample some sushi from these Chicagoland restaurants!

Sushi lovers rejoice! Chicago is home to maki, sashimi, nigiri and the ever-popular California roll, boasting a variety of sushi bars throughout the city. Stop by any of these Chicago restaurants and sushi bars!

Courtesy of beststeakrestaurant.com

Try Roka Akor, featured on Chicago Magazine’s “Hot List” for six consecutive months! The sushi, seafood and steak house menu includes fresh rolled sushi daily. Beyond sushi, Roka Akor also features prime steak selections paired with tableside shaved truffles and artisanal sauces, named Crain’s Best Steakhouse. Stop by for happy hour for appetizers and $5 Sake! Located across Clark Street from AMLI River North or a 5 minute walk from Grand Plaza.

Courtesy of opentable.com

Stop by Union for a surprising twist on Japanese cuisine! Their maki rolls are inspired by global flavors with unique wraps such as collard greens, soy paper, or cucumber, in addition to the traditional seaweed nori. Come back for their Japanese barbeque, featuring a 600° Robata Grill at the restaurant’s center, serving up a variety of meat, chicken, seafood and vegetables. Just a 9 minute walk up Franklin Street from EnV Chicago!

Courtesy of foodspotting.com

Try the new Chicago hotspot Hot Woks Cool Sushi for a wide selection of makimono, sashimi and maki sushi. Try their Chicago signature, the Blackhawks roll, which includes crab meat, white tuna and sesame seeds served with herbed ponzu sauce. You can also get their sushi to-go, named Metromix one of 12 fresh restaurants to order from in Chicago! Only a 7 minute walk from 215 West Apartments or a 9 minute walk from Presidential Towers.

Courtesy of japancentre.com

Enjoy classic Japanese sushi in a luxurious loft setting at Umai. Their menu includes signature maki selections such as the Chicago roll, surf & turf roll and Mexican roll.  Adventurous diners can try the sushi platter, which includes chef’s selections! Only a 3 minute walk down Clark Street from AMLI 900!

Best Local: Desserts

Treat yourself to something sweet from these Chicago dessert locations!  

Saturday, Oct. 14 is National Dessert Day! Sample homemade pies, fluffy donuts and rich hot chocolate as you explore Chicago’s dessert destinations. Satisfy your sweet tooth at any of these locations!

Courtesy of chicago.cbslocal.com

Dessert is a specialty at Mindy’s Hot Chocolate! The restaurant and dessert bar rotates their menu seasonally to feature fresh fruits, nuts and chocolate. For fall, try their apple strudel with Seedling Farm cider or their homemade doughnuts with caramel corn and hot fudge glaze. Pair dessert with a steaming cup of hot chocolate, made with real melted chocolate and topped with plump homemade marshmallows. Only an 8 minute walk from 215 West Apartments.

Courtesy of garrettpopcorn.com

Grab a tin of savory popcorn from Chicago’s Garrett’s Popcorn! Garrett’s first opened its doors at 10 West Madison in 1949, using copper kettles to hot air pop their kernels. They continue to use the same process today, including flavors like favorited caramel corn and cheddar cheese, along with original butter and nut-mixed caramel corn. The East Madison location is only an 8 minute walk from 73 East Lake!

Courtesy of yelp.com

Grab a scoop of creamy, artisan gelato at Amorino Chicago in River North. Churned fresh daily, their gelato beckons patrons back to their hometown of Paris with beautiful rose scoops. Try their current red berries cheesecake flavor or stick with original rich chocolate. Located across the street from State & Chestnut!

Courtesy of doritedonuts.com

Have dessert for breakfast with a donut from Do-Rite Donuts & Coffee! Try their cinnamon old fashioned, blueberry crumb or Michigan apple fritter flavors. Their menu also changes daily by chef’s preference, so stop by for the day’s original creation!  Located across the street from Marquee at Block 37, or only a 6 minute walk from 215 West Apartments.

Best Local: Art Galleries

Explore art by international and local artists at these Chicago art galleries!

