From Japanese standouts in Little Tokyo to sausage and beer halls in the Arts District to buzzy fine dining, these days there's no end to the possibilities in Downtown L.A. Here's our guide to where to eat in the revitalized neighborhood.
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Chris Gawronski, the executive chef at Henri, says he moved to Humboldt Park on a whim, after visiting colleague Clint Rogers. "I went on Craigslist, found a spot, and I moved a week later," Gawronski explains. "I like how quiet the neighborhood. It was a total relaxation from Wrigleyville."
"The food scene has been blowing up in Ukrainian Village," says Lee Kuebler, the chef de cuisine at Ada St. "There's a lot of Eastern European families and it's a nice quiet neighborhood, but it's close enough to West Town or Wicker Park that you can access those neighborhoods but stay away from it too."
Jonas Falk, the CEO of OrganicLife, has lived in the Gold Coast for the past 10 years, but just moved to River North. "We have our offices spread out all over the city and suburbs, so River North/Gold Coast is the perfect epicenter," Falk says.
After 13 years in Lincoln Park, TWO's executive chef, Tom Van Lente, recently moved to Logan Square with his wife. But he has nothing but good things to say about his old 'hood though. "We were sad to leave," Van Lente says. "I love Lincoln Park."
As the new Check, Please! host, Catherine De Orio can't play favorites by naming restaurants that might appear on the show, but she shared several of her favorite places for food that aren't sit-down restaurants.
Bobby Schaffer, the pastry chef at Grace, has lived in West Lakeview for around four years now. "I like that it's quiet and family-oriented," he says. "There's not a ton of madness going on."
McCaskey is a staunch believer in his neighborhood and with Acadia, he's become a pioneer, building a restaurant that boasts the South Loop's only Michelin star. Checkout where else he loves to eat around the area.
Bring a camera and an appetite to San Francisco's far Outer Sunset, where the beachy vibes and top-notch eats are worth the trip.
Matt Eversman, former executive chef at Saigon Sisters and Time Out Chicago's 2011 Breakout Chef of the Year, is ready to open his own restaurant, OON, in the West Loop next month. Here, he shares a few of his neighborhood spots to eat and drink in Lakeview, where he's lived for the past six years.
Sandra Holl, who trained in San Francisco at the California Culinary Academy and worked as a baker at Tartine Bakery, started Floriole as a stand at Green City Market. After selling pastries there for five years, she and her husband Mathieu opened Floriole in Lincoln Park in 2010.