The latest dining trends keep Chicago abuzz and the food scene fresh. Here's the heads up on farm-to-table fare.
WHY IT ROCKS
You don't have to wait for a summertime farmers market to enjoy fresh vegetables, locally sourced protein and sustainable ingredients. From the classic Chicago restaurants that have served under this philosophy for years to the newbies that add their own twists, the city takes it Midwest farm roots seriously.
WHERE TO GO
- The Bristol in Bucktown
Get your locavore on with American fare that consistently showcases local products in its ever-changing seasonal menus.
- Farmhouse in River North
Embrace the Midwest at this "farm-to-tavern concept with a local seasonal focus on craft beer, food and liquor." With menu items made largely from scratch and purveyed primarily from Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana, you'll get a true taste of authentic, regional flavors.
- Frontera Grill in River North
Awaken your senses to refined Mexican cooking from award-winning chef and tv personality Rick Bayless. Committed to living sustainability every day, his restaurants invest in the community and local family farmers and strive to live in balance with the environment and the seasons.
- Lula Café in Logan Square
A conscientious food philosophy has never tasted so good, from the seasonal menu offerings to the Sunday night farm dinner. For over 10 years, local premium ingredients have been the star of the show at this forever hip neighborhood fixture.
- North Pond in Lincoln Park
Come for the thoughtful, seasonal menus from 2012 James Beard Award winner Chef Bruce Sherman. Stay for the lovely park setting surrounding you in nature.
- Pleasant House Bakery in Bridgeport
Specializing in savory, handmade pies, this humble BYOB spot turns out local deliciousness underneath those buttery pastry crusts. Enjoy each bite to the fullest knowing that much of the produce is grown at their own Chicagoland farms.
Newer to the scene:
- Nightwood in Pilsen
You know it's fresh when their menus are written by hand each day. Enjoy new American cuisine made "with bold simplicity and care" that has been prepared "hand in hand with the best farmers and craftspeople of the Midwest."
"new gatherer cuisine" at Elizabeth Restaurant
in Lincoln Square; a diverse, neighborhood-influenced spread at Bread & Wine
in Irving Park; "medium plates" filled with rural-inspired dishes at TWO Restaurant and Bar
in West Town; grass-fed burger emporium Grange Hall Burger Bar
in the West Loop; and refined hotel establishment Allium
at The Four Seasons on the Magnificent Mile.
Insider's tip: Menus change seasonally, depending on the availability of ingredients, so check restaurant's websites for the most up-to-date offerings.
Browse for even more Chicago restaurants and foodie stops on ChooseChicago.com and get the inside scoop from our Chicago Like A Local dining blog.