Chicago may be home to the Art Institute and Museum of Contemporary Art, but the city is also thriving with local galleries and exhibitions for any art lover! Stretching from Logan Square to the Loop to Hyde Park, explore sculptures, photography and paintings at any of these local galleries!

Courtesy of edelmangallery.com

Visit a River North staple, the Catherine Edelman Gallery! Opening in 1987, Edelman Gallery has established itself as one of the leading galleries in the Midwest, featuring international and Chicago artists. Current exhibits include Liat Elbling: Proposals for Disorder and the featured artist Gregory Scott. Only an 11 minute walk from EnV Chicago.

Courtesy of saic.edu

Enjoy installations by students at the School of the Art Institute at Sullivan Gallery! Featuring emerging artists, the gallery allows students to curate their work in actual exhibition spaces. Current exhibitions include Shifting the Center and the light experimentation show Articulating Time and Space. Sullivan’s is located on SAIC’s loop campus and is free to the public, only a 9 minute walk from 73 East Lake

Courtesy of chicagotonight.wttw.com

Stop by the Art Club of Chicago, the city’s local art hub! Open since 1916, the Art Club has been a premiere exhibitor of international art, along with features on local work. With a mission statement focused on sharing art to the public, the exhibitions are free to visit and the club hosts weekly talks, films, educational programs, and presentations. Check out their current exhibition by Roman Ondak, only an 8 minute walk from Grand Plaza

Courtesy of dennisraefineart.com

Explore the art of Dr. Seuss’ cartoon creations at the Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery. The gallery includes illustration art, sculptures, bronze statues, and cartoon sketches. You can even take home some Dr. Seuss artwork for sale! Only an 8 minute walk from State & Chestnut.

Best Local: Coffee Roasters

Explore Chicago’s local coffee roasters!

Friday, September 29th is National Coffee Day! Chicago is home to a variety of local coffee roasters, with local chains blending their own coffee flavors. Enjoy a fresh cup or grab a bag of beans from these favorited coffee roasters and storefronts!

Courtesy of yelp.ca

Visit a local favorite Dark Matter! Featured in Netflix’s Easy, Dark Matter includes over four locations throughout the city offering unique coffee blends, espresso and delicious baked goods.  Dark Matter treats their coffee with a barrel-aging process, allowing the beans to mix with additional flavors in large wooden barrels, giving a full flavor. Blends include 2Pacas, Unicorn Blend, Heavy Metal and Perk It Up. Sign up for their customer subscription to receive a bag of their limited monthly blend at your door. The West Jackson location is only a 4 minute walk from Presidential Towers!

Courtesy of sprudge.com

Try a San Francisco transplant, Intelligentsia! Making their roots in Chicago in 1995, Intelligentsia roasts their coffee in-store. Their selection includes single origin beans, black cat project espresso and seasonal blends such as el gallo breakfast blend or el diablo dark roast. At their storefronts, enjoy a sleek, industrial design perfect for a weekend workspace. The Millennium Park Coffeebar is only a 3 minute walk from 73 East Lake or a 4 minute walk down Randolph from Marquee at Block 37.

Courtesy of designscout.com

Visit Metropolis Coffee and you’ll instantly find a Chicago coffeehouse community. Centered around the philosophy of a neighborhood meeting ground, Metropolis provides fair trade coffee to start your work day strong. The experienced coffee roasters also outsource their beans to a variety of Chicago locations, so check for the local label when out to brunch! Only a 14 minute ride on the Red Line from AMLI Evanston.

Courtesy of dnainfo.com

Grab a drink from the downtown-centered Bow Truss Coffee. Working to make coffee more approachable, Bow Truss offers roasted whole bean coffee bags in one and five pounds  — great for a home supply or work stash. Only a 7 minute walk from 215 West Apartments.

Fall Activities 2017

Fall activities to do in Chicago!

