7 Things to Eat and Drink This Fall in Chicago

Now that we’re in the throes of fall, cravings have officially shifted from warm weather summer treats to autumnal flavors like cider and pumpkin. Coupled with new restaurants and bars set to open this season, here are the dishes and drinks we’re most looking forward to tasting this fall. 


Mezcaleria Las Flores
Large-format cocktails now on deck at Mezcaleria Las Flores

New bar menu at Acadia: This South Loop bastion has long served one of the best bar menus in town, so naturally we’re stoked to check out the new items hitting the casual menu at Acadia. This includes perfectly autumnal Brussels sprouts with duck confit, Pernod butter and lemon; a banh mi sandwich with “pho” hoisin glazed pork belly, cucumber, kewpie, cilantro and jalapeño; and Vermont cheddar-red onion cake with red pepper rouille. 

Fall macarons at Vanille: ’Tis the season for pumpkin-flavored everything. Some items tend to get a bit cloying though, which is why we prefer the delicate presentations of Vanille’s seasonal pumpkin macarons. With just a hint of heady spice and a silky flavor, they’re the perfect snack during the fall months. Vanilla also brought back their PB&J macarons, if you’re feeling nostalgic. 

Berkshire pork chop at The Florentine: There’s no better time of year to feast on pork chops. Especially if they’re glazed in cider. Such is so at The Florentine, where one of the newest menu additions is a succulent, lip-smacking plate of Berkshire pork with roasted Honey Crisp apples, charred Brussels sprouts and a Vander Mill hard cider reduction for good measure. 

Large-format cocktails at Mezcaleria Las Flores: There’s just something so appropriate about mezcal in the fall. The spirit’s inherent smokiness is a comforting elixir on brisk evenings. Especially when said mezcal is infused with tamarind, clove and chile pasilla and poured into enormous bowls to serve groups of four or five. The “Too Big To Fail” cocktail at Mezcaleria Las Flores marks the bar’s first large-format drink, served in a talavera pottery bowl that’s handmade and painted with floral patterns popular throughout Puebla, Mexico. Along with mezcal and spices, the drink features Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon, Oloroso sherry, and fresh lime. 

Supper club-inspired dishes at Tortoise Club: Following a recent branding re-focus that saw The Tortoise Club hone in on its jazz-era supper club roots, the food and drink programs are better than ever at this River North gem. Case in point, some new food dishes are buttermilk battered cod with jalapeño, corn and Gulf shrimp fritters, jicama slaw and remoulade. Then there’s the broiled walleye that arrives in lobster consomme with trumpet mushrooms and shaved squash. Or get meatier with Tortoise Club’s new Saturday prime rib, wherein a succulent steak is accompanied by rosemary-scented fries, horseradish cream, and rosemary jus. 

Meat & Potato Martini at Lawry’s The Prime Rib: Speaking of meaty and prime rib, the iconic Lawry’s The Prime Rib has ups the ante on its drink list with a Meat & Potato martini that serves as an apt homage to the Midwest’s notorious meat & potatoes history. A classic fixture on the menus here, fall feels like a better time than any to order a vodka cocktail adorned with two prime rib- and horseradish-stuffed olives. 

Breakfast chilaquiles at Antique Taco Chiquito: Of the myriad restaurants and menu items to pour over at the Loop’s stunning Revival Food Hall, one of the best is the breakfast chilaquiles courtesy of Antique Taco. This is the only place where the a.m. offering is available, of all Antique Taco’s outposts. Try the pork carnitas chilaquiles and start your day the best way possible. 

- Matt Kirouac