A fabulous wine bar and restaurant by Executive Chef Paul Kahan, designed to look like the inside of a wine cellar! We love the community-centered atmosphere and the ridiculously-good medjool dates. No reservations, but don't worry--there are lots of places nearby to grab a cocktail while you wait. Located in the West Loop.
The Bento Box
This cozy "hole in the wall" restaurant seats 16 people and has a delicious Asian-inspired menu with traditional bento boxes. We keep going back for the tempura scallops and the Korean beef bulgogi. Great for take-out, too! BYOB. Located in Bucktown.
Amazing tacos starting at $3! Big Star has a great atmosphere, especially in the summer, with lots of outdoor seating and a fun wrap-around bar inside. Cheap beer, great food, and a solid hipster scene make this restaurant one of the most popular hang-outs around. There may be a long wait, so go early or get take-out! Located in Wicker Park.
Our favorite casual brunch place, hands down. They have the friendliest staff and the greatest veggie frittata! Try their burgers on Friday nights too, and don't leave without trying some of their great pickled vegetables. This is a great place to bring your parents. :) BYOB. Located in Bucktown.
Holds a special place in our hearts--the restaurant we went to right after we got engaged. Very comforting, traditional French food in a cozy atmosphere. I could go back here every week and order the roasted chicken with string fries. Located in Lincoln Square.
I can never get enough of this place! Amazing cocktails, great snacks, and fabulous dinner plates. We would be happy just going here for appetizers, but somehow we can never stop there. Definitely try their monkey bread or duck fat fries. Fun modern atmosphere with open-air seating in the summer. Located in Bucktown.
DMK Burger Bar
We love DMK for their well-proportioned burgers and awesome milkshakes. They also bring it home with a good beer selection and awesome sweet potato fries. Two locations: Lakeview and Lombard.
Always great food and great service, without fail. Emilio makes amazing food and really knows how to make his guests feel welcome and full! We have a special connection to the Hillside location, so if you're a city dweller you'll have to drive out to this one (we think it's well worth the trip). Two locations: Hillside and Streeterville.
Girl and the Goat
Amazing restaurant by Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard. We were completely blown away by our most recent meal here and were really intrigued by her creative combinations in the kitchen! Make sure to get a reservation at least a month ahead if you want to go on a Friday or Saturday. Located in the West Loop.
Pastry chef Mindy Segal won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2012, if that says anything! Beyond-amazing desserts (obviously), and great burgers and starters too. Don't be afraid to sit at the bar; we did and had excellent service! Laid-back atmosphere with a fun bar and a great community table. Located in Bucktown.
Revolution Brewing Company
Great craft beers and awesome pub food! Revolution is a really fun place to go with a group. We love their brunches too! Located in Logan Square.
Our favorite Thai food in the city! They're especially known for their Northern Thai dishes; we like their curries the best. Don't be fooled by the look of the outside, this place is awesome! BYOB. Located on Western Avenue in Albany Park.
We've only been to Takashi for their traditional ramen (served on Sundays), but they're ramen is to-die-for and completely authentic. Takashi has won two Michelin stars, so they're not kidding around! (For a more casual experience with traditional ramen, try Takashi's new sister restaurant, Slurping Turtle--we haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure it's delicious.) Located in Bucktown.
In our opinion, Vie is the best restaurant the Chicago suburbs has to offer. Chef Paul Virant serves amazing seasonal and local food in a very elegant atmosphere. We love it! Located in Western Springs.
Hands down the most focused coffee shop in the city. These guys are purists, and their coffee tastes amazing. If you're a triple-shot, extra-flavored syrup person, this might not be the place for you, although they might convert you if you let them.
Right around the corner from our apartment in Bucktown! We love the homey vibe and their tasty drinks and sandwiches. They roast and sell their own beans and also make a mean espresso!
Their shop is about as far north as you can get in the city of Chicago, but you'll find their beans here and there. They always source great coffees and roast in small batches. Pick some up when you have the chance!
Truly a unique interpretation of the coffee bar in Chicago. They don't roast their own beans, but they have a rotating selection of the best offerings from roasters around the country. They are exacting in their preparations and their brew tastes fantastic as a result.
Check back for our coffee coming soon!!!