Hi I'm Natty (@nattyspantry), Food Blogger, Food Influencer, Food Stylist, and Food Photographer. Please be sure to follow along to see my favorite spots around the city of Chicago and the suburbs. The Windy City food scene has such a variety of food to offer due to its diversity of people and cultures. Chicago is one of the top cities in the country always offering up new, innovative restaurant concepts all year long.
1. COFFEE & DONUTS
Sawada Coffee
First stop - Let's start with the art Military Latte (green tea, espresso, cocoa powder and white chocolate). This is the signature drink of latte artist Hiroshi Sawada at @sawadacoffee. The donuts are from @doughnutvalt, The Doughnut Vault's Vanilla Glazed doughnut has earned the title of Best Doughnut in America according to @thekittchen.
2. THAI STREET FOOD
Immm Rice & Beyond
Have I mentioned I grew up in Thailand? So I love Thai street food - it's an everyday comfort food for me. Stop by @ImmmChicago to see what Thai cafeteria-style food is like. They feature Kao Rad Gaeng (Thai street food style, served on a bed of rice). They also feature authentic food from different parts of Thailand (North, South, East, and West ). It's great to enjoy all the different varieties of Thai food under one roof. Pictured: Crispy deep fried catfishes steak, stir-fried with red curry, and Thai herbs, topped with crispy Thai Basil leaves.
3. POKE
Shiawase
I would eat Poke bowls everyday. It is so healthy, light, and has a lot of protein and fiber. You might be familiar with Poke Bowl available all over the city, but I would challenge you to come try the #AwaseBowls at @ShiawaseChicago. This Awase Bowls are in between Poke/Ceviche infused with Thai herb dressing. It is a new, healthy way to experience the Poke bowl. The fun part is you can create your own bowl : first select your protein from Salmon, Tuna, Tofu (vegan friendly), then you pick your own side dish, which they have so many delicious and delightful options to choose from.
4. KOREAN MEATS POLISH
KIMSKI
Listen up, if you have never had Korean and Polish food combined together @KimSkiChicago is where the balance between Korean and Polish inspired flavors (by Chef Won Kim) collide. You need to come and check this place out. This Maria's Standard (House sausage, soju mustard, Kraut-chi, scallions, and soft roll) and Ko-Po Beef (House marinated bulgogi beef, sautéed shishito peppers and onions, gouchujang butter, and scallions all served on buns from Spoken Bird. Comes with side of fries).
5. HOME-STYLE FRENCH
Le Bouchon
@BouchonChicago is the first name that pops in my head when I am craving for French food and mussels. This place feels like a little Paris bistro right in the middle of the City of Chicago - It is all about French home-style cooking inspired by Chef Oliver Poilevey (@stellar_queneller). This is one of my favorite menu from them: Moules a la Provencal (Littette, basil, tomatoes, garlic, shallot).
6. TAPAS
Black Bull
@BlackBullChicago should satisfy any and all cravings for Spanish food: from the craving of meat & cheese with high quality Iberico, fresh seafood, delicious PAELLA, and a taste of Spanish wine & cocktails. Pictured here: these are sexy prawns with the robust flavors, served with Basil-Parsley Aioli fried garlic (created by @chefMCampos). Other suggestions from the menu: Vieiras Con Jamón Ibérico, Vieiras Con Jamón Ibérico, Shishito Peppers, Dátiles Con Tocino, Arroz Negro (Seafood paella), Zamburiñas (small scallops in Galician sauce), Sardinillas (Sardines in olive oil), and Bone - in Ribeye.
7. #GOAT GOAT TACOS
Birrieria Zaragoza
@Birrieriazaragoza is my favorite place to go for a goat taco. It is a small place with delicious authentic tacos, goat meat that falls right off the bone, homemade tortillas, and a hearty roasted Chile Arbol salsa de Molcajete.
8. MAGNIFICO-O-O-O
Bohemian House
Boho is always delivering the best brunch goals! This place earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand and Papadopoulos was named to Zagat's 30 under 30 list, and also has strong reviews. Pictured here (clockwise): White Goulash, Bavarian Pancake, Farmer's Cheese Doughnuts, Warm Cultured Barley, Smoked Trout Toast, and Grilled Boho Bacon.
9. BRUNCH BAR
Whiskey Thief
The City of Chicago never sleeps; it is a fun city that offers a lot of tasty brunch menus and mixologists for you all to try. @WhiskeyThiefChi is a cute and rustic brunch bar that is all about everything from savory to sweet and definitely legit cocktails. From the picture, Hanging Acrobat : Whiskey Thief uses Vanilla richly flavored bourbon, honey, Apple Cardamom Shrub, fresh squeezed lemon, St. Elizabeth Allspice dream, Havana&Hide bitters and @1821bitters to make this fun and classy cocktail.
10. BAR BITES
BottleFork
The comfortable, dark and wood paneled space at @bottleFork is my great spot to hangout and enjoy bar bites. They have serious skills at crafting cocktails and craft beers. Suggestions from the menu: The ground Bacon Burger (the juiciest and most flavorful burger with some fat from the bacon along with shoestring potatoes, vermillion blue, house special sauce, and kennebec fries), and Pastrami Poutine.
11. SWEET TOOTH
SweetMandyBs
Attention please, if you have a sweet tooth I encourage you to come check this place out. @sweetmandybs (head chef @sherriesavorsthecity) is your one-first-stop-shop for some out standing cupcakes, citrusy lemon bars, raspberry bar (my favorite), snickerdoodle cookies, roasted banana cheesecake with an Oreo crust base and chocolate fudge layer, and banana nutella pop tarts.
12. FAMILY STYLE
Fat Rice
Unique concept of Macanese cuisine with significant influences from Southeast Asia and the big flavors. @eatfatrice where Portuguese-meets-Asian cuisine (southeast Asia). Recommendations for sharing: Arroz Gordo (fat rice) is the celebratory dish of Macau. Similar to Paella, Arroz Gordo is a bountiful, home-style, layered jasmine rice with sofrito Chinese sausage, salted duck and topped with Portuguese chicken thighs, char sui pork, linguiça sausage, fatty prawns, clams, tea eggs, croutons, assorted pickles and sauces. From the picture: Mince Hash: stir fried minced pork and beef, sunny side up egg and coconut rice.
13. VIEWS
LondonHouse
For the last stop in my takeover I would like to show you the pretty view of Chicago. At @lhchicago is the classical architecture of 360 North Michigan Avenue with the most spectacular Chicago River view, Magnificent Mile and Lake Michigan views. I am sure it is easy to imagine yourself with a nice cocktail glass in hand, some small bites and an amazing Chicago view. Thank you for letting me take you around the city of Chicago. Follow me @Nattyspantry for more hot spots for food, drinks, and dessert, including recipes from around the world.