Home Food and Drink Celebrity Chefs 9 Can’t-miss Restaurants in Chicago, According to Top Chef Stephanie Izard

9 Can’t-miss Restaurants in Chicago, According to Top Chef Stephanie Izard

Stephanie Izard barrel up the Chicago eating scene in 2010 with the nose-to-tail menu at her debut building, woman & the Goat, and its follow-up, Duck Duck Goat. Here she shares tips for locating the simplest international fare within the town.

I affected here virtually 20 years agone, and at the time restaurants were divvied up into 2 classes. There was super-fine eating — Charlie Trotter’s, Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill (entrées $20–$36), Paul Kahan’s Blackbird (entrées $33–$42) — and so there have been the Chicago staples: hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches and deep-dish pizzas. It’s a stereotype, however solely 20 years agone that was just about everyday feeding.

Charlie Trotter was the primary one who got the remainder of the globe to acknowledge Chicago for fine eating. Since then, Grant Achatz has carried that torch, and world-renowned places like his building Alinea (tasting menus from $190) have drawn attention to town generally. currently individuals visit Chicago simply to eat, and restaurants became an enormous a part of the city’s culture.

When we were preparing to open Girl & the Goat (entrées $13–$26), some individuals appeared a touch nervous that diners wouldn’t wish to eat duck tongues and pig faces. and that i thought, Well, they style smart, thus why not? currently diners area unit loads additional swaggering, and then several chefs area unit golf stroke attention-grabbing things on menus. Chicagoans cringe once outsiders suppose this town is merely regarding deep-dish dish and hot dogs.

To me, one in every of the good things regarding Chicago has perpetually been the international food. This town includes a long history of immigration, and there area unit pockets wherever completely different teams have settled and opened superb restaurants. we’ve a Koreatown and a Chinatown, and every one the good Indian restaurants area unit on Devon Avenue. very little Village is one in every of the simplest areas for tacos, and my absolute favorite spot there’s Taqueria El Milagro (entrées below $10). each the cut of meat and lengua tacos area unit superb.

I spent a lot of time in Chinatown before opening Duck Duck Goat (entrées $13–$22). In that neighborhood, Sze Chuan Cuisine (entrées $6–$30) is awesome — especially the mapo tofu. And Ghareeb Nawaz Restaurant (entrées $4–$7) has Pakistani-Indian food that always hits the spot. I love the chile-chicken biryani, and I’m always inspired by all of the different kinds of parathas.

It accustomed be that once you visited one in every of those restaurants, the patrons would simply be individuals from that background. once I was a line cook, we’d move to this nice Korean place, San Soo Gab San (entrées $10–$35), and that we would have to be compelled to bring somebody WHO might communicate with the servers. currently it’s full of individuals from everywhere.

I think what sets Chicago apart is its small-city charm, that carries over into our restaurants. Yes, there’s smart food in the big apple and city, too, however once you check out the cordial reception aspect of things, Chicago beats everybody. It’s a town filled with friendly individuals, and from the instant you walk into a building, there’s a real heat that you just don’t perpetually see in alternative places.


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