my husband and i recently spent a long weekend in the windy city. it was our first visit to chicago and i was super excited to explore the food scene which – according to the washington post is gaining momentum and currently “boasts over 40 beard award-winning chefs and restaurants (second only to new york).”. our visit also coincided with chicago chef week – where restaurants throughout the city open up their doors for a prix-fixe menu allowing bargain-hunting chicagoans (and visitors) to check-out some of the city’s best hot spots.
so with 72 hours and a one-tracked mind of eating #allthefood, here are some of my suggestions for if you ever find yourself in chicago:
these are the cream of the crop in terms of locally roasted artisan brews in chicago:
intelligentsia coffee millennium park coffeebar intelligentsiacoffee.com
heritage at millennium park, 53 e randolph st, chicago, il 60601
sawada coffee sawadacoffee.com
112 n green st, chicago, il 6060
la colombe coffee roasters lacolombe.com
955 w randolph st, chicago, il 60607
the allis at soho house sohohousechicago.com
soho house, 113-125 n green st, chicago, il 606
located in the trendy fulton market district, the allis is located within the foyer of the soho house hotel. breakfast is served everyday with a special brunch menu on weekends. it is classy + sophisticated, without feeling pretentious, and serves up delicious food using quality ingredients.
southport and irving southportandirving.com
4000 n southport ave, chicago, il 60613
i was honoured to be invited to a bloggers brunch hosted by ryan beshel from six4creative at ‘southport and irving’ – a trendy café in chicago’s uptown. the décor reminded me of an old english (or melbourne pub), but with an elevated southern and american inspired brunch menu. you can read more here.
519 n clark st, chicago, il 60654
a bustling café just north of the river in chicago’s business district, beatrix offers sit-down and to go.
girl and the goat girlandthegoat.com
809 w randolph st, chicago, il 60607
one of the many restaurants in steph izzard’s quiver, girl and the goat is also in the fulton market district. izzard, a top chef winner, also owns little goat diner (across the road) and duck duck goat (just around the corner). girl and the goat was nominated best new restaurant by the james beard foundation in 2011; and you will not be disappointed by the flavours and dishes on the seasonal menu (especially the scallops which were melt-in-your-mouth tender).
shake shack www.shakeshack.com
find: 66 e ohio st, chicago, il 60611
because everyone needs a burger in their life right?! shake shack is the closest to huxtaburger that i can find in the states.
doughnut vault doughnutvault.com
401 n franklin st, chicago, il 60654
chicago seems to be full of doughnut places, and this hole in the wall (literally) is one of the most popular. the inside only fits 4-5 people, so be prepared for a line-up… but with only a few daily flavours on offer, the line goes pretty quickly, and you will soon find yourself indulging in sweet doughy goodness!
find: 123 n jefferson st, chicago, il 60661
one of the chicago chef week participants, our 4-course dinner was not only delicious but also good value for money. the menu is seasonal and sepia does their best to support local artisan farmers, proudly encouraging craftsmanship and the revival of traditional practices. the menu is traditional with a modern twist.
happy lobster truck
various locations, check @happylobstertruck
i’ve learnt that there’s no visiting the us north-east without getting your hands on fresh maine lobster… and these juicy soft lobster rolls were some of the best i’ve ever eaten!
overall, i was extremely impressed with chicago’s food – both in its quality, diversity and seasonality – as well as the thought and effort put into ensuring the customer experience is one of a lasting impression and happy memories. we had an amazing time in chicago and hope to be back soon!