Eataly's open eateries are themed by different food groups. Noticing long waits for a table at Il Pesce, La Pizza & Pasta, and La Carne, I took one of the plenty open spots in veggie-focused Le Verdure. It was worth the not-wait.
If the sinigang is any indication of the menu at large, then Isla Pilipina is a strong contender for best Filipino food on the North Side.
Never mind that Chicago is 1,450 miles as the crow flies from Cuba; we're just glad husband and wife restauranteurs Alberto and Christina Gonzalez are here.
The Japan National Tourism Organization thinks it's silly that we act like sushi is what its country's food is all about. So check out Sunshine Café's offerings of steaming, home-style noodle bowls, donburi, crisp-skinned fish, tempura, pickled vegetables, fresh tofu, and goma da re-soaked greens.
Just when I thought I was finished with nachos—boring and cheese-sodden as so many are—I found some restaurants around Chicago sparking new life into that old go-to.
In a world populated with plenty of piles of greasy potatoes, this simple kale-stuffed breakfast stands out.
If you're looking for some of the most inventive, saucy, flagrantly fusion-style maki around, this hip North Side sushi spot has you covered.
Cookie Bar, in a new location, has gone all gluten-free; slimmed down its signature cookie offerings; and added cakes, breads, granola, and pies to the mix.
Goosefoot's tasting menu had me imagining Chef Nugent venturing into the French countryside, discovering hundreds of years of honed culinary tradition amid a field of wildflowers there, and staking a spot for the great American Midwest.
First Slice Pie Café offers a simpler, old-fashioned slice that hearkens to picnics and church potlucks of the Midwest. All three North Side locations serve basically the same menu of homemade sweets and savory fare.
If Portland is really the city where "young people go to retire," then it's the perfect place to institutionalize and perfect the late-morning meal. These are among the can't-miss brunches many locals rave about.
Sweet potatoes tend to start appearing on menus in the autumn, but on 95th in Beverly, a family-owned bakery makes the humble root vegetable the star ingredient all year long.
Reservoir opened last year with an ambition to take its food up a step from Uptown's everyman vibe. Yet there's an odd combination of high and low-brow going on that could be a kink in the concept or just a mission to appeal to every craft drink-loving patron who might wander in.
Aroy Thai's weekday lunch special is a cheap and plentiful appetizer-and-main combo, one that leaves you wishing for a nap before heading back to the office.
The restaurant faces a historic corner of Lawrence Avenue, where the glittering emerald lights of the Green Mill twinkle. Although Demera has only been open since 2007, it's already an Uptown neighborhood mainstay in its own right.
Garcia's in Lincoln Square does a tidy takeout business through a separate, Western Avenue-facing entrance. It's nothing fancy, and that's precisely the point.
Know (and love) your cevapcici, pljeskavica, and veal, because Restaurant Sarajevo's Bosnian dishes are constructed, primarily, of meat.
Not only am I, as a bit of a health nut, helpless against a smoothie's nutritious charms, I also have a very specific soft spot for food that packs a variety of unexpected, yet somehow complementary, ingredients into one basic form.
I started with a friendly coconut-milk curry you'll only find on the regular English menu at Rosded, then tried a complex, aromatic "jungle curry" only available on Rosded's Thai language menu.
Ceviche in Chicago comes in many shapes and sizes, portions and prices. Here's a broad sampling from the whole refreshingly citrusy gamut.
Although this "ceviche" was actually an Italian-style crudo, the flavors of olive oil, grapefruit, and cracked black pepper were beautifully balanced atop silky-smooth raw escolar.
Tweet makes a few departures from traditional in this everyday Korean dish, but almost all are to the betterment of the dish.
I had always heard Essence of India swapped an edge of spice and authenticity for something closer to the clean, safe, friendly vibe of the Lincoln Square neighborhood it's been in for years. But is that a bad thing?
There's been an uptick in in-house pickling this summer in Chicago, especially in spots that take their drinks seriously. Here are eight creative local takes on crisp, classic veggies-in-brine.
These tacos are what you'd get if you took a crustless Victorian high tea sandwich and mated it with a taco just south of the U.S.-Mexico border. Dialed-up flavors of smoked fish, dill and mayo pair with earthy corn, spicy chipotle, and creamy guacamole.
