When I visit a new city, my natural instinct is to brunch. Hard. Chicago was no different – as you can see from my interactive Google map, there was no lack of brunching during my visit.
My first brunch in the Windy City was at Nookies, of which there are multiple locations. The food is pretty straightforward, with the exception of mango-coconut pancakes, which were a little too sweet, but I ate them anyways because mangoes and Indians will always go together no matter what.
My friend and I opted for a slightly fancier brunch at Nellcôte, a French spot on the Randolph restaurant corridor, which I would metaphorize as the Valencia Street of Chicago. The interior is beautiful, with high ceilings and lots of natural light (something I’m weirdly obsessed with), but the service was so incredulously slow that it made me forget the food completely. Unfortunate, because the dishes were not terrible,
While I believe that San Francisco does brunch better – it is our favorite sport, after all – when it comes to hearty, old school, food-coma inducing meals, Chicago wins. It might be a Midwest thing, but with regards to dinner, every place I ate at ended with an uncontrollable desire to nap profusely.
One of the most Chicago-esque dinner spots was Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab. It’s a place where the servers are dressed to the nines and the walls are adorned with gray scale photographs of local celebrities and sports legends that have dined there. Menu items included hot oysters Rockefeller and a Chilean sea bass that has been haunting me since that fateful night. The market prices are expensive, but well worth it if you have some to spend.
Of course, no Chicago trip is complete without some deep-dish pizza eaten the right way – picked up from Lou Malnati’s and devoured on someone’s rooftop with a glass of wine. You best find someone with a rooftop, because otherwise you’ll be waiting over an hour for your pizza.
I’m sharing some photos from the meals below – tomorrow will be a feature on arguably one of the best restaurants in Chicago!