Fans of Ravenite Pizzaria make every night "pizza night" — reviews prove that this hub sells steaming slices of five-star bliss.
Keep your diet in check at Ravenite Pizzaria, a local restaurant with gluten-free and low-fat menu items.
The bar at this pizzeria is fully stocked, so pair your meal with a glass of wine or beer.
At this pizzeria, kids of all ages are welcome.
Have a large group? No problem. Head to Ravenite Pizzaria for easy seating.
The pizzeria is on the noisier end, which is something to keep in mind when planning intimate get-togethers.
No need to put on airs for a trip to Ravenite Pizzaria — the dress code and ambience at this pizzeria are totally laid-back.
You can also serve food from Ravenite Pizzaria at your next party — the pizzeria offers catering.
The food is prepared and packaged, just waiting for your pickup.
For quick and easy parking near Ravenite Pizzaria, park on the street.
Ravenite Pizzaria offers outdoor bike racks for cyclists.
Ravenite Pizzaria dishes up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by for your favorite meal.
For talk-of-the-town pizza, Ravenite Pizzaria is your pizzeria. Stop by for a slice or two and judge the ratings for yourself.
If you can't get enough pizza, be sure to try the pies at Ravenite Pizzaria, which earn ratings too hot to handle.
So head over to Ravenite Pizzaria, where you can sit down to a delicious pizza in a relaxed, casual setting.
With a pizza from Ravenite Pizzaria, you'll truly maximize your night's amount of fun.
Chow down on all of your pub favorites at McSharry's Irish Pub.
Complement your meal with a beer or wine from this restaurant's delightful drink menu.
At McSharry's Irish Pub, diners can score happy hour deals.
On warmer days, you can take advantage of McSharry's Irish Pub's al fresco patio seating.
It is not uncommon for McSharry's Irish Pub to feature live tunes or a DJ.
For an eclectic twist on traditional dining, live music is often featured at McSharry's Irish Pub as well.
Music lovers will appreciate McSharry's Irish Pub's freshly mixed tunes spun by live DJs.
Volume at this restaurant can reach upper decibels, so come prepared to raise your voice to be heard.
The restaurant's "rush" is all weekend long, so diners should be prepared to wait for a table.
McSharry's Irish Pub honors a business casual dress code, so formal wear can be left behind.
If you're driving, that's no problem. Parking available onsite.
Store your bike at one of the many racks outside of McSharry's Irish Pub.
At McSharry's Irish Pub, you can ease your appetite and please your pocketbook
the menu offers a selection of mid-priced, budget-friendly meals.
Head on over to McSharry's Irish Pub first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening — McSharry's Irish Pub is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
For an indulgent meal of classic pub food, McSharry's Irish Pub is the place to bring your best buds for a night out.
Take in the taste of onion, celery and bell pepper, and enjoy the "holy trinity" of Cajun cuisine at Gumbo Shack.
Whether you have something to celebrate or just need something to take the edge off, the drink menu at this restaurant won't disappoint.
Little guys and gals will also love dining at this restaurant, which offers a family-friendly environment (and menu).
Get online gratis thanks to Gumbo Shack's complimentary wifi.
Sunny day plus appetite equals the perfect time to head to Gumbo Shack.
Be prepared to raise your voice, though — the restaurant can get noisy.
Who doesn't want to go out for a nice meal with buddies and your canine companion? Head over to Gumbo Shack for a good time!
At Gumbo Shack, "dress to impress" is a thing of the past, and jeans are the new norm.
Gumbo Shack prides itself in its delicious catering.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
If you're driving, that's no problem. Parking available onsite.
Gumbo Shack is home to many cyclists who appreciate the parking racks outside.
Wake up early to catch a bite of Gumbo Shack's breakfast, or swing by later for some tasty lunch or dinner.
You can find flavorful Cajun dishes at Gumbo Shack, so head on over the next time you're in the mood for a spicy meal.
Honey Baked Ham serves up an endless selection of sandwiches, such as a turkey club or BLT.
Large groups will appreciate Honey Baked Ham for its ability to seat them quickly.
Shake off the stiff workday duds at Honey Baked Ham — attire is casual.
Grab this restaurant's delicious food on the go with its takeout and delivery services.
That's right! Honey Baked Ham will bring their delicious food to your house for any occasion.
