Yes, Chicago has cold winters. But sometimes(this weekend, for example) it’s really, really f*cking cold. The kind of below-freezing temperature that makes you question why anyone chooses to live here - starting with yourself. When it’s that cold outside, you need to eat something warm and delicious, like one of these five dishes.
Your order: Cassoulet
You might be saying to yourself, “This can’t be? Maude’s closed last fall.” Yes, this is true, but to quote Miracle Max from The Princess Bride: Maude’s is only mostly dead. This French restaurant has popped up as a delivery and takeout restaurant operating out of Trivoli Tavern in the West Loop, with a limited menu. And they’re still serving their signature cassoulet. The delicious casserole filled with pork belly, sausage, duck confit, and beans is an absolutely perfect winter dish.
Your order: Shrimp and Grits
Southern Twang is a new delivery-only spot in Humboldt Park, and as the name suggests, they focus on Southern food. Our favorite dish here is the shrimp and cheese grits, which is the most filling rendition of this dish we’ve ever had. The shrimp are coated in a garlic breading and the cheesy grits are thick with cheddar. Thrown into the mix are spicy andouille chicken sausage and caramelized peppers and onions. It’s like the food equivalent of a snowsuit.
Your order: Tonkatsu Kare
This is another carryout and delivery-only spot (Are you seeing a pattern?) specializing in Japanese curry. Our favorite thing to order at Bokuchan is the tonkatsu kare - the cutlet is crispy and juicy, and the rich curry is lightly sweetened with apple, so it perfectly complements the pork. Basically, we’re pretty sure this dish can single-handedly get us through the rest of winter.
Your order: Oxtail Stew
Garifuna Flava accomplishes two things. One, this Belizean restaurant makes us think of the Carribean, which, thanks to the power of association, automatically makes us feel a little warmer. Two, the oxtail stew is so comforting we won’t even be concerned we just saw a Polar Bear wandering by CVS on the news. Pair the slow-cooked meat with an order of sweet plantains and rice and beans, and you’ll be able to endure at least two more days of this cold-ass ridiculousness.
Your order: Vegetarian Noodle Soup
A good noodle soup is wonderful regardless of the weather. But there’s something satisfying about pairing sub-zero temperatures with a bowl of noodles and broth - especially the vegetarian noodle soup from Lao Peng You. It has chewy handmade noodles, carrot, watercress, and enoki mushrooms in a spicy chili and vinegar soup. The broth is also perfect for dunking their crispy xian bing, so you should probably get an order of that, too.