The Loyalist seems to be the more introverted sibling of Smyth. It has a darker, moody, contemporary aesthetic with a cozy vibe.
I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Keon Dillon, Founder of Millennial Soul Food, which is a spiritual, life-coaching, tarot project based in Chicago but practiced all over the country. Keon is a dynamic and innovative Chicagoan who has thought deeply and comprehensively about food and our relationship to it for a very long time.
Ugo’s, an Italian neighborhood gem of Logan Square is set to close its doors to the public on Sunday, March 18th after being open for 2.5 years. Ugo’s is located on 2833 W. Armitage Avenue and is a cozy, casual Italian spot serving delicious, yet affordable Italian fare. It’s often overlooked by Osteria Langhe across the street. And while Osteria Langhe is quite delicious, it is also quite expensive so Ugo’s is more of the down to earth, neighborhood Italian spot where you don’t have to pay an extravagant amount of money to have a delicious meal.
La Boulangerie is a small, cozy and modern looking Parisian boulangerie with a wide assortment of traditional French pastries, breads, coffee, and tea. They also have some substantial lunch items like sandwiches and savory crepes. I am a big fan of savory crepes and and while they weren’t on the menu at this specific location they let us customize the crepe to our liking.
I love making this on busy weekends when I have a bit more time to cook than on a weekday but not quite enough time to make a frittata or something more elaborate. This is also great for a busy weeknight because all you really have to do is chop some vegetables, season them, and add in the eggs. It’s probably one of the fastest dishes I make. Depending on what I have, I love to mix up the vegetables, dill is quite inspirational for me as dill and eggs go together perfectly.
Proxi represents the best of fine, creative, and adventurous cuisine in Chicago. Their concept is eclectic twists on global street food served tapas style in an open, beautiful, and modern dining environment. I love how open this restaurant is without it feeling overwhelming and chain-like. High-ceilings, chic lighting, and a rustic decor create a refined, but not stuffy ambience. Over-sized leather booths and brass mirrors give it a funky, yet sophisticated feel. It was a special occasion so we were seated at the Chef’s Table with a lovely view of the chefs and all of the live action in the kitchen.
I had been wanting to try Imperial La Mian for quite awhile as I’ve seen it recommended in food blogs but was reticent as it’s located in River North and I don’t really enjoy River North vibes. I am willing to brave River North for delicious food though. Upon walking in you are greeted by the hosts and there are two separate areas, one is kind of separated from the rest of the restaurant with brighter lighting and families (didn’t want to sit there) and another area is more open, dimly lit, and by the bar (much better choice). It was a busy Saturday night and we had reservations so we were sat down almost immediately, which I appreciated.
I love Chinese food but unfortunately the more fast/convenient Chinese food places tend to be high in sodium without fresh vegetables. This recipe is also based off of my mom’s Chinese food recipes. What I love about this dish is that it is hearty, delicious, and affordable! I am all about the sauces and I love this garlic sauce!
Situated between The Game Room and the lobby at the Chicago Athletic Association, The Milk Room is an 8-seater, with spirits dating back to actual speakeasy times. Think of Milk Room as you would a tasting menu through time, and with cocktails curated for you. Milk Room, like many culinary experiences in Chicago is a ticketed event through Tock.
Mon Ami Gabi is a classic Parisian style Bistro, it is upscale, but not stuffy. You walk in and are taken by the charm and ambience of a bistro in Paris with their dark wood pillars and accents interspersed with little chalkboards that have seafood specials written in French. The tan/beige wall color with the darker wood and larger windows provided that cozy, French ambience. The lighting is dim making it a perfect space for an intimate friend dinner or romantic date.
This recipe emerged from necessity. I was 19, broke, a vegan, and in college. I needed something cheap, quick, healthy, and abundant. This recipe has become a staple of mine and I still eat it throughout the week many times. It has staying power. It’s easy to make and yields a lot of food. I usually like to make this on Sunday night in preparation for the week.
Katherine Anne Confections is a cute, small cafe in Logan Square that has a fabulous assortment of chocolate truffles, candies, hot chocolates, and surprisingly sandwiches. After being gifted a box of chocolate truffles from here, I can’t go back to eating truffles that can be found at Walgreens even though that makes me sound super bourgie. These truffles are fresh and heavenly. They have unique combinations like goat cheese walnut, which literally melt in your mouth.
