My first time in Chicago was during the polar vortex of 2019 and well it was quite the welcome into the Windy City. Despite the weather mishap I did my best to see and eat the best foods the city has to offer although I think I barely scratched the surface of the Chicago food scene. Some of the highlights during this trip included the Art Institute of Chicago and it’s impressive collection, an unforgettable dinner at Alinea and eating deep dish at Pequod’s. Below are the rest of the places I enjoyed eating at during the weekend.
1.) Marisol- The restaurant is located inside of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago which, has awesome exhibits by the way. I ordered the onion, fennel, potato soup with a side of tea (they have many loose leaf teas for you to choose from) which was ideal for a cold day.
2.) Alinea- There are not enough words to describe Alinea except that it is worth the money and you will remember this dinner for the rest of your life. I am so happy that we were able to experience Chef Grant Achatz’s vision. I’ve admired him for a long time and Alinea is just proof of his ingenuity. Below are some of the highlight dishes.
3.) Portillo’s- This may be a chain but I genuinely enjoyed these Chicago hot dogs. I love the sesame buns and the fact that it is loaded with relish, peppers, and pickles. I prefer these hot dogs to the NYC ones easily.
4.) Au Cheval- We had to wait 45 minutes to get a seat here but I had heard horror stories of a 2 hour wait for this burger. It was a delicious burger but I’m glad the wait was not insane but I honestly don’t think it’s worth 2-3 hour wait. Very juicy and tender burger patty- definitely get the egg!
5.) Pequod’s- This was delicious Chicago deep dish. We got a small for 2 people and even that felt like too much. Ultimately Chicago deep dish…is absolutely more a cheese pie than a pizza. Sorry I said it but it’s true. However, that doesn’t make it any less delicious. Pequod’s had a great tangy tomato sauce that cuts through the heaviness of the cheese which you’ll appreciate a lot when you’re on your second slice.
6.) Publican Quality Meats- We went here for brunch and enjoyed the selection of meat dishes that the shop had to offer. Below is the chicken parmesan sandwich I ordered which, was so good! It actually had a bit of heat to it which I loved!
7.) Doughnut Vault- The doughnut vault is a literal hole in the wall that opens in the morning and closes when the last donut is sold so try to get there on the earlier side. We were able to snag some of their famous buttermilk old fashioned donuts in the afternoon and they were scrumptious. I loved that they were soft and that you can actually taste the buttermilk!
It was a wonderful trip to Chicago and I’m happy that I got to check out some of the essential Chicago eateries! On my next trip to the Windy City I'd love to explore the surrounding neighborhoods and get a taste of the real Midwestern foods that I know Chicago has to offer. Until next time!