Chicagood eats and far from home

Currently serving as TOL ambassador to the UK, formerly ambassador to America of the South, spreading the gospel of do what you love everyday with my girlfriend, I took The Other Line from New Zealand and all over Chicago and rode the long line back across international borders. You can check out what I’m up to by hitting that ol’ follow button on instagram and checking out me and my girlfriend’s blog.

You can also enjoy a short list of my favorite spots in Chicago, below. If the good people I call my friends trust my judgment in giving a name and a couple words alone, then so can you.

So get down on the low down on the best spots in the Chi. Whether it’s a late night drunken snack, date night or a birthday celebration, TOL celebrates the good good and I sure enjoy good food so I got you covered on where to go. Starting from the absolute best and most expensive to less expensive but still rocking.  

Splurge. Absolutely Musts.

Boka – My number one recommendation in Chicago. With a Michelin Star, it’s the flagship restaurant of the Boka Restaurant Group. Get the beef tartare appetizer and duck entrée. You won’t be disappointed.

Smyth – The number two on my Chicago recommendations. Another stop with a Michelin Star offering three different tasting menus all focused on new American farm to table cuisine. The location of the best meal I’ve ever had.

Oriole – If you haven’t seen the trend yet, the number three on my Chicago list. Yet another Michelin Star, fine dining with tasting menu and unparalleled service and ambience.

Steakhouses. Wouldn’t be a list of solid dining without this input.

Bavette’s – My favorite steakhouse that has a French saloon feel.

Gibson’s – The classic and famous from The League TV show.

Swift & Sons – Newer entrant but very good. 

Duck Duck Goat.

Mid-Level Spending.

Asian and Asian Fusion Food.

Momotaro – Hands down the best Japanese restaurant in town.

Daebak – Newer Korean BBQ in Chinatown.

Passeroto – Korean/Italian fusion in Andersonville.

HaiSous – Fantastic modern Vietnamese restaurant. A real personal favorite of mine in the city. Also has an amazing and well-priced weekend brunch menu that is absolutely worth checking out.

Duck Duck Goat – Great Chinese fusion.

American and European Food.

Monteverde – Very much on trend right now and offers a variety of traditional and interesting takes on Italian food with a focus on pasta, ya know.  

Sal’s Trattoria – Cozy family style local Italian.  

S.K.Y. – New American/Asian fusion offering that is innovative but well priced and delicious.

Cafe Marie Jean – French restaurant with a small constantly updated menu supplemented by a several large chalkboards, which cover a large number of daily specials. 


You Need Somewhere Cheap and Delicious?

Under $30 a person and I even categorized them for you. Go ahead and put your lips together for a “cheers, Luke” because they’ll thank me later.

Your Fried Chicken Joints.

Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken – Need I say more?

Crisp – Korean style fried chicken.

The Budlong – Nashville spicy fried Chicken.

Parsons Chicken and Fish – Fantastic outdoor area and cheap drinks menu.

Your drunk, fast, food. 

Angela’s Burrito Style

Wiener Circle

Al’s Beef 

Beef Shack

The Best Burgers.

The famous Au Cheval – Pro Tip: go to one of the Small Chevals around the city for the same quality burger, smaller lines albeit a much more limited menu.

The best at The Loyalist – My personal favorite. Absolutely bursting with flavor from a more traditional style of burger on a poopy seed bun along with better fries.

Some Ramen.

Strings – Offers a variety of ramen and best known for its Tonkotsu pork broth, which is a great rendition of the Japanese favorite. Also offers a Hell ramen where you can select the level of spicy, some of which include Szechuan peppercorns. Word from the wise, this is no joke.

Ramen Takeya – Offers a slightly lighter take on ramen with broths focused on chicken stock or miso. My personal favorite is the Spicy Chicken Paitan. Also provides a great selection of appetizers and other non-ramen main courses.

Other Asian. 

Tank Noodle – Great traditional Vietnamese with a large menu and offerings of enormous bowls of pho.

Sun Wah – Chinese restaurant offering a large selection with a big focus on BBQ meats and Peking duck. Go with a group.

Cho Sun Ok – Cheap traditional Korean BBQ run by old ladies. Did I convince you to go?