I love to eat, especially when it's good food. Chicago does good food. Whether it's pizza, burgers, pasta, or ice cream; Chicago has yet to fail me. Sure there are the restaurants that I would never go to or return to because of food or service. But Chicago has definitely impressed me with a few good places that definitely made my time there memorable. So here's a small list of my must stop by places for food:
1. Medici in Hyde Park
Some of the best ice cream I've had. Delicious flavors with a smooth and creamy texture. My favorite is definitely Pirate's Booty. The milkshakes are also delicious, not icy or too watery. I would try the Mexicana for a little different spin on a chocolate milkshake. And for coffee the Chocafe is the best on the menu, if you like chocolate that is. It is definitely my favorite thing on the menu. All in all, a fantastic place to stop for goodies on a hot or cold day. They have outdoor and indoor seating and they also bake right on location so the goodies are fresh and fantastic. It can be a bit pricey, but a worthy splurge.
2. Navy Pier
The Navy Pier is a fantastic place to take the whole family, friends, or date. It has rides, a museum, arcade, boats, theatres, and restaurants. It is fantastic in the summer and certain nights have firework displays. It's the perfect place to stop and people watch and it has carnival food! When you go to the Navy Pier you must get Elephant Ears. Now I had no idea what these where before visiting Chicago, but now I like them almost as much as funnel cake. They are made out of the same ingredients as funnel cake, but doughier and in the shape of elephant ears. I would suggest getting one with powdered sugar and vanilla ice cream. Perfect sweet but sticky summer treat. Definitely have water with you because it is very very sweet.
This pub/restaurant is located in downtown Chicago, easily accessible through all modes of transportation. It is in an ideal location, especially if you want to catch a show afterwards (as I did one night) or walk around the downtown area. It is a fantastic place with great food. I had the best bacon cheese burger (The Old Hickory Burger) I've ever had there and the deep dish is great too. That's me at the restaurant. Don't worry folks, the bill wasn't that bad. Also, see that delicious deep-dish? Makes me want to hop on a plane right now!
The staff are friendly, though some familys may be a little put out by the scantily clad female bartenders (this may have changed from last summer). The food and service is great and I had some of my best food in Chicago here, so I would suggest a visit. It can get crowded during peak hours so I would suggest calling ahead for a reservation or to show up in smaller groups.
2. Medici in Hyde Park
Did I mention that I really liked this place?? I even (on a whim) order a grilled cheese (with bacon) sandwich and fries and was impressed. I have never eaten inside the actual restaurant as I spent most of my time on the bakery side, but you can make take out requests on the bakery side. I love this; especially because I could go pick up my food and order a coffee while I was at it.
This place is perfect for Sunday brunch. I came here after a church service (Baptist so you know we were in there til about 2) and had some fantastic southern inspired soul food. The food is good so you know you'll have to wait for a table. A group of five of us had to wait about 25 minutes for a table, so ladies I would suggest wearing flats if you can't hold up in heels for that long. Also come with an empty stomach, because the amount of food they give you for the price is sure to fill you up.
This is an example of a meal at Dixie Kitchen. My friend ordered this, the catfish fillet platter as well as a Shrimp Po'Boy because he wasn't sure it would be enough for him. He has a healthy appetite and a bottomless pit for a stomach, but even he could barely finish either plate. Both are great suggestions and any side works well because they are all good. Good southern eating.
The best chicken parmesan I've ever had. I've heard the pizza is good, but I've never tried it myself. If you are looking for good pasta/ Italian, go here. It's a really cute and cozy restaurant where you can also order out or have food delivered. The staff are very friendly and the prices are good. Great Italian in Hyde Park.
AN: If you haven't noticed, much of my food experience is centered around Hyde Park. Unfortunately I didn't experience food (or food I really enjoyed) in more areas of the city. I do, however, plan to remedy this when I make another trip back there, hopefully soonish. So when that happens, I'll update and add to this list. But this is just a sampling of a few places to look for.