Off the Wall & Beer on the Wall – Park Ridge, IL

This unique stop is perfect for coffee and beer lovers alike! Keep reading for all the details on one of my favorite cafes:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The cozy atmosphere is perfect for playing games, catching up with friends or getting work done. The full service coffee/tea menu is supplied by local businesses in Chicago & Park Ridge. Off the Wall also hosts Trivia Nights and other weekly events.

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. NACHO BAR: customize your own personal plate or make it shareable! Options include pretzel bites, pulled pork, beer cheese, guacamole, and Cotija cheese – just to name a few! (prices vary)
  2. Nature Hike Toast: avocado toast with roasted corn & poblano, cotija cheese, cilantro and chipotle aioli ($9)
  3. Cold Brew with Vanilla: I asked for one pump of vanilla syrup and LOVED my drink!

Tips for your Visit:

  1. Bring a friend and enjoy some games! (See the above list)
  2. Consider Off the Wall for your next private event: https://www.wehavegreatcoffee.com/events


Pit & Tap – Wilmette, IL

Calling all BBQ lovers: Pit & Tap is your next dinner reservation! Incredible food, quick service and the BEST decor… they’ve got it all!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Pulled pork sandwich
  2. Elote Side!
  3. Pulled chicken
  4. Pickles (come on the side for some dishes)

Tips for your Visit:

  1. Be sure to try the different BBQ sauces on the table!
  2. Check out the caramel cake or banana pudding to finish off your southern style meal
  3. Share some nachos topped with smoked meat of your choice!

WI Day Trip: Port Washington & Cedarburg

We took a little road trip north of Milwaukee this February weekend. For your guide to the sweetest places in Port Washington + Cedarburg, keep reading!

106 Lake Street, Port Washington, WI 53074

Our day began at Rotary Park – gorgeous lakefront views and a walk along the docks was the perfect way to take in Port Washington. Nearby benches and a gazebo offer great picnic spots for the warmer months!

Next up: Exploring the Shops!

  1. Duluth Trading Co. – this was one of the most enjoyable shopping experiences we’ve ever had. The staff was SO friendly and we enjoyed browsing around the book and clothing selection. One staff member even gave us a presentation about ALL the underwear they sell! (https://www.duluthtrading.com/men/underwear/) Conveniently located next to the marina, I’d recommend stopping and checking out what Duluth has to offer!
  2. The Shoppes of Port Washington – luckily, I found postcards here! For those who don’t know, postcards are my tradition everywhere I go, and finding them can be tricky sometimes. This was an antique shop with fascinating and random things like a Blockbuster gumball machine and tons of sports cards.
  3. Broadway Popcorn – we stopped in to check out the crazy flavors like jalapeño cheddar, mint chocolate chip, and cinnamon toast crunch!
  4. Sherper’s – we enjoyed the outdoorsy, camping gear at this store along with lots of odds and ends to look at! A separate room holds kayaks and lots of clothing.

* We didn’t stop at the Chocolate Chisel on this trip, but I wanted to mention it for yours! I love this cute little ice cream shop and would recommend it for all your sweet teeth.

Next up was lunch at Stilt House in Cedarburg, WI-

  • BBQ Chicken Sliders w/ Apple Slaw! Absolutely delicious and unique, we added sweet potato fries for the perfect pairing 🙂
  • Other noteworthy menu items include smoked salmon dip, warm pull apart bread, and soft pretzel sticks

Shopping & Exploring in Cedarburg:

  1. Penzey’s – check out this seasoning and spice shop for every flavor you could imagine! I picked up the chicken taco seasoning and cannot wait to try it
  2. Rivoli Theater – catch a movie at this old fashioned theater for just $4
  3. Find a street parking spot and walk up and down the town center for tons of tiny shops and fun sights! Coffee shops, popcorn, bakeries and more are thriving in Cedarburg!

You can’t forget ice cream! We stopped at The Chocolate Factory for a scoop of Oreo 🙂

Canary Coffee Bar – Milwaukee, WI

Looking for a sweet treat & a delicious cup of coffee? Check out Canary for premium food, drink & ambience

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Iced Vanilla Oat Milk Latte – INCREDIBLE quality, a little pricey but worth it!
  2. Avocado Toast – the perfect snack to add to your coffee, unique flavors and thick bread
  3. Hot Chocolate!! – PLEASE do yourself the favor and warm up with this one

Tips for Your Visit:

  1. Parking options might be sparse on the street, so consider walking or scanning the nearby area for spots
  2. Bring your work and enjoy the space while you have a coffee!
  3. Try a “Hand Pie”- delicious and mini treat!

