#INSTAFOOD: CHICAGO

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Ahhh, Chicago cuisine. I have such a soft spot for cities whose food flies under the radar, and while working on the Ben & Jerry’s Core Tour, I was fortunate enough to be able to try all sorts of delicious spots. It means no 3 hour long waits for brunch, no pretentious patrons discecting every ingredient, and innovate fare from some of the area’s most thoughtful and creative chefs that hasn’t already been plastered all over multiple Conde Nast publications. Yes, Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews may seem helpful, but sometimes it’s just nice to taste food for what it really is without all the hype. And in Chicago’s case, it’s freaking tasty.

Below are a few of the flavorful moments that I captured during my time in the Windy City. Snack on these savory social media snapshots for a little inspiration for your next night out in Chicago.

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Eataly Chicago (Near North Side)

While the Chicago Eataly isn’t quite as impressive as the one in NYC, it still makes for a great place to stop for a snack. Munch on some savory veggies and finish your visit with a stop at the Nutella bar, aka heavan on earth.

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Girl & the Goat (West Loop)

Get your daily dose of weird with some of the more unusal combinations at this popular restaurant. Escargot ravioli and octopus salad only scratches the surface of the endless options.

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Three Dots and a Dash (River North)

Looking for a luau in the midwest? Look no further than this speakeasy-esque spot. Every cocktail I’ve tried has been a crowd pleaser, and while you might think they’re fruity and girly drinks, three cocktails will knock you on your ass faster than a bulldozer.

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Perennial Virant (Lincoln Park)

One of the best brunch spots in all of Chicago just so happens to be next to one of my favorite things, the Lincoln Park Zoo. If you’re visitng and need to fuel up before seeing the animals, this is the perfect farm-to-table spot. Also ask to check out the book that the chef authored a few years ago. It’s cool reading material while you wait for your food.

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Elly’s Pancake House (Near North Side)

Hankering for a late night snack? This pancake house, serving up blintzes, eggs benedict, and one of the best German pancakes I have ever had, is open 24-hours away making it the perfect brunch spot all weekend.

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Parson’s Chicken & Fish (Logan Square)

Combine a 7/11 and your favorite cocktail bar for this genius outdoor patio. While the hot days of summer may be slowly slipping away, I highly recommend swinging by for a Negroni slushy before cocktail trends go the way of hot-toddys and spiked egg nog.

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Enolo Wine Bar (Near North Side)

Looking for a great lunch spot in between meetings? Look no further than Enolo. With a full list of bruchettas and a great wine selection, this mid-day treat will have you returning to work satisfied.. and maybe a little tipsy.

Did I miss your favorite spot? Let me know in the comments below.

P.S. Be sure to follow me on Instagram at @venturetravelist

#INSTAFOOD: New York, New York

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I should have picked a different day to start a juice cleanse because these photos are making me miss chewing, carbs.. and well, food. Needless to say, I couldn’t help putting together a little homage to all the delicious eats that I tasted while in New York last month.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.33.41 PM Rosemarys. (Greenwich Village)

Using herbs and veggies from their rooftop garden, this hotspot defines fresh for the downtown brunch lovers. Be sure to taste some of their homemade pastas and fresh squeezed juices.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.36.16 PMPies n Thighs (Williamsburg)

Don’t leave this place without trying the chicken biscuit! While I may not feel hipster enough to eat at this Brooklyn joint on the reg, I definitely find myself being pulled back by the pie.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.35.15 PMCafe Moto (Williamsburg)

One of my favorite spots in all of Brooklyn! Stop in for some live music, a glass of wine (on draft), and their mac n cheese, which they serve with apple sauce. Trust me when I say, between those three things, you have a winning combination.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.36.58 PMBaked (Red Hook)

Looking for the ultimate place to grab a cappucino and a pastry? Look no further than this off the beaten path spot. This a great place to fuel up before you take on the day. If you aren’t a lemon tart fan, try their crowd-pleasing cinnamon bun.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.37.16 PMCookshop (Chelsea)

For farm to table goodness, skip the tourists at Chelsea market and plop yourself down on the trendy patio on 10th Ave. You’d be doing yourself a disservice by not getting a cocktail with your meal. I had the Peaches B. Crazy.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.35.34 PM10 Degrees (East Village)

When all else fails, go for the happy hour specials! With 2-for-1 drinks from noon until 8pm, and a charcuterie served in massive portions, this is a great place to post up and do some work New York style.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.37.34 PMThe Marshal (Hell’s Kitchen)

Places like this don’t pop up in Hell’s Kitchen everyday. If you’re in the area, you won’t regret stopping in for a taste of everything local. From spirits, to veggies, to the honey drizzled over house made fudge… most things don’t come from more than 100 miles away.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.36.44 PMRed Hook Lobter Pound (Red Hook)

Whenever I’m homesick, all I need is a lobster roll to transport me back to my coastal hometown in Maine. I also recommend snagging a cup of lobster mac n cheese for good measure because nothing says comfort food quite like pasta.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.34.57 PMCafe Habana (Nolita)

Tired from a day of shopping downtown? Fear not! The tacos and cheesy corn at this hipster Cuban establishment will fuel you for another round of scowering vintage shops and looking for deals.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.34.23 PMHandsome Dan’s (East Village)

With old school candy like warheads, razzles, and pop rocks, there’s no way you can go wrong at this lower east side candy shop. Embrace the sugar rush and go all in with a sno-cone!

This just scratches the surface of the culinary experiences to be had in New York. Tell me where you love to chow down in the comments below!

P.S. Be sure to follow me on Instagram at @venturetravelist