Thursday, August 1, 2013

Chicago food recommendations

 I have been working on this post in my mind since we returned from Chicago.  One of our favorite aspects of the city is deciding where to eat...there are so many great choices!  During our last visit, we ate some great food at a combination of new and tried and true places.

My top two new finds:

1.  Firecakes is a donut shop in the River North area of Chicago.  We stumbled on it after we enjoyed some great BBQ at a place just around the corner.  (See number two.)  I had a maple glazed pineapple and bacon cute little donut.  My husband tried the giant vanilla iced donut.  Both of us loved our choices.
 Plus, their shop was in this cute little building that I loved - very simple...just what you need for a little donut shop.  Everything was just so little and cute, except that giant vanilla donut that put my husband in sugar shock.

2.  Bub City was a spontaneous lunch selection that was so good, we went back again for lunch the next day!  We enjoyed great BBQ, some good beer, and loved the atmosphere.  We also learned that they were one of the sponsors and vendors at the Windy City Smokeout.  We tried desperately to buy a couple of the t-shirts because we loved the pig and guitar sign, but they wouldn't sell until the festival was over and we were leaving town. 

Plus, who doesn't love a place that parks a giant classic car out front with cattle horns on the hood?

Our tried and true favorites

1.  Quartino is always at the top of our list.  We may or may not order most of the menu when we visit.  The food is amazing - regional Italian, affordable wines.  We love so much of the menu!  I am also a big fan of the decor - vintage, old school everywhere.  They bring the food as it is ready and encourage sharing.  You also have to use the bathrooms here; they are super cool.  Eat outside if you can.  I love to eat outside in the city to people watch and to take in the traffic and the noise.  My husband is game, but only if the temperatures are right.  If it is too hot, he prefers an indoor seat.  Quartino's sidewalk seating and their new balcony are just right for dining outdoors.

2.  Flaco's Tacos now has three locations - Water Tower, Printers Row and Wrigleyville.  We ate at two of the three locations during this trip.  We love their wonderful food (always delicious) and their great prices.  Again, we may or may not have ordered everything on the menu at some point or another.  We love it all.

3.  Portillo's Hot Dogs is the place where we check one of our classic Chicago foods off of the list - the Chicago Dog.  This stop is usually a quick and inexpensive lunch.

During other visits, we definitely make sure we enjoy some deep dish pizza and an Italian beef sandwich.  We just didn't work these into our plan this time around.

When we visit the city, we do a lot of walking.  We take the train into the city from the airport and walk everywhere with a few exceptions when we think a cab may be safer or when we are near complete exhaustion.  All of the walking helps balance out all of the eating!

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