When you find yourself in a city as diverse as Chicago, you’ll always be within walking distance to a world of flavours. What we truly love about Chicago is regardless if you are dining at a neighbourhood staple or a tried and true pizza joint, you’ll always find incredible flavours, generous portions, and bold menu options. Whether you’re a frequent visitor or simply visiting for the weekend, the next time you find yourself in the Windy City, we recommend giving these eateries a try.
Lula Cafe in Logan Square is a neighbourhood favourite and a celebrated forerunner of the ‘farm to table movement in Chicago since opening its doors in 1999. With adventurous options for vegetarians and meat and fish from sustainable sources, while unique cocktails and a selection of local and international wines and beers round out the restaurant’s offerings, Lula Cafe offers something for every taste and occasion.
Located in The Hoxton Hotel, Cabra Cevicheria is a rooftop Peruvian-inspired restaurant by Top Chef and Iron Chef champion Chef Stephanie Izard. From the vibrant and colourful textures of the restaurant décor to the incredible views of the West Loop and the tasty, small-plates-focused menu, you’ll feel as if your worlds away from the city. The best things to try are the fresh ceviches, empanadas, and the grilled shishito peppers.
Also from Chef Stephanie Izard, Girl and The Goat is a Chicago staple that has diners coming back time and time again — and for good reason. Here you’ll find global small plates like goat empanadas, crispy pork shank, and a wood-fired whole branzino in an intimate yet lively setting that will make you feel at home from the moment you walk in the door. Keep in mind that Girl and The Goat books up fast, but even if you can’t grab a table, we recommend grabbing a seat at the bar where you can take still enjoy the atmosphere over a glass of wine.
Located in Logan Square, Mi Tocaya Antojeria is a neighbourhood Mexican restaurant from acclaimed Chef Diana Davila. Here you’ll find a thoughtfully composed menu featuring a progression of small, medium, and large plates showcasing Davila’s takes on familiar Mexican favourites, lesser-known regional specialty, and completely new dishes that are inspired by her Mexican heritage. Some popular must-trys are the duck carnitas, wild boar barbacoa, and elote-style spaghetti squash.
If views and great cocktails and eats are what you’re after, you’re going to want to pay Cindy’s a visit. Located on the rooftop of the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, Cindy’s offers one of the best views in Chicago, as Millennium Park and Lake Michigan are in full view from 13 storeys above Michigan Avenue.
If you find yourself in Hyde Park and you’ve got an appetite, head to Chef Erick Williams’ Virtue for some incredible Southern food. While the restaurant itself is busy and upscale, it still feels warm and inviting thanks to the menu filled with all of the comforting classics like green tomatoes, gumbo, shrimp and creamy grits, catfish, lemon chicken, mac and cheese, and cornbread with honey butter. But no meal at Virtue is complete without dessert, which includes mouthwatering options like red velvet cake, peanut butter pie, and banana pudding.
RPM Seafood is a dramatic multi-level restaurant overlooking the Chicago River featuring some of the city’s best fish and seafood. Not only is the two-floor restaurant a place to see and be seen, but it’s also home to incredible river views and features a menu boasting impressive seafood towers, top-notch fishes, and cocktails.
Located off Michigan Avenue, The Purple Pig is the perfect spot to tuck into a delicious Mediterranean-inspired dish after a long day of shopping. Here, the menu is long and the options are plentiful, with quality dishes ranging from ricotta gnocchi and Spanish octopus to gyro and braised lamb shank, among other standout dishes, showcasing the flavours of Italy, Greece, and Spain.
If you’re in the mood for a slice of Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza in a relaxed and family-friendly environment, we recommend heading to the nearest Giordano’s. This famous local chain is known for its stuffed deep-dish delicacy, meaning it’s double-crusted, with tomato sauce on top and copious amounts of gooey cheese inside.
When brunch is calling your name, The Hampton Social in River North is the place to be. Here you’ll find a dining hotspot that evokes East Coast living in every way, from the nautical decor to the signature seafood fare, you’ll instantly feel like your dining in the Hamptons. If you’re in the mood for a casual afternoon sipping rosé and dining on lobster rolls or for a girl’s night out, The Hampton Social won’t disappoint.
Featured Image: Anthony Tahlier for Cabra Cevicheria