It is no secret that Chicago is known for it’s outstanding restaurant scene. Whether you’re in the mood for Greek, Korean, Italian, Ethiopian, Vegan, American, Japanese (to name just a few), the options are literally endless. No matter what your tastebuds are craving, Chicago has you covered. If you’re anything like The Mister Project and myself, and you love to eat copious amounts of delicious bites, then we have a very special treat for you. TMP and I are filling you in on our top favorite bites of Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. If you are new to the city or not in the know, the West Loop has some of the best places to belly up to a bar or table and indulge! Here are my top bites in one of my favorite areas of this fabulous city that I get to call home! Buon appetito!
Matzo Ball Soup – Au Cheval (800 W Randolph)
I LOVE matzo ball soup. But Au Cheval’s take on this bowl of ball and broth is unlike any matzo ball soup you’ve ever had. It’s a gigantic, dense ball surrounded by a dill, carrot and cippollini broth. It’s to die for, especially on a cold winter day. (P.S. Their root beer float is mind blowing. You’re welcome.)
Tuna Truffle Nigiri – Sushi Dokku (823 W Randolph)
One of my favorite bites in all of The West Loop is Sushi Dokku’s tuna truffle nigiri. I literally crave this piece of nigiri. The chef’s specially dress this explosion in the mouth with avocado, truffle oil and a wee bit pf Parmesan cheese. You don’t even know.
Shishito Peppers – Tete Charcuterie (1114 W Randolph)
Shishito peppers are a small obsession of mine. If they are on the menu, they’re going to be on my table. Tete has mastered the art of the most delectable shishito pepper dish I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Garlic and fermented black bean puree which is drizzled over the peppers make this one of my favorite appetizers I’ve ever had.
Coconut Painkiller – High Five Ramen (112 N Green St)
The Mister Project will cover the ramen, I’ll cover the drinks. But that’s just the thing about this tiny gem, there aren’t many drinks. However, the mini list of drinks they do have are easy and good! Especially the Coconut Painkiller. Holy F! I want to sit on a beach all day long and suck a couple of these down. Belly up to the counter, grab your ramen and liquid painkiller for the most excellent winter meal.
The Nutty Oak – Harvest Juice (1012 W Lake St)
I know this is more of a drink than a bite, but a smoothie can be the perfect lunch or dinner on the go. My go to and favorite smoothie at Harvest Juice is The Nutty Oak. It’s a white smoothie made with almond cashew milk, almond butter, banana, honey, oats, Sun Warrior (vegan) protein powder and cocoa nibs. Frigging perfection! P.S. They have avocado toast now!
Grilled Octopus – Vera (1023 W Lake St)
Oh my gaaaaaaawd. I do not even know where to begin with this little Spanish wine bar because it is my absolute favorite restaurant in the city of Chicago. We have been to Vera several times and never ever get sick of the food. It would be impossible to do so. The service, ambiance and staff are everything the word phenomenal stands for. Thank God the small plates are meant to be shared at this restaurant, because it would be too hard to order a couple items only. Oh and did I mention they have some seriously tasty wine on tap? Dreams do come true! It was very hard for me to pick my best bite here. Very. But, I know in my heart that their grilled octopus is my favorite dish and favorite octopus I have ever had. I crave it. Order it and just an FYI, you will order another plate of it, don’t worry. If you’re looking for a romantic and quaint spot to go with your lover for Valentine’s Day, this is the spot.
Brinkow Cheese Taco – Bar Takito (201 N Morgan St)
Tacos are my jam and Bar Takito has a taco that will make your nipples pop off. Their Brunkow Cheese Taco is delicious. Everyone loves cheese right? Well how much do you like the sound of the combination of cheese, avocado and aji peanut sauce and pickled jicama? Yup. Go tonight.
If you haven’t been to Avec and if you love bad ass food, go to Avec. There are so many amazing things about this tiny, Euro-esque hot spot. It’s one of the coolest communal dining experiences you will ever have. The chorizo stuffed medjool dates that hang out in a bacon and piquillo pepper-tomato sauce are absolutely drool worthy.
The Military – Sawada Coffee (112 N Green St)
If you’re looking to get a little cracked out on caffeine, clean your entire house and maybe run seven miles, then you need to go to Sawada Coffee and have The Military. This insanely gorgeous and delicious latte is made of Japanese matcha, espresso and milk/non dairy milk of your choice. It’s definitely one you want to enjoy in house. It’s the best coffee drink I have ever had. I am full on addicted to it.
Large Fries – McDonald’s on Lake Street (Corner of Lake and Ogden)
Once a year I will swing by this sick ass place of food and devour a gigantic large order of french fries. YOLOOOOO!!!!!
Maple Bacon Long John – Glazed and Infused (813 W Fulton Market)
I am the world’s biggest sucker when it comes to donuts. I blame my father. He used to bring them home every Sunday. These days it’s a different story. Now when he sees me eating a donut I get an eyebrow raise from him. It’s not like I’m huffing them down every Sunday still…although I want to. All of their donuts are insane, but their maple bacon long john does my head in. Those two ingredients ON a donut make me want to freak the F out anytime I am near one.
The Skinny Margarita – DeCero (816 W Ranolph)
DeCero is a great spot for really great Mexican food, you kind of can’t go wrong with anything you order here. When it comes to drinks, The Skinny Margarita is refreshing, delicious and strong. It’s a perfect way to get buzzed, guilt free!
Cinnamon Roll Pastries – La Colombe (955 W Randolph)
I love this place for many reasons. They make excellent coffee drinks, it’s a great place to meet and catch up with a friend and they have freshly baked cinnamon roll pastries. Of course hit up this spot for a caffeinated beverage on the go, but if you’re looking to be extra naughty, grab this flaky, buttery, savory gift from the heavens and enjoy! Holy s$&#, it is divine.
Eggplant Parmesan – Formento’s (925 W Randolph)
Formento’s is newer to the area, but has a bit of an old school feel to it, which I love! Their wine list is to die for and so delicious. Every time and anytime I go to Formento’s, I order one thing and one thing only – Eggplant Parmesan. It is hands down the best eggplant parm I have ever had. It is not soggy or mushy, it’s actually crispy and drenched in delicious marinara. Oh and did I mention it’s huge? It’s HUGE. A big glass of vino rosso and a plate of Formento’s eggplant parmesan is basically the best thing that could happen to me.
There you have it TSPeeps! Stay tuned for The Mister Project’s West Loop’s best bites!
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