Michigan Avenue magazine asked Oprah Winfrey to name her five most beloved local spots. That's no easy task given all that Chicago has to offer, but the amazing "O" managed to whittle her list down to her five favorites.
Lake Michigan at Sunrise
Whether I’m on a run or making coffee in my kitchen, I love to see the sun rise over Lake Michigan. I call it sunrise faith because I believe, just like the sun rises every morning, my life will also be OK. Every sunrise is like a new page, a chance to right ourselves and receive each day in all its glory.
RL is one of my favorite restaurants. It looks just like Ralph Lauren’s house inside—it’s gorgeous. You know, I don’t get out much, but I’ve even braved cold Chicago winter nights to get there. 115 East Chicago Avenue, 312-475-1100; rlrestaurant.ralphlauren.com.
The thing that I think everybody feels when they come to Art Smith’s restaurant is that you can taste the love, because this is a man who loves loving other people through food. It was hard for me to give him up [as personal chef], but I really believed the world needed to taste his food. And now, even with no sign out front—which is pretty cool—Table Fifty-Two is always booked solid. 52 West Elm Street, 312-573-4000; tablefifty-two.com.
The Oprah Store
For years I wanted to have a store where our audience members could find some souvenirs to take home—a key chain, a coffee mug, maybe a pen. Truly, I never imagined that an idea like that could turn into something like the Oprah Store—a really beautiful space that’s very warm, open, and inviting. If you’re in the neighborhood, drop on by! 37 North Carpenter Street, 312-633-2100; theoprahstore.com.
Sophie's Room at PAWS Chicago
My cocker spaniel, Sophie, gave me 13 years of unconditional love. She was a true love in my life. After she passed away, I decided to sponsor a room at this no-kill animal shelter in her memory. There’s a little bed with her name on it, all the toys that she played with, even a photo and a plaque. If I get another dog, it will be from a shelter. 2337 North Clark Street, 773-935-7297; pawschicago.org.