WeedTravelFood's Top 10 Chicago Restaurants

Updated: Oct 21

As a native Chicagoan, I wanted to share my favorite restaurants from throughout the city. Please note this blog post was written in 2019, pre-COVID. Many restaurants in Chicago are struggling to adapt to the ever-changing guidelines to keep staff and patrons safe throughout the pandemic. Be sure to visit their websites linked below to see how they are doing. Visit our food forum to discuss more on this topic. This list is in no particular order - just a list of my absolute favorites! Here we go...


10) River Roast

Location: 315 N LaSalle Dr, Chicago, IL

This place has everything, a GREAT menu, awesome bars and private spaces. Plus a beautiful patio right on the river with a great view of Chicago's beautiful skyline.

Saturday and Sunday brunch is not to be missed as they no only have live Blues musicians playing, the brunch menu also has one of their best dishes... Fried Rabbit and Waffles which could be a meal all to itself!



9) Duck Duck Goat

Location: 1804 W. Division, Chicago, IL

I love places where you can feel confident ordering something you normally wouldn't because you know it will come out great. Duck Duck Goat is that type of place, every dish is incredible!!!

This place gets super crowded. Saturday and Sunday brunch is not to be missed as they no only have live Blues musicians playing, the brunch menu also has one of their best dishes...Fried Rabbit and Waffles which could be a meal all to itself!



8) The Purple Pig

Location: 444 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL, 60657

Don't let the name fool you, The Purple Pig has one the of the most diverse menus on the Magnificent Mile Strip. And everything is super delicious so every time I come by I usually order way more than I could possibly eat.

Pro Tip: They don't take reservations so to get the best seats in the house (chef's counter), come at 11am when they open and ask for them.



7) Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Location: 3361 N. Elston, Chicago, IL

Chicago has is flooded with fried chicken spots so a lot of thought went into this pick....Honey Butter Fried Chicken is amazing!!! If you don't come for the chicken, please try their cornbread with the delicious slab of honey butter they give you!

The menu is all chicken, but they perfectly use it in every way possible. The wings come drizzled with a delicious honey buffalo sauce and the house made pimento cheese used on their meats. The combination is simply divine!



6) Home of the Hoagy

Location: 1316 W. 111th St, Chicago, IL

It's doesn't get any more authentic Chicago than Home of the Hoagy. I grew up in the Morgan Park neighborhood and went to kindergarten and 1st grade at the school across the street. My mother would sometimes give me a dollar to get a bag of fries with "sauce" after school and I've been in love ever since!

This place is always super crowded but over the years they've made efforts to manage the crowds better. I'd still advise you to call ahead of time to save time, and because this is the only restaurant on our list with no eat-in area, the experience is the same.


5) Ema

Location: 74 W. Illinois, Chicago, IL

Ema has one of my favorite meals in the entire city. This place is great for a date night or time with friends. You could start with a delicious hummus and pita appetizer plate before you feast on their entrees.

You could then end the night with a platter with delicious skewers crusted with special chefs ingredients. It comes with a side of rice and exotic sauces for dipping. It's something that I truly love to eat!


4) Velvet Taco

Location: 1110 N. State St, Chicago, IL

Every food list should have a taco place and Chicago is flooded is great contenders (Antique Taco comes to mind). Velvet Taco is definition of the fine dining in a fast casual setting.

The tacos the fantastic and prove the any ingredient can be used to make truly outstanding combinations. Their rotating weekly taco special makes me pop my head in even when I'm not hungry just to see what they're up to.



3) Portillo's

Location: 1110 N. State St, Chicago, IL

Chicago’s #1 spot for a cheap munchie fix. Do you like beef? What about hot dogs? Not into meat? Well there's a TON of super yummy salads to customize. One of the most infamous would have to be the chopped salad which comes with romaine and iceberg lettuce mix, ditalini pasta, diced chicken, crispy bacon, tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, green onion, red cabbage and tossed with our famous, homemade House dressing. It's a mouthful!

For me, I don't think you can go wrong with a hot dog loaded with grilled onions and cheese. Don't forget the tamales on the side WITH onions and cheese. Finish it off with the Portillo's crinkly cut fry and you're got a classic Chicago meal.



2) LiteHouse Whole Food Grill

Location: 1660 E 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615

The gem of Hyde Park, LiteHouse Grill has something for everyone and an average meal will cost about $10. Share your meal and use the hashtag #BeTheLite.

Pair this platter with a sparkling grapefruit IZZE and you're in business! This has got to be one of my top "cheap eats" in the city and you should definitely check it out if you're in the area!


1) The Frontier

Location: 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL

When I'm feeling adventurous, I instantly think of Frontier. It's a "whole animal experience." The menu is filled with unique dishes that you'll rarely find around Chicago (camel meatballs, alligator ribs) and they're always SUPER amazing!

They also have whole animal service for large parties where Chef Jup will carve the entire animal table side... WOW!!!



Conclusion

And that concludes our list! If you're ever in Chicago, please be sure to check out some of this awesome food. If you have already visited any of these places, let us know in the comments below. Tell us what you loved and head over to our members forum to discuss more on all things related to weed, travel and food! BON APPETITE!


-Mike


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