After roasting coffee beans with his family in Pakistan, Arshad "Sony" Javid—founder of Café Descartes—indulged his love for the caffeinated drink by making pilgrimages to coffee houses in Asia, Europe, and South and Central America. In 1991, after a stint as a Starbucks barista, Sony opened his first shop, an espresso cart on the UIC campus, where he poured his decadent drinks to quench the thirst of students, professors, and dry textbooks. Today, the aficionado’s dream has expanded across six Chicago cafés, where warm, earth-toned walls, cushy armchairs, and the smell of fresh-roasted beans beckon customers to stick around for a latte, mexican mocha, or sweet pastry.
Pannenkoeken Cafe's specialty Dutch-style pancakes draw breakfast and brunch eaters to the teeny, brightly lit eatery lined with wooden tulips. Thinner than a buttermilk pancake but still slightly thicker than a standard crepe and abundantly thicker than an unwritten novel about crepes, the café's namesake cakes come in a mix of savory and sweet varieties, such as grilled salami and havarti cheese or apple and ginger marmalade. Freshly squeezed juice and espresso-fueled beverages pair with any of the dozen pannenkoeken options, omelets, and other breakfast fare on the menu.
Reese's Gourmet Banana-Mana's sweetscrafters whip up a diverse menu of desserts showcasing their own spin on banana pudding infused with fun flavors. Nine-ounce cups, 9"x11" pans, and 3-foot-deep kiddie pools of the fruity confection can be served frozen, as a chilled pudding, or heated into a sugary plasma. Crunchy cookies sink into the surface of the shop's eight varieties, with such flavors as original banana, lemon crunch, piña colada, and cappuccino.
Join this Restaurant Week-themed G-Team campaign to help build the Inspiration Kitchens – Garfield Park and provide job training opportunities for people affected by homelessness in Chicago’s West Side. Every dollar pledged to this campaign will be generously matched by an anonymous donor (hence the doubled values listed below). Five giving levels are available for G-Team donors:
The Whitney's Curate Your Own Membership program is an innovative new approach to museum membership, allowing members-to-be to choose their own customized package of benefits. Each member gets a set of core benefits that include unlimited free admission, exclusive exhibition access, discounts, and more. From there, Whitney members can curate their own gallery of perks, choosing from a series of add-ons—the Social, Insider, Learning, Family, or Philanthropy series. Basic memberships include one series add-on, but this deal includes two series add-ons with either option.
The Knickerbocker rises at the northern end of the Magnificent Mile, amid luxury high-rises, award-winning restaurants, and high-end boutiques. "It's a shopping mecca, obviously," says hotel concierge Sheryl Walerski. Designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, and Giorgio Armani all have stores within walking distance. Architectural landmarks along the route document the city's history. The castle-like Chicago Water Tower, for instance, is one of the few buildings to have survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 as well as the Mothra state visit of 1962. While nearby Rush Street bustles with nightclubs and bars, a plethora of cultural institutions offers an artsier experience. The Tony Award–winning Lookingglass Theatre Company stages eye-popping original work, and several centuries' worth of visual art, ranging from ancient China to present-day America, are on display at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art.