To do: Three cavernous Chicago hideaways


This winter’s cold has been unrelenting. But I still want to go out, even if it means wearing three layers underneath my heavy-duty winter jacket. Same? These three activities offer a cozy and cavernous getaway while we count down the days to spring.

Go deep inside: The Palmer House

The OG brownie is at The Palmer House, a historic Chicago hotel that Rudyard Kipling long ago described as “a gilded mirror rabbit warren crammed with barbarians.”

Today, I recommend going barbaric on the hotel’s OG brownie. It’s as decadent and rich as the golden drapery and as opulent as the soaring ceilings. The confection was concocted in the late 19th century under the direction of Bertha Palmer (watch the video below for more) for the Columbian Exposition World’s Fair in 1893. Pro tip: Get dinner at the burritos and bowls quick-service spot right outside the hotel so you don’t feel totally gluttonous after downing the whole dessert by yourself. Because you will.


Go behind walls: Dorian’s

On a recent round of The 10 to 10, we rolled into Bucktown and ended up walking to Wicker Park. We passed a boutique record shop that seemed worthy of a step inside.

It was more than a record shop, though. Hidden behind an unsuspecting “secret” doorway was Dorian’s, a midcentury mod-style restaurant, tucked away with tiki-themed drinks (and a mocktails option!), jazz spinning on the sound system, and a charcuterie board complete with pickled grapes.


Go underground: Three Dots and A Dash

At Three Dots and a Dash, go on a warm adventure beneath the city. Located in the River North neighborhood, no treasure map is required to find it: Just look for the sign in the alleyway off Hubbard and head down the dramatically lit stairwell to a dreamy tiki hideaway. At the grass-skirted bar or a cozy booth, surrounded by chic wooden fixtures and sunset lighting, order up some small bites, a cold pressed juice or handcrafted cock(or mock)tail. The team of mixologists makes its own syrups, such as falernum and allspice, to keep things fresh. The exotic combinations are designed to give even the most well-traveled tongue an exciting new taste.

‘Till a Mexican beach and a flute of sparkling juice and I meet again…


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