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West Loop

What Are the Top 10 Restaurants in Chicago’s West Loop?

April 6th, 2017 Posted by Chicago, Parking, restaurants No Comment yet

Chicago is a shopper’s paradise and a diner’s delight. Our city is full of fantastic stores and restaurants. Here are our recommendations for the ten best restaurants in the West Loop.


Restaurant Picks: West Loop

October 6th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Restaurants, Chicago Travel Tips, Food, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, restaurants, sharing economy, startup, West Loop No Comment yet

If you don’t love food, don’t read this. If you’re hungry, you probably shouldn’t read this, either. Salivation will occur. We are about to explore some of the best restaurant spots in the West Loop of Chicago.

There are so many restaurant connoisseurs out there. They all eat at the best restaurants in every city and usually end up writing reviews. These reviews usually include words like “Confit” to describe chicken, “Tartar” to describe finely chopped meat or fish, or “Amuse Bouche,” meaning “amuse the mouth.”

That’s all fine and dandy, but I have a different style. I’m not going to use big culinary words in this post; I’m simply going to tell you what I’ve tried and what I like. I like to eat things that taste good and I want to tell you about them so you can try them out, too. That’s the purpose of this post. This particular post will focus on restaurants in Chicago’s West Loop.

West Loop Top Grub Spots

1.) Girl & The Goat

Believe the hype; Girl & The Goat is for real. Located on the 800 block of West Randolph Street, Stephanie Izard’s food is nothing short of awesome. Specializing in small plates, Girl & The Goat just feels like a happening place right when you walk in the door. The atmosphere is great, and the food is even better. The service is top-notch  the staff is knowledgeable and the atmosphere is not too pretentious. Plus, the brains behind the operation and Executive Chef, Izard, was born in Chicago. Oh yeah, you can drink wine there, too. 

What I Ordered:

  • Soft Shell Chili Crab = so good 
  • Wild Striped Bass = unbelievably good 
  • Goat Empanadas = you have to get them 

Izard has also opened two other restaurants in the West Loop, Little Goat Diner and Duck Duck Goat. Trust me, you can’t go wrong with any of the three. 

2.) Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Originating in Memphis, Gus’s is the best spot for fried chicken. Not the best place for a first date (lots of finger licking involved). Hit up Gus’s in the Fulton Market District for some of the best fried chicken you’ve ever had. Gus knows how crispy to make his chicken and he knows how spicy to make his chicken. The crunch to spice ratio is on point and the chicken is just about as juicy as it gets. Oh wait, don’t forget to order the fried pickles. If you like pickles, it’s a no doubter. 


  • Gus’s Famous Fried Chicken has earned the right to call itself “famous” 
  • Order white or dark meat, they’re both really damn good 
  • Fried pickles = better than un-fried pickles 
  • I’m not much of a sweets guy, but I’ve heard great things about their homemade pies 

3.) Nonna’s Sandwiches and Sundries

Let me tell ya, Nonna knows how to make a heavenly meatball sub. The Italian beef is really good, too. If you’re ever in the West Loop for lunch and want something fairly quick, Nonna’s is your spot. It’s a little on the pricey side for a sandwich shop ($10-$11 for a sandwich), but you get what you pay for. You won’t leave hungry. My co-worker, Dan, eats about 1-2 Nonna’s meatball subs per week. I’m thinking about adopting a similar routine. 

Postgame Analysis: 

  • Great meatball sub
  • Excellent lunch spot 
  • Very solid Italian beef 

Little tip: get the hot giardiniera on your meatball sub!

4.) Au Cheval

If you’re lucky enough to get into Au Cheval without having to wait hours for a table, don’t pass up on the opportunity; it’s as good a restaurant as advertised. I ordered the double burger with a fried egg and bacon. The bacon was extremely thick and tasty, and the fried egg was an excellent addition to the juicy, perfectly cooked burger. Au Cheval also has a great selection of specialty cocktails. It’s a perfect place for a date or a good time with your pals. Expect to spend some money, especially if you’re planning on drinking. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself 😉 

5.) Glazed and Infused (Doughnuts)

Technically not a restaurant, but still food. Good food. Desert. Sorry, my sentences are getting shorter and shorter because I am now drooling. There isn’t much to say about Glazed and Infused except that they make awesome doughnuts. After eating at one of the four spots above, infuse yourself with some glaze-y goodness. Try anything because they’re all good. 

West Loop Parking sucks. So if you are in fact heading down to Chicago’s hottest neighborhood, make sure you rent parking in advance using ParqEx. Simply download the ParqEx app on the App Store or Google Play or sign up on the ParqEx website. ParqEx is a peer to peer parking technology platform. Simply rent parking Chicago or list parking Chicago to make your parking experience a lot easier, and better.

About ParqEx:

ParqEx is a technology company that connects owners of private parking spots to people looking for parking. In urban areas where parking demand is high but available options are scarce or expensive, ParqEx makes additional supply available to the driving public by listing exclusive inventory owned by local residents and businesses.

Using ParqEx, parking owners are able to make some supplemental income from an underutilized asset while renters get access to exclusive inventory in more convenient and hard-to-park locations. The ParqEx support team ensures that the entire process of listing, reserving, parking, and paying is as smooth as possible for all involved.

ParqEx has also developed the revolutionary Access+ Technology. With Access+, residents and approved visitors can open the garage door from their smartphones. Property managers and condo boards can simplify management and improve control of the garage.

Don’t have our parking app yet? Get it now @ParqEx on the App Store and Google Play!

Watch our short video to see the beauty of the ParqEx app!




Chicago Weekend Fun: Week of Sept. 12th

September 13th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, mobile app, music, News & Events, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy, startup No Comment yet

Yes, it’s only Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be thinking about the weekend. If you’re reading this post, you made it through Monday, which is a victory in itself; congrats!

