My Chicago Guide

My Chicago Story started when I was young. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. My family would drive to Chicago for family vacations. I grew up walking Michigan Ave and tasting Garrett’s Popcorn and shopping in Water Tower Place. When I was in college, I touched down in Chicago on my way back from Italy and I decided this would be my new home. It was bigger than Cincinnati but not as big and intimidating then NYC. I started looking for jobs my Senior year of college and moved to Chicago in October of 2004.

The city was overwhelming at first, I swore I would never drive in the city. The multiple lanes on the highway and the city drivers were too much for me. But I quickly got used to the city and the faster paced life. My second year in Chicago, my sister and her husband moved to the city. It feels like so long ago. I loved having them here and wish that we could be back in the same city again.

I lived in the same building in Lincoln Park for 8 years before packing up my belongings and heading to Paris. It knew I wanted to change my life in a big way so giving up the apartment instead up subleasing it was the right choice.

When it came to settling down after traveling in 2015, I had a big choice to make. I wasn’t sure I was ready to move back to Chicago. I changed and so did my friends. A lot of my college friends got married and started having kids in those years I was traveling. I was starting over again. I thought about moving to NYC because I love the city and I have family there but the cost of living is so high and I am self employed. It just didn’t make sense.

my chicago guide everyday parisian

I chose a new neighborhood in Chicago and settled on an apartment within a few days. It was really the light and the view that sold me on the place. Plus, my current apartment has 4 closets. Coming from Paris, this was a huge deal. It happened fast but the transition back to being settled into Chicago was difficult. I missed Paris which is why I initially came up with the idea for the blog. It was my cure for homesickness.

I had no idea how the blog would work or if it would work at all. I was really worried that settling back in Chicago would hurt my Instagram following and people would lose interest in my story. I probably lost followers but in the grand scheme of things, but I had to know that it was ok. The blog started slow and has picked up momentum over the two years. I was really surprised what a big audience of blog readers are from Chicago. I started hosting meet ups and blog readers have become friends. I created the community I was searching for when I moved back to Chicago.

While my family is in Florida, I still feel Chicago is a good place for me. I would love to be closer to my niece and nephew but for now I will have to travel back and forth to visit.

I have decided to make Chicago a more permanent decision for the next couple years. Which hints a little bit more to my next big project.

My chicago guide by everyday parisian

Below is the grand map of my favorites. Everything from Beauty, Where I like to Eat, Shop and more. This will hopefully become a series if this interests you as readers. Comment below and let me know what you want to know about Chicago. Best Instagram Spots, Brunch, Winter Activities in the city.

There is one spot that hits a few categories. Ralph Lauren has a restaurant here in Chicago. It is my go to date spot (they know me well), best burger, and a great place for coffee. My old boss introduced me to the restaurant over 10 years ago and I have been going ever since. There is a spot in front of the fireplace that I love to sit. If you ever want to meet me for a coffee or a drink, just suggest this spot and I can be easily convinced. Just ask my friends.

photo of me by Liam Graham Haehnle

photo of me by Liam Graham Haehnle

ralph lauren in chicago Chicago Guide by Rebecca Plotnick and Every Day Parisian

First things first, let’s talk about croissants. I continue to research for the best croissant in Paris. You can see my full list here. I am very picky when it comes to my croissant, I like it flakey, buttery, not too soft and not too cooked. How do you like your croissant?

Best Croissant in Chicago

best croissant in chicago by every day parisian

I recently tried the croissant from Benninson’s and it was the real deal. I picked mine up at Green City Market which is Wednesday and Saturdays in Lincoln Park. Their shop location is in the suburbs.

La Fournette

La Fournette is located in Old Town. I love this spot for a little dose of French every morning. They have croissants, almond croissants and pain au chocolat. They sell out early on the weekends so don’t arrive too late. Tell Luke I sent you!

Southern France Patisserie

I met the owner, Amanda after discovering her through a friend on Instagram. Her croissants are made with the real good butter (just ask her). I have been known to message her to put croissants away for me since they sell out early. She is in the process of expanding her space which means more croissants!


Another Lincoln Park spot is Floriole for croissants and bread. If I lived closer, I would buy their bread more often. Their croissants are on the bien cuit (well cooked) side but very good.

Hendrick X Bakery

This is a Belgian bakery that has been recommended by friends for forever but I never checked it out until recently. Their croissants are incredible and they have a huge local following. I waited in a good long line in the cold but it was totally worth the wait.

chicago view from Z Bar by Rebecca Plotnick

One of my favorite new spots for drinks is Z Bar Chicago right in the heart of the city. It just recently opened but I have already been a few times with friends. It is a great spot for food/drinks with friends or a date night in the city.


For a little bit of Paris in Chicago, shop at POSH. I love this shop and it brings a huge smile to my face every time I visit. The owner Karl visits Paris a few times a year and brings back antiques. He also stocks the store with books, soaps, candles, and glassware. It is my go to spot for gifts for all my Francophile friends. You can stop by next door for a macaron or two at Alliance.

