WHERE TO STAY
Set among the historic mansions of Chicago's hip Gold Coast neighbourhood, this trendy, upscale hotel overlooks tree-lined streets and offers sweeping floor-to-ceiling vistas of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.
Designed by British icon Tara Bernerd, the Thompson boasts eclectic vibes with midcentury lines and plush textures of leather, velvet and warm American woods.
About a block from Lake Shore Drive, the Thompson is within easy walking distance of the lakefront at Oak Street Beach, as well as the Magnificent Mile shopping stretch and the Clark-Division stop on the Chicago Transit Red Line, which can have you in the downtown Loop in 10 minutes.
An amazing in-house restaurant, Nico Osteria, offers authentic and light Italian seafood.
In-house bar and gathering space Salone Nico serves crafted cocktails and a fine Italian and Mediterranean wine list.
Find a secret stairwell between the second and fourth floors featuring murals from local artists at the Hyde Park Art Center. Art collectors can also request a tour of the centre, where they have a catalog of artists available to commission custom works.
From $189 per night
WHERE TO EAT
Due to it's close proximity to Chicago's famed shopping district the Magnificent Mile, the Gold Coast offers respite during a shopping trip. Fancy hotel restaurants and steak houses are abundant, so we chose something a bit different. Le Colonial has been known for decades as a place for celeb sightings, and the tropical interior filled with palm leaves and sophisticated style offers a refreshing escape from the city streets.
The Vietnamese cuisine hints of French in presentation only, don't expect heavy sauces, rather plenty of light and tangy flavours of citrus and chiles. A typical dish is the goi bo, a spicy marinated beef salad with lemongrass and Thai basil or wok-prepared lemongrass chicken kicked up with opal basil and red chilies. Regulars rely on house favourites like the chả giò (crispy spring rolls with shrimp and pork), spicy yellowfin tuna tartare with Hass avocado, sweet chili, cucumber, red shiso and soy caviar served alongside taro chips (shown above), crispy shrimp beignets and lean, juicy ginger-marinated duck.
57 E. Oak Street
Chicago, IL 60611
SHOP THE LOOK