As we near the last warm days left in the season, I’ve been working to prioritize my summer to-do list. Cue: the staple of every American summer … ice cream! And finding your token ice cream spot is, in my opinion, a requirement to having a successful summer. Enter Annette’s.
Directly off the Armitage stop, you’ll find a quaint Annette’s window occupied by welcoming employees who will be more than happy to help with suggestions on what to order. Neighboring the window is typically a pretty lengthy line of folks waiting for their sweets. There is a cozy gated area with outdoor seating, an idyllic spot to gawk at dogs waiting in line with their owners.
Photo source: Yelp.com
Now to the ice cream. You have your sundae lovers, the die-hard froyo crowd, the sprinkles squad, the Italian Iceers, and let us not forget the gelato gang. Very few places have this broad of a scope of frozen treats, but Annette’s has you covered. I love the raspberry Italian ice, which is so thin it instantly melts in your mouth.
The line can build at Annette’s, as the cash-only shop is only open during the summer. Exact days it’s open can also which means … You better go quick before summer is over. Your sweet tooth will be very, very grateful.
What’s your token ice cream shop?
There’s no question that putting on a nice dress and heading out for a fancy dinner is enjoyable, but often, the best nights are those spent in laid-back and causal restaurants with friends. This summer I plan on spending lots of time doing just that at Park & Field, a vintage sports bar with everything you could ever want and more.
The restaurant combines an old-school gymnasium aesthetic with new-school delicious cuisine. The best part is the 6,000 square foot patio that is filled with a bonfire pit, bocce ball courts, an outdoor bar, and seating that permits you to watch your favorite live sports on TV. Known to be one of the biggest outdoor patios in Chicago, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a beautiful summer night with a melting s’more in one hand, and a cold drink in the other.
Images via Park & Field and Instagram
Lincoln Park, as in the actual park, is one of my favorite outdoor spaces in Chicago. This time of year brings everyone out of hibernation to enjoy the sights of the city and the smells of the beautiful budding flowers.
Here is just a small list of the things that I love to do in the park:
• Picnic on the Conservatory Lawn amongst the beautiful flowers and plants.
• Walk through the Lincoln Park Zoo and learn something new about an animal each time.
• Join a workout in the park. I have yet to participate but it is on my to-do list this year.
• Walk through the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond — one of my favorite serene places.
• Eat outside at Café Brauer overlooking the pond.
• Hit golf balls at Diversey Golf Range or play putt-putt at the miniature golf course.
• Browse the Green City Market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
• Take in the city sky line on the bridge over the pond.
• Go on the Giants in the Park Tour and learn about the statues in Lincoln Park.
• Walk around the boardwalk surrounding the pond. You are bound to run into some wildlife!
• Play tennis at Waveland Courts.
I set high hopes of eating healthier this year, but I’m not quite ready to part with happy hour. Enter: Eden. This chic new addition to downtown Chicago’s restaurant scene serves up fresh Mediterranean and American cuisine using produce from their own greenhouse — even their hand-crafted cocktails are infused with farm-fresh flavors!
Aside from offering a range of delicious dishes and drinks, Eden’s décor is the update your Instagram feed has been waiting for. From white-washed walls to marble accents and an outdoor mural inspired by its lush green interiors, the restaurant offers photo ops before you even walk through the door!
Call up your coworkers — your next happy hour awaits!
What’s your favorite spot to grab post-work drinks?
Recently I was gifted with the best new neighbor I could have ever asked for. Left Coast Food + Juice, the super trendy, West Coast-inspired healthy eatery, opened around the corner and has become my weekend ritual (and best friend) ever since. Not only does the Lakeview restaurant have an amazing airy setting and chic ambiance, but their specialty menu options are delicious and actually good for you.
I recommend stopping by on a Saturday or Sunday morning for brunch on its patio. Although often packed, the people watching and Hermosa Avocado toast, Chronic Wrap or Kale Mary smoothie (my personal favorites) make the wait totally worth it. (Insider tip: Order in advance to cut the lines!).
The best part? Left Coast makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a beach-side eatery, and who doesn’t love that?
What’s your favorite neighborhood eatery?
Images via Urban Daddy & Instagram