And so, 42 bars/clubs/restaurants/music venues later, I am nearly done with my super awesome job. It’s sad, but also kind of a relief. That shit was exhausting.
But of course it was also amazing, and I went to some INCREDIBLE places. So it seems only fair that I share them with you, because you all have been kind enough to put up with my wild ramblings on cheese, beer, and bacon. (The combination of which is the Best Thing On Earth.)
So, for your enjoyment and feasting pleasure, here are my Top 5 favorite FOOD SPOTS in Chicago!
1. Public House [5/5 Awesomeness points]
I can tell you right now that this place is going to appear on all of my lists. This was the 4th place I went to on my 2-month reviewing adventure, and it continues to stick with me as one of the BEST spots in Chicago. I wrote an entire blog post about it already, and part of me is so glad I’m done with reviews because now I have more time to go here over and over again.
But the point is, the menu is absolutely exquisite. It’s one of those things that totally takes you by surprise. But whoever their chef is has a giant thumbs up in my book. From their 3 types of mussels, to their “Multiple Choice Mac & Cheese,” to their creative and mouthwatering Tiger Shrimp Burger, you legitimately can’t go wrong.
2. Sheffield’s [4/5 Awesomeness points]
If you like authentic Carolina and Texas BBQ, you will love this place. I’ve never been a huge barbecue fan, probably because I hadn’t really had good barbecue before going here. But HOLY CRAP it’s delicious. I might be slightly biased because I got to try their Carolina pulled pork and their Texas brisket for free. But seriously, it’s that good. The meat is smoked for 18 hours, so by the time it’s on your plate, it is falling off the bone and just begging to be eaten.
3. Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar [4.5/5 Awesomeness points]
This place totally blew my mind. I had no idea what to expect before going there. I had never heard of it; it kind of sounded like a ritzy wine bar, but it was in Humboldt Park, of all places. Which, now that I’ve been there, is part of the charm.
Small and completely unpretentious, Rootstock offers a very limited menu. However, every single item on that menu is prepared flawlessly and to perfection. Also, all of the food is local and organic, so the menu reflects what is available at that time. Eating there feels like being far far away from the big city, on some small farm or in an orchard. It’s relaxing, it’s comfortable, and the food is unbelievably delicious.
4. Piece [4/5 Awesomeness points]
This is kind of a “DUH” moment, because everyone knows Piece has delicious pizza. But after spending the last two months visiting various bars and restaurants, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that Piece is indeed one of the best places to eat in Chicago.
Piece does thin crust pizza in a deep dish town, and they do it very well. Choose from three sauces (red, plain, or white) and 25 toppings. Best combo: Mashed Potatoes and jalapenos on white pizza. Just look at it ↓ — Are you drooling yet?
5. Paddy Long’s [4/5 Awesomeness points]
How could I leave out the beer and bacon bar? I couldn’t possibly. However, I must be honest: if I had to choose someplace to eat a meal (lunch or dinner), I wouldn’t immediately think of Paddy Long’s. Oh yeah, the food is great. And the beer is great. But there are other places I would go.
The reason I have included it here, though, is the Originality Factor. Almost every item on the menu has bacon in it, or you can add bacon to it. And the incorporation of bacon into a variety of dishes (the 3-Bacon BBQ Burger, or Quesadillas with cracked pepper bacon in them) is really well done, and I’ve never seen that kind of thing anywhere else.
So Paddy Long’s gets a thumbs up in my book for being the only “Beer and Bacon Bar” I have ever heard of. If you have never been, you should definitely check it out. Bacon lover or no, it’s a really cool place and definitely worth a visit.
So there you have it, kids. My Chicago food spot recommendations. I hope you Chicagoans hit them up soon, and you out-of-towners keep them in mind next time you find yourself in the windy city.
Next time in Christina’s Bar Adventures: Best Beer Spots!