Drivers will be giddy once they hear about the easy street parking near Honey Baked Ham.
If your preferred mode of transit is of the two wheel variety, you're in luck — there's tons of bike parking outside the restaurant.
Breakfast bites, light lunches, and delicious dinners are all offered at Honey Baked Ham.
With a little meat, some cheese, and a great array of fixings, Honey Baked Ham knows how to make the perfect sandwich for any meal.
When you are ready to try a new restaurant for lunch or dinner, make your way over to Honey Baked Ham for tasty American fare.
Make your way over to the highly-rated Honey Baked Ham and taste your way through some great American dishes.
Fresh fare can be found at Tacky Jacks, where diners seek to sample every seafood dish on the menu.
Complement your meal with a beer or wine from Tacky Jacks' delightful drink menu.
Bring your whole brood to Tacky Jacks, where families can dig in to tasty and kid-friendly fare together.
Enjoy discounted food and drinks at Tacky Jacks' happy hour.
You can tote your laptop here to take advantage of the free wifi.
Your large group can all sit together at Tacky Jacks.
At Tacky Jacks, there's no need to confine your meal to a traditional dining room — outdoor seating is available when the weather is warm.
Folks tend to dress down at Tacky Jacks, so keep comfort in mind when heading to the restaurant.
You can also grab your grub to go.
Forget the hassle of street parking and head to Tacky Jacks for easy access to parking lots.
Tacky Jacks makes bikers feel at ease with the multiple storage racks outside.
Your tab at Tacky Jacks will usually run to about $30 per guest.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but reviewers rate the dinner menu the highest.
Whether you prefer your meal mild or with a spicy kick, the top-rated Mexican fare at Fairhope's La Cocina hits a home run with each and every order.
This restaurant visitors can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here.
Don't leave the kids at home — youngsters will love the family-friendly cuisine at this restaurant just as much as mom and dad.
Sunny day plus appetite equals the perfect time to head to La Cocina.
Carry-out is also available for those who prefer to enjoy this restaurant's cooking from the comfort of their own home.
With meters and potential tickets, you'll thank us for our onsite parking!
La Cocina's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
La Cocina makes it their goal to serve food that is both delicious and affordable.
For the highest rated Mexican food around, make La Cocina your first stop.
If you're looking for an easygoing dinner, Mexican at La Cocina is the place to be.
La Cocina features traditional and innovative Mexican eats, so visit the restaurant today and give your taste buds a fiesta.
Siu mai: small pork dumplings. Each has a thin wrapper that needs to be delicately pleated by hand. Easily, they’re one of the most labor-intensive items at Phoenix Restaurant in Chicago, where each weekend this Chinese restaurant serves 80 different varieties of classic dim sum snacks.
This little fact about the siu mai is one of many surprising stories I learn from Eddy, the chef at Phoenix, where he also handles a million other tasks to keep the restaurant running smoothly. When I first came in, he was waving at a group of regulars while on the phone haggling with a seafood vendor.
“What we are serving in this restaurant is what we are eating in Hong Kong. ... It’s very typical,” Eddy says.
In 1996, Phoenix was one of the first restaurants to introduce dim sum to Chicago. Its customer base has grown over the years, and today, even with other dim sum restaurants up and down the block, you’ll find long lines winding out the door on any given Sunday.
Sound intimidating? It doesn't have to be.
Here's our guide to dim-sum dining, with a few tips from Eddy.
On the weekend: order dim sum off a cart
On weekends and special holidays, the wait staff winds traditional dim sum carts around tables, lifting lids off stacked steamer baskets to reveal the enticing contents. Should you see something you like, they leave the basket on your table and put a checkmark on your bill (it’s tallied at the end).
Phoenix is one of the only dim-sum restaurants in Chicago that still uses these carts. When I ask Eddy why they keep them, he says “tradition.” Not only to impress the tourists who come in, but also to let Chinese-American customers share this bit of culture with their kids.
Hot tip: if you want to experience the pushcarts without the crowds, head over on a Saturday, which tends to be less busy than Sundays, Eddy says.
On a weekday: order dim sum off the menu
Cartless weekdays offer a quiet, more peaceful atmosphere for ordering off the paper menu, which you can find near the hostess stand. Don't be intimidated—the menu has pictures; it has numbers; it has names written in both Chinese and English. And best of all, you need only point to what you want to have it brought out from the kitchen.
