After a year of living in Chitown, I think I’ve conquered a vast majority of the ‘hotspots’ here. I sometimes had friends ask me for suggestions especially after going to school in Champaign, people do get sick of going to Cheesecake factory and Grand Lux Cafe over and over. Even then, I never really liked going to chain restaurants and always wanted to explore new spots to eat. My first year here was a blowout. I spent so much time, money and time eating and learning about all these places that I’ve been dying to try.
I think Chicago is one of the best cities in the world for its Food scene. So many great chefs, cuisines, ideas, and of course drinks that make everything blend in so well and special. I really enjoyed learning more about the food culture in Chicago and I’d say it’s one of the best ways that help me stay connected as a starting Chicagoan. While going to school in Champaign, I’d only knew Lincoln park and maybe Division street. I remember going to Mirai couple years back with some girlfriends and thinking.. ‘whaaaat, this is quite of a drive from Michigan ave’. I’m pretty sure most of the Fobs/people out of town think this way if they have to go more than 10mins from the Mag mile. I honestly think the farther the place is from Michigan ave, the better the food is. Lots of color, ideas, and flavors…..
Upon many requests, I’ve decided to do this post of sharing places to check out in Chicago. Maybe I’ll update it gradually as try on more places, but for now here it is!
I’d start with my neighborhood.. (and my absolute favorite)
Part 1- LOGAN SQUARE
-Yusho: I take my best friends, new friends, old friends here. I go for my birthday, friends’ birthdays, and any night I want to go to. Enough said? Japanese inspired yakitori plates, changes menu on a regular basis, and serves great cocktails. Try: 2x Fried chicken, beef tongue, soft serve.
-The Whistler: This is my absolute favorite bar in the world. Variety of live music every single day, promoting new/old artists, great atmosphere and last but not least mouth watering drinks!!! Here’s another place that I take my bestfriends, new friends, old friends for any special or random occasion if possible. Try: Rosemary collins
-Longman& Eagle: 1 Michelin star, contemporary american, whisky bar. Bone marrow any one? Go for dinner on weekdays. The wait on weekends gets a little too crazy (2hrs or more). Also serves great brunch on weekends. Try: Bone marrow,
-Lula Cafe: Hands down best bloody mary in town (with Gin), great brunch spot but again, wait gets a little too crazy if you pick the peak time. Go off hours if you don’t want to get rushed! Try: Beet bruschetta from their cafe menu.
-Revolution Brewing: Revolution beer? I’d pick these beers over anything. It’s one of the best Chicago-made beers, and they have some great bar food too. Try: All the beers, Mussels on beer sauce.
-Scofflaw: Gin bar. My personal favorite hard liquor is Gin so this place is perfect for me. And all the drinks are $8 and, seriously really delicious. They serve fresh baked cookies at midnight.
-Parson’s Chicken and Fish: Sister restaurant of Longman & Eagle. I’ve been to many shows/festivals where the guys from L&E were serving, and never been disappointed once. They have outdoor patios (more like Big Star in Wicker park), and food/drinks are pretty affordable too. Try: Negroni slushie, FRIED CHICKEN, GRILLED CHICKEN, clam rolls, hush puppies..
-Kuma’s Corner: Best burger joint. If God opened up a burger joint, it would be this. Burgers served on pretzel buns. Their original burger has fried egg on it. I honestly love and will eat anything and everything with a fried egg on it so whoever came up with this idea was a genius. Straight heart attack right there! Try: Mac & Cheese with topping you choose, Metallica burger and… everything seriously..
-Hot Doug’s: I’m not a big fan of hotdogs, but this place is nice to drop by for a quick(cheap) meal once in a while. Foe Gras hotdogs? It’s Anthony Bourdain approved! Try: Any hotdog with Duck fat fries
-Billy Sunday: Sister bar of Yusho. They sometimes have joint events like the last Sake tasting event I went to. Fun times! Fun fact: the manager here used to live in Korea for couple years so it’s fun to talk to him about E-dae, Shinchon, and all those stuff!!
-Bang Bang Pie shop: I don’t have a sweet tooth, but this place has some good pies! Sometimes they have really good savory ones too so I usually go for that. When my sister visited me last march, she wanted to eat every other day. Try: Any seasonal Fruit pies, Biscuit and Gravy
-Wasabi: Now that I’m trying to cut out bad carbs (noodles, white bread and etc) it’s a pain even just typing that name out. But if you’re searching for some Tonkotsu Ramen in Chicago…. Go to Wasabi. Try: Tonkotsu Ramen
-Telegraph: Telegraph got voted as ‘best wine selection’ so if you’re a wine fanatic, definitely have to check out this place. They also have great plates that go well with your wine. yummmmmmmmmmmmm. #1 on my list on where to take my mom when she visits.
–2 amigos: Located right in front of Revolution Brewing, they give so much meat on their tacos for the price you pay. Good for late night (drunk food) Try: Lengua tacos (my personal favorite) Veggie burrito
Other places worth checking out: New wave cafe, Intelligentsia, Chicago Diner, Reno, Fat Rice, Cafe Con Leche, Miko’s Italian Ice, Half Italian, Logan square farmer’s market, night market