If you are ever in Chicago, you need to do these two things I am about to mention. First, you must take a boat ride on the river in downtown Chicago, and out to Lake Michigan. I took the 7pm cruise and it was an hour and a half. 7pm is a good time because you go when it’s still daylight, but you also get to see the sunset out on Lake Michigan and the beautiful Chicago skyline when it gets dark and is all lit up. The boat company is Wendella Boats, you can look up their cruise times daily on their website which I will post below. It’s very romantic and you learn so much about the architechure and history of downtown Chicago. It was my first day in Chicago, so it was the perfect introduction to the city, and not to mention breathtakingly beautiful.
Second thing you should do in Chicago, my suggestion is after you take a Wendella Boat cruise, is have dinner and drinks at HUB 51. HUB 51 in downtown Chicago is a hotspot. I walked in at 9:15pm on a Thursday night and every table was full, and the place is huge. It has an industrial, urban look to it that is dim lit with candles, and the music was blasting all hiphop and recent pop. It definitely has a cool vibe and is a great place to bring someone for a date, go out with friends for dinner and/or drinks, have work or birthday dinners, pregame before going out, etc. SUB 51, a private lounge below the restaurant, becomes an exclusive nightclub on weekends too. HUB 51 is hip and a fun place for any occasion, and the food is great too. It has everything from sushi and seafood, nachos, tacos & enchiladas, steak, sandwiches, salads, and juicy burgers. Food for every palate, and fushion food at its best!
HUB 51 has a unique menu of warm weather cocktails, and an extensive wine, champagne, beer and sake list.
Left: Pomegranate Mojito
Right: Prickly Pear Margarita
Sushi-grade Big Eye, Spicy Ginger Marinade, Crispy Rice & Peanut Oil
This was delicious! Spicy tuna mixed with a spicy mayo on top of a crispy golden-brown rice cake. I love spicy tuna on crispy rice and this was a different version of it with the spicy mayo mixed in. Great flavor and so fresh tasting. Perfect appetizer.
PULLED SHORT RIB NACHOS
Tender pulled short rib off the bone, fresh tortilla chips, guacamole, roasted tomato salsa, white cheddar & oaxaca cheeses
JEEEZ HOLY MOLY! This was absolutely heaven for me. The PERFECT nachos. This was highly recommended by the server, and perhaps the most popular dish at HUB 51. If you read all the reviews on Yelp, these nachos are the most recommended dish at this restaurant, and for good reason. They were amazing. The chips were warm and crispy- you could tell they were freshly made. There was so much guacamole, cheese and short rib meat all over the plate. Even when you hit the bottom of the dish, it was all evenly dispersed, and there was just as much stuff on the bottom. This plate was huge. The nachos were like a mini mountain lol. I saw this nacho dish come out of the kitchen at least 10 times while I was sitting, and it was all going to big party tables to share. I ordered this dish for me and one other person. We couldn’t finish it all, but I definitely wanted to because it was so good. I hate leaving leftovers, and we couldn’t take it to go because we were staying at a hotel. So if you order this make sure you have a big appetite lol! The short rib meat fell apart it was so tender, and also so flavorful. These were the best nachos. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
HUB 51 FAMOUS CARROT CAKE
Cream cheese frosting, vanilla bean whipped cream, and more cream cheese & cinnamon frosting on the side
Since we were newbies to HUB 51, our waiter brought us a huge complimentary slice of their famous carrot cake. If it is your first time there, they bring it out to you after your meal. I usually don’t like anything with cream cheese frosting, but I must admit, this was the best carrot cake I’ve had. The cake was moist and fluffy, and the frosting didn’t have that strong cream cheese taste that most usually do. It was sweet and creamy. The vanilla whipped cream on the side was an amazing addition. Made perfectly, it was a great slice of cake!
It was the perfect first night in Chicago. Our Wendella Boat Tour was a beautiful and romantic way to start the night, and HUB 51 was the perfect place to have dinner afterwards. I am a good travel organizer 🙂
WENDELLA BOAT TOURS
400 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
51 West Hubbard Street
Chicago, IL 60654