Hey everyone! My name is Jenna, aka @ChiEats. I was born and raised in the west 'burbs of Chicago but have lived in the city for almost 8 years. You can catch me in the River North neighborhood most of the time, but exploring our amazing city is one of my favorite things to do. I work in the front office of a professional sports team by day, and eat a lot of food by night (well, and by day too… ). I'm excited to share some of my favorite dishes and restaurants with you. Enjoy!
1. VIEWS & CHEWS
Cindy's Rooftop
Cindy's (@cindysrooftop), located on the top of the @chicagoathletichotel, is one of my favorite spots in the city. The views of Lake Michigan are to die for, the space is beautiful, and the food, especially this Southern Belle Burger with bacon, pimento cheese, and a fried egg, is unreal.
2. CAJUN
The Angry Crab
Angry Crab (@angrycrabchicago) is a BYOB Cajun seafood spot where you're given a bib and encouraged to eat with your hands. I mean, enough said! The seafood is so fresh, mixed with the tastiest of spices, and served to you in a plastic bag. Dive in!
3. WARM UP
Strings Ramen
The weather in Chicago is unpredictable, so it's no surprise that we're in May and still being told to expect a freeze warning. There's no better spot to warm up with some ramen than at @stringsramen in Chinatown. This is their 'hell ramen', which has five spiciness levels. I went with the Level 1 and was still sweating with spice! This place is no joke.
4. ICONIC
Portillo's
When you ask a Chicagoan what one of the most iconic spots in the city is, I bet they'll tell you it's @portilloshotdogs! Want to know MY favorite menu items? The chicken chopped salad with housemade dressing (don't worry, this isn't one of those 'healthy' salad types) and the chocolate cake shake, made with chunks of their famously delicious and moist chocolate cake. Bring on the calories!
5. ITALIAN
Armand's Victory Tap
I'm an Italian girl with high standards when it comes to Italian food. I recently went to @victorytapchicago in the South Loop, and it did not disappoint. Check out the massive clams on this linguini. Oh, and can you see the huge chunks of garlic? Yes. Please.
6. SWEET TOOTH
Sprinkles Cupcakes
I'm not much of a sweets eater, but when I've got a sweet tooth, @sprinklescupcakes does the trick. They just rolled out cookie cupcakes, with an actual cookie on the bottom, topped with brown sugar and cookie crumbles. I may or may not have eaten all of these cupcakes in one sitting…
7. *DROOL*
Firecakes
Okay, so I said I'm not much of a sweets eater, but donuts are a big exception. Some of my favorites include @stansdonutschicago and @doughnutvault, but this little guy that's almost too good looking to eat is from @firecakes right here in River North.
8. CHICKEN & WAFFLES
MAD Social
One of my favorite dishes comes @madsocialchicago in Chicago's booming West Loop neighborhood. This is an insane take on chicken and waffles -- churro waffle, chicken breast milanese, MAD hot sauce, crisp pork belly, and maple syrup. HECK. YES.
9. LINE UP!
Kanela Breakfast Club
Brunching is one my favorite things to do, and one of the best spots in the city is @kanelacafe. They have five locations, all of which serve up this decadent Nutella smores waffle. They don't take reservations, though, so lines tend to start early and last long. But, it's totally worth it!
    10. SLICES
    Bacci Pizzeria
    Take another little pizza my heart now baby <3 @BacciPizza has 11 Chicagoland locations and is famous for their jumbo slice. I hear they have a contest every year in which people ambitiously eat as many of these big ass slices as they can in 15 minutes. Sign me up!
    11. BRUNCH
    The Hampton Social
    I WOKE UP IN FEAST MODE. Love to brunch at @thehamptonsocial in River North. You want a place with killer vibes? This is the spot. Hampton Social is a breezy hangout serving up seafood and beach-themed cocktails. Transport to paradise for a few hours while you sip on mimosas and slurp on some oysters.
    12. ANOTHER ONE
    Cindy's Rooftop
    Is it cheating if I post the same restaurant twice? We're going back to @cindysrooftop for their high quality East and West Coast oysters. Their seafood tower, pictured above, also comes with the fresh lobster tails and giant shrimp. Get a glass of rose and you've got a picture perfect brunch spot with your girlfriends (or boyfriends!).
    13. BRUNCH
    Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!
    Café Ba Ba Reeba in Lincoln Park is spot that you can never go wrong at. They are a Spanish tapas restaurant with a menu FULL (and I mean full) of small plates meant to share. Some of my menu items include the chorizo wrapped dates, burrata with grilled housemade bread, and octopus with shishito peppers. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Oh, and don't skip on the sangria, which is some of the best I've ever had.