Farm lover’s tour of Chicago restaurants

Blackbird RusticKitchen After a heartwarming response to my food tour of southwest Michigan, I thought it would be fun to collect my favorite food places in Chicago.

A lot of these good people are featured in Farmers’ Markets of the Heartland, or are simple great places to eat – it’s the list I share when visitors are looking for recommendations. These spots will get you off Michigan Avenue and rubbing elbows with the locals.

For more eating ideas, check out Choose Chicago, Time Out Chicago, Chicago magazine and Local Beet (and visit their beer area).

Enjoy, and please add to my list!

My neighborhood, Chicago’s West Loop

Little Goat RusticKitchen Grange Hall Burger Bar for grassfed burgers, deep dish pie, Midwest brews and milkshakes scooped by Alana.  It’s our steady Friday night date.

La Sirena Clandestina, for John Manion’s South American cooking, complete with empanadas and alfajores for dessert.

Vera, for Spanish-inspired food and great wine (and sherry) curated by Liz.

Little Goat, for Stephanie Izard’s take on the classic diner, just kitty corner from her famed Girl and the Goat, where you’ll need to make those reservations way in advance.

Publican Quality Meats, where Paul Kahan is bringing back the butcher.

La Colombe, for house-roasted coffee using milk from the famous Kilgus Farmstead Dairy in Fairbury, Illinois.

More chefs spotted at the farmers’ markets

Further afield, go to North Pond, Brindille, Naha, or Blackbird for a celebrations and other occasions. Take the Metra train to Western Springs for a great evening at Vie.

Pleasant House pie RusticKitchen For a more casual experience, Lula Café, for their farm dinner on Monday nights, Pleasant House for their “royal pies,” individual deep dish savory deliciousness, Hopleaf for mussels and a portfolio of beers, Province for approachable-sized burgers at the bar.  Make sure Fountainhead and The Bristol are on your list. Coalfire or Spacca Napoli for pizza!

If you’ll find yourself at the Art Insitute (a must for any visitor), go to the top of the modern wing to Terzo Piano, open during museum hours, so plan lunch or an early dinner on Thursday.

And for the sweet tooth…

I plan a post about pastries and other delectables, but in the meantime you can’t go wrong with Floriole, Hoosier Mama Pie Company, Bittersweet and Lizzie’s Bake Shoppe.

Hop on the doughnut bandwagon by visiting the Doughnut VaultGlazed and Infused, Do-Rite Donuts or Firecakes.

No one goes home hungry.

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  1. I’m heading to Chicago next week and hoping to make it to Little Goat. I’ll take note of your other suggestions, too. Visiting from Sharefest.

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