Chicago is one of my favorite cities to visit. One of the things I like best about Chicago is the food!! Here are a couple of places I recommend.
Where to Eat
Xoco is a casual style restaurant by Rick Bayless. You can easily grab something on the go or sit down on a self serve style. This is a casual location that does not compromise flavor. I have been to Xoco multiple times because they have so many authentic Mexican dishes. Some of my favorites include pork chilaquiles, fully loaded guacamole, torta augada (incredible), Michelada (drink), and of course the churros!
Note: Rick Bayless was the winner of one of the Top Chef Masters competition.
Girl and the Goat
This is a busy trendy spot with small plates and signature cocktails. It’s worth noting that the chef is Stephanie Izard, known for winning Top Chef, is the owner. For Girl and the Goat, we picked a dish from each section in the menu. Here are some of the highlights: Sauteed green beans which were great. Blueberry-pepper cornbread and wood oven shrimp were my favorite part of the meal, it was amazing. Some of the most known dishes that we got were the Pigface and confit goat belly.
Note: Girl and the Goat can be a bit tricky to get into. I would try to book a reservation a month or two in advance or honestly the week of. Tip: I was able to book a reservation by using OpenTable and booking the day before since some people cancel last minute.
We came here for a surprise birthday party. This is a classic American style restaurant but with some glam. It has stunning chandeliers and decor that is going for the golden era vibe. We tried the seafood tower, oysters, tuna tartare and filet mignon.
Lou Malnatis’ Pizzaria
This is an absolute must for deep dish pizza! It’s layers of cheese and sauce on a buttery crust. It’s pure magic (Pizza is my favorite food). The first time we visited Chicago we ordered one to our hotel and it did not disappoint. The second time we dined in. The establishment is nothing fancy but the pizza is superb. It is believed that Rudy, Lou Malnatis’ created the recipe for deep dish pizza while he worked at Uno’s Pizzeria.
Beatrix – River North
I would consider this restaurant on the healthier side. They have a lot of vegan and vegetarian dishes, fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies. We have also been here multiple times. I’m a big fan of their brunch menu. I like the Chicken tinga dish, it’s spicy, flavorful, filling but not too heavy. The pancakes which I believe change depending on the season. The green chilaquiles as also good, they have kale in them so I’d like to think that makes them healthy? If you go during the week the Halibut Panzuella and the Poke bowl are a good choice for lunch.
The Purple Pig
The Purple Pig: This is one of my all-time favorite restaurants. I love the uniqueness of the dishes. The flavors are combined to create this perfect savory dish. You can read more about it here.
Stan’s Donuts & Coffee
Stan’s Donuts & Coffe is a great way to start the morning. It’s located close to Millinum park so it’s easy to make a quick stop for a donut and coffee. Stan’s has a big selection of unique donuts. My favorite was the Nutella peanut butter donut.
Xoco is worth mentioning again because of their Churros!!! You can get them glazed, classic with sugar or even in a sundae. I prefer to get the classic churros with sugar with chocolate dipping sauce on the side. There are also other dessert options I haven’t tried yet; flan, tres leches cake, hazelnut cookies and different types of hot chocolate.
Firecakes has multiple locations throughout Chicago. The donuts are unique and pretty tasty. However, the last time we walked by there was a long line. If you really want to try them, go early to skip the line. Otherwise, I would say Stan’s Donuts & Coffee are pretty comparable (with more options). This is the spot if you want an instagrammable dessert.
We went to multiple restaurants that are along the river. I don’t remember any of them standing out specifically. However, we enjoyed our time there because you get to relax by the water. We had some wine and a snack or lunch. It was a pleasant environment so it’s more about the atmosphere than the food. Maybe you have one that you recommend?