Through rain, snow, "wintery-mix," and the occasional blast of sunshine, I trekked out from my Loop district hotel for perhaps the only two things I find particularly worthwhile in Chicago: goat milk coffee and donuts. Sorry, Chicago lovers, but it's just not a city for me. It only makes me wish was I was New York, where I imagine I could probably also find goat milk latte (I've heard there's even soft serve!) and hopefully some legit, fried, gluten free donuts.
Regardless, sometimes we all find ourselves in places which may not be a destination we'd personally select. My coping mechanism for these sorts of trips is to find the absolute best hotel within budget and the most delicious gluten free food. On these two points, Chicago did not disappoint. So here's a quick run down of the spots which stuck with me during my latest, weatherful trip to the Windy City.
On my first trip to Chicago, I found a handful of vaguely gluten free friendly spots but non particularly noteworthy other than the health conscious LYFE Kitchen. Armed with what is seeming to be a slightly higher tolerance for cow dairy products, my first order of business was to try the famed Do-Rite gluten free donuts I'd skipped on my first visit due to the milk in their batter. Listening to the internet's warnings about an early sell out, I dutifully ordered my pistachio meyer lemon donut the night before - planning to order each of the other two varieties (Valrhona chocolate glazed and cinnamon sugar) over the course of the next two days. Upon arriving for my 7:30am donut pick-up, I found my self in quite the conundrum. The special gluten free donut of the day was a rainbow sprinkled birthday cake donut. And that day, I had two donuts with my Intelligentsia americano. Delicious and so worth the indulgence.
Getting served a goat milk latte at a cafe or restaurant is pretty much my dream (non-dairy milk is just not the same) - so when I reviewed the menu of Little Goat Diner, there really was no option other than to go, risk insomnia, and drink a goat milk latte at 5pm after arriving in the city. It was all I needed it to be and the gluten free menu was plenty good and varied too. I took advantage of their all day breakfast with their take on corned beef hash.
On my last evening in town, with a recommendation from Kyra, of Kyra's Bake Shop, I treated myself to a multi-course dinner at Siena Tavern to include a highly indulgent flourless chocolate cake with peanuts for dessert. The service as above and beyond and the food to match. Granted, it probably won't be your first choice if this is "budget" trip - but if you can splurge just a little - this is where I'd do it.
Last but not least, a little note about yet another wonderful Kimpton Hotel which was my base of operations for the stay. Originally built back in 1895 with a pretty fantastic historic refresh, Hotel Burnham may just be my favorite of the chain yet. It keeps all of the historic charm without any rough around the edges sort of issues, the almost floor to high ceiling windows don't hurt either, and I was lucky enough to end up with a perfect-for-me motivational view. It's also just under two blocks away from Do-Rite Donuts, so really, that's the biggest win of all.