Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.


Matt Kirouac
A New Hampshire native, Matt Kirouac moved to Chicago in 2006 to attend culinary school. Once he realized he enjoyed writing about food more than cooking it, he applied his education in another direction, and he's been reporting on Chicago's food beat ever since. You can keep up with where he's eating on Twitter @Mattsland.


Chicago Steakhouses Pay Homage to James Beard

Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse
With the James Beard Foundation Awards set to take place in Chicago May 1, preceded by Eats Week, there’s no better time to eat your way around town at a number of restaurants paying homage to James Beard himself. Chicago being a city renowned for its world-class steakhouses, both old and new, there’s perhaps no better way to celebrate Eats Week than with a visit to one of these beefy bastions.

Chicago Restaurants Celebrate a Culinary Icon With James Beard Eats Week 2017: April 21-May 1

Travelle Kitchen + Bar
The James Beard Awards, affectionately nicknamed the "Oscars of food," is once again set to take place in Chicago, bringing the best chefs and restaurateurs from around the world to the city for a world-class celebration of cooking. Considering Chicago's reputation as one of the best food cities on the planet, the location makes perfect sense. This year, food-lovers can take the celebration even further by partaking in James Beard Eats Week, April 21 – May 1.

Revival Food Hall Pays Homage to Chicago

Revival Food Hall Chicago

First came Chicago French Market, then came Eataly and Latinicity. Food halls are becoming quite the thing in Chicago, and while up until this point they've skewed international, an upcoming food hall will pay homage to its homeland in the Loop. Here's everything you need to know about Revival Food Hall.

Ravenswood Evolves Into Chicago's Brewery Corridor

Band of Bohemia Chicago

In Chicago, Randolph Street might be Restaurant Row and Michigan Avenue may be the Magnificent Mile shopping mecca, but in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, Ravenswood is steadily transforming into quite the brewery corridor. In the past couple years alone, Ravenswood has filled in with a myriad of places to sate a variety of beer cravings, from German lagers to "culinary"-inspired beers infused with apple and thyme.

The Chicago French Market Is Better Than Ever!

Black Dog Gelato Chicago French Market

Before there was Latinicity, before there was Eataly, there was the Chicago French Market. Years before food halls became a national craze, the sprawling market in the West Loop's Ogilvie Transportation Center broke new ground in a brand new arena, bringing together a slew of food vendors under one enormous roof.

Mezcal Heats Up Chicago's Cocktail Scene

Mezcaleria Las Flores Chicago

In recent years, Chicago's booze scene has experienced an explosion of whiskey bars, tiki bars and even more acutely focused spots like the Fernet-centric Presidio and gin-fueled Scofflaw. Nowadays, however, in Chicago mezcal looks to be in the midst of enormous growth.

Insider Guide: 8 Underrated Patio Gems in Chicago Neighborhoods

The Betty outdoor patio dining in Chicago

Al fresco dining is a big deal here in Chicago, but not all patios are equally destination-worthy. While rooftop bars, lavish terraces and consistent hot spots like Big Star and Piccolo Sogno draw hordes, Chicago is filled with wonderful outdoor nooks worthy of your attention. From a tranquil sushi oasis to a tree-lined bistro, these are Chicago's most underrated patio gems.

Treat Mom to Mother's Day Brunch and Sweets in Chicago

Prime & Provisions Mother's Day brunch

When it comes to Mother's Day, the only thing more pivotal than a bouquet of flowers and a thoughtful card is brunch reservations. The biggest brunch day of the year is coming up on May 8, so be sure and treat mom to one of these special options around Chicago.

Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival is Bigger & Better Than Ever: James Beard Nominated Chefs, 100+ Vendors

Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival Chicago

The 6th annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival, presented by The Specialty Food Association and Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, takes place April 30 at the Chicago French Market, and this year's roster looks to be bigger and better than ever.

The indoor festival, which is refreshingly FREE to attend, features more than 100 food artisans this year from across the globe, gathered together in the West Loop to showcase their distinct wares.

Get Hungry for Baconfest 2016

Baconfest Chicago One of the most epic food events of the year, Baconfest Chicago is back for its 8th annual event April 30 through May 1 at the UIC Forum. Featuring an enormous roster of chef and restaurant talent from throughout the city, guests will be able to sample bacon in ways they never thought possible. Far beyond typical breakfast fare, the two-day affair features bacon in everything from maki rolls to cinnamon rolls. And other non-roll formats.

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