Forno Rosso – Chicago, IL

The most authentically Italian, mouth-watering pizza I’ve ever tried: Forno Rosso is my go-to for every pizza craving.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The best thing about Forno Rosso pizza is the THIN CRUST- it makes the pizza so much less filling without sacrificing quality ingredients and flavor. I love dining inside, but Forno Rosso also delivers!

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Ortolana Pizza – sautéed spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, artichokes, mozzarella, basil & spicy olive oil
  2. Veneto Pizza – asiago cheese, local sausage, caramelized onions, speck & mozzarella
  3. Toscana Salad – local spring mix with pear, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, lemon, olive oil, balsamic glaze
  4. Pizza con Nutella – dessert pizza with bananas, powdered sugar and strawberries (MUST TRY)

Tips for Your Visit:

  1. One pizza is certainly enough to split between two people if you aren’t very hungry, but we typically get 2 and bring the rest home. Air frying leftover pizza makes it crispy and fresh as new!
  2. Don’t forget your Nutella pizza, gelato, or other Italian dessert to top off your experience, you won’t be disappointed!

Towne & Oak – Winnetka, IL

Towne and Oak is the perfect cafe and coffee shop to meet up with friends or get some work done. Located on the North Shore, check out this stop:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

You can’t beat the gorgeous interior at Towne & Oak – complete with a gorgeous skylight and lots of seating.

Although the food menu is tempting and sounds delicious, my order was not what I was expecting. From my experience, I’d recommend sticking to bakery items and coffee, but that may have been an off day.

Tips for Your Visit:

  1. Bring along your computer and enjoy the views inside
  2. There is no parking lot, but street parking is available

Sweet Diner – Milwaukee, WI

One of the BEST breakfast restaurants I have ever enjoyed, this Diner is sure to to impress!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The fresh fruit at Sweet Diner is beyond anything I’ve had at other restaurants. The berry blast pancakes (pictured above) are loaded with gorgeous strawberries and blueberries every time.

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Berry Blast Pancakes
  2. Challah French Toast
  3. Ham Hash Skillet Bowl
  4. Vegetarian Skillet Bowl
  5. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Tips for Your Visit:

  1. Sweet Diner does not take reservations, so expect a 1-2 hour wait during peak times (mostly weekend mornings and afternoons)
  2. Enjoy a drink with your meal for even more of an experience: margaritas, bloody Mary’s, strawberry orange juice, etc.

Miko’s Italian Ice – Chicago, IL

The perfect frozen treat for any summer day, this local treasure has two locations in Irving Park and Logan Square.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I enjoyed the half fudge/half coconut ice for $4 – perfectly refreshing and flavorful! I visited the Irving Park location, where a few seats are available outside near the window.

Flavor Rotation

Tips for your Visit:

  1. You’ll order outside at a window, but there is no physical location to walk inside. If the outdoor seating isn’t available, you’ll have to stand or enjoy in your car
  2. Unlike lots of other Italian ice shops, Miko’s is open in the winter!
  3. Check the Facebook Page for updated hours: https://www.facebook.com/MikosItalianIce

Cafe Sonder

Looking for a quaint coffee shop to get work done or enjoy a bite to eat? Cafe Sonder might have exactly what you’re looking for..

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My Menu Recommendations:

  1. Avocado Toast
  2. Iced Vanilla Latte
  3. Pineapple Matcha

Although a bit pricey, this cafe was the perfect place to stop while shopping and exploring the town. The coffee selections are delicious and I was never disappointed!

Tips for your Visit:

  1. During the winter, Cafe Sonder features seasonal drinks like peppermint hot chocolate and gingerbread lattes!
  2. Try out one of the quiches for breakfast, lots of great flavors!

Dan’s Minocqua Fudge

This North Woods fudge shop is a must-visit for your next summer trip!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dan’s Minocqua Fudge isn’t only home to the obvious, it also has a delicious ice cream selection in the back of the store! Don’t miss out on funky flavors, the perfect after lunch/dinner treat.

My family and friends are in love with the saltwater taffy at Dan’s, and there are more flavors than you could dream of!

Tips for your Visit:

  1. Check out the Facebook page before heading in, sometimes hours vary: https://www.facebook.com/DansMinocquaFudge/
  2. Don’t try ONLY the fudge, be sure to try some brittle, clusters, barks, ice-cream, and taffy too!