Travelogue: Chicagoland – Day 1

My second trip to Chicago was all about eating.

Last January, I flew to Chicagoland for 1.5 days to see my aunt, uncle and cousin. We did all the touristy things and saw all the sights. This March, I had one thing in mind: to eat my way through the heart of Chicago.

First place we went to after we landed: Nhu Lan Bakery.


They bake their own bread for their banh mi.


The menu was amazing. I knew I had to get the sugarcane shrimp & pork banh mi.

IMG_4854 IMG_4855

And of course, the classic #1. They were the best Vietnamese sandwiches I’ve ever had. Who knew I’d find this in Chicago?!


They also sell dessert and flan and “Vietnamese mayo”…

NEXT STOP: Hot Doug’s. Alas, they were closed!


Moving on, we went to Smalls, Smoke Shack & More.




It’s American BBQ with an Asian twist. Brisket, tiger cry sauce, garlic fried rice!



The best thing there: flash fried beets. Better than fries, in my opinion.


There seems to be a lot of Mexican colas here.

After a brief visit to the arcade – Galloping Ghost Arcade – where the games never end (really, you never die), we decided it was time for dinner at Butcher and the BurgerΒ in Lincoln Park.


So you pick a meat (I picked house prime blend), and then a spice blend, and whatever else you want. You can even pick a lettuce bun if you’re not into carbs.


It’s a small place, and very popular, so expect a wait. We waited for what seemed like an eternity (while watching all of the above burgers come out and being disappointed that they weren’t ours) for this…


One of the top 3 burgers I’ve ever had. Of course, I added a sunny side up egg. It looks simple, but the burger was just so tasty and perfectly medium rare. I picked “grandma’s onion soup” as my spice.


Truffle, anyone?


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