I love Chicago. Once known as the “hog butcher of the world,” this city has since moved on to become renowned for their thriving molecular gastronomy and yes, their delicious deep-dish pizzas. Every time I go back to this city, I enjoy trying new restaurants around the city. In this recent trip, I decided to hit up these five recent additions to the Chicago food scene.
Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.
- The Doughnut Vault: I have gone to Doughnut Vault before, but they were still every bit as satisfying as I last remembered it. Even with the rising infamy of the cronut, this particular establishment still remains in the forefront of the gourmet doughnut industry. Their pastries are light, fluffy with just enough glaze without being cloyingly sweet. Such a sweet space with a speakeasy vibe. A definite must-visit in the Merchandise Mart! | 401 1/2 N Franklin St. Chicago, IL 60654 | Tuesday-Friday 8:00am until sold out & Saturday-Sunday 9:30am until sold out
- The Publican: This West Loop restaurant is another masterpiece from the genius behind Avec and Blackbird. This establishment is Chef Paul Kahan’s take on a Belgian beer hall. The room is sparse with communal tables and dozens of globe lamps hanging from the ceiling. The bar is lined with fresh seafood and the walls with painterly images of boars and swine, which represent the menu to a point since this restaurant is primarily pork and fish-centric. Cool, casual vibe meets great food. That’s my kind of restaurant! | 837 West Fulton Market Chicago, IL 60607 | 312-733-9555
- Glazed and Infused: Kitty-corner from The Publican, this was an unexpected but welcome pit-stop to our day! While The Doughnut Vault serves classic iconic doughnuts, this is distinctly different in its re-invention of the American doughnut into the cool new pastry. Try the Maple-Bacon Long John or the Passion-Fruit Pistachio! The space feels like a retro, hip diner from the Coke-cases to the chalkboard with whimsical illustrations. A must-try for the boutique, doughnut lovers! | 813 W Fulton Market Chicago, IL 60607 | 312-226-5556
- DryHop Brewers: I am not typically a beer person- certainly not one who would go for a pint in the early afternoon. But on our way to find some coffee and tea, we passed by this very recent addition to the Chicago culinary scene. It’s no surprise then that this pub is co-owned by Michael Roper, the proprietor of another renowned Chicago-institution, Hopleaf. This is how beer should be served everywhere- no TVs, just good music, delicious craft beer with tasty finger food to accompany.
- Intelligentsia Coffee: This place has been in Chicago for awhile, but time made it no less relevant. This coffee and tea house roasts its beans in vintage German roasters daily. Their goal is to craft each coffee and tea varietal with care and artistry- careful not to mask and adulterate the beans in the process, which most coffee houses do. “We don’t want this just to be a caffeine delivery service.” As a result, the coffee has deep flavor and a penetrating effect. Delicious.
Chicago, restaurant review, weekend in review