Complaining about Chicago's brutal winters is a proud civic tradition, but today is different for one important reason: it's really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really cold.
Here are some of the best drinking destinations near major tourist attractions in Chicago. Some are full-on craft cocktail bars, while others might be slightly less obvious spots, like restaurants with great cocktail programs and a cozy spot to sit.
The Nosh embraced fall this weekend, hosting Chili Day with a diverse collection of local restaurants. Thanks to the small sample sizes, I was able to try almost all of them.
Culled from a dozen or so trial and error trips, the following dishes represent sure-fire hits when planning a trip to Lao Hunan. Admittedly, this is not a list of the most obscure, most adventurous dishes on the menu. Instead, it represents a palate-challenging (as opposed to alienating) crash course on dishes guaranteed to result in return visits.
Sure, we love to casually graze on dainty small plates, but there are those rare occasions when all that fussing over a forkful just doesn't cut it. Perhaps we just ran a marathon or simply passed on last night's dessert. Regardless, the reason isn't as important as the fact that we need to eat a WHOLE LOT OF FOOD RIGHT NOW.
Each of these 5 Chicago wine shops has friendly staff, an atmosphere that isn't too intimidating, and not a whiff of snobbery.
Each of these three spots has its own unique spin on what the Japanese dining experience can be. And their presence on the scene seems to mark an intangible shift toward the distinctive nuance, sensitivity, and craft that is so shot through the meals one finds in Japan.
While my luck hasn't been all that great lately, and the hits just keep on coming, the experience of a good lunch helps ease the pain a bit. Enough to take the slight edge off, at least.
Unpretentious and refreshing, canned ciders should be drunk ice cold, preferably with a group of friends, during the hot summer months. As the thermostat hit 90º this past weekend in NYC, we scoured the shelves and came back with four canned ciders to test out for your next camping or boating trip.
At this new Lincoln Park diner, Brad Rubin is serving barrel-aged root beer, plus milkshakes, phosphates, and egg creams made with refurbished antique equipment.
Though unexpected, the deep flavors of Indian spices mix well with the fattiness of Southern soul food. Moist chicken, bright red with spice, played well with tangy raw onion and juicy tomatoes.
Is it possible to reconcile my child-like love of a sweeping view of Chicago with my totally reasonable desire to never eat terrible food?
Thai O'Cha in Darien is a hidden gem with all the greatest hits, well-prepared
I always think of a BYOB restaurant as a dare. Sure, I could use the occasion as an excuse to load up on frosty cans of cheap booze, thus saving real money on the final bill. But does the beverage honestly pair well with the food? And now with more fine dining BYOB options, isn't it my duty to buy a better bottle of wine with the money I'd otherwise spend? (Because, let's face it, I would have spent that money.)
Mexican food has never had a lot of sex appeal to me. Then along comes Mercadito, the contemporary Mexican restaurant with enough of it to melt a pack of popsicles.
Seolleongtang is the main focus of the entire restaurant. No bibimbap, no bulgogi. Instead, this simple, comforting oxbone stock swimming with meat bits and noodles is what you come for.
Have you ever noticed that the best spicy dishes are never labeled as such? They warn you of what's to come, but they never mention fire, suicide, or anything related to volcanology. That's just how they are supposed to taste. Here are the dishes that get our noses running in the best possible way.
[Photographs: Nick Kindelsperger] Lawrence Fish Market 3914 W. Lawrence Avenue, Chicago IL 60625 (map); 773-267-6838 The Short Order: Freshly made takeout sushi. Want Fries with That? Keep away from anything fried here. Want Ketchup? Just a few packets of...
The Land of Middle Eastern Sweets is an area about as well known to me as the Gangnam Style dance, which is to say I recognize it when I see it but have no hope of personally reproducing it. But on a recent trip I discovered a fantastic sweet called knafeh.
Looking for a reasonable excuse to get out and try a bunch of new bars? This set of 52 playing cards features discounts to as many different establishments. Enter to win a free deck.
It's pretty much asparaguspalooza at the market these days, as it's one of the earlier items to come into season while farmers twiddle their green thumbs waiting for rhubarb, strawberries, and the like.