Pop over to California Pizza Kitchen for some hop (and highly-acclaimed) 'za, and find out what everyone's been raving about.
You can't go wrong with pizza or pasta, so take your time sampling the menu from start to finish.
The drink list at this pizzeria has everything you need to complete your meal (and your night out).
At this pizzeria, kids of all ages are welcome.
For comfortable outdoor service, California Pizza Kitchen sets up a seasonal patio.
What's that you hear? It's carryout at this pizzeria.
That's right! California Pizza Kitchen will bring their delicious food to your house for any occasion.
Take the car and arrive promptly to dinner; parking is plentiful, so don't worry about setting aside time to search for a space.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
California Pizza Kitchen s mid-range cuisine will please your pockets as well as your palate.
Chow down on breakfast, lunch, or dinner fare at California Pizza Kitchen — they're open for all three meals.
Some people say that if you've had one pizza, you've had them all. Diners who've tried California Pizza Kitchen's pizza say it is the absolute best.
If you can't get enough pizza, be sure to try the pies at California Pizza Kitchen, which earn ratings too hot to handle.
For just about the best pizza around in a cool atmosphere, California Pizza Kitchen is serving up the right pies for you and your company.
When you are in the mood for a delicious, mouthwatering pizza, pay California Pizza Kitchen a visit.
Top-rated pasta, rich sauces, and more great Italian fare await your palate at Assaggio Italian Restaurant.
Whether you are looking for food low in fat or gluten-free, this restaurant is the place you want to eat.
This restaurant guests can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here.
Have a few picky young eaters in the family? Not a problem at this restaurant, where the food and ambience are perfect for family dining.
Assaggio Italian Restaurant is a local restaurant that accommodates both large and small groups.
Head to Assaggio Italian Restaurant in comfort, where attire is business casual.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
Bring the Assaggio Italian Restaurant's great food to your place.
Assaggio Italian Restaurant's diners can make use of nearby parking lots.
Travel by bike to Assaggio Italian Restaurant and store your bike at a nearby rack.
Checks are bigger than average at the restaurant, so prepare your wallet.
For a quick and easy payment solution at Assaggio Italian Restaurant, pay by major credit card.
The restaurant's dinner menu receives the most attention, but diners have the option of grabbing breakfast or lunch here, too.
For prime Italian fare, Assaggio Italian Restaurant is one of the highest-rated restaurants around.
You don't need to fly to Rome to try all wonderful flavors of Italy. They're all under one roof at Assaggio Italian Restaurant.
Cinnamon's Restaurant is serving up American favorites with a tasty tweak.
For healthy meals with a twist, head to Cinnamon's Restaurant.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this restaurant with its kid-approved food and ambience.
Gather up your friends, coworkers or family members and head to Cinnamon's Restaurant for a group meal.
Eat outdoors Cinnamon's Restaurant (weather permitting) with their beautiful patio seating.
Not a popular place for dress-up dining, most Cinnamon's Restaurant patrons come in casual attire.
That's right! Cinnamon's Restaurant will bring their delicious food to your house for any occasion.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
Cinnamon's Restaurant's diners can park in a nearby lot or on the street.
For those who travel by bike, Cinnamon's Restaurant offers bike racks for diners.
Typical diners should plan to spend about $30 per person on Cinnamon's Restaurant's moderately priced fare.
Breakfast fare is rated highest at the restaurant, though you can also stop by for lunch or dinner.
Rediscover your favorite American meals at Cinnamon's Restaurant.
Cinnamon's Restaurant serves up a variety of American eats in a casual setting. Swing by today and munch on some of your favorite dishes.
When you need an American restaurant that is sure to impress, come to the highly-rated Cinnamon's Restaurant.
Boardriders Bar and Grill offers a wide variety of classic American dishes.
This restaurant's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
Patio tables and chairs are ready for Boardriders Bar and Grill diners who prefer their meals al fresco.
Get down after dinner to some live music — restaurant often hosts bands and other musical acts.
Prepare to face the crowds if you visit on the weekend — Friday and Saturday are Boardriders Bar and Grill's busiest days.
Business casual dress, tasty food, and a classic atmosphere make this a great place for any occasion.
Feed the gang at your next get-together with catering from Boardriders Bar and Grill as well.
At this restaurant, you can work your arms a little. Pick up the food yourself and carry it out.
Forget circling the block, Boardriders Bar and Grill has plenty of nearby parking options.
Boardriders Bar and Grill offers parking for all diners, including those who travel by bike.
Boardriders Bar and Grill offers a nice selection of mid-range cuisine, so you can expect a meal there to cost about $30 or less per person.
Boardriders Bar and Grill offers a wide variety of payment options, including payment by major credit card.
No matter what type of American dish you're in the mood for, Boardriders Bar and Grill has a great selection of dishes to choose from.
Teddy's Bigger Burgers offers crave-able burger creations, such as a barbecue burger or a classic cheeseburger.
Take the kids along too — this burger joint is a great spot for families with food that even little ones will love.
Take your meal to the next level on the patio at Teddy's Bigger Burgers.
Groups of all sizes can easily be seated at Teddy's Bigger Burgers.
Great food is best enjoyed comfortably, so Teddy's Bigger Burgers encourages less-than-fancy attire.
Ordering food? You can pick it up yourself!
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Teddy's Bigger Burgers also offers catering.
For convenience, diners can park in a neighboring lot.
Teddy's Bigger Burgers is home to many cyclists who appreciate the parking racks outside.
You'll need a couple Andrew Jacksons for a visit to Teddy's Bigger Burgers — they only accept cash.
Your taste buds have been waiting for the perfect burger from Teddy's Bigger Burgers, so be sure to answer the call today.
So when you're in the mood for a casual dining adventure, head to Teddy's Bigger Burgers and try one of the tasty burgers.
For a creative and innovative burger filled with endless flavors, look no further than the highly-rated Teddy's Bigger Burgers.
Deemed "pizza of the year" every year by Bob's Pizzeria's loyal fans, this deliciously-cheesy pizza will have you reaching for seconds, thirds, and even fourths.
Youngsters are more than welcome to join mom and dad at this pizzeria.
At Bob's Pizzeria, your large or small group can be seated quickly and comfortably.
When the weather is nice, hurry to Bob's Pizzeria to grab a spot on the patio.
You can call it in, then carry it out.
Parking is provided in a nearby lot, so diners can easily walk to and from their cars.
Make use of the safe and efficient bike parking at Bob's Pizzeria.
Find your sweet (or savory) spot at Bob's Pizzeria, where you can opt for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Smothered in piping hot cheese and toppings of your choice, the pies at Bob's Pizzeria come highly recommended by pizza connoisseurs.
High-quality pizza is waiting for you at Bob's Pizzeria, so find out what all the fuss is about and get your hands on a cheesy slice of deliciousness.
For mouthwatering pizza in a casual setting, look no further than the highly-rated Bob's Pizzeria.
So gather up your friends and family and head on over to Bob's Pizzeria for a night filled with pizza and fun.
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