Chicago is open for outdoor dining, which means there are thousands of restaurants where you can eat today. But if you can’t decide where to start, or you’d rather order something great for takeout, we totally understand. That’s why we’re highlighting the best dishes we’ve had recently, all of which are available for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining right now. From Japanese curry to the best danish we’ve ever eaten, here’s a look at our recent favorites.
A random DM telling us to, “Check out this place, best Middle Eastern food in the city,” is how we ended up at Mr. Kabab, ordering half the menu for carryout. And it turns out this new spot in West Rogers Park does indeed have incredible food. We tried the combination plate (which included chicken shawarma, kefta, rice, salad, and pita), a gyro, the beef shawarma sandwich, and a vegetarian combo with baba ganoush, hummus, falafel, and dolmas. It was all so delicious that we became legitimately upset when we started to get full.
Resentment towards not having a Milk Bar in Chicago coupled with our love for Little Goat’s baked goods made us very excited when we heard that the Goat team opened Sugargoat. It’s a dessert shop in the West Loop with fun combinations like caramel corn cake, chocolate shake french fry pie, and avocado toast cake. We picked up some cupcakes and can tell you that their quirky-sounding flavors aren’t simply a cry for attention, they’re actually fantastic. Case in point, the Cheez-it cake filled with cheddar caramel and topped with strawberry Nesquik buttercream and peanut butter and chocolate-covered Cheez-its. It’s sweet, salty, and the most wonderful cupcake probably ever. Yes, really.
This is actually two dishes from two restaurants that are right next to each other, Gilt Bar and Ciccio Mio. And last weekend’s celebratory dinner cobbled together from both places was one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time. Specifically, the rich, flaky beef cheek pot pie from Gilt Bar and the stuffed artichoke with an herby parmesan stuffing and fantastic tonnato sauce from Ciccio. What’s that you say? That sounds like an odd combination? We don’t care, this is (allegedly) a free country, and it was delicious.
This is a newish spot in Logan Square from the team behind Little Bad Wolf in Andersonville. We’re big fans of that place, so we were looking forward to checking it out. They have a cute takeout window, and we ordered their pork belly nachos and the burger (which comes on an everything bun) to-go. Not only was all of the food delicious, but the nachos stayed magically crispy even after the drive home, and our pathetic attempt to take attractive pictures in our apartment.
We recently went to Old Irving Park to check out this new all-day carryout spot from the chef of the now-closed brunch spot Marmalade. Cafe Gastronomo has a lot of the same dishes (like the chilaquiles and guava french toast), but we wanted to try the tacos and the quesabirria at the new spot. And we’re really glad we did - the pork belly tacos were great (the meat was tender and topped with spicy pickled onions), and the quesabirria was filled with juicy short rib. And even though the quesabirria lost its crispiness on the long drive home (our fault, not the food’s), it was still incredibly delicious, especially when dipped in the flavorful consomme.
You don’t order from Flour Power because you’re craving a specific pasta, you order from here when you want something a little different, but still delicious. This place has a short menu of handmade pastas, which get announced at 8am each morning. The day we ordered, they had cheddar and ricotta-filled tortellini with broccoli, lumache with eggplant, tomato, and basil, and paccheri with meatballs and kale. Of course, we ordered all three. We liked each one, but if we had to pick a favorite it would be the tortellini. Mainly because it reminded us of an excellent version of Panera’s broccoli and cheese soup in a bread bowl. Yes, you read that right.
This takeout-only spot specializes in Japanese curry and the menu has things like tonkatsu kare, shaved beef udon curry, and waffle fries (also topped with curry). Both the chicken and pork are incredibly juicy, the handmade noodles are wonderfully chewy, and we’re glad the rich curry covers everything since it’s delicious. It’s exactly what we want to eat when it’s gross outside, which is a good thing because it’s been cold and rainy all week long.
We first visited this Korean spot in River North while researching our fried chicken sandwich guide. And while this place does indeed have a fantastic sandwich, we made an equally important discovery: Miki’s also has great wings. They’re covered in a delicious sweet and spicy sticky sauce, but still manage to stay nice and crispy. So this week we learned that we like our fried chicken sandwich to have a chicken wing chaser.
Yume was one of a bunch of new omakase spots that opened a few years ago and it happened to be one of our favorites. This year they opened Tengoku Aburiya next door, with a longer menu full of kushiyaki, small plates like noodles, and sushi. We ordered their six-piece sashimi set, which we’re happy to report is not only delicious, but also under $20.
We just can’t stop ordering food from Kasama, whether we’re getting the chicken adobo for lunch, or the Flipino BBQ platter for dinner. But this week we hit their pastry counter (again) for an apple and cheese-filled croissant, cardamom kouign amann, and the ham and raclette fondue danish which is a f*cking masterpiece.