Your Key To Chicago, the City that Works

Born and raised Chicagoan, Bobby Gonzalez, Chef Concierge at the Kimpton Gray Hotel and Member of Les Clefs d’Or USA, offers his perfect day, true to Chicago’s roots yet off the beaten path.  

Make Time for Donuts 

Take your coffee for a morning walk and discover why we’re called the City of Broad Shoulders. Take in the shadow of the skyline on Lake Michigan, the hustle of the locals, and the smells of Blommer’s Chocolate and Garrett’s Popcorn in the air. I recommend a visit to The Doughnut Vault, known for their dense, old fashioned-style doughnuts in flavors like buttermilk glazed, toasted almond and lemon poppy seed. This hole in the wall opens at 8am on weekdays and 9:30am on weekends but make sure to stop by early for the best selection and shortest lines. 

Lake and River Cruise  

The Architectural River Cruise is great for architecture buffs, families or anyone looking to enjoy a cold beer on a boat! Certified tour guides interpret more than 50 buildings along the Chicago River. You’ll discover how Chicago grew from a small settlement into one of the world’s largest cities in less than 100 years. Book the 10am cruise through your Concierge to make the most of your day! 

Alternatively, sailing on beautiful Lake Michigan offers an experience not to be missed! ‘Come Sailing Chicago’ offers a Catalina 36 Sailboat with comfortable seating for up to six guests to spread out and relax. This private experience is BYO, too. Take a local pizza, a bottle of wine, and enjoy a sunset cruise while watching fireworks over Navy Pier!

Take Me Out to a Ball Game

Just ask Ferris Bueller, if you didn’t enjoy a Chicago-style hot dog from a bleacher seat on a sunny afternoon – you didn’t visit Chicago, and with public transportation from downtown, you’re just 15 minutes from the ballpark. At Wrigley Field, grab a seat on the patio at Big Star and enjoy fresh margaritas. Heading to Guaranteed Rate Field? Go early and visit Duck Inn, a stylish restaurant that specializes in, you guessed it, duck. Grab a table in the beer garden and enjoy their rendition of a Chicago-style hot dog known as the duck fat dog! 

Authentic Chicago Dining  

Chicago may be home to deep dish pizza but an authentic Chicago experience is the support of our local restauranteurs. We pride ourselves on living in a city named Bon Appetit’s restaurant city of 2017 with mom and pop spots like La Scarola to Michelin-starred restaurants by Rick Bayless or Paul Kahan.

Chicago-Style “Cocktail”      

Kingston Mines & Buddy Guys are worth the trip for a night of authentic Chicago Blues, but here is where you get the liquid courage to dance beforehand: start at Sable Kitchen & Bar and order the War of the Roses, which Conde Nast dubbed the “One Cocktail to Have in Chicago.” Next, try the Drifter, an authentic 20s-era speakeasy located in the basement of the Green Door Tavern. This tiny subterranean space offers burlesque and musical performances, and a rotating cocktail menu dealt on tarot cards.

Meet the Author
Bobby Gonzalez

Bobby Gonzalez is an award-winning concierge and the Chef Concierge at the Kimpton Gray Hotel in Chicago, as well as a proud member of the Les Clefs d’Or USA. Bobby brings more than 10 years of experience in the hospitality industry and the familiarity of Chicago that comes from a lifetime spent in the city to his position. At The Gray, He specializes in “the little things” and takes pride in not only assisting guests by arranging tours and making theater and dinner reservations but also by going above and beyond to ensure they have an unparalleled experience while visiting the city he calls home. He’s even gone so far to become an ordained minister and officiated two weddings at the Chicago hotel. Bobby looks forward to each guest’s arrival, welcoming them with a smile and ensuring them they are in the right hands.

Kimpton Gray Hotel

The Kimpton Gray Hotel, a 293-room luxury property, offers travelers a premium experience in downtown Chicago. Located in one of the city’s most historic structures, the former New York Life Insurance Building, and just steps away from key landmarks such as Willis Tower, Millennium Park, Magnificent Mile and Cloud Gate, guests can expect a full service experience onsite with exceptional culinary and bar offerings, a salon and day spa, 24-hour fitness center, and 12,850 square feet of dedicated meeting and event space. When visiting The Gray, the amenities are endless. As part of their “Forgot it? We Got It” Program, The Gray currently has partnerships with Lululemon and the Tie Bar to accommodate a variety of guests. The hotel offers a selection of Lululemon apparel for both men and women available on loan, plus, in addition to a Tie Bar shop located on the first floor, guests can purchase a tie and/or pocket square via their guestroom minibar or Front Desk. The Kimpton Gray also offers a variety of packages year-round to elevate your hotel experience.

+1 312-750-9012

Watch - Making of: The Kimpton Gray Hotel

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