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Meg Lewis

Designer, Ghostly Ferns

Chicago Guide

Coffee & Tea

  • Intelligentsia Coffee

    I have such wonderful coffee dreams about this place today. When I lived in Chicago this was our "special occasion" place to trek to and grab a cup while walking around the neighborhood. This specific location was Intelligentsia's original spot (opened in 1995) and has recently been renovated into a minimal and gorgeous space. Don't try and get a fancy beverage. Keep it simple here with a cup of coffee or an americano.

  • The Wormhole Coffee

    The Wormhole is unlike any coffee shop you've seen before. The coffee itself is incredible, but that isn't why I come to The Wormhole. The decor is like stepping back into an outrageously nostalgic time. Old Star Wars and Ghostbusters line the walls with plenty of games and other strange memorabilia. A DeLorean is even parked inside of the space. The furniture is mismatched and vintage with plenty of seating but not enough to compensate for their demand.


  • Penelope's

    Penelope's is such a delightful neighborhood boutique that carries both independent designers and larger labels (APC, Rachel Comey). Not only is it my go-to place for buying something special for myself, it's also a great place to grab a gift. They have men's, women's, kids, and even home goods and stationery packed into the relatively small space. Their curation of items is perfect. If you're on a budget, grab one of their wonderful Korean stationery items or a small piece of jewelry. Oh, and praise the Penelope's gods! They now have a revamped website that is quite gorgeous and is stocked full of their inventory.

  • Twosided

    This is a splendid shop that carries home decor and stationery. The home goods are mostly vintage with a few new things to treat yo'self with. If you're looking for a gift for a friend, this is the place to do it. Their selection of really unique cards and gifts is really nice. Twosided has some of the best visual merchandising in Chicago with an ever-changing, gorgeous window display and lots of vignettes throughout the shop.


  • Chicago Diner

    I had the pleasure (?) of living in a nightmare-ishly infested apartment for a few months right around the corner from this place. Being able to stop in to the Chicago Diner frequently was a bit of hope amidst my fright. I have lived in a few cities across the country over the past few years and have never found a vegetarian restaurant quite like this. The comfort food lover in me loves all of their faux meat options: especially the country fried steak.

  • Wow Bao

    The fine people of Chicago are probably rolling their eyes at this recommendation. When I lived in Chicago, this place was my total guilty pleasure. Since, it has been the first place I go when I come to visit. The asian-inspired Bao taste like pure joy and come in all types of delicious flavors. I can handle about 3-4 per meal and always make sure to get their cocounut curry bao as a dessert. They also make their own fresh ginger ale which tastes extra spicy and so mmmm!


  • Guthrie's Tavern

    I used to live in the Southport/Wrigleyville area. It's darn hard to find a bar that isn't completely bro-tastic. However, Guthrie's remains the most cozy and cute hangout spot for the rest of us. They have a huge selection of board games and a giant bucket o' take out menus. They let you get food delivered straight to the bar! It's a nice quaint, neighborhoodly feeling place that will make you feel full of beer and full of love.

  • Brew & View

    This has the makings of the best bar recommendation: beer AND entertainment! The Brew & View at The Vic theater is perfectly understated. Grab a mediocre pint of beer and sit down with a plate of nachos and watch a nostalgic movie (Groundhog day, etc). The atmosphere is grungy. It's a music venue after all. But who cares? You're full of beer!


  • Play with Cats

    This place is incredible. An entire house full of cats? Dreams do come true. Tree House allows you to walk in and rome the floors to find and play with cats. I have had the pleasure of adopting two kitties from this place and have never found such a warm and welcoming adoption center.

  • Bike Around the Lake

    I'm one of those wusses that is too afraid to ride a bike in the city. Mostly because of terrifying drivers. The most wonderful, safe, way for me to ride around Chicago is by the lake. There is a fantastic bike path that runs along the coast all the way up and down Chicago. You can rent bikes at stations along the way. Nothing beats doing this on a beautiful day!

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