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Chicago, IL

Renaissance Girl is a Chicago lifestyle blog by Laura Notorangelo for every person who loves to explore and find new travel destinations, restaurants, recipes and events.

What to See & Do in Chicago: A Shortlist

Food + Drink

From the perspective of a food and drink blogger, avid traveler and epicurean, Renaissance Girl brings you restaurants, reviews, events, drinks and recipes from an amateur chef and food blogger around Chicago and New York.

What to See & Do in Chicago: A Shortlist

Laura Notorangelo

If you live near or plan to visit Chicago anytime soon, you'll thank me for this Renaissance Girl-curated list of places to see in the windy city. 


First on my list is the infamous Goose Island, which has won a variety of awards including the World Beer Championships, World Beer Cup and World Expo of Beer. There's also Lagunitas, which hosts free tasting tours. Revolution is my third pick because it's pretty small but offers some potent brews.


Next on my list is Chicago Q, an award-winning barbecue restaurant in the Gold Coast neighborhood. This place doesn't mess around; the food is amazing and the atmosphere is hip meets fine dining.

There's a reason you hear so much about deep dish pizza in Chicago. Pizzeria Uno is where deep dish was actually invented by Ike Sewell in 1943. This is deep dish pizza done right, so if you're going to try it anywhere, it has to be here. 

Garret's Popcorn is home to original Chicago-style caramel-cheese popcorn (since 1949!). Do yourself a favor and check out any one of their amazing stores; you'll feel like a kid in a candy store!


The Art Institute of Chicago was voted the #1 museum in the world by Trip Advisor's Traveler's Choice. With everything from Monet to Van Gogh, it's easy to wander around for hours to appreciate the masterpieces.

Whether you're visiting for business or play, you have to check out the shops on Michigan Avenue, aka the Magnificent Mile. There is a huge variety of shops and restaurants from mid-priced to high-end, so there's something for everyone. Plus, you have to walk around Grant Park and admire the bean! It's right next to the Art Institute so you can't miss it.