POSH Chicago Paris meets Chicago by every day parisian

I am a big fan of Antiques so you can find me at Randolph Antique Market in the Summer. Other spots for Antiques are in Andersonville, Brownstone Antiques is great and the prices are right. Just make sure you go in with an open mind and a little TLC.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoy a little of my Chicago story and my favorite spots in the city. It is a great place to visit and live. If you find yourself in Chicago and want to meet, feel free to reach out! I can’t commit to every invitation to coffee but I love meeting you all so you never know if our schedules will line up.

There is one spot that didn’t make the list. I dance every day and I am sure my studio would love for me to share. But it is my escape from work and to clear my mind. I love this spot and wish to keep it private. I talk all about choosing what you keep private on my blogging post.

Thank you so much for reading and all of your support! xo

To bring a little Paris into your lives no matter where you live, you can read my guide 25 French Brands You Can Buy in the US

Goût de France Sofitel Chicago

On March 21, over 3,000 restaurants in 150 countries will participate in the Goût de France/The Good France. Chefs from around the world will craft special menus to celebrate the Gastronomy of France. You can search on the website to find which restaurants in your city will be participating in the event. There are 4 restaurants in Chicago participating in Goût de France. I chose Café des Architects at Sofitel Chicago to experience their special menu

gout de france sofitel chicago

I was welcomed by Chef Greg Biggers when I entered Café des Architects and he kindly went through the tasting menu with me. I was one of the first to try the menu before it's debut on March 21, I was honored. 

foie gras softel gout de france

I started with foie gras and pear which was absolutely delicious. I savored each bite while sipping a glass of champagne. An assortment of fresh bread was brought to the table with salted butter.

sofitel chicago bread

I was completely honest with Chef Briggers when we spoke that I wasn't a big vegetable fan but he was able to slide a new one in that I actually enjoyed. My first time eating leeks and I liked them. Shh! If you only come for one dish out of the four, this one was my standout favorite. The Truffle Poached Alaskan Halibut with mustard cream, mussels and leek fondue. I am still dreaming about it a few days later. 

sofitel chicago gout de france

The Cheese course was complete with Cypress Grove Chèvre, mustard seed, gooseberry, and a rye cracker.

sofitel gout de france

My grandma taught me to always save room for dessert and especially when it involves chocolate. The Chocolate Twist with passion fruit crémeaux, chocolate ganache, and cocoa nibs reminded me of my favorite Pierre Hermè macaron. I enjoyed a cup of French Press coffee and I sat in the restaurant people watching for a little while after the meal. I loved the ambience of the restaurant and I can't wait to check out the newly designed bar on my next visit. 

sofitel chicago gout de france

This post was a partnership with Sofitel Chicago. All opinions are my own. 

Chicago: Midnight in Paris with CourseHorse and The Chopping Block

Last month I had the opportunity to take a cooking class at The Chopping Block with Course Horse here in Chicago. The theme of the night was "Midnight in Paris" On the menu was beef bourguignon, gougères, celery root purée, and Tarte Normande aux Pommes. The class was rather large but they did a great job of breaking us off into teams. There were three separate groups and which were about six people that cooked together. My group was paired well together based on our age and common interests. I am not sure if they planned it down this specifically but we all really worked well together and I would be happy to cook/dine with them again! 

Our group of five worked together as a team to prepare each dish. The teacher instructed us with each step to make sure the directions were simple to execute. If you are reading the menu and thinking you might be overwhelmed it went extremely fast and smooth. The Chopping Block offered a wine menu if we wanted to purchase wine during the cooking experience or the meal and it was all reasonably priced. 

I have only had beef bourguignon once before and I didn't really care for it. I suffer from migraines with red wine being a trigger so I was a bit hesitant about this dish but was happy to help cook. To my surprise, it was much lighter than I remembered and suffered no after effects. This was my first time cooking and tasting celery root (I don't eat vegetables) It was similar to mashed potatoes in the way it was prepared with cream and salt and was the perfect compliment to the beef bourguignon. 

beef bourguignon recipe
beef bourguignon recipe

I had just made gougères on the blog so I let the group work on this one and I assisted. Their recipe was sweeter than mine which was nice to compare. I love that the dough can be used for sweet or savoury foods. I would love to create chouquettes or éclairs soon! 

The apple tarte was a group effort! One of the girls in the group beautifully arranged the apple tarte so I can't take credit. I prefer a lemon tarte over apple but this one was delicious! I would happily repeat this recipe. 

apple tarte recipe
tarte normande aux pommes
tarte normande aux pommes
tarte normande aux pommes

After the meal was cooked we were able to sit down with our group and enjoy. It was such a fun experience and the weather outside was cold, rainy, and windy so I couldn't think of a better evening spent over delicious food. There are more cooking classes available through Course Horse that I can't wait to check out including French Pastries and French Macaron. 

If you read yesterday's post on the book club selection you may have gathered some of the inspiration for choosing Julia Child's book " My Life in France" was because of this meal and experience. 

This post was sponsored by Course Horse but all opinions are my own.