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Deck the Halls

A tour of the trending food halls in Chicagoland

Gourmet food halls have always been popular in Europe, but only recently have they made a big splash in the United States. For decades, in fact, Americans’ conception of a food hall equated to quick-serve food courts in malls and airports. But no longer. Chicago is now lucky to house some of the best avant-garde incarnations out there, with outposts ... Read More »

Diners’ Choice: Labriola Chicago

Labriola Chicago captures three concepts in one space

Sitting at a red leather booth at the rear of Labriola Chicago {535 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago; 312.955.3100}, Owner Rich Labriola orders two versions of a pasta with a lightly spiced vodka sauce. He describes his order to the chef—a dish he recently enjoyed while on a trip to New York. When the steaming bowls arrive, he dives in with ... Read More »

Fast-Casual Phenom

How Chicago is reinventing an age-old concept

The term, “fast casual,” coined in the 1990s, is a concept that “marries the age-old need to eat on the run to the much newer consumer demand for healthier options,” according to Matt Sena of FranchiseHelp.com. The fast-casual restaurant—which often foregoes full table service, but offers higher quality fare than traditional fast food restaurants—has been one of the fastest growing ... Read More »

Bright Spice, Green City

Vegetable-first meals in Chicagoland

vegetarian

While Chicago is famous for its Green City Market—a nearly 20-year-old, year-round farmers’ market and a North Side institution—local foodies have been begun opting for veggie-forward dishes within the city’s restaurant scene. Indeed, even meat-loving Chicagoans are joining the national restaurant movement toward vegetable-focused plates. No wonder, then, that the veggie movement is gaining local traction. Diners are increasingly driving ... Read More »

Toast Spring at the Kohler Beer Festival

Take a road trip to the relaxing village for golf, spas, and (of course) beer!

Drink. Eat. Learn. Repeat! Sounds like the perfect weekend to us at the 8th Annual Kohler Festival of Beer at Destination Kohler. Next weekend, April 29-May 1, will bring together brewmasters from across the country for a weekend perfectly “crafted” for beer enthusiasts. Guests can take part in an overflow of brew-themed happenings, including food pairings and tastings, educational seminars, and culinary demonstrations. If you’re not ... Read More »

Latin Meets Mexican

Bridging the culinary gap

When you think about Mexican food, what pops into your head? The image of a burrito, or a platter of tacos? What about Caribbean food? Or Peruvian food? Do images of pineapple salsa and ceviche flicker in your mind? The truth is, we have perceptions of food from every culture. Sometimes that perception is spot-on; sometimes, not so much. DiningOut wanted ... Read More »

Your Game Day Roster

A fantasy lineup of places to watch the game

You want massive flatscreens. You want like-minded, jersey-donning fans to high-five when your team scores. You want cold beers and the ultimate game day grub. We’ve got the stats on Chicago sports bars taken to the next level with serious viewing amenities, spirited décor, and amazing food to get you through the game. Rockit {22 West Hubbard Street; 312.645.6000; rockitbarandgrill.com} TVs: ... Read More »

Streeterville Scene

Off the street and onto the plate

The origin of modern day Streeterville began with a storm, a stranded ship, and the derailed plans of an aspiring gunrunner. In 1886, George Wellington “Cap” Streeter and his wife Maria were testing their vessel on Lake Michigan before a planned trip to Honduras to become arms dealers. When a strong storm blew in, their boat ended up beached on ... Read More »

Delicious In-Room Dining

Secrets of the best hotel dining experiences in Chicago

Whether you’re a guest in a hotel or a food lover looking for an extra special dining experience, don’t overlook the culinary opportunities at local hotels and their restaurants. Hotel chefs are some of the best in the biz. After all, they often manage multiple outlets, including banquets, catering, and room service in addition to any onsite bars and restaurants. We’re ... Read More »

Holy Macaron!

Chicago bakeries and dessert shops dish on the classic confection

Pastel macarons on a plate

There’s something about desserts that gives them an irresistible power. Today, many are calling French macarons the “new cupcake.” Light as air, this meringue based confection is made with egg whites, sugar, and almond flour, often filled with ganache, buttercream, or jam filling. Macarons are nothing new—in fact, they have been traced back as far as the 1790s. Check out ... Read More »