With Chicago being one of the best food cities in the world, there is obviously no shortage of restaurants. You could probably live there for many years and never go to the same restaurant twice. However, sometimes there’s a dish SO GOOD, that you have go to back again and again…and again. I used to spend my morning bus commute (I miss you, 146 express) religiously reading Eater, which basically tells you where and what to eat in your city. When you read it everyday for 5 years, you become pretty knowledgable about the food scene in town.
Narrowing this down was the hardest thing I’ve done in a while, but here you go.
P.S. If you want to read about salad…this is not the post for you 🙂
5. Truffle Noodles from Gilt Bar
Hand cut noodles, Pecorino, Truffled Mushrooms- this is a share plates kind of place but take my advice and don’t share this one- just don’t. Always ask to sit in “the library” at Gilt Bar- you’ll be transported to the 1920’s with red velvet booths, dim lighting, and a spectacular cocktail menu. They also have a vegetarian menu if you ask. Important, so that you don’t spend your meal wondering if you’re eating duck fat (wouldn’t be the worst thing that ever happened).
Honorable Mention: Roasted Garlic with Sweet Balsamic on Toast- best $6 you’ll ever spend.
4. “Ridiculous” from Sunda
Carrot cake wrapped around vanilla ice cream with caramel and candied pecans. All my favorite things, and yes, it’s ridiculous (hence the name).
Honorable Mention: Longevity Garlic Crab Noodles
3. Skillet Mac & Cheese from DryHop
Our neighborhood (Lakeview) needed a spot like this, and it’s been packed since day one. The mac and cheese (with or without egg) is made with big shell shaped noodles which trap all the cheese inside (let’s be clear, there is no such thing as too much cheese). Order a beer called Shark Meets Hipster or get their beer flight for a taste of everything. They also offer growlers to-go, which makes a pretty awesome gift. Perfect cozy spot to hangout for hours in the dead of winter when it’s too cold to walk 15 feet to the bus stop.
Honorable Mention: Vegetarian Reuben
2. Grilled Calamari with Lemon from Riccardo’s Enoteca
No picture, but it’s similar to this
There are 2 Riccardo’s restaurants across the street from each other; go to the Enoteca. Italian small plates and a neighborhood spot with talkative neighbors (we always ended up talking to the table next to us for the entire meal almost every time we came here, which was often). I never even really thought about calamari before I came here (just the fried stuff which is meh), and then it was all I ever wanted for dinner (sorry, Christopher).
1. Burrata from Spacca Napoli
You should literally call ahead to make sure they have it. One time we got there and tried to order it and they informed us they were out. I swear Christopher cried a little. I read somewhere that it gets delivered every Thursday, and they usually run out by Sunday.
What is your favorite dish in Chicago?
*All photos via Yelp*