Chris Gawronski, the executive chef at Henri, says he moved to Humboldt Park on a whim, after visiting colleague Clint Rogers. "I went on Craigslist, found a spot, and I moved a week later," Gawronski explains. "I like how quiet the neighborhood. It was a total relaxation from Wrigleyville."
I caught up with the Sofitel and Café des Architectes' pastry chef, Leigh Omilinsky, right before she jetted off to Paris to learn the art of macaron-making with Pierre Hermé.
No matter if you need to try deep dish for the first time or are want to dig deeper into some of the city's more underrated spots, there are loads of great eats around Chicago's McCormick Place.
"The food scene has been blowing up in Ukrainian Village," says Lee Kuebler, the chef de cuisine at Ada St. "There's a lot of Eastern European families and it's a nice quiet neighborhood, but it's close enough to West Town or Wicker Park that you can access those neighborhoods but stay away from it too."
Jonas Falk, the CEO of OrganicLife, has lived in the Gold Coast for the past 10 years, but just moved to River North. "We have our offices spread out all over the city and suburbs, so River North/Gold Coast is the perfect epicenter," Falk says.
After 13 years in Lincoln Park, TWO's executive chef, Tom Van Lente, recently moved to Logan Square with his wife. But he has nothing but good things to say about his old 'hood though. "We were sad to leave," Van Lente says. "I love Lincoln Park."
As the new Check, Please! host, Catherine De Orio can't play favorites by naming restaurants that might appear on the show, but she shared several of her favorite places for food that aren't sit-down restaurants.
Bobby Schaffer, the pastry chef at Grace, has lived in West Lakeview for around four years now. "I like that it's quiet and family-oriented," he says. "There's not a ton of madness going on."
McCaskey is a staunch believer in his neighborhood and with Acadia, he's become a pioneer, building a restaurant that boasts the South Loop's only Michelin star. Checkout where else he loves to eat around the area.
When Jesse Divine first moved to Chicago, he lived in River North, but he much prefers the quieter, more laid-back scene in Logan Square.
Matt Eversman, former executive chef at Saigon Sisters and Time Out Chicago's 2011 Breakout Chef of the Year, is ready to open his own restaurant, OON, in the West Loop next month. Here, he shares a few of his neighborhood spots to eat and drink in Lakeview, where he's lived for the past six years.
Sandra Holl, who trained in San Francisco at the California Culinary Academy and worked as a baker at Tartine Bakery, started Floriole as a stand at Green City Market. After selling pastries there for five years, she and her husband Mathieu opened Floriole in Lincoln Park in 2010.
You know Sarah Grueneberg as the executive chef at Spiaggia, where she turns out elegant Italian plates, and as the bubbly runner-up on Top Chef Texas. When not at Spiaggia, you can find her studying Italian cuisine in Italy or eating her way through her Lakeview neighborhood.
Though her bulgogi is made with seared tofu instead of beef, Jill Barron isn't a vegetarian. She's lived in Logan Square for 12 years, and she recently shared her favorite spots in the neighborhood.
At Big Jones, chef and co-owner Paul Fehribach cooks up Southern dishes rooted in history. But when it comes time to eat in his East Lakeview neighborhood, where he's lived for about seven years, Fehribach favors a mix of old and new.
Giuseppe Scurato was born in Sicily and serves contemporary American food with an Italian slant at his Uptown restaurant Ceres' Table. He walked us through his picks for where he likes to eat in Edgewater and Uptown.
Carrie Nahabedian has been turning out graceful plates at Naha since 2000, but when she's not serving up Mediterranean-influenced American dishes, you'll find her in Streeterville and the Gold Coast, where she's made her home for the past 12 years
Every few weeks, we love to check in with chefs or food personalities in Chicago to see where they are eating in the neighborhoods they actually live in. Last time, Heather Terhune showed us around Lincoln Square. Now it's time for Justin Large to select his favorite spots around the West Loop.