Spice Room finally graced the Logan Square restaurant scene in the spring of 2016. It’s a small, quaint restaurant with club music, pretty decorations and lights, and a very attentive staff. The service is consistently friendly, quick, and on top of things. The older gentleman is always excellent with those water refills, which is necessary if you are sensitive to spice.
I love Thai food so much but I don’t live close to good Thai places. If I want to eat high quality, authentic Thai cuisine, I have to venture out to the Northeast part of the city, which I am happy to do in warmer temperatures, but in the winter, I just want to eat delicious Thai food in the comfort of my own home. The delivery options around here have been disappointing me with a watery, bland dish that they call Red Thai Curry. This is why I make my own Red Thai Curry – it is much more flavorful, cheaper, and healthier than ordering it out! I prefer a thicker Thai curry sauce and I think this recipe has given me the best results.
Bite is one of my favorite brunch and dinner spots. I love everything about the ambience here. It’s easygoing, unpretentious, and the servers aren’t too cool to give you decent service. I always enjoy the music as its eclectic and unpredictable, but at times very familiar. The other night they were playing my favorite Cursive songs that brought me back twelve years ago.
I came here with a group of friends on a Wednesday night and had high expectations. My high expectations were fulfilled! I love Thai food and can’t get enough of it. Unfortunately, there really isn’t great Thai food in the Wicker Park/Logan Square area so I am willing to travel far for it, but we really need some better options around here.
I have been coming here for years and absolutely love this place. It’s great for Wicker Park to have vegetarian options and I think they should have more. The ambience of Handlebar is no frills, but is a divey, rustic aesthetic. They also have a lovely patio in the back when it’s summer, which is super enjoyable. The service here is always good and fast too. I have had the same waiter here for years and he’s always on top of things.
If you want a cozy, intimate, yet exciting dining experience, Café Marie-Jeanne is a perfect option. I absolutely adored everything about this place. It has “traditional” French food but also innovative, contemporary dishes that are made in really unique ways. There was nothing I ate here that I didn’t love.
Located within the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, Margeaux Brasserie takes you back to classic Parisian cuisine with a 1920’s style decor. I have had the pleasure of dining here for dinner and brunch. When I first came here, I was here for my dear friend’s birthday celebration. It was the perfect place for two Francophiles. I absolutely adore French restaurants and Brasseries.
This is probably my favorite coffee shop in the Wicker Park area. The ambience is bright and modern, which is great for doing work. The baristas are very friendly and knowledgeable. They aren’t too cool to help you like a lot of other places around here. They also have beverages that are unique and you can’t find at other coffee shops. Fairgrounds has a great balance of tea, juices, and coffee drinks, that combine eclectic ingredients together to create a mixture of gorgeous flavors.
Jin Thai is one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Chicago. It is certainly up there for the best Thai food I have had in Chicago and it is a wonderful haven for vegetarians and pescatarians. Jin Thai has very unique Thai dishes that you do not see at most Thai restaurants. It has a quiet, cozy ambience that is relaxing and chill.
I really love Bad Hunter. I’ve been here a few times and the food has always been delicious. The ambience is gorgeous. I love the plant decor, the non-edison lightbulbs, and the clean, cozy feel to it. I also really enjoy the dried up framed plants hanging in the bathroom. It encompasses what I love when it comes to interior decorating.
As you know, this food blog is written from the perspective of a self-identified “vegetarian-pescatarian”. What is a vegetarian-pescatarian? Someone who eats fish and seafood, but no land meat like chicken, beef, pork, turkey, lamb, etc. Why would one willfully choose to eat like this? Well, let me tell you a little bit about my journey towards being a vegetarian-pescatarian…
Umami Burger is obviously a staple in Wicker Park for meat eaters. But now with their new “Impossible Burger” (their new vegetarian burger that tastes pretty much like a regular hamburger), it will be definitely frequented more by vegetarians. Prior to the debut of their “Impossible Burger”, I had never been to Umami Burger since I don’t eat meat. But I thought now is the time to try this place and I had only heard good things about it.