Dreaming of a Normalish Chicago Summer

The Hampton Social

With the COVID-19 restrictions gradually starting to lift in our beloved city of Chicago, it’s only right to begin thinking about all the best dining spots for the summer. Just imagine sipping the drink of your choice with fresh rays of the sun warming your skin. Here are a few spots worth hitting as soon as the city fully opens.


Girodano’s & Lou Malnati’s: The first thing to top this list is none other than one of the most popular things Chicago is known for–deep dish pizza. Yes, the sauce and melted cheese is an ultimate favorite of mine. Ordering deep dish pizza from these two popular spots with a cold Coca-Cola is a must!

Edible Balloon Dessert at Aliena: This spot is definitely one that’s unique and highly recommended to experience! This restaurant has an edible balloon made from green apple taffy. Can you believe that?! If you and your friends want to try something new on a warm Chicago summer day, this place will leave you with an experience that will be a story worth telling!

The Hampton Social

The Hampton Social: This has become a major popular spot amongst Chicagoans over the past couple years for not only their food, but also their aesthetically pleasing scenery. With their small canopies and neon signs of good vibes, it’s the perfect summer photo op for you and your friends. Also, if you’re 21+ their alcoholic beverages are amazing!

Garrett Popcorn

Garrett Popcorn: What is Chicago without our beloved popcorn? I’m extremely biased when it comes to the recommendation of the cheesy popcorn. It’s definitely the best option at Garrett’s, but their caramel popcorn also has raving reviews. This is a perfect spot to grab a quick snack or throw in a bag for a picnic.

Maple & Ash: This Chicago dining spot is another perfect recommendation for outdoor seating and neon signs for photo ops! Also, on their menu they offer a special surprise for any event you’re celebrating (you can get it custom made too). Their most popular celebratory event is for birthdays.

Despite Chicago being ranked as one of the best cities for food, these five options are a few of my top recommendations for your dining go-to spots this summer! Pick an emoji below to let me know what you think of these recommendations.


By Kori Barnes, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Instagram: @korixnicole

Written by Kori Barnes

Hi! I can eat an entire jar of pickles in one setting and I LOVE to binge watch shows on Netflix. One of the most important quotes to me:
“and in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

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