Nice Little Saturday Thaw in Chicago

There are three universal characteristics of Chicago city-dwellers that are extremely apparent at this time of year: we love patios, rooftops and our city. This was the first weekend that really felt like spring – the gray skies parted and temperatures reached into the high 60s, and you better believe the streets were packed with runners, roads with bikers, and bar patios with day drinkers!

I was determined to get outside and so I invited my pal Michele to join me on the lakefront path for a stroll. Michele & her boyfriend Bill were late to join so I got to sit and take in Lake Michigan and skyline views for about 25 minutes. I took about 86 pictures – but these were some of my favorites:

Lake Michigan at Oak Street Beach | Chicago, IL
Getting the beach ready for SUMMER!
Waves Crashing on the Break Wall at Oak Street Beach | Chicago, IL
Soaking in the Sun | Oak Street Beach, Chicago
Soaking in the Sun | Oak Street Beach, Chicago

It’s true that we have incredibly treacherous winters here in Chicago, but holy crap is it worth it for days like this. I almost forget sometimes that all of this is within a short walk/run/bike ride from my house. How lucky I am to live in a place like this. Michele showed up, and we continued our walk along the bike path and to the Navy Memorial and Navy Pier. From the memorial park, I took this breathtaking pano – no filters, just Chicago being absolutely stunning.

Chicago, IL

We walked all of .625 miles of Navy Pier which is currently undergoing a large renovation. Lots of tourists packing selfie sticks were walking the pier too, stopping to get pictures for their memory books. We already got ours on the bike path. ūüôā

Michele & I on the Chicago Bike Path | Photo Cred: Bill Ziemba

We worked up an appetite and just so happened to be close to one of my favorite city dining spots – Gyu Kaku¬†Japanese BBQ! This place is so good, I almost don’t want to say anything about it. The price is right, the food is great — they’re just missing their outdoor patio! We went up to the bar to take advantage of their happy hour specials – reduced price appetizers, rice bowls, and cocktails. We ordered pretty much every single appetizer on the menu. Did I tell you how good their food is?

Gyu Kaku Japanese BBQ | Chicago, IL
Gyu Kaku Japanese BBQ | Chicago, IL

If you dine in the restaurant, you have a grill at the center of your table. Your menu includes a gamut of meats and vegetables, and s’mores for dessert. I highly recommend doing this if you come to visit. Happy Hour pricing does apply within the restaurant as well – with seriously reduced pricing from 11:30-5:45 and 9:30-10:30 p.m.


If they have a long wait (which happens – make a reservation on Open Table) or you’re just stopping for a quick appetizer and Kirin on draft then head upstairs and take advantage of the all-day long bar specials. Every single one of their appetizers is fantastic – but you must try the hot-oil seared salmon, sukiyaki bi bim bop, tuna poke, vegetable spring rolls and steamed chili dumplings. They won’t disappoint.


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1 thought on “Nice Little Saturday Thaw in Chicago

  1. Love it! Looks like an amazing day in the CHI!


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