So what should you get?
“Everyone has their favorites,” Eddy says. The most popular dishes with Westerners are ha gao (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (pork dumplings mentioned above). Kids gravitate toward the crunchy, easy-to-grip shrimp rolls and sweeter fare, from mango pudding (pictured above) to custard rolls.
Foreign travelers, especially those from Latin America, and adventurous eaters alike seem to love the chicken feet (pictured at bottom-right of top photo), a more exotic dish consisting of skin and tendons. While all these dishes are traditional, the chefs can tweak the recipes to accommodate for special diets or food allergies.
When diners are new to dim sum, Eddy encourages them to experiment. He’ll point out a few of the more popular dishes; if there’s something they don’t end up liking, it can easily be swapped out for something else. This way, by the second or third visit, diners will have a better idea of what they like.
And don't forget the tea
At dim sum, the tea is equally important to the food. Phoenix serves three different types: green tea, white tea, and brown tea. “Each one has its own usage,” Eddy says. While we talk, we drink jasmine tea, which is good for getting rid of toxins.
You can show your dim sum know-how by obeying proper tea etiquette. When your teapot is out of water, prop the lid off to the side. This signals to the wait staff that you need more hot water.
Eddy pours more tea and tells me to tap my fingers lightly against the table when the cup is nearly full. “When your friend or host fills your tea, this means ‘thank you’,” he says. “It’s part of the custom.”
Photos by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
I had no idea what to expect upon arriving at Elizabeth, the Michelin Star winner from Chef Iliana Regan. But an unmarked, unremarkable storefront between a tire shop and a sporting-goods store certainly wasn’t it. With few exceptions (Schwa, most notably), Chicago’s upper-echelon restaurants boast exteriors that match their illustrious River North and Restaurant Row addresses.
But as it turns out, Regan has no taste for that sort of superficial flash. She dons no chef’s whites. She displays no awards. She does not raise her voice to the Gordon Ramsay–level roar or even the Rachael Ray-ish rollick that TV cameras eat up.
Instead, this northwest Indiana native quietly built her reputation as someone who hunts for frogs and spears them herself. Someone who has suffered tick bites and poison-ivy rashes foraging for wild flora. Someone who has penned an essay on intensity for Lucky Peach and once themed an Elizabeth tasting menu after those violent and visceral A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
So yeah, I was kinda terrified to eat her food.
I’d never done a tasting menu before. And I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a picky eater, but I’m not a particularly adventurous one either, particularly when it comes to meat. (I can barely look at plated octopus without shivering.) I’d heard that Regan once served edible ants. Which are, like, bugs.
My nerves were calmed upon walking into Elizabeth, though. Austere yet charming, the whitewashed space was accented by light fixtures made from bare tree branches; dining chairs draped with faux-fur slipcovers; a chef’s counter armed with Elder Scrolls and Vikings Funko Pop! dolls. It was all in support of the season’s menu theme: vikings.
There were two options: land or sea. Or, as the first in a delightful succession of servers explained it, “Imagine a viking ship has reached the shore. One group goes on land to look for food, the other into the sea.” My friend Erin and I opted to order one of each to share and, despite my trepidation of certain meats, placed no restrictions on what we would eat. (You can arrange for some allergies and dietary needs in advance.) We wanted to go all in.
After the amuse-bouche—a surprisingly complex roasted whey carrot dressed with goat’s-milk cheese and edible flowers—came our first courses. The land dish was … a bowl of rocks. The server assured me the top “rock” was actually a baked potato coated in edible clay. But it was very convincing as a rock, so I bit in with trepidation. As Erin ate the rest, dipping it into the cheese and butter puddings it was served with, I forked into her langoustine with lingonberries. (Pro tip: don’t try to tear off the claw without looking. You will stab your finger on a spine.) So far, so very good.
As the servers continued to weave their culinary narrative, I realized there was an unmentioned character in their tale—Elizabeth itself. The restaurant is small, seating about 16 or so, and the kitchen is wide open. It was impossible not to get caught up in what was happening back there, particularly when sous chefs were wielding brûlée torches and “plating” on gorgeous pieces of handmade pottery. And the line between front and back of house was practically nonexistent. One moment, you’d see someone in the kitchen stirring and slicing; the next they’d be presenting your next course or clearing your table. (Chef Regan included.)
