The term "bed-and-breakfast" is more likely to conjure images of quaint, countryside abodes than city lights, but given Chicago's reputation for friendliness and Midwestern hospitality it's no wonder that it's home to a few dozen of these traditional lodgings.
Tucked away throughout Chicago's many neighborhoods, B&Bs can be easy to overlook, but they're definitely worth investigating for any traveler seeking the perfect spot for a romantic getaway, a no-fuss family visit, or a true taste of local flavor and a cozy atmosphere within urban limits. Here are a few choice bed-and-breakfasts to consider the next time you book a trip to Chicago:
Bridgeport Bed & Breakfast: 3322 S. Morgan
Located in a historic 1914 brownstone storefront building in one of Chicago's most popular South Side neighborhoods, owner / chef Dave Samper opened Bridgeport Bed & Breakfast on the floors above his Polo Cafe and Catering in 1985. Each of the inn's four suites are designed to celebrate the area's political and cultural legacy and can accommodate 4-6 guests, making it an ideal retreat for wedding parties, family reunions, or any other group travel (there's even a "Sox Suite" for sports fans). Bridgeport Bed & Breakfast is located close to many bars and restaurants, as well as U.S. Cellular Field, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Pilsen Arts district. Guests receive a voucher for breakfast at the Polo Cafe, and are also offered discounts on lunch, dinner, and Bloody Marys.
Flemish House of Chicago: 68 E. Cedar Street
The Flemish House of Chicago's Gold Coast location is appealing to business and recreational travelers alike, with Michigan and Oak Street shopping and dining located just steps away, as well as Lincoln Park, the lakefront, and easy access to the Loop via public transportation. Built in an 1890s greystone row house on a beautiful tree-lined street, the inn offers studio and 1-2 bedroom apartments with a carefully-detailed old time décor, and a range of vintage offerings such as wood-burning fireplaces along with modern comforts such as updated kitchens and bathrooms and high-speed Internet.
House 5863: 5863 N. Glenwood Avenue
House 5863 turns tradition on its head, offering guests a hip, modern bed-and-breakfast experience with a relaxed, "hands off" approach. Located on the cusp of Edgewater and Andersonville on the city's North Side, House 5863 is convenient to Loyola University Chicago and Northwestern University and close to a Red Line train for quick transit to anywhere else in the city. The B&B has five guest rooms outfitted with king beds and contemporary decor. Guests are offered continental breakfast and 24-hour access to its kitchen and common areas. Additionally, a 2000-square-foot event space can be reserved in advance for receptions, weddings and more.
Ray's Bucktown B&B: 2144 N. Leavitt Street
Ray's Bucktown B&B is in the heart of one of Chicago's hippest areas within walking distance to dozens of bars, night clubs, music venues and shopping in Bucktown, Wicker Park and Logan Square. Ray's 11 guest rooms have a minimalist, airy ambiance and can accommodate 1-4 travelers apiece. Amenities like robes, complimentary bottled water, DVR and Wi-Fi are included with your stay, along with a cooked-to-order breakfast. In addition, guests have access to free street parking, in-house work center, and are welcome to unwind in the luxurious steam room and sauna.
Villa D' Citta: 2230 N. Halsted Avenue
In the heart of Lincoln Park with close proximity to the neighborhood's theaters, nightlife and shopping, Villa D' Citta bursts with character that blends old world Italian style with modern luxury. Billing itself as a "boutique mansion," Villa D' Citta was built as a private summer getaway in the 1880s, and though the surrounding area has changed significantly over the last 125 years, its own relaxing charm remains. Villa D' Citta has several spacious private rooms and suites with decadent décor such as oversized beds, marble bathroom fixtures, and flat-screen TVs. Guest amenities include a private grotto, sundeck and hot tub. A breakfast spread featuring a traditional Italian dish and a house blend coffee roasted by Chicago's Intelligentsia (guests can purchase more to take home) is served each morning, and guests have access to the kitchen or can order a wood fired pizza throughout the day.
Welcome Inn Manor: 4563 S. Michigan Avenue
At this award-winning bed-and-breakfast, located in a vintage home on the city's near-South Side, hospitality, comfort and relaxation are key. Welcome Inn Manor's seven guest accommodations have a homey ambiance along with amenities ranging from private Jacuzzis, work stations with massage chairs, and meditation areas, to air hockey tables and game sets (in its family-friendly suites). Welcome Inn Manor is located within walking distance of public transit and minutes to McCormick Center, Lakeshore Drive, and public beaches, but for an extra touch of hospitality the innkeepers also offer guests a complimentary shuttle to 50 hotspots within a 10-15 minute drive.
Photos courtesy of Flemish House of Chicago; House 5863, Ray's Bucktown B&B; and Welcome Inn Manor