Chicago, IL

A couple weeks ago my boyfriend Ben and I vacationed to Chicago for the first time. I'd been wanting to make a trip out there for years but never got around to it. We planned to go this summer on a whim and I'm so glad I was able to finally experience such a great city. 



First Impressions: Chicago is a old city with so much character and incredible architecture. I loved walking the streets and taking in the scenery - there's no shortage of curb appeal here. After taking the necessary visit to Millennium Park to see the bean and get my fill of tourist-y shots, we headed to our gorgeous Airbnb over in Wicker Park. 



Since leaving my job at Wayfair, it had been some time since I had photographed interiors. I knew I'd want to set aside time to shoot this incredible space. Our host Nathan has created a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city and we really enjoyed our time there. So please enjoy this little home tour I shot! If it doesn't convince you to book a flight and a night or two in Chicago, I don't know what else will. 






Every inch of the space is so thoughtfully decorated, I'd move in if I could. 



One of the coolest things about the space is that the coffee table actually doubles as a skylight for the guest bedroom on the bottom level. The basement level doesn't have any windows, so it's a great way to bring natural light into the space - and you can close it up at night to get some of best and darkest sleep. I didn't get a chance to photograph the guest bedroom as Ben was taking a nap while I was shooting, but you'll have to take my word for it that it's just as (if not more) incredible than the rest of the home.





If you're still here, thanks for sticking around! Now for the rest of our trip. 

Naturally a good chunk of our trip was devoted to exploring the best food Chicago has to offer. Yes, we tried deep dish pizza (to be honest... not a huge fan. Sorry not sorry.) Hands down the best restaurant we ate at was called Fat Rice - SO good. But if there's a thing you need to know about me, it's that I love hot dogs. Like it's a problem. I've recently made it a personal mission to taste test as many of America's signature hot dogs as possible. (I'm thinking about developing a ranking system, too.) So it goes without saying that Ben and I took the 40 minute train ride to the outskirts of the city to find the best Chicago dog. Research brought us to Superdawg - and it did not disappoint. 



Superdawg is a still functioning drive-in, and although we did not have a car we still enjoyed eating inside. In case you're not familiar with the classic Chicago dog, it's an all beef frank topped with fluorescent green relish, onions, tomato, an entire pickle wedge (yes PLEASE), celery salt, and sports peppers tucked lovingly into a poppyseed bun. Some styles of the Chicago dog place their french fries right inside the dog (this is called the Depression Dog), but Superdawg tosses as many crinkle-cut fries alongside as possible, which is fine by me. The other thing to note about the Chicago dog is that you'd best not even think about putting ketchup on it. In fact, some of the hot dog places there don't even stock ketchup. It doesn't need it, anyway. The Chicago dog ranks up there pretty high on my all time favorites. And if you're wondering: yes, I bought a Superdawg shirt. 



We had an incredible time exploring Chicago. Some of my highlights were just admiring the architecture, the fact that the trains run above the city (huge fan of this), all the amazing food we ate, and taking a few days to dive back into my personal work to shoot some images I'm really fond of.




Oh, and the Chicago dog. Can't mention that enough. 

© ALLISON SEPANEK PHOTOGRAPHY