There are tons of fun events going on this weekend in Chicago and we’re going to make it easier for you to attend them. Not just because we’re listing them on this blog post, but once you get to the event, we’re going to help you park. Now you might be thinking something like, “How is this blog going to help me park?” or “Driving to a crowded event is something I will never ever do.” You’ll be surprised how easy we’re making parking.

Once you decide which of the events listed below you want to attend this weekend, download the ParqEx App on the App Store or Google Play for Android and simply plug in the address of or near the event you’ll be going to. From there, you’ll see all of our parking listings close to the event that you’ll be able to rent for the entire day. It’s easy, convenient, and affordable.

Now that you’re confident with your parking situation (“confident” and “parking” used to be an oxymoron, but not anymore) here’s a list of five events you should check out in Chicago this weekend:

1.) West Loop Art Fest (Sept 17-18)

Where? Washington Boulevard between Aberdeen and Halsted Streets

When? Saturday, September 17 from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday, September 18 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Check out the work of over 150 selected artists from across the United States at this year’s West Loop Art Fest held in one of Chicago’s most exciting neighborhoods. There will also be lots of food available. And live music. It’s going to be a good time.

Parking in the West Loop used to be tough; not so much anymore. Reserve your spot for this weekend using ParqEx. You shouldn’t spend your weekends worrying about parking, and you won’t anymore.

2.) Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field

Watch your first place Chicago Cubs Thursday-Sunday at historic Wrigley Field as they face off against division rival, Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs will be returning home after a 9-game road trip, and will have the opportunity to clinch a playoff spot on home turf (dependent upon games Tuesday and Wednesday vs. St. Louis).

As you probably already know, parking in Wrigleyville is difficult, but we’re here to make it easier for you. Our private parking platform gives you access to parking spots you never had access to before. Check out our parking inventory by searching “Wrigley Field” on the ParqEx platform and reserve your spot. Don’t let parking get in the way of your Cubs game day experience.

3.) Lakeview Taco Fest

When? Sept 17-18 from 11am to 10pm

Where? On Southport Ave. between Addison and Roscoe

Let’s taco bout it. You can probably smell this festival already, and it probably smells damn good. Chicago’s hottest new festival is back for its fourth year. The glorious taco will again get the spotlight it has long deserved when the tortilla-wrapped fave is celebrated at this food and music festival that also kicks off the first official weekend of autumn.

Whether one prefers theirs with a hard or soft shell and filled with a meat, chicken, guacamole, fish or other imaginative ingredients, this September happening in the bustling Southport Corridor is a mega-hot addition to the Windy City’s food fest scene.

There will also be special beer and taco pairings, crowd-pleasing Mexican wrestlers, and visitors will be able to text vote for Chicago’s “Best Taco.” (Courtesy of ChicagoEvents)

ParqEx has lots of available parking spots near this festival. Visit our website or app to find yours.

4.) Midnight Circus in the Park – Wicker Park

When? Sept. 16, 17, 18

Friday @ 7pm
Saturday & Sunday @ 2pm & 5pm

Where? 1425 N Damen Ave. in Wicker Park

What: Midnight Circus in the Parks is a series of circus shows that are extremely entertaining and fun for the entire family. The organization is dedicated to building communities across Chicago and  have raised over $850,000 already for local park improvements through its Chicago tour events. You won’t want to miss out of these amazing circus shows that have a direct benefit to communities across Chicagoland.

Purchase your tickets by clicking here! 

Find parking in advance by using the ParqEx App or by checking out the ParqEx website.

 5.) Yoga and Wine Tasting at City Winery

Like yoga? Or wine? Well, you can have them both. Enjoy an evening that will strengthen the mind, body, soul, and taste buds!

Taking place in our Wine Garden, join Maria Rosner, a seasoned yoga intructor and wine aficionado for a 75 – minute yoga intruction followed by a wine tasting of City Winery wines.

About September 18th: Only two days after the full moon and a few days before the Autumnal Equinox; a very auspicious and transitional time to do yoga outside! (Courtesy of City Winery)

Purchase tickets here! 


Thanks for reading! Remember, all of your parking needs can be easily addressed with ParqEx. We’re here for you and for your community.








ParqEx: Finding Parking in the West Loop

Locating Parking in the Chicago West Loop/Fulton Market Neighborhood

January 21st, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, mobile app, Parking No Comment yet

The corridor between downtown Chicago and the United Center is experiencing rapid growth, with new restaurants, apartments and condo complexes, and businesses opening in the neighborhood every day. Until now, finding a place to eat hasn’t been as big a challenge as finding parking in the Chicago West Loop/Fulton Market neighborhood.ParqEx: Finding Parking in the West Loop

A new mobile phone app from Parqex is designed to connect residents who have parking with visitors who need parking. Assume, for example, that you have a resident permit and guest passes for on-street parking. When you are not using your allotted parking spot, the Parqex app will connect you with someone who temporarily needs and is willing to pay for your spot. The app handles all administrative and operational aspects of showing where parking is available and billing, collecting and forwarding parking fees.

If you are the neighborhood visitor, the Parqex app shows you every available parking spot on a real-time basis. You can pick a spot when you arrive in the neighborhood or reserve one ahead of time. This on-demand technology uses parking resources to the fullest capacity at all times and gives you a safe, secure, and well-lit location for you to park your car.

You can download the Parqex app and use it immediately to find parking in the West Loop and Fulton market neighborhoods, as well as in many other parts of Chicago as the company expands its services. Please contact us, or do a search for “Parqex” to find our app and to eliminate your West Loop/Fulton market parking headaches.


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