If cooking isn't on the agenda, the perfect pie awaits you at Jim's Pizza Box, where customers praise the pizza like no other.
Jim's Pizza Box is also a good option for those with special dietary needs, offering both low-fat and gluten-free items on the menu.
Toast your evening out at this pizzeria with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list.
Jim's Pizza Box will be able to accommodate your large party.
Folks tend to dress down at Jim's Pizza Box, so keep comfort in mind when heading to the pizzeria.
This pizzeria will bring your food right to your doorstep if you prefer to make it a night in, or swing by the pizzeria yourself to carry out your meal.
The pizzeria also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Jim's Pizza Box to your next party or event.
At Jim's Pizza Box, you can park your car in seconds with the nearby street and lot parking options.
Jim's Pizza Box offers parking for all diners, including those who travel by bike.
It's not the cheapest, it's not the most expensive, but it is the most delicious. Come to Jim's Pizza Box for a great bite.
The menu at Jim's Pizza Box includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner — stop by for your favorite meal.
Some people say that if you've had one pizza, you've had them all. Diners who've tried Jim's Pizza Box's pizza say it is the absolute best.
So load up a few pizzas with your favorite toppings at Jim's Pizza Box and enjoy a night munching away with your friends.
For tasty Mexican fare, Norwalk's Casa Fiesta is hard to top.
Drinks are also on the menu here, so visitors can start the night off right.
At Casa Fiesta, you won't have to wait for your large or small group to be seated.
Surround yourself with the wonderful weather at your next night out at Casa Fiesta.
The noise level can often drown out conversation, so make sure your party is prepared to speak up.
Can't find your khakis? No problem! Throw on a pair of your most comfortable jeans and you'll blend right in at Casa Fiesta.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Casa Fiesta's tasty dishes at your next party.
Drivers can take advantage of the parking lot near Casa Fiesta and save time on hunting for a parking spot.
If cycling is more your speed, you'll find plenty of space to stash your bike outside the restaurant.
Take a break from the kitchen without breaking the bank! Casa Fiesta will fill you up with top-notch fare that s modestly priced.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Casa Fiesta is a great dining option for any time of day.
Everyone around town knows there's simply no better Mexican restaurant around than Casa Fiesta.
For tasty American fare, head to Berry's Restaurant for a sandwich and side.
Berry's Restaurant is a jackpot for those looking for low-fat and gluten-free meal options.
The bar at this restaurant is fully stocked, so pair your meal with a glass of wine or beer.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather during your meal at Berry's Restaurant.
Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at Berry's Restaurant, you can surf the web and get some work done.
Gather up your friends, coworkers or family members and head to Berry's Restaurant for a group meal.
What's that you hear? It's carryout at this restaurant.
Take the comfort of your own home and add great grub from Berry's Restaurant to create the perfect night.
Drivers will embrace the number of street and lot parking choices close to Berry's Restaurant.
Store your bike at a nearby rack and enjoy a bite to eat at Berry's Restaurant.
Save the cash for another day and pay by major credit card at Berry's Restaurant.
Berry's Restaurant provides morning, afternoon, and evening service, so you can easily find time to dine.
So when you're in the mood for some delicious American dishes, don't look further than Berry's Restaurant.
Opt for a classic caprese sandwich or venture out of your comfort zone at Uncle Dudley's Restaurant and Catering — this delicious sandwich shop satisfies any stomach.
Help yourself to a healthier lifestyle at Uncle Dudley's Restaurant and Catering, where gluten-free and low-fat plates are the standard.
Uncle Dudley's Restaurant and Catering honors a business casual dress code, so formal wear can be left behind.
The restaurant also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Uncle Dudley's Restaurant and Catering to your next party or event.
Drivers will find quick and easy parking just around the corner from Uncle Dudley's Restaurant and Catering.
Who s hungry for great grub at a reasonable rate? Uncle Dudley's Restaurant and Catering s yummy creations will leave a mark in your memory but not a dent in your pocketbook.
So pick up a hand-crafted sandwich from Uncle Dudley's Restaurant and Catering, where you can expect freshness in every bite.
For a quick burger (don't forget the fries!), McDonald's has what you need.
Life is all about choices, and they are not limited here with plenty of gluten-free and low-fat dishes.
McDonald's is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group.
Wifi is on the house at McDonald's, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
A tad noisy, the restaurant is well-suited for those who don't mind a little extra hustle and bustle.
If time is of the essence, this restaurant's take-out option may be a better fit.
At McDonald's, service is a priority. That why we provide parking spaces on site.
What's your favorite meal of the day? Chow down on breakfast, lunch, and dinner at McDonald's and taste test your way through the menu.
Meat lovers can't get enough of McDonald's' juicy burgers, so find your way to McDonald's when you're in the mood for a quick bite to eat.
With fast service, McDonald's' food is more than delicious, and they await your business today!
Dressing up the traditional sandwich, Subway is a go-to lunch spot in Willard's Willard district.
Gluten-free and low-fat is the name of the game at Subway, where eating healthy, flavorful dishes is of utmost importance.
Not to be overlooked is Subway's no-charge wifi.
The dress code at Subway is as relaxed as the ambience, so wear whatever suits you.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Subway.
You can call it in, then carry it out.
Take your vehicle to dinner
nearby parking is plentiful and will not pose a problem for drivers looking to dine.
You'll like your bill almost as much as your meal at Subway, with meals usually costing less than $15.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all on