When someone thinks about big, beautiful, important American cities, Chicago is almost always included in those lists. With just as much to offer as New York City, Chicago packs it into a little bit more digestible portion. No matter what type of vacation you’re after, one thing’s always a constant: good food. A mark of a good city is how good, and diverse, the food is. Zeroing in on Chicago this time around, here are a few places in the “Windy City” to try.
1. Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits
If you’re in Chicago in the warmer months and looking for more of a relaxing place to eat, Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits might be just what you’re looking for. This restaurant has a beautiful outdoor eating area with swing-set seats that patrons can relax in while eating their pie or enjoying a cup of coffee. As the name suggests Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits is known for their pie and biscuit sandwiches. The pies are seasonal, so you may not get the same pie twice, but it’s worth going back and trying the different kinds.
2. Honey Butter Fried Chicken
The fried chicken that comes out of Honey Butter Fried Chicken is so delicious that there have been similar versions based off of it made all over the world. The chicken is brined in a delicious mixture before being fried, and it’s served with their signature honey butter on the side. This restaurant is unique in practically everything they do. The only sodas offered are craft sodas. All of the utensils and plates used are compostable. And, the chickens used are antibiotic free and raised humanely. Different from your regular fried-chicken restaurant and a local favorite, Honey Butter Fried Chicken should be on your list of restaurants to try.
For the restaurant goers who are looking for something different to explore, Parachute should definitely be on their radar. On North Elston Avenue, this husband and wife run, small restaurant combines American and Asian cuisine. Dubbed American-Korean cuisine, the pair try to put a new spin on classics from those cultures. The restaurant itself has a small seating selection available, but it does give enough space so customers aren’t pressed against each other throughout the meal. The small amount of available seats does mean there could be a wait for a table during their busier hours, but the food really is well worth it.
4. Au Cheval Au Cheval is known for serving one of the best cheeseburgers in the whole country. People have waited as long as five hours just to get a seat (crazy, we know), but everyone swears the wait is worth it. Au Cheval knows the wait can be brutal, so they try hard to make it more bearable. Not only do they text your phone when your table is ready, they have an app you can download that allows for you to track where you are in line. The single cheeseburger has two beef patties, and the double has three (we’re trying to figure that out too), with slices of American cheese between each patty. The bun is toasted on both sides, and a special sauce is spread on the bun. Typing that made me hungry.
On the much more intricate side of restaurants, there is Alinea. On North Halsted Street, this immersive restaurant promises its patrons an unforgettable experience. It’s often been described as a combination of dinner and a show, as the meal could end up being as long as four hours, with as many as 20-different courses! There are three different dining experiences to choose from. The downside to all of this though, is that the restaurant is so in demand that customers need to book their dinner two-plus months in advance. So, if you’re planning your trip significantly in advance you could investigate eating here, but this is not a restaurant for a last-minute bite.