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The Localist

A Local's Guide to: Chicago

A train runs in front of The Hoxton, Chicago

Whether people watching by the lake, catching a game at Wrigley Field or admiring the city’s unique architecture, Chicago’s always a good idea. Just a hop, skip, and jump from Union Station, The Hox is perfectly nestled within some of the Windy City’s most happening blocks. We’ve asked the lovely Samantha (Sam) Parquette to pull together a list of all the best places to visit around these parts, to spare you the research.

Chicagoland local and a true lover of all things hospitality – Sam’s clueing us in on her favourite spots to eat, drink, and shop around the West Loop and beyond. All within 20 mins of The Hox.


JP Graziano

Hands down, the best place for a good Italian sub. All the meat is sliced fresh and the rolls are baked by legendary Publican Quality Bread – I go here at least once a week for ‘The Italian’ or ‘Roast Beef’ sandwich. JPG is also a specialty grocer so their shelves are lined with pantry fixings fit to make a mean homemade meal or pick up a last-minute gift for that self-proclaimed chef. This is not a place to visit when you’re in a time crunch – there’s always a line out the door at lunchtime. Pack a spread before heading over to City Hall, just 9 mins away by foot or a few mins by car.

The exterior of JP Graziano, the premier spot for an authentic Italian sub.

Pizza Friendly Pizza

While not a traditional Chicago-style deep dish, PFP is one of my favourite spots to grab a pepperoni slice. It has an intimate vibe with maybe seven tables total and an open show kitchen. They cook up specialty pizza collabs with local Chicago creatives, like artist Danny Brown’s ‘Pineapple Express Pie’. Stop by for a bite after your visit to Salvage One or head next door to the Empty Bottle for some live music. Nothing like vintage shopping, dinner, and a show.

Deep dish pizza with mozzarella and pepperoni.


Outside Voices

Little vino, anyone? Outside Voices is my go-to spot for natural wine, about 16 mins away by car or 30 mins by train. I never go in deciding what I want to order – I always ask to try the sommelier’s current favourite, and they never miss. They’ve got board games and cards for the playful bunch and a stellar back patio to enjoy in the warmer months. If you’re feeling peckish, order the meat and cheese board from their neighbor, The Moonlighter. Pro-tip, check out their happy hour every weekday until 6 pm if you’re in the mood for an early bird special. Hankering for something more substantial? Check out Boka Restaurant Groups’ restaurants all over the city (plus the few in our four Hox walls).

A nice glass of red or white wine in Chicago.

Lone Wolf

If you’re looking for a spot to sip local draft brews, walk a breezy 3 mins from The Hox to Lone Wolf. My personal favourite industry bar in Fulton Market, this is the perfect place to chill after a day of wandering. Besides great cocktails, they’ve got Chicago Legend, The Authentic Tamale Guy, serving meat and cheese tamales behind the bar. Perfect solution for those late-night cravings. For the doers, start your afternoon at Brooklyn Boulders right down the street to work up a post-climb thirst.

Exterior of Lone Wolf in Chicago.


Scratch Goods

Funny enough, I stumbled upon this shop before my first interview at The Hoxton in 2019, before Chicago even opened. I had time to kill so I popped inside, and it’s been my self-care staple ever since. Everyone is super friendly and knowledgeable about the products they make in-house. My favourite is the Jasmine-Rose Skin Drink facial mist – the perfect skin prep before a wedding or event at 1520. They even have a BYOB mask bar on the weekend where you can create your own mask recipe. Walk just 4 mins from the hotel to discover your next beauty secret.

Skin mist and butter from Scratch Goods in Chicago.

About the author

Sam Parquette

Sam Parquette is a food, lifestyle, and hospitality photographer based in Chicago. In a past life, she was a part of the crew that opened The Hoxton’s doors back in 2019. Inspired by fun, Sam is passionate about capturing the joys that makeup life’s little pleasures. When not behind the lens, you can find her combing through Italian eateries, in search of the city’s best pasta dish.