Chicago is one of the most visited cities in the world, and one of our favorite’s given it’s rich amount of entertainment, art, and history. Jennifer Brody with The Peninsula Chicago Concierge team fills us in on her favorite hot spots to dine, drink, and play.
Jennifer is originally from Florida, but moved to Chicago in 2014 for a new adventure as a Concierge in the Windy City. She loves dining out at all of the new (and old) places in the city, from classic Chicago restaurants to up-and-coming foodie spots. She can also be found exploring museums, checking out art events throughout the famed street alleys of the city, biking along the lakefront, and volunteering for various local charities. You may even catch her at a catcade (it’s a real thing: a cat lounge with arcade games). It’s safe to say that Jennifer takes advantage of all that Chicago has to offer, and shares her unique perspective and expertise with the guests’ at The Peninsula Chicago.
On the fourth floor of The Peninsula Chicago, The Shanghai Terrace offers fine dining, with specialty cocktails and an array of Cantonese dim sum. The Terrace is Chicago’s lively al fresco destination, open from May through October, weather permitting.
We highly recommend farm-to-table restaurant, Smyth and The Loyalist, in the popular West Loop neighbor, which offers both formal and casual dining options.
Elske, a unique Danish-inspired American restaurant, is a great option in the West Loop. You can enjoy your meal indoors or outside in the courtyard, among a beautiful curved fireplace.
Located adjacent to the world’s largest Ralph Lauren store, RL, is a go-to among the power lunch scene in Chicago.
The Aviary, a cocktail lounge located in the trendy West Randolph area, offering unique cocktails that combine invitation and tradition, brought to you by Chef Grant Achatz of the acclaimed Alinea.
Allow yourself to go back in time at The Milk Room, an unassuming speakeasy located inside the Chicago Athletic Association.
This highly respected craft cocktail lounge, The Berkshire Room, was one of the first of its kind in Chicago, located in the very modern and hip ACME Hotel.
Enjoy some serious artisan cocktails at The Violet Hour, in the heart of the hip Wicker Park neighborhood.
“Serious” Deep Dish Pizza
Pequod’s pizza provides a unique take on traditional Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. Before cooking the pizza, the chef spreads a thin layer of cheese along the outside of the crust, resulting in magnificent flavor.
Lou Malnati’s is known for their famous Buttercrust. This rich, melt-in-your-mouth crust, is an extension of the traditional dough used in deep-dish, which uses oil as opposed to butter.
Giordano’s is a classic Chicago institution, where the crust is less semolina-based and more of a regular flour-based crust.
Enjoy one of Chicago’s great local pizza pubs, Pizano’s, with their signature classic red and white checker tablecloths. The superb beer list and pizzas will instantly make you feel like a local.
Founded over 20 years ago, Swiss Fine Timing, specializes in rare and hard-to-find brands. An absolute must-visit for the watch enthusiast, and an all-time favorite among Peninsula guests.
This rare and unique showroom and gallery, Pagoda Red, specializes in high-end Chinese home furnishings, antiques and modern artwork. We highly recommend a visit, even if only to look.
Within walking distance from The Peninsula Chicago, we always love a visit to Harry Winston, the world-renowned jeweler to the stars.
The unique showroom at Nadeau is filled with constantly changing furniture, imported from Indonesia and India, and is most certainly a fun place to “poke around”.
The Shedd Aquarium is a classic Chicago attraction, in a unique and beautiful setting on Chicago’s lakefront, showcasing over 32,000 animals from the world’s aquatic environments.
For something off the beaten path, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park museum is dedicated to expanding the public’s knowledge of nature and environmental science.
Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel, soaring to heights of nearly 200 feet, this newly renovated wheel offers visitors unparalleled, 360-degree views of Chicago and Lake Michigan.
Flying 94 floors in the sky, 360 Chicago, is located in the famous John Hancock Building. Recently renovated, this observatory offers breathtaking views.
For those looking for an adventurous activity, we highly recommend Bobby’s Bike Hike. Rent bikes and take a journey down the bike path along Lake Shore Drive, which offers scenic views of both Lake Michigan and the iconic Chicago skyline.
Best of Jazz Scene
Jazz Showcase is an absolute must-stop among the Jazz scene. Since 1947, this 170-seat Jazz club has been showcasing local, national, and international acts.
Winter’s Jazz Club has quickly become Chicago’s new home for straight-ahead, classic live jazz, offered 6 nights a week.
Enjoy casually sophisticated dining, over live Jazz at Andy’s Jazz Club, one of Chicago’s best-known and most-respected Jazz establishments.
The Peninsula Chicago, 108 East Superior Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611 | +1 (312) 337-2888
Shanghai Terrace, 108 East Superior Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611 | +1 (312) 573 6695
Smyth and The Loyalist, 177 N Ada St #001, Chicago, IL 60607 | +1 (773) 913-3774
Elske, 1350 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607 | +1 (312) 733-1314
RL, 115 East Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 | +1 (312) 475-1100
The Aviary, 955 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 | +1 (312) 226-0868
Milk Room, 12 S Michigan Ave 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60603 | +1 (312) 792-3535
The Berkshire Room, 15 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611 | +1 (312) 894-0945
The Violet Hour, 1520 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 | +1 (773) 252-1500
“Serious” Deep Dish Pizza
Pequod’s Pizza, 2207 N. Clybourn Ave Chicago IL 60614 | +1 (773) 327-1512
Lou Malnati’s, 805 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605 (more locations available) | +1 (312) 786-1000
Giordano’s, 730 N. Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611 (more locations available) | +1 (312) 951-0747
Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta, 864 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60610 (more locations available) | +1 (312) 751-1766
Swiss Fine Timing, 70 E Walton St, Chicago, IL 60611 | +1 (312) 337-4700
Pagoda Red, 400 N Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60642 | +1 (773) 235-1188
Harry Winston, 55 E Oak St, Chicago, IL 60611 | +1 (312) 705-1820
Nadeau, 4433 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640 | +1 (773) 728-3497
Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 | +1 (312) 939-2438
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL 60614 | +1 (773) 755-5100
Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier, 800-838 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 | +1 (312) 595-7437
360 Chicago, 875 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611 | +1 (888) 875-8439
Best of Jazz Scene
The Jazz Showcase, 806 S Plymouth Ct, Chicago, IL 60605 | +1 (312) 360-0234
Winter’s Jazz Club, 465 N. McClurg Court, Chicago, IL 60611 | +1 (312) 344-1270
Andy’s Jazz Club & Restaurant, 11 E Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60611 | +1 (312) 642-6805
Bobby’s Bike Hike – Chicago Bicycle, Walking, & Food Tours, 540 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60611 | +1 (312) 245-9300