Local Love: Wandering the Windy City with Meijer
We’re thrilled to announce grocery delivery from Meijer is now available in the greater Chicago area!
Even though we’re new to Chi-Town, there’s something about it that feels like home. This hearty midwestern city is full of hidden gems, beautiful architecture, and people that hustle.
To celebrate another launch, we wandered the Windy City with some local Shipt shoppers and compiled a list of our favorite finds.
Feeding travelers along Route 66 since 1949, Lou Mitchell’s is everything we wanted from a family-owned, American diner. The classic neon sign proudly proclaims they’re serving the world’s finest coffee. We’re not fact-checking, but jet-black diner coffee does have a way of grounding the soul.
As soon as we sat down, our sweet waitress promptly brought over complimentary oranges and dates. Before serving, she asked, “Would you like some fruit?” She then flatly stated, “You’ve got to eat it if you take it.” Something about the whole experience reminded us of breakfast at Grandma’s house. We can imagine her saying, “You will eat it, and you will like it.”
Bean there, done that. Cloud Gate, also affectionately known as “The Bean” in Millennium Park is shiny, smile-inducing, and one of Chicago’s most photographed landmarks. Clearly, we couldn’t resist.
We were tipped off by a local to visit Garrett Popcorn and order the “Chicago Mix.” You’ll find it on the menu under it’s official name: Garrett’s Mix. But it’s such a quintessential part of the city Chicagoans have claimed it as their own. When we ordered this off-menu request, our cashier didn’t blink. This luscious marriage of cheese and caramel popcorn is both messy and habit-forming.
Sprinkles features a cupcake ATM outside on Walton Street. But It’s not just a gimmick. These cupcakes are drool-worthy.
We recommend their top-seller, a red velvet cupcake. It’s a rich, complex journey that puts all other red velvets we’ve tried to shame.
We’ve found the best adventures often happen serendipitously. Each time Shipt launches in a new community, we plan a moment to get lost, meet locals and discover the truer taste of a city. Nestled around Wicker Park we found notable street art, boutiques and good coffee.
Originally we planned to seek out Intelligentsia, a notable Chicago-based coffeebar. In the spirit of adventure, we departed from our plan, and we are glad that we did. La Colombe features a plant-based draft latte (yes, we said draft) that’s worth the trip.
Don’t worry, we’ll still visit Intelligentsia. It takes a lot of caffeine to keep this Ship(t) moving at rocket speed.
Kobra’s Vivian Maier Mural
If you want to glimpse a city’s soul, just seek out local street art. Some of our favorites are here, here and here. It’s not always easy to find, but it’s worth exploring the occasional dark alley and abandoned storefront. This one has history. This mural by Kobra features the late street photographer Vivian Maier, a Chicago-based nanny who took took over 150,000 photos in her free time that went largely unnoticed until she passed. Their discovery sparked viral interest and documentary films about her life and work.
You either love Chicago pizza, or you are wrong. Giordano’s is a Chicago classic, and it’s worth every minute of the hour(sometimes more) you’ll wait for a famous stuffed deep dish pizza. Adventuring is hungry business, and we were tempted to place a Shipt order for snacks during the wait. Alas, it arrived, and we ended our Chi-town adventure full, happy and ready to deliver groceries in the greater Chicago area!
Welcome to the Shipt fam, Chicago. You’re one of our favorites already, and there’s so much more to discover. Share your favorite hidden gems with us in the comments below!