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Chicago Like a Local Blog

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

Author: 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.

The prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards, slated to take place in Chicago on Monday, May 1, are not only an opportunity to celebrate fine cooking across the country, but also to showcase some of the best restaurants and bars in Chicago that have helped position the city as the world-class dining destination it is today. As nearly 2,500 of the world’s most esteemed chefs, restaurateurs, bakers and mixologists descend on Chicago, it’s an apt opportunity to get out into the city’s neighborhoods and taste what makes the city so great.

Chicago Steakhouses Pay Homage to James Beard

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 12:00 AM by Matt Kirouac

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.
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

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 12:00 AM by Matt Kirouac

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.

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.

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.

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.

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