Eat Like a Local in Chicago

Eat Like a Local in Chicago

The Windy City might be known for its deep-dish pizza (and we have the best recommendation for it), but there is much more to explore with your taste buds. Here are a few of our favorite places for everything from breakfast to dessert. Hungry? Let’s dig in.

Meli Café
3 locations: Loop, Greektown, River North
Taking its name from the Greek word for honey, Meli Café is the place to go for a healthy brunch. Everything is made fresh with the best ingredients, including homemade marmalades, whipped butters and breads. The juices and smoothies are just as famous as the food, some blended with avocado. We recommend the egg white veggie scramble, with a side of chicken cherry sausage and the fat burner juice. It’ll power you up for a day of exploring in the city.

Nonnina Chicago
340 North Clark Street, Chicago
Not only is this Italian restaurant inspired by the owners’ nonnas, it’s from the same people who brought us the acclaimed Piccolo Sogno Restaurant. The modern take on traditional family recipes keep Chicagoans returning. Be sure to visit Ubaldo at the bar; he’ll suggest your next favorite wine. Some favorite dinners include the Meatballs alla Nonnina (meatballs of beef, veal and pork) and the Spaghetti Mare e Monti (squid ink spaghetti, shrimp, mushrooms, sofrito, Fresno Chilis and tomatoes). Buon appetito!

Pequod’s Pizza
2207 North Clybourn Avenue, Chicago
Here it is: The city’s best deep-dish pizza. The caramelized crust is incredible. Don’t just take our word for it—this pizza joint has been featured on food-focused shows like “Man vs. Food” and “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.” What’s new? The slick dine-in option with a side of technology. Order in advance and let them know when you’re 15 minutes away so they can put your pizza in the oven and set you up with a table. Easy as (pizza) pie.

Sweet Mandy B’s Old-Fashioned Desserts
1208 West Webster Avenue, Chicago
A meal isn’t over until dessert has been served, and there’s no better place in Chicago than Sweet Mandy B’s. The hardest part will be choosing just one tasty treat. The cupcake flavors range from vegan vanilla to decadent chocolate peanut butter, and that’s not even counting the array of cookies, pies and bars. Our choice: An iced sugar cookie. Seasonally-changing flavors will keep you coming back to raid this incredible cookie jar.