'South Loop' on Serious Eats

The Vegetarian Option: Mercat a la Planxa

Mercat is a great place for vegetarians to dine because the expansive tapas menu has such a strong vegetable selection. Under "verduras," there are seven dishes that could easily comprise a filling and flavorful meal. Even the traditional tapas section of the menu has vegetarian bites sprinkles in. More

Behind the Scenes: Menu Tasting with Jose Garces and Cory Morris at Mercat a la Planxa

At Mercat a la Planxa, Iron Chef Jose Garces may be the executive chef, but it's chef Cory Morris who is in charge of the kitchen on a day-to-day basis. Garces is only in town intermittently, but he makes sure to stop by Mercat for a full menu tasting at least once a quarter, when Morris presents him with a series of new dishes he'd like to add to the menu. More

Knockout Noodles: Cafe Bionda

Nestled along the borderlands between the South Loop and Chinatown, Cafe Bionda serves a menu of comforting and familiar Italian fare. Butcher paper covers the tabletops in the cozy dining room, which lies adjacent to the dark-wood bar that greets you on your way in. More

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