Winters in Chicago can be long and cold. Even though it's April, we are still experiencing temperatures only just above freezing. To help you stay warm while you're taking pictures, I rounded up my favorite 10 indoor Chicago Instagram spots for you. Most of these instagrammable coffee shops, stores, and restaurants are free to access, although I recommend always asking the owners or staff if they are okay with you taking pictures. Also, while you’re there, why not try that new featured coffee or a delicious snack?
I hope this guide helps you pass the time until the temperatures are high enough to roam the streets. I would love to see your content and connect with you. When taking pictures at these Chicago Instagram spots, make sure to tag me in your posts!
If you’re looking for more beautiful indoor spaces in addition to the below, don’t miss my blog post of The Peninsula.
1. Left Coast
Situated in River North, this coffee shop has everything you need for a great picture: cute décor, a pretty stair case, lots of natural light, and let’s not forget, delicious coffee and bites.
The Skydeck at the Willis Tower is one of my favorite places to take photos in the city! It is a great spot to capture the incredible views of the city. The Skydeck is the only place I'm featuring in this post that is not free to access. However, the views are completely worth it! It is located on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower - the tallest building in Chicago. The Skydeck features 4 glass ledges which you can stand on and look straight down onto the street. Being there and looking down 1,353 feet is a humbling experience.
If you're trying to take photos there, make sure you visit early and on a weekday. By early I mean really early! The Skydeck opens at 9am from March to September and at 10am from October to February. However, people are already lined up at the ticket office 30 minutes before opening. I highly suggest you get there at least 30 minutes before opening so that you get enough time on the glass ledge to take as many photos as you like. Another tip, make sure the weather is clear on the day of your visit! Your photos will look that much better if the weather is nice and you have a view.
233 S Wacker Dr
Chicago, IL 60606
Brand new to Chicago and located in Wicker Park, this restaurant has everything an Instagrammer’s heart could desire. From beautifully decorated bars, to flower walls, Instagram-worthy drinks (which also happen to be delicious), and a flower shop – Machine: Engineered Dining and Drinks has it all. Furthermore, check out this post to get a full tour of the restaurant.
Just as sweet as their treats is the interior of this bakery and coffee shop. Step into a world of pastel tones, striped walls, and colorful furniture. You can’t help it but take a few pictures here, and their cupcakes will make your visit even sweeter.
The space at Sweet Mandy B’s is limited so I recommend arriving early in the morning to ensure that you have time to take pictures before the crowd arrives.
Speaking of sweet, if you’re looking for a hue of pink, you can’t miss Le Macaron. It’s a French bakery owned by Jeanne and Julien, specializing in, you guessed it, macarons. Their macarons are directly imported from France and are the perfect combination of a firm shell with a soft center that make your taste buds melt away. Besides the delicious treats, the highlight of the bakery is certainly their bright pink wall.
Situated a 30 minute drive from the Loop, the Garfield Conservatory is a botanical conservatory and transports you to a tropical mood as soon as you enter those doors. There are a variety of rooms at the Conservatory, each of which are home to different fauna and flora. The mosaic fountain was a present from Chicago's sister city Casablanca, and it provides the ultimate Moroccan feeling.
Note that professional photography is restricted at the Garfield Conservatory and a permit is required prior to taking pictures here. I was able to take pictures for my personal Instagram account, but no outfit changes were allowed. To request a permit, you can give them a call: 312 742-4786.
8. La Bodega
Where La Bodega lacks in space, it sure makes up in instagrammable drinks and décor. Their churro hot chocolate makes every blogger heart melt and is only topped by the churro cone with customizable toppings. Did I mention that they also serve delicious tacos?
If you’re looking for some shabby chic spring vibes paired with delicious brunch or afternoon tea, Maison Marcel is your place! Originally from Marseille, the owners brought the French je ne sais quoi to Chicago and paired it with a cozy ambiance, wicker furniture, turquoise accents, and a bright space.
As a result, Maison Marcel is just as popular as you might think. I suggest you go early in the morning or mid-afternoon on week days to get as much space as possible, as it is one of the great Chicago Instagram spots!
Maison Marcel also has the cutest pick-up window in Lincoln Park. It's an outdoor photo location but still super adorable. The wall art there is to die for and will look amazing in every Instagram feed. If you go early in the morning, you won't have to worry about any crowds. During the day, you will have a few customers come by and you might have to be more patient to get the shot. Make sure you visit on a cloudy day as the light tends to be better to shoot the wall if there is no direct sun.
2008 N Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614
10. Serena and Lily
Easily one of the most beautiful furniture and home décor stores in Chicago is Serena and Lily. Their new location right on Armitage is exquisitely decorated and transports you into spring even on the coldest or rainiest winter days. I was dreaming about decorating my future home with their blue and white pillows.
Serena and Lily is a retail store, however they allowed me to take pictures while the store wasn’t busy and as long as I did not interfere with any customers. I recommend giving them a call before going to ensure that they know you will be there.
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