Chicago Essentials

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Food and Drink Essentials: Best Places to...


This local chain offers a large selection of organic produce, and larger stores have bakeries, delis, floral shops and even a Starbucks onsite.

Founded in Chicago originally as the Jewel Tea Company in 1899, this large grocery chain is usually combined with an Osco drugstore to form a Jewel-Osco.

Wally’s Market, 1731 W. Golf Road in Mount Prospect; 6601 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago; 3256 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago
This very large and popular European grocery store has a large selection of meats and other products. Keep your eyes peeled for the store’s “two day crazy sale,” where shoppers can find huge bargains.

Costco, 2746 N. Clybourn in Lincoln Park
Save time and money by buying in bulk.


Quench, 5815 W. Madison in Austin; 616 E. 79th St.; 4653 S. Michigan; 2236 E. 71st St., 773-287-FOOD
Boasting the best turkey burgers in the Chicago area, the founder of this eatery opened its first location on the South Side to offer a healthier alternative to fast food. Serving no beef or pork (only turkey, chicken and fish), Quench is the foodie’s takeout place, serving an eclectic menu prepared by a classically trained chef. The Austin location is the local chain's first sitdown restaurant.

Kaufman’s Deli, 4905 Dempster St. in Skokie, 847-677-6190
Specializes in Eastern European breads and pastries made on the premises by an eighth generation master baker. Kaufman’s recently was named one of Chicago’s top three delis and its bagels were even flown to the grand opening of the Hilton in Hong Kong.

Victory’s Banner, 2100 W. Roscoe St.
A 100-percent vegetarian treasure run by students of Sri Chinmoy, whose philosophy includes a sincere inner life with an active outer life. Serves delicious foods, like soy bacon and soy sausage that even ardent meat lovers would adore.


Bin 36, 339 N. Dearborn
Partners Dan Sachs and Brian Duncan created this restaurant to give diners a place to appreciate and learn about wine in an unpretentious atmosphere. The River North eatery has received numerous accolades for its contemporary American cuisine, created by John Caputo, the executive chef. Dining options include a cheese bar, cafe-style tavern and more formal dining room.

Tavern at the Park, 130 E. Randolph
Diners at this upscale tavern can feast on 2-inch thick pork chops and herbed chicken fondue in their jeans and sneakers. The classic American menu was created by the award-winning team behind the Chicago favorite, Keefer’s. The restaurant offers an elegant view of Millennium Park from its top floor. The crusted filet mignon is an editor favorite.


Hop Leaf, 5148 N. Clark St.
This Andersonville tavern has plenty of street cred with beer fanatics and is popular among average beer drinkers as well. It offers 110 varieties of bottled beer and 18 on tap, including an extensive selection of beers from Belgium.

Map Room, 1949 N. Hoyne
This Bucktown/Wicker Park pub is for serious beer aficionados. With 200 brands and 36 brewing styles, customers come to this bar to experience the finer qualities of brew and sometimes for continuing beer education. Learn the nuances of beer appreciation through Map Room's monthly classes.

Goose Island, 3535 N. Clark St. or 1800 North Clybourn
Founded in Chicago in 1988, this local favorite offers 50 craft beers and makes all its beers fresh and in small batches. Watch distinctive and quality beer brewed in front of you.


Hollywood Grill, 1601 W. North Ave.
A 24-hour vintage diner, this is the perfect place for a late, late dinner or an early morning breakfast.

Golden Nugget Pancake House, 2406 W. Diversey Ave., 773-252-8903
Open 24 hours, Golden Nugget allows you to satisfy your craving for pancakes at any time of the day or night, or even indulge in a little spaghetti at 6 a.m.

Golden Apple Grill and Breakfast House, 2971 N. Lincoln Ave.
Enjoy more than 150 menu items 24 hours a day.


3rd Coast Cafe and Wine Bar, 1260 N. Dearborn Parkway
This Gold Coast cafe offers great lattes and breakfast all day.

Bourgeois Pig, 738 W. Fullerton Parkway
Sip a cappuccino inside this cozy two-story coffee house that is literally a house. A draw for students and caffeine lovers, drop in early to stake your spot.

Saint’s Alp Teahouse, 2131 S. Archer Ave.
Delicious bubble teas, milk teas, flavored coffees and flavored au laits abound in this trendy Hong Kong cafe.


Berry Chill, 635 N. State St., 132 N. LaSalle St., 500 W. Madison St.
Owned and operated by a Chicago native, Berry Chill is a frozen yogurt shop known for its collection of local toppings.

Margie’s Candies, 1960 N. Western Ave.
George Peter Poulos, the current owner of this old-fashioned candy and ice cream shop, proposed to a girl named Margie Michaels in a booth at the back of store in 1933. Since then, countless other couples have come to get engaged in the same spot.

Sarah’s Pastries and Candies, 70 E. Oak St. or the first floor of Macy’s, 111 N. State St.
Chicago native Sarah Levy started her company in March 2004 by making chocolate candies out of her mom’s kitchen. Beautifully crafted and prepared, Sarah’s offers custom-made chocolates and pastries.

PIE, 615 N. State St.
This store is all about the pie, with a menu that changes regularly to complement the seasons. PIE also offers brownies, homemade ice cream and Parisian macaroons.

Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor, 7347 W. Madison St.
Family owned and operated, this homemade ice cream parlor boasts 28 flavors of ice cream, including local favorites such as chocolate-covered potato chip. Drop by on your birthday for a free scoop.

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