Things I Love Travel

Discovering Chicago With HeyLets

March 25, 2015

My new home!

I moved to Chicago not too long ago, and was quickly overwhelmed with the wealth of incredible restaurants and unique shops. How would I ever visit them all? Where would I begin? I called my best friend in a panic. “Take a deep breath and make a list,” she said, reminding me that she’d lived in Chicago for two years and still had much to do and see, and she wasn’t having panic attacks each time she walked by a new coffee shop. Luckily, around the same time that I moved I discovered HeyLets, the app that is currently keeping me organized and on track to visit every destination, restaurant, and museum, and shop in the city. Well, at least the good ones.


Some coffee shops are worth panicking over. Like Intelligentsia, my favorite, discovered via HeyLets.

I’ve written about HeyLets before in my “Top 5 Favorite Travel Apps” post, but I’ve been using it so much in my daily life I want to write about it again not only as a travel app, but as a way to discover your own city.


It’s ok to brag a little…like when you find the best pancakes or the prettiest champagne bar.

Here’s how it works: Users upload photos of their favorite restaurants/bars/museums/whatever, and detail what they love about them in 200 characters or less. The reviews are only positive, and usually pretty specific, so you get a good sense of the place and what’s so great about it. The app is tailored to your interests and location, so you’ll always see recommendations that you’ll actually enjoy. The best part? You can “wishlist” them and go back and check your list whenever you need inspiration for where to eat or what to see. It even alerts you if you’re near a wishlisted location. Just the other day I was walking by The Spice House, a fabulous spice shop I had wishlisted a month or so ago and completely forgotten about. I got an alert on my phone — “Hey, you’re near The Spice House, which you’ve wishlisted previously. Check it out?” Yes! Of course I wanted to check it out, and I ended up with the most amazing array of spices and am ready to finally learn how to make curry. HeyLets has saved me from wasting my money on bad restaurants, something that can happen easily when you’re new to a city and checking things out for the first time. Instead, I’ve had tons of great meals because of recommendations from friends on HeyLets, and also discovered some great vintage shopping.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica breakfast views brought to you courtesy of HeyLet’s

Of course, I’m not one to stay put for too long, and though Chicago is great I did sneak in a trip to Costa Rica last month. And guess what? I discovered the most wonderful organic coffee shop and a gorgeous secluded beach thanks to HeyLets. If you’re looking for recommendations in Chicago or from my travels around the world, follow me! 

P.S. They recently updated the app and it’s gorgeous + so easy to use. Download it here and sign up today to find the best in your city, and around the world. 

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  • Reply hannahrai March 25, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    I really want to visit Chicago one day! X O

  • Reply M @LiveLikeYoureTraveling April 23, 2015 at 3:20 am

    very cool… looking into it now! 🙂 i love spice shopping and culinary firsts!

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