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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 […]

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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

Keep Warm With Chicago's Best Soups

With the holidays in the past, it's time to focus on healthful choices while simultaneously seeking out warming comfort foods to combat the January temperatures. Fortunately, that’s what soup is for. With January also being National Soup Month, it's prime time to get your slurp on in Chicago. 

 

XOCO
XOCO

When it comes to that perfect bowl of soup, it's hard to top the almighty matzoh ball. At once enriching and comforting, this Jewish deli classic is perfected at Eleven City Diner. This modern, slick ode to Jewish diners of Americana yore does matzoh ball soup, swimming in aromatic chicken broth, better than pretty much anyone, especially considering the recipe has been handed down through the owner's family, and his mother has even been known to get in the kitchen and roll matzoh herself. 

OK, so creamy clam chowder may not be exactly healthy like other brothy soups, but it still qualifies for National Soup Month, regardless of how indulgent it is. Be sure and try the version at New England Seafood Company. The Roscoe Village fish market and eatery does classic New England seafood right, especially apparent in their masterful clam chowder. Other stellar soup options here include lobster bisque and cioppino. 

For those who resolved to keep things healthy, at least for the time being, Heartland Cafe has something that is equal parts hearty, comforting, and healthy: buffalo chili. The restaurant prides itself on responsibly sourced, healthier alternatives to gluttonous comfort foods, offering more nutritious renditions of things like chili, burgers, and chips. By eschewing beef for buffalo, the restaurant automatically reduces fat without sacrificing flavor. Each bowl of buffalo chili is positively brimming with beefy flavor, minus any of the innate, binge-y side effects that come with beef. There's also a bean-filled vegetarian chili for those who'd like to take it a step further.

The caldos at XOCO, Rick Bayless' casual homage to Mexican street food, are more like elaborate deconstructed meals than your standard bill of bowl fare. You can't go wrong with any of the bracing options here, especially the short rib-red chile version or the succulent carnitas with potato-masa dumplings. 

When it comes to soupy comfort food, there's a whole world beyond chicken noodle and split pea. Let's not forget that quintessential Asian warmer: pho. The preeminent noodle soup, pho can be found all over Chicago in various forms, studded with all sorts of meats, seasonings and garnishes. One of the most cultishly adored is that at Tank Noodle, the largest and most popular restaurant in Uptown's Vietnamese enclave. And for good reason. Bowls of pho here are colossal, awash with succulent noodles, anise-scented broth, crisp herbs, and any cut of beef imaginable. For those who'd like to take a more modern route, pho doesn't get any ritzier than the version at Le Colonial. The glistening Asian gem in the Gold Coast serves up a luscious version made with oxtail, beef tenderloin, and pungent herbs, in a setting that will make you feel like Anna in Siam.

Neighborhoods: LoopRogers ParkStreetervilleLakeviewUptownRiver North

Harkening back to old fashioned Jewish American delis of yesteryear, Eleven City Diner serves as a slick, wholesome homage to the past. This sprawling, shiny, and bustling diner in the...

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Rogers Park hippie institution has been serving "Good Wholesome Food for the Mind and Body!" for three decades.


As the name suggests, this casual market and eatery on the edge of Lakeview and Roscoe Village dabbles in all things East Coast seafood. Owned and operated by a family...

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One of the godfathers of pho in Chicago, Tank Noodle sits at the nexus of Uptown's Vietnamese dining district. The sprawling space is filled with large circular communal tables and...

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Rick Bayless is a celeb chef on primetime television, and a loved chef in Chi-town. Best known for his PBS Series Mexico: One Plate At A Time , Bayless also...

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