I don’t remember how I stumbled here in the west loop. One thing I know is that this place has the number 1 burger in Chicago. It is so good that the wait time can be as long as 6 hours. Yes, you heard right 6 long hours and no reservations too. And if I’m not mistaken, Au Cheval is honored as one of the best burgers in the world. The burger arrives in a wide white plate with a pierced knife running through the buttery bun, sauce, cheese, and patty. That it! Simple and tastes freaking amazing. Oh, and don’t forget to order fries too. That too is on a different level. It comes in a stainless steel cup with garlic aioli on the side. And if you not a burger fan, the menu has some delicious and interesting choices like bone marrow and spicy chicken wings.
Little Goat Diner
A few footsteps west of Au Cheval on the same block, this diner looks like one from a 60s-theme movie. Menu choices also complement the look and feel. From pot pies to old fashioned milkshakes. If you are looking for a homey food experience, this is the place. Make sure you make reservations here because I have never seen this place empty especially during the weekends. The atmosphere is laid back with a warm ambiance and friendly service. you’ll spend hours here without noticing.
Hunting for a good fried chicken or chicken sandwich? I got you covered. Tucked in the same building as Soho House, Chicken Shop is by far my go-to for any fried chicken cravings. Also, I love their seasonal milkshakes and desert. Service is a great and good spot for casual dates too. Get either the buttermilk chicken and waffle or the dirty chicken sandwich. They’re my go-to for sure!
This is not your ordinary Italian restaurant. Soccer jerseys are hung everywhere and old movies playing on screens around you. The dishes are meant for sharing more like tapas. That’s the first thing they’ll tell you. That's very Italian in fact! Everything on the menu is very delicious and unpretentious. My top three choices are the Osso Bucco, roasted chicken, and the Quattro Formaggio pizza. This might sound crazy but my favorite time to go there is on the weekend at its busiest. It feels like a big family there. Every inch is occupied and the servers dodging each other to deliver food.
Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken
When exploring the city and need a quick sweet snack, skip Garret's popcorn for some sweet fluffy donuts. Do-Rite has a wide assortment from old fashion variates to red velvet cake donuts. And if you feel a little bit more hungry, you can be adventurous and try the glazed fried chicken donut sandwich. What I usually do is get a half dozen box, blanket, and head to Grand park with friends and family.
If you want to dazzle someone or enjoy alone time and soak some sun time during summer while reading a book, this is the best spot. Right next to Michigan avenue and immediately when you walk in through the wooden doors, you’ll be greeted by the aroma of the bakery. Pierrot Gourmet takes you to that place where you feel comfortable and cozy you just don’t want to leave. The dishes are hearty but don't be fooled it is so sophisticated. You can taste the complexity of flavors in the humble onion soup. A must during fall and winter in Chicago. Seriously! The whole menu is amazing. Oh, while waiting for your food, make sure you check the dessert stand. You might want to get a box of macaroons or pastries before leaving.
Korean chicken wings are getting lots of attention lately. Crisp is taking north Chicago by a storm. The wings are ginormous. As big as an adult palm. I still question if they're chicken wings. Boy, are they good! Pick the soul sassy (sweet soy glaze). One thing that sucks, is this restaurant is so tiny. People are waiting for people waiting. Go there during the day on a weekday or late at night. Just forget the weekends unless you have nothing else to do or dying for some wings.