From Humboldt Park’s recent surge of vintage shops to Wicker Park’s mind-blowing culinary scene and Grant Park’s 25 Years of Lollapalooza extravaganza this month, the lakefront metropolis of Chicago has never felt so dynamic. See everything we're loving about the Windy City right now.
With three cult-favorite Chicago restaurants under her belt—not to mention a James Beard Award—Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard knows a thing or two about the Windy Cindy's burgeoning food scene. And seeing as she's also an Illinois native, we thought it appropriate to ask for her go-to restaurants (in addition to her own: Girl and the Goat, Little Goat, and the newly opened Duck Duck Goat, of course). Scroll through below to see her picks.
1. El Milagro Tortillas
"This is the place to go for delicious authentic Mexican food in Chicago. They make fresh tortillas next door which you can pick up and take home. Or in the main restaurant, you can get an array of tacos and plates (the pork with salsa verde is my favorite), then wash it all down with some horchata."
Three locations in Chicago, visit el-milagro.com for more across the country.
2. BANG BANG PIE SHOP
"The sweet pies and the chicken pot pie are delicious. All of the sweet flavors have different style crusts and toppings. There are also other tasty non-pie things like eggs and greens for brunch, and biscuits that my husband swears by."
2051 North California Avenue, bangbangpie.com.
3. PIECE BREWERY & PIZZERIA
"My go-to pizza place. Sending out pizza pies on sheet trays is just genius, and the New Haven–style pie reminds me of my favorite spot in Connecticut where I grew up."
1927 West North Avenue, piecechicago.com.
4. LILLIE'S Q
"Lillie's Q is particularly special to me because it's where my husband and I met. They have the tastiest barbecue. I always get the fried pickles and practically drink the ranch dressing."
Two locations in Chicago, lilliesq.com.
5. KAI ZAN
"Their sushi is great. The restaurant has a small and personal feel with booths tucked away for little groups. Order one of everything: The menu has the perfect amount of creativity while still satisfying the purist sushi eater."
2557 West Chicago Avenue, eatatkaizan.com.