For more than a century Chicago has flourished as a melting pot of dozens of cultures spanning the globe. As a result, The Windy City is home to thousands of restaurants specializing in a number of ethnic dishes. With so much to choose from, you’ll be sure to fine anything you desire in one of the city’s hidden hole-in-the-wall joints or fine dining venues.
When planning your next Chi-Town trip, follow these dining tips to having a successful culinary experience:
The Windy City might be known for its deep-dish pizza, which typically has a 7-centimetre crust that rises slightly above the rest of the pie, but the metropolis also boasts a slew of other Italian dining options. Spiaggia Restaurant is one of the city’s priciest Italian spot, but it’s well worth footing the bill. Specializing in northern Italian cuisine, some of the restaurant’s most delectable dishes are the charred octopus, domestic duck and cannelloni soup. Spiaggia Restaurant also has an adjacent cafe for those who want the same delicious ingredients but at a lower price. On the low end of the spectrum, there’s The Purple Pig Chicago, which serves up dishes such as goat-cheese-and-squash arancini and milk-braised pork shoulder for the average price of $7.
Like every big city, Chicago is teeming with affordable dining spots. Wicker Park’s Big Star serves up $3 al pastor tacos and $3 whiskey-shot specials. Another Wicker Park favorite is Sultan’s Market, a bring-your-own-beer Middle Eastern venue with Jordanian-style falafel, kefta kabobs and no shortage of lentil soup. Lincoln Square regulars love to pretend they’re in Philadelphia when eating at Monti’s Restaurant, a cheesesteak joint that uses Black Angus beef and offers $5 drink discounts every Friday. If you don’t mind eating beside a butcher, Publican Quality Meats houses a cafe inside its shop, featuring a revolving menu of lamb meatball, braised pork belly and chicken parmesan sandwiches.
Chicago is home to a slew of wine and craft beer bars that not only serve up the best drinks in town but also mouth-watering plates of bar snacks, appetizers and entrees. Billed as a “wine bar meets ale house,” The Bluebird Chicago offers a wide selection of natural beers and biodynamic wines, which do not use foreign materials. The popular neighborhood bistro also serves up new takes on traditional bar staples, such as French fries cooked with Belgian beer or white wine. If you’re a wine-only person, the Spanish-themed Vera Chicago features a list that’s 100-bottles deep, as well as having 15 different types of sherries, while Noble Square’s Ada St. offers vintage craft cocktails.