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Chicago Makes Its Mark on Nashville

Chefs and restaurateurs are expanding their Chicago brands southward to Nashville. Although Nashville is roughly 450 miles South of Chicago, the two cities have never felt closer thanks to a recent uptick in restaurant expansions and chef movement. The draw for Chicago restaurants and bars to branch out to Nashville, essentially the closest Southern city […]

The post Chicago Makes Its Mark on Nashville appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Aug 29, 2017 04:25 AM
Weekly Planner: Happy Hour at Broken Shaker

Happy Hour at Broken Shaker New happy hours are a dime a dozen these days in Chicago, but the version taking place at the Broken Shaker may be the coolest (and most irreverent) yet. It’s called the “Happy Hipster,” and it’s a playful, nostalgia-inspired combo that features a secret recipe burger with fries and a domestic beer […]

The post Weekly Planner: Happy Hour at Broken Shaker appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Aug 28, 2017 12:18 AM
The Polenta Bar Brings a Taste of Northern Italy to the West Loop

In recent years, fast-casual dining has manifested in many different ways, in part triggered like a Domino effect by companies following the Chipotle model of customized food, quick service and quality ingredients. From noodles and salads, to Middle Eastern food and poké, Chicago’s fast-casual scene has a lot to choose from, but none are quite […]

The post The Polenta Bar Brings a Taste of Northern Italy to the West Loop appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Aug 23, 2017 06:06 PM

Mercadito Meets Deli With Mercadito Counter Restaurant

Mercadito Hospitality loves to keep people guessing. The avante garde restaurant group does a masterful job of reinventing itself with each new concept, from the taco-centric Mercadito to the tapas-based Tavernita, and eclectic offerings at Little Market Brasserie. Mercadito Hospitality is basically the Madonna of restaurant groups, re-emerging in a bold new way with each opening. Now with their newest endeavor due later this fall, the restaurant group offers its most casual dining destination to date. Mercadito Counter is also their most surprising iteration, a Mexican deli concept inspired by the Sandoval brothers' street food memories in Acapulco and corner store deli counters of yore.


Mexican hot dogs
(Mexican hot dogs, the one instance where ketchup isn't decried as heresy)


When Mercadito's casual sister spot opens this fall at 738 N. Clark St., it will feature a mix of Mercadito favorites and a slew of deli-inspired innovations, all in a fast-casual format unique to the Mercadito Hospitality formula of dining destinations in Chicago. Guests can get their fill of Mercadito's cultishly adored tacos, as well as nachos, quesadillas, and enchiladas. But it's the American deli-style fixtures that really stand out, as this is where Mercadito Counter exhibits its creativity. A deli menu offers to-go selections of guacamoles, salsas, Mexican cheeses, meats, tortillas, and prepared foods, while the food menu features the Mercadito burger topped with jalapeño butter and Manchego cheese, chipotle onion rings, gordita sliders, and a variety of hot dogs, including the bacon-wrapped Mexican dog laden with pico de gallo, jalapeño relish, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, and crispy bacon, and the deep-fried Mole-Q dog ensconced in mole barbecue sauce, green tomato-jalapeño slaw, a trio of mustards, and crispy onion strings. Mercadito Counter will also serve breakfast all day, with options such as huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, and chilaquiles.


Agua fresca
(Quench your agua fresca cravings at Mercadito Counter this fall)


For the Sandoval brothers, Mercadito Counter represents the merging of two distinct styles of comfort food, both with casual streetside origins. Considering Chicago's Mexican population, the idea for a place that melded the two genres was the perfect segue into the casual dining sphere.

Neighborhoods: River NorthRiver NorthRush & DivisionRiver North

NYC restaurant known for killer tacos and a casual, yet upscale setting moves into the old Sugar/La Pomme Rouge space. This is the third outpost, but it takes the trend...

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Chef Ryan Poli helms the second project from the team from Mercadito, featuring a diverse mix of European-inspired dishes with Mediterranean and Latin flavors designed for sharing and a raw...

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The team behind Mercadito expand their burgeoning Chicago empire in the Gold Coast with this seafood-themed addition to the mod Mexican brand.

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The Mercadito team (Little Market Brasserie, Mercadito, Tavernita) makes its entry into the fast-casual dining scene with a Mexican deli concept in River North. Mercadito Counter, set to open fall...

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