We may publish content about Chicago restaurants nearly every weekday of the year, but there are still restaurants that, for whatever reason, don't get the attention they deserve.
'staff picks' on Serious Eats
There's never been a better time for burgers in Chicago. Sure, there are an insane number of options, but there also are dozens of different styles. So no matter whether you like your burgers enormous and grilled or thin and griddled, there is an all-beef patty out there for you.
Some restaurants not only allow large parties, they embrace the crowd. In fact, they are more enjoyable the bigger the table. These are places where talking loudly and sampling your neighbors dish is encouraged.
The arrival of autumn signals the end of the dainty and the arrival of the hearty (and meaty) feast. And as we all know, every feast must end with something sweet, and the more options the better. Let's dig into the best desserts in Chicago.
Sure, we love to casually graze on dainty small plates, but there are those rare occasions when all that fussing over a forkful just doesn't cut it. Perhaps we just ran a marathon or simply passed on last night's dessert. Regardless, the reason isn't as important as the fact that we need to eat a WHOLE LOT OF FOOD RIGHT NOW.
I always think of a BYOB restaurant as a dare. Sure, I could use the occasion as an excuse to load up on frosty cans of cheap booze, thus saving real money on the final bill. But does the beverage honestly pair well with the food? And now with more fine dining BYOB options, isn't it my duty to buy a better bottle of wine with the money I'd otherwise spend? (Because, let's face it, I would have spent that money.)
When it comes to hot dogs, Chicagoans have opinions. We care where they are made, who serves them, and what tops them. We will drive all over the city to satisfy a craving, passing lesser stands that just aren't quite good enough.
Don't let anyone fool you: choosing the perfect place to take an out of town guest requires planning. It may sound easy, but you're looking for something more than just an excellent meal. While the restaurant has to serve knockout food (that's a given), it simultaneously has to showcase something unique about the city.
As the first meal of a very busy day, breakfast is the one we often think the least about. (Plus, taking pictures of food is immeasurably harder before a cup of coffee.) It's automatic, almost like a ritual, and personal.
Though we'd like to see more great Chinese restaurants around Chicago, it's great to realize how many options there truly are. We asked our contributors to pick out their favorite, and of the eight replies, seven of them were different.
Is it just us, or are late night food cravings absolute and odd? Sure, after a few drinks any food becomes a good idea. But for whatever reason, only very specific dishes start sounding unreasonably perfect.
For the latest round of Staff Picks, contributors were asked to name their favorite chicken dish in the city. It seemed liked an easy question, but our contributors wrestled with the idea. These picks became personal, and, for that matter, mostly fried.
Brunch is the great unifier, a meal specifically designed for everyone. But when we asked our contributors to pick out their favorite spot to brunch, every single person picked a different place. We're taking this to mean that there has never been a better time to brunch in town, as these many great picks prove.
Every once in a while you come across a sandwich that so grabs your attention that you wonder whether you'd ever want to eat anything else. We asked all of our contributors to pick out their favorite sandwich in Chicago, and the picks are as diverse as you'd expect, from gut-busting behemoths to nicely proportioned ones.
Where is the best ice cream in the city? That's the question we asked our contributors. The picks ranged from new restaurants in the Gold Coast to classic joints on the South Side.
If you could only have one last bite in Chicago, what would it be? It's a completely hypothetical question, one that is obviously meant to get a reaction, but it's something worth thinking about every now and again. We asked all the contributors on Serious Eats: Chicago to come up with one dish they'd eat if they only had one last meal in Chicago.
If you're like me, then your favorite cheap meal is kind of a guilty thing thing to admit. I'm not talking about the quick fast food burger, or the frozen meal that gets the job done. Instead, I'm after the soul-satisfying dinner that just happens to be $5 or less. If it were a dollar more, you probably wouldn't care, but the fact that it costs so little makes it all the more rewarding. Check out our staff picks for the best meals for $5 or less in Chicago.
Though spring is only two days old, this record-setting run of absolutely gorgeous weather feels more like the middle of summer here in Chicago—not that we're complaining. So even though we are still weeks away from the traditional date when restaurants lug out their outdoor furniture, we're already jockeying for prime outdoor tables around town.
As cookie-cutter and generic as Valentine's Day may seem, it's important to remember that romance is a deeply personal experience. So, it makes sense that what constitutes as a "romantic" restaurant depends entirely on the couple. Each of our contributors picked out the one place they'd most like to spend time with their significant other.