Life Beyond the Loop, Part 1

The majority of us Boothies call the Loop home, and for good reason—access to the lake, great restaurants and nightlife, and walking distance to Gleacher Center (Booth’s downtown location that houses the part-time and executive programs). But too many of us cling to our Booth bubble, going to and from Hyde Park then sticking to the Loop or taking a train straight to O’Hare or Midway airport to embark on a new travel adventure.

Fellow second-year student, Holly Smith, and I set out to discover life outside of this bubble. On cold days, sunny days, free days, and busy ones, we wandered through the neighborhoods of Wicker Park, Andersonville, and Logan Square, with a few more local destinations scheduled for this Fall. The result has been an immense appreciation for Chicago—and an equally strong wish to tell everyone (really everyone!) about it.

Here are a few highlights from our latest trip to Logan Square (what better way to appreciate a neighborhood than through food).

1. Empanadas at Cafe Tola
Cafe Tola sparked our curiosity with its inviting sign, the stunning art displays on its walls, and its colorful décor. But Tola really won us over with its spicy chicken empanada and best of all: the black bean, plantain, and goat cheese empanada (yum).

Cafe Tola website


2. Chicago-Style Hot Dog at Fat Rice Bakery
Tucked right next door to its sister restaurant Fat Rice, this bakery offers pastries inspired by Macau, Portugal, and beyond. We tried the Mai Thai Cocktail Bun with coconut milk and butter, however, the most memorable item for me was the bakery’s take on the iconic Chicago-Style Hot Dog (double yum.)

Fat Rice website

3. Pies and a Garden at Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits
Come for the pies (everything from key lime to rhubarb to chocolate pecan), stay for the biscuits, pot pie, and pie garden decked out with lights, picnic tables, and lounge chairs. Feels like you’re hanging out in someone’s backyard.

Bang Bang website


4. Handmade Chocolates at Katherine Anne Confections
If you thought Chicago was missing specialty chocolate shops, think again. This place has some of the most intriguing flavors I’ve come across. For sampling sake, I got myself a box of three truffles: Cilantro Lime and Sweet Corn, Passionfruit Ginger, and Basil. 

Katherine Anne website

Stay tuned throughout the year for some more Chicago gems—trust us, they’re worth it!

Leave a Reply