Bridget and I get a lot of questions about food. It’s one of the occupational hazards of running a blog and podcast about Chicago restaurants. Whether we’re talking to tourists or old friends, they always want to know where to eat.
Over the summer, I wrote a week-long guide to Chicago dining for friends who were visiting the city. It included breakfast, lunch, a cupcake stop, and dinner for every day of the week. To actually use the guide as written was utter madness because there was way too much food, but my friends loved it. It took them out of their comfort zone and into the city’s neighborhoods. I was both the trusted source and goad to try new things, the purveyor of classics as well as the latest and greatest places on the scene. It was the type of reference that didn’t exist and couldn’t be compiled by looking at tourist sites or scanning through web reviews. At least, not without a lot of work and firsthand knowledge of Chicago. I felt that doing a guide like that provided a way of experiencing the city that didn’t exist anywhere else.
And then I started thinking about other ways of elevating Chicago’s restaurant scene. Guides for newcomers were one thing, but I wanted to do something for people who were stuck in a routine or who didn’t see the value of branching out to try new things. I picked cupcakes as the subject of my next guide, and realized that it would be bigger than a few pages — there was simply too much information and too much to say. Foodies in Chicago take their cupcakes seriously, and I realized that I needed to put together a guide worthy of their zest for baked goods. I also discovered that while everyone loves cupcakes, very few people have tried more than one or two places. There was nothing out there to meet the needs of the true cupcake lover — no information that showed them just how many good options they have.
I hope that people visit the site, buy the book , and then come back to share their opinions on what they find. If you try the guide and you find it valuable, please let me (and all your friends) know. If you think it sucks, I still want to hear from you. I love talking about Chicago food. Thanks and happy dining!
00:00 – 01:37 An adventure for you
01:38 – 03:05 Uncovering cupcakes, bakery info, routes
03:06 – 05:02 The need for side-by-side tasting
05:03 – 06:41 Know what to look for, how to rate
06:42 – 08:98 The good work of finding the best cupcake.