Love is in the air in Chicago, with Valentine's Day right around the corner. From passionate Spanish cuisine to romantic four-star stays at landmark lodgings, discover the restaurants, activities and hotels that will make your holiday memorable.
Valentine's Day Itineraries
If you're looking for a luxurious weekend getaway, you can find everything you need within one building: Trump International Hotel & Tower. Begin your escape with an appointment at The Spa at Trump® — a couples massage like the Romance and Relaxation Package will leave you feeling balanced and vibrant. Then, head to dinner at Sixteen where you can enjoy fine foods like Butter-Poached Maine Lobster while gazing out 30-foot floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River and the Wrigley Clock Tower. Afterwards, retire to a guest suite complete with everything from a deep-soaking tub to a charming in-room fireplace.
For a swank and trendy celebration, begin your festivities with dinner at Province, the Gold Level LEED-certified, ultra-chic restaurant in the West Loop that focuses on farm-to-table cuisine inspired by Central and South America and Spain. Then, go for an after-dinner drink at the infamous Pump Room Bar, a historic hot spot frequented by celebrities like Frank Sinatra over the past 70+ years. After sipping on specialty cocktails, head upstairs to your soothing and spacious room in the PUBLIC Chicago, the Pump Room’s home and the sophisticated hotel conceived by famed hotelier Ian Schrager.
Love and Laughs
Love to laugh? Start your night off at UP! Comedy Club, the newly opened cabaret-style club from The Second City, where you'll find stand-up comedians and hilarious improv from some of the funniest folks in the city. After UP!, it's time for a fun, tapas-style meal at nearby Café Ba Ba Reeba, a premier Spanish restaurant with a lively atmosphere. Then, bring the evening to a close with a stay at the bohemian-but-elegant hotel Sax Chicago, located in the pulsing playground known as Marina City (or, drop in to Crimson Lounge, located off the lobby, for a nightcap before heading to bed).
February 20 – September 3
The Field Museum
Learn the story of Genghis Khan — his life, his land, his people, his culture — and his enduring legacy. Famous as a ruthless Mongol warlord, but revered as an innovative leader who brought unity, stability and much more to his people, Genghis Kahn went from an enslaved child to a tribal chieftain, and eventually emerged as the founder of an empire. Journey back to the 13th century and explore his complex path of challenge, violence, warfare, revenge and survival through ancient artifacts never before seen outside Mongolia. Learn more.
Get the inside scoop on three Zagat-rated restaurants with to-die-for dining experiences and learn how to score a seat at the table. Plus, new details on the popular Chicago Restaurant Week.
Alinea, 1723 N. Halsted St.
"Restaurant" doesn't feel like the most accurate description for Michelin-rated Alinea. Perhaps "gastro-art theatrical experience" or "elegant Alice in Wonderland-esque eatery" is more accurate.
Reservation tip: Reservation books open two months in advance, so if you'd like to book a table for any date in, say, June, call Alinea on April 1 at 10am.
Les Nomades, 222 E. Ontario
Full of fresh fare and French charm, Les Nomades is the epitome of quiet refinement. The only thing more flawless than the elegant atmosphere is the food: think roasted venison loin with parsnip purée, Brussels sprouts and Tokyo turnips.
Reservation tip: The busiest time of year is October through January, so call at least three weeks in advance to book during that period.
Schwa, 1466 N. Ashland
Acclaimed for its imaginative combinations and rebellious nature, 26-seat Schwa serves deliberate, unexpected dishes like botarga — a dried and cured roe delicacy — with polenta and chocolate. (Yes, chocolate.)
Reservation tip: Groups larger than six will have trouble scoring a reservation, so keep your party small. Schwa is notorious for being difficult to get into, so keep calling the reservation line at 773-252-1466.
RESTAURANT WEEK UPDATE: TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE
First Bites Bash Tickets: Tickets are now on sale for First Bites Bash, Chicago Restaurant Week's kick-off event hosted by Top Chef Season 4 winner Stephanie Izard. Sweet and savory tastings from more than 50 of Chicago's most celebrated restaurants and chefs will be featured in the magnificent Great Hall at Union Station Thursday, Feb. 2 from 6pm to 9pm. Tickets are available for purchase for $125 per person. Come see the who’s who of Chicago's culinary elite! Purchase tickets now.
Chicago Restaurant Week Reservations: You can now make online reservations at participating restaurants for Chicago Restaurant Week, Feb. 17–26. More than 200 participating restaurants will feature prix fixe lunches for $22 and dinners for $33 and $44, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity. Don't miss out on this 10-day gastronomic event. Make reservations now.
Early February marks the beginning of a month of direct-from-Broadway smash-hit musicals in the Chicago theater scene. Whether you love explosive comedies or sweeping romance, Broadway in Chicago has you covered.
American Idiot | Feb. 7–19 | Oriental Theatre
Direct from Broadway, this smash-hit musical (based on Green Day's Grammy Award®-winning multiplatinum album) tells the story of three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia. Learn more and get tickets.
South Pacific | Feb. 14–26 | Cadillac Palace Theatre
Set on a tropical island during World War II, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Tony Award®-winning South Pacific tells the sweeping romantic story of two couples and how their happiness is threatened by the realities of war and by their own prejudices. Learn more and get tickets.
Bring It On: The Musical | March 6–25 | Cadillac Palace Theatre
See the explosive new musical comedy that raises the stakes on over-the-top high school rivalries. Set against the world of competitive cheerleading, this powerhouse new show hilariously proves that winning isn't everything when it means losing something — or someone — you really care about. Learn more and get tickets.