Monthly West Loop Round Up – Top Restaurants & Shops

I have lived in the West Loop for nearly 4 years now, and without sounding totally cliché I really do think that it is the ‘best loop.’ In fact I love it and my apartment building so much I am on my third unit there. (At least I know what I like!) Finding the awesome spots around the neighborhood has been one of the best parts about living in the West Loop. I’m sharing a roundup of my top six places, focusing on restaurants, and shops this month. The neighborhood is constantly changing with new openings & happenings so I’ll have plenty of suggestions to round up.

Restaurants

  1. MonteverdeI absolutely love this restaurant! It is my fiancé and I’s hands-down favorite date night spot in the neighborhood and for that matter would rank in my Top 3 in all of Chicago. You can reserve a table but we like to get there early, right after work and grab a couple of spots at the bar. The bartenders are friendly & fun and we also enjoy watching the two women make fresh pasta behind the counter. Patric, one of the bartenders who has become our friend told us about this interesting article Food & Wine recently published. You can read the story here to learn more about the restaurant’s unique culture. Everything on the menu is awesome but definitely order the Burrata E Ham, PBT! and the Gnochetti con Pesto. Ben’s favorite is the Tortelloni Di Zucca (read – pumpkin tortelloni with fried sage) but it is seasonal and so it is coming off of the menu soon. I’m looking forward to see what new dish they come up with for Spring!
  2. Parlor Pizza BarParlor is still incredibly popular as an evening watering hole, and likely the biggest one in the West Loop aside from Federales. But in my opinion the best time to visit is during the day for brunch. It’s a little quieter and you can enjoy their incredible Bloody Mary Bar which is stacked to the nines with different mixes, cheeses, charcuterie, pickled delights and more. Their “Ham & Egg English Muffins” are a hidden gem on the menu we just discovered and a must-order for brunch, alongside the Eggs Benedict Pizza. They recently added ‘dessert tacos’ to the menu and while I haven’t tried them yet, they look super fun and very ‘Instagrammable’.  I’m looking forward to warmer days when the patio and rooftop open up and so I can enjoy some Hogwash rosé and their Parlor Pizza Bread al fresco.
  3. Madison Bar & KitchenThis spot is probably the least sexy on the list, but it is a solid choice if you’re looking for a bite before a game at the United Center. They have everything on the menu from sushi to burgers to lamb chops. I like to go here on Tuesday nights for 1/2 of sushi and wine with girlfriends or when we need a quick, fuss-free meal out of the apartment any other evening of the week.

Shops

  1. Smitten BoutiqueI should probably introduce myself to the women who run and manage this store as I am no exaggeration here at least once a week. It is my ultimate go to spot for gifts for many occasions. I’ve picked up everything from baptism and baby gifts to engagement and bachelorette gifts. They have a beautiful, extensive card selection and plenty of candles and cute boxed matches that have provided me countless options for gifts for friends and family.
  2. Madison Vine WinesI enjoy frequenting Binny’s as much as the next thrifty booze shopper but there is something special about having a neighborhood wine shop. Cody, the owner is always available to offer advice on the different bottles or point out new arrivals. MVW offers 10% off 6 bottles and there are plenty of awesome selections at great price points between $15-25. It’s not just your wine shop down the street, they do also sell a limited selection of liquor & beer. Tuesday’s they have host free beer tastings from 6-8P and on Thursday’s they have wine tastings from 6-8P with live music. Unfortunately it’s not something we are able to frequent as much as we’d like, but it’s a nice treat when we can make it and discover some new favorites alongside some of our fellow West Looper’s.
  3. Anthropologie There aren’t too many big chain stores in the West Loop, and in my opinion the local businesses only add to its charm. However this Anthropologie location is a welcome addition to Randolph Street. The store itself is huge and a perfect way to spend a Saturday/Sunday morning pre or post brunch. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your closet with a new dress, top or pair of jeans or your home with a candle or a unique home furnishing, chances are high you’ll walk away with something you love.

What are your absolute West Loop favorites? Share with in the comments or send me a message. I’ll be rounding up some more favorite for the next West Loop Savage Six over the next few weeks!

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