Friday, September 22nd marks the first day of fall! Spend the season pumpkin picking, attending haunted tours and tasting delicious food. Celebrate the start of the season with these autumn-themed activities throughout the city and suburbs.

Courtesy of samantha-brown.com

Learn about Chicago’s spooky history with a Chicago Hauntings tour! The three hour tour is run by paranormal researcher and author Ursula Bielski and features stops at actively haunted locations, including stops at Death Alley, site of the Eastland disaster, and the location of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Ursula also conducts specialty tours, such as the Our Devil in the White City tour and the Archer Avenue Triangle & Resurrection Marie tour. The tour bus meets only an 8 minute walk from 73 East Lake or the Grand Plaza!

Courtesy of gatewaygreen.org

Take a stroll through Lincoln Park for beautiful autumn scenery! With fall foliage turning the trees red and yellow, walk through North Pond, the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Lincoln Park pond. Enjoy a game of catch on the ball fields or float through the rowing canal. Only a 5 minute walk from The Belden Stratford or a 12 minute walk from Kent.

Courtesy of tripadvisor.com

Skip the chain pumpkin spice lattes and opt for local favorites instead with coffee and baked goods from Eva’s Cafe. Eva’s brick and mortar location features a cozy coffeehouse space serving fresh coffee and fall favorites such as spiced cider, chai lattes and fall specialty drinks. Pair it with a bagel, egg sandwich or baked good for a delicious start to the day. Only a 7 minute ride on the Chicago brown line from State & Chestnut!

Courtesy of timeout.com

Decorate for the season with pumpkin picking and more at Sonny Acres Farm. Sonny Acres is home to pumpkin patches, carnival rides and a farmers’ market selling fall favorites from apple cider to fresh pumpkin bread. Bring the whole family for fall-themed fun! Only a 9 minute drive from AMLI at St. Charles.

Best Local: Cheeseburgers

Enjoy Chicago’s take on the classic cheeseburger!

September 18th is National Cheeseburger Day! Whether topped with avocado, fried egg, or Elvis-style with gooey peanut butter, take your cheeseburger experience to the next level. Enjoy Chicago’s take on the classic burger with a bite from any of these locations!

Courtesy of billygoattavern.com

“Cheezborger, cheezborger!” Visit the famous Chicago location that inspired the John Belushi SNL skit, Billy Goat Tavern! The tavern opened in 1934 under the owner William “Goat” Sianis, who later became “Billy Goat” after a goat jumped off a nearby truck and wandered into the tavern, becoming Sainis’ pet and inspiration for the Billy Goat’s namesake. The bar is known for its cheezborger creations, which skip the lettuces and tomatoes and opt for thin 100% beef patties made for stacking. Only a 7 minute walk from AMLI River North or an 8 minute walk from Grand Plaza.

Courtesy of healthystacey.com

For grass-fed beef and savory burgers, try Grange Hall Burger Bar! The Grange Hall is a perfect place for healthy burger options, such as free-range turkey burgers or wild rice veggie burgers and even vegan chickpea and spinach burgers! For meat lovers, try the berries and brie beef burger or the BBQ picnic beef burger with fried avocado and chipotle BBQ. Only a 7 minute walk from Catalyst Apartment or an 11 minute walk from Presidential Towers.

Courtesy of chicago.seriouseats.com

For a killer cheeseburger classic, stop by the local burger chain M Burger! Their old fashioned cheeseburger will satisfy any traditional lover, or try the signature M burger with bacon, cheese and onion. Check online for their secret menu as well, which features burger creations such as the backyard burger, Dr. betty burger and salad-style burger creations. The East Randolph location is only a 3 minute walk from Marquee at Block 37 or an 8 minute walk from 73 East Lake.

Courtesy of michiganavemag.com

Sip some wine while enjoying your burger at 25 Degrees Chicago. The upscale burger joint features an extensive wine list to pair with their patty selections. Burger creations include lamb burgers with feta cheese and tzatziki, or beef burgers with crispy prosciutto and pesto. Only a 6 minute walk from State & Chestnut.

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