Pizzeria Portofino – Chicago, IL

Located in the heart of the city, this Italian Restaurant features phenomenal food, drinks and river views.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Caeser Salad (I added grilled shrimp)
  2. Rigatoni Vodka
View from our Table

Tips for your Visit:

  1. Ask for a table outside if the weather is nice, the view is breathtaking and makes for great photos!
  2. You’ll get an adorable postcard after paying the bill, don’t forget to bring it home

Merriment Social – Milwaukee, WI

An “urban-chic”, laid back brunch and dinner spot located in Milwaukee- keep reading for details on this delicious spot!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Baked Clockshadow Cheese Curds (pictured above)
  2. Spinach + Artichoke “Toad in the Hole”
  3. Short Rib Breakfast Tacos
  4. French Dip

Tips for your Visit:

  1. For weekend brunches or dinners, make a reservation to guarantee your table: http://www.merrimentsocial.com
  2. Keep Merriment Social in mind for your next private event!
  3. Parking can be tricky, but surrounding side streets typically have an open spot!

Daniel’s Charcuterie – Park Ridge, IL

A cute little cafe with classic salads, sandwiches and of course: charcuterie!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Hummus (add Crudite!)
  2. Brie Grilled Cheese

Tips for Your Visit:

  1. Charcuterie boards feature meats, cheeses, baked bread, crackers and various accompaniments. The pricing matches the number of people being served: 2-3- $27 3-5 – $44 5-9 – $62
  2. You’ll order at the counter and seat yourself. Seating is limited inside!
  3. If the weather outside is nice, try enjoying your meal at the outdoor tables!
  4. After your visit, check out Tealula next door for a drink 🙂

Leon’s Frozen Custard – Milwaukee, WI

Since 1942, this Wisconsin classic is a must see! Although the neon sign and old-fashioned feel at Leon’s is contagious, the custard wasn’t my most favorite

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Tips for Your Visit:

  1. Check out Leon’s at night to get the full effect of the neon sign!
  2. Flavors change daily, but vanilla and chocolate are always available

The Butcher’s Tap – Chicago, IL

I loved learning the story behind this incredibly delicious spot in Southport. In 1932, the exact location was a butcher shop. The restaurant pays tribute to its predecessor with a wooden bar and butcher block tables. Keep reading for your guide to the Butcher’s tap:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Wine Country Salad (A Must Try!)
  2. Blackened Chicken Sandwich

Tips for your Visit:

  1. Don’t miss the surrounding town- check out the little shops and ice cream places right down the street!
  2. Catch a Bears game at the Butcher’s Tap!

Big Star – Wrigleyville

This was the perfect pre-Cubs game summer taco joint, keep reading for the inside scoop on Big Star..

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Two locations: Wicker Park and Wrigleyville are ready to serve your taco cravings! Be sure to grab a reservation here: http://www.bigstarchicago.com/reservations1

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Chips and Salsa + Guacamole
  2. Al Pastor Tacos

Tips for Your Visit:

  1. At the Wicker Park location, live music the FIRST TUESDAY of each month! 6pm-10pm
  2. Keep the Wrigleyville location in mind for your next pre/post Cubs game snack!

Milwaukee County Zoo

Family Free Days are the best time to get out and enjoy some gorgeous animals and sights!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

2022 Family Free Days:

January 8th

February 5th

March 5th

October 1st

November 5th

December 3rd

For $3 per person, try a ride on the sky safari for views of the entire place! Not for those with fears of heights

Other attractions include a sky ropes course, a safari train ride, a carousel, and a playground!

Tips for your Visit:

  1. Check out a full list of animals at the zoo here: http://www.milwaukeezoo.org/pdf/AnimalList.pdf
  2. Even on family free days, the parking lot costs $15

Cafe Centraal – Milwaukee, WI

One of Milwaukee’s best eateries, I can’t wait to share all there is to know about it!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

We enjoyed the outdoor heated tent, which was perfectly warm even in November! Our server was one of the kindest people I have met, and he made our experience even better.

“Garden of Eten”

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Artichoke Dip
  2. Chicken Birria Quesadillas

Tips for your Visit:

  1. Try out the heated tent, “Garden of Eten” for a change of scenery
  2. An entire gluten free menu is available!
  3. Check out other restaurants in the family: Cafe Benelux and Cafe Hollander

Bottle House 42 – Milwaukee, WI

Looking for classic MKE food with a brewery and perfect atmosphere attached? Keep reading for details on just that…

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Brew City Charcuterie Board – summer sausage, beef sticks, spiced pretzels, pimento cheese spread, pickled veggies, and fresh cheese curds
  2. The 42 Pretzel
  3. Slider Trio
  4. The Funky Chicken Sandwhich
  5. Classic Caesar Salad

Tips for your Visit:

  1. The rooftop has a gorgeous view of the city

Christkindlmarket – Chicago

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and this is one bucket list item you MUST complete. This German market is filled with traditional fare, handmade crafts and the Christmas spirit!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

THE 2021 SEASON HAS ENDED. STAY TUNED FOR 2022

My Food Recommendations:

  1. Chicken Schnitzel
  2. Potato Pancakes complete with sour cream and apple sauce
  3. Pulled Pork Sandwich with Slaw
  4. Hot Chocolate!
  5. Tomato Soup

Tips for Your Visit:

  1. If you are driving, check out Spot Hero beforehand for a low price spot- we parked less than a half mile away for $10! https://spothero.com
  2. Save your visit for a weekday during the daytime if possible. Weekdays are less crowded, and the day light is essential to see all the beauty the market has to offer!
  3. Be sure to look around at all the merchants before making a purchase, I always find lower priced duplicates as I keep walking