First there was networking, then there was sweatworking. Is shakeworking next? Probably not, but with shakes, smoothies and slushies this good, why settle for a coffee or gym date? Use this as your excuse to sweeten the deal.
Miss Ricky’s (Loop) – Comfort food and a sidewalk patio already make this a great lunch spot, but it is worth noting they have yummy shakes to go, too. The Amaretto German Chocolate Cake Shake does not disappoint, although it is heavy with malted milk. If you want to avoid falling asleep at your desk later, try the salted caramel shake mixed with a shot of espresso.
Medici on 57th (Hyde Park) – Best shake award goes to Medici for their Mexicana, made of vanilla ice cream blended with Mexican chocolate and cinnamon. Medici is a casual BYOB with a large menu of great eats and a loyal following. The University of Chicago is within walking distance, so take a shake with you, and enjoy a stroll through campus.
Scooters Frozen Custard (Lakeview) – Vanilla custard, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and bananas make up the Elvis Concrete. As if necessary, Scooters notes that this treat cannot be ordered as a small. Scooters uses local dairy farms and makes their custard in house, which they also sell by the pint. Perfect for indulging later or making your own shake at home.
Real Good Juice Company (Old Town) Calling all health enthusiasts: This place is the REAL deal. You’ll find the post-Flywheel crowd here, and one of the most popular shakes is aptly named “Fly Girl.” My top recommendation, though, is the “Sweet Dreams of Falkor” made with a refreshing mix of strawberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple, basil and coconut water. Healthy accompaniments like granola bars and almonds are also available, but at all costs avoid the coconut meat jerky.
Eggy’s (Lakeshore East) Eggy’s is a small, lively diner that is creative in its offerings, like their Oreo coffee milkshake topped with whipped cream. Having this as an afternoon treat is perfect, but order this after you’ve enjoyed Eggy’s grilled cheese or their signature potatoes, and you may need to lie down.
Shake Shack (multiple locations) – My plastic spoon was no match for the Pent House Sweet Concrete, but I was determined not to give up after standing in Shake Shack’s notoriously long line. Was it worth the wait (or should I say weight…)? It was delicious, but I would recommend their hand-spun chocolate shake as a “lighter” alternative at lunch.
Franklin Room (River North) – Even the dessert at this underground spot has a speakeasy twist. Introducing your new obsession…the Bourbon Caramel Milkshake. These rich flavors melt together for a perfect fall indulgence. I cannot recommend you drink this during the day…but consider it a perfect opportunity to take happy hour to the next level.
Parson’s Chicken & Fish (Logan Square) - Parson’s took the slushies of your youth to their obvious adult metamorphosis. Don’t let these playful drinks fool you though, they pack a punch. The Dark & Stormy Frozen Cocktail with Gosling's Black Seal Rum, lime and ginger beer is perfect for sipping while you wait for your turn at the communal ping pong table. (No one said you also had to do adult things while drinking them!)
Rachel Thompson is the North America client development manager for Baker & McKenzie. Rachel would like to thank the LMA Midwest Chapter for giving her a more legitimate platform for sharing her thoughts on restaurants and event venues.