Cynthia Rowley's Guide to Chicago


If you're a subscriber to Refinery 29, then you're already in the know about some really great stuff.  But did you know they recently launched a Chicago edition?  In addition to their N.Y.C. and L.A. staff, they've set up shop here in the Windy City and the daily emails have been so far so good great.  From lists ranging from the best boutique sales to prix fixe meals at restaurants, R29 is keeping Chicago cool in ways the weather can't.

Which leads me to this ::

Chicago native and designer Cynthia Rowley gave R29 Chicago the scoop about her favorite spots in Chicago.  I must say, it's pretty exciting to know we have so much in common - maybe we Chicago bloggers might even run into her some day at one of her picks!  Okay, well maybe in the summer time anyway.

So where does Cynthia Rowley love to go in Chicago and what are my thoughts on these spots?


  • Yolk on Wells.  Funny, because this is where we tried to go on Sunday before our movie date.  The last time we dined there, we were seated after a very brief wait but this time, the wait was absurd.  It is pretty good for brunch so it makes sense that the rest of the city would want to indulge.   As a side note, we realized after we ate at a run-down diner that there was yet another Yolk location that was even closer to the movie theater.  If only we had known!
  • The Violet Hour for cocktails.  The Violet Hour is pretty cool, but it's not a place I'm itching to go back to any time soon.  I've been a couple of times and each time has been a pain.  Waiting to get in is annoying, especially when you see that you're only waiting for the sake of waiting - not because at capacity or anything.  The last time we were there, the mister ordered some silver tequila straight up (he's weird, this place is known for their cocktails, not their liquor straight up but I think that's his thing, to do stuff like that to make me go 'huh?') and the waitress came by and poured a bunch of water in his glass without realizing it was tequila.  I still laugh about that.  He got a free drink for that one.
  • Naha for fine dining.  At first, I thought I had never been here but then I realized my memory failed me.  We went here last spring and enjoyed a very lovely meal on a rainy week night.  The food was great, especially the vegetarian dishes they served me from off the menu.
  • The Goddess and the Grocer for dessert/to-go meals.  I've never had dessert from here but I have been there for lunch.  They've got an excellent selection of sandwiches and salads (especially if you eat meat) but this probably isn't news to you.
  • She loves to shop in the Bucktown neighborhood in which her boutique is located - stores like Marc by Marc Jacobs and Scoop, to name a few.  
  • Millenium Park for leisure trips - when I first moved here, I would spend a lot of my time between classes at Columbia College exploring downtown.  I really liked to go to MP and eat my lunch/read a book and take it all in.  It's so beautiful down there.
  • Schubas and Park West for music.  I love that Cynthia Rowley is a fan of Schubas and seeing bands play music.  Schubas is a great venue and I've had a lot of really good times there.  Before I moved here, my bff and I were up here looking for an apartment and we went to see a random show there.  We had a LOT of drinks because the bartender just decided to give me free beers all night.  Kind of creepy, but I was appreciative.  I've only been to Park West once when I went with my buddy Daniel to see Feist.  I quite enjoyed the show and the atmosphere and would love to go back.
So there you have it.   Cynthia's takes on this snowy city.  If you're a Chicagoan or have visited, what are some of your favorite spots?  I'd love to hear.

PS - Cynthia has a blog!

10 comments:

Erika Lee Sears February 3, 2011 at 11:54 AM  

I love Cynthia and her husband. I saw an old Elle magazine where they go into her house and it's soo amazing.

Jillian February 3, 2011 at 12:31 PM  

LOVE this list. schubas is the BEST for music... i love that they have a photo booth. im dying to go to lincoln hall too. (i reallly dislike house of blues). my fave lunch spot is jerrys on division or piece for pizza in bucktown. i love millenium park in the summer on fridays for their outdoor concert series. and north of the city --ravinia. sigh. i miss summer. great post. i need to check out her blog now! xoxo jcd

potpie du monde February 3, 2011 at 12:52 PM  

I love this post! I just came across your blog and am a huge fan now!

Ashley February 3, 2011 at 12:52 PM  

Ummm I want to go to Chicago. And visit everywhere on the list. ;)

Ren- Lady Of The Arts February 3, 2011 at 1:02 PM  

Chicago is one of my fav cities- we used to go there a lot when we lived in Toronto- We'll be there in April- fun times.

la petite coquine February 3, 2011 at 2:23 PM  

I confess, I've never visited the windy city, but this list is making me think about a trip. After all this snopocalypse nonsense is over, of course. Hope you guys are holding up ok!

Melina February 3, 2011 at 2:50 PM  

I Love Refinery 29! Also, that picture is hilarious!

Amber Blue Bird February 3, 2011 at 3:33 PM  

i have never been to Chicago but I would like to visit one day...preferably in the summer months :)

Isabel February 3, 2011 at 3:43 PM  

ive never been. ill have to go one day :)


Isabel @ Walk of Fashion

Johanna February 8, 2011 at 10:18 AM  

Love this! And love Cynthia!

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