Geography tends to have an outsized impact on the makeup and nature of a city. Chicago is no exception. Situated at the doorway to the Great Lakes and the great plains of the Midwest, Chicago is the bridge between the busy shipping corridors of the eastern seaboard and the vast hinterland of America’s breadbasket.
That unique advantage of nature has translated into some discernible traits for Chicago's dining scene. Having ready access to the western farms and pastures almost guaranteed that Chicago would become a world-class dining city. Here are a few standout examples of good restaurants in Chicago.
Green Street Local
The West Loop eatery prides itself on having a neighborhood focus, and they went as far as putting the word ‘local’ into their name, so you know they’re serious about representing the best Chicago has to offer. Enjoy recipes inspired by comfort food classics like the Chicken & Doughnut or just go there to hang out over drinks while the Blackhawks play.
The Bucktown eatery with a farm-to-table mindset has been providing unbelievable brunch fare since launching in 2008, capturing national accolades and many die-hard fans in Chicago along the way. The menu is stacked with ingredients from local purveyors and changes with the seasons. The comfortable atmosphere in the rustic dining room is packed most hours of the day, not just for the brunch crowd.
AceBounce’s director of culinary operations, James Beard-awarded Chef Rick Gresh, signed on to launch the flagship North American location of the London-based Bounce Ping Pong concept in spring of 2016 and brought his devotion to locally sourced, sustainable and ethical recipes along with him. And while Gresh’s culinary notices might make him look like a serious chef’s chef, his punk rock persona jives well with a venue that’s constantly thumping with crowds partying and playing ping pong. Gresh’s conscientious menu full of shareable, playful dishes meshes extremely well with the feel-good music playing over the immense ping pong hall in the basement of this Loop hangout. More than just a good restaurant in Chicago!