Chicago Through Local Eyes with Kelly Larkin of Kelly in the City

On the Go

On Monday, I mentioned that Dustin and I spent Easter weekend in Chicago, doing lots of wandering and eating and a little engagement ring shopping (full story coming Monday, I promise!). Since it’s so close to Minneapolis, we’ve both been to Chicago a couple of times, and it’s even where we met. Still, neither of us wanted to just stick to the standard to-do list of going to the bean and the art institute. That’s where Kelly Larkin comes in. I reached out to Kelly, of Kelly in the City, to ask for her advice on the top places to eat, see and enjoy during our quick weekend trip to Chicago.

Kelly moved to Chicago about 3 years ago, and with her impeccable sense of style and family-focused blog, she’s made a home in the Windy City, even enjoying adventures in city real estate. She posts beautiful photos of her fashionable outfits, adorable baby and dachshund, Noodle. (I’m a little bit obsessed with Noodle, to be honest.) I knew she’d know the top places to check out in Chicago.

See Chicago through local eyes in my interview with Kelly from Kelly in the City

The Insta-Worthy Spots

The Chicago Bean, of course, tops Kelly’s list for places to take selfies in Chi-town. Another ‘grammable spot is one of her favorite restaurants, Summer House Santa Monica.

As for her own blog photos, she mostly shoots in her neighborhood of Lincoln Park. “I’m usually strapped for time,” she said. “My husband is my photographer, and he works full-time as a teacher. Over the summer, we get to be a bit more creative, as he’s off for a few months.”

When they’re being creative, she loves to shoot at the lake and in the Gold Coast, or at the Waldorf.

Where to Eat

Kelly raves about Summer House, so much in fact that Dustin and I went there when we were in town, and I can confirm that she was completely right! “It’s an absolutely stunning restaurant with a huge glass ceiling,” she said. “Even in the dead of winter (which can be rough in Chicago), going there makes you feel like it is summer. It’s my #1 place to go with my girlfriends! The food is off the charts, and the cookies are to die for. Get the burrata!”

For a cup of coffee, she loves Floriole in Lincoln Park, where she can sit and work for hours, since they also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

When she wants the classic Chicago deep dish, Kelly heads to Warehouse on Fullerton. She says nobody knows about it, but the pizza is amazing!

When it’s time to get fancier, though, it’s all about the West Loop for Kelly and her husband, “there are so many fabulous restaurants there,” she said. “It reminds me very much of NYC’s Meatpacking District!”

Where She Takes Loved Ones From Out of Town

With all of the great places to eat and sites to see in Chicago, the biggest appeal is still that natural border on the Eastern side. When asked where she takes friends and family when they come to visit, Kelly said the lake is her go-to.

“It’s such a great walk through our neighborhood, and the views of downtown Chicago from Lincoln Park are stunning. I love walking around Belmont Harbor (so pretty!) and then getting drinks at the J.Parker’s rooftop bar afterwards.”

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for a drink with a view. Kelly, I’m in!

Where are your favorite under-the-radar places to visit in Chicago? Let me know in the comments!


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