This created an unexpected intimacy, one that removed any hesitation when asking about a particular dish. It’s clear the teammates take a deep yet quiet pride in their collective work. They spoke warmly about where ingredients came from, excitedly about the preparation techniques used. They always used “we” or “our,” never “me” or “Chef Regan.” (Again, Chef Regan included.)
Over the next few courses, there were so many charms. An herb-rolled, soft-boiled quail egg served in an actual nest; impossibly chewy seaweed bread darkened by squid ink; a cauliflower-mushroom soup that Erin about died over. I was particularly fond of a course called Barnyard: headcheese dusted with beet powder, paired with a collage of root vegetables and flavored puddings reminiscent of something out of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.
And that’s the thing. Never in my life would I have thought that I’d be fond of headcheese. I would have probably never eaten it if it weren’t for this meal. But it was fun to break out of my culinary comfort zone.
The other surprising thing? How full we were, considering it was a tasting menu. By the time we were served the entree courses—rare lamb medallions wrapped in swiss chard and pickled fish in a sauce of its own bones—we were taking deep breaths between bites. I’m pretty sure they were the only two plates we didn’t completely clean.
We managed to buck up for our “one-and-a-half” dessert courses, as the server put it. (The “half” was a palate-cleansing sorbet.) Our favorite was Under the Sea, a spongy coral-seaweed cake so realistic looking it prompted me to ask the server just how much of it we could eat. “All of it,” she said. We complied.
Maybe, as a writer, I’m just a sucker for a good story. But I was enchanted by Elizabeth, both in backstory and in not knowing what was coming next throughout the culinary adventure. And while I probably won’t be buying headcheese any time soon, I’m excited to see what Chef Regan has up her non-chef’s-whites sleeves next season.
Shop Chef Iliana Regan's tasting-menu experience at Elizabeth Restaurant:
Watch her explain her approach to fine dining:
As useful as WD40 and much more edible, coconut oil is a powerhouse. In fact, just one jar of the stuff can replace several household staples, from kitchen ingredients to baby wipes. Here’s how to substitute it for 16 total items in 3 rooms of the home:
1. Coffee: Coconut oil is a reputed energy booster. Swallowing a spoonful or two in the afternoon can be a healthful alternative to a cuppa.2. Coffee creamer: Emulsified and poured into coffee, it’s much tastier than (and probably just as nutritious as) that bulletproof stuff.3. Butter or oil (when sautéing): Coconut oil’s high smoke point makes it great for cooking on the stovetop, especially at high heat. Try swapping it in when making stir-fries, scrambled eggs, or pancakes, especially if you like a very mild coconut flavor.4. Oil (when baking): The oil imparts a delicious je ne sais quoi to baked goods—even boxed ones. Use it to give from-the-box brownies an upgrade, and you’ll dream about them for days.5. Condiments: Drop it into quinoa or oatmeal for added nutrients and healthy fats. You can also put it on top of sweet potatoes instead of butter!
6. Moisturizer: It works on your body and your face. It’s naturally SPF 4, so it offers a bit of protection from UV rays, too.7. Leave-in conditioner and anti-static agent: Rub a small amount between your hands and smooth them over your hair to control flyaways.8. Lip balm: It soothes sore, chapped lips, and other skin irritations.9. Eye-makeup remover: Rub it between your fingers until it liquefies, smear it on your lids, and wipe it off with a cotton pad.10. Face wash: Add a little water and rub it in your hands until it foams.11. Hand and foot cream: Massage it into cracked knuckles, or slather it onto your soles and stick them into socks for an overnight soak.12. Shaving cream: It’ll give you a smooth shave, plus additional moisture for your skin.
13. Ouchie ointment: Dab it on cuts and scrapes, which will benefit from its antimicrobial properties.14. Anti-itch cream: Coconut oil reduces itching from bug bites, and helps to calm sunburn, eczema, and cradle cap.15. Diaper cream: A layer on baby’s bottom guards against (and soothes) diaper rash flare-ups.16. Baby wipes: Simply mix it with hot water and pour it over a stack of paper towels that you’ve cut in half. Keep the towels in an airtight container so they stay moist.
Check out more coconut-oil coverage:
Oil Pulling Whitens Your Teeth and (Maybe) Makes You Invincible
The Five Best Uses for Coconut Oil You’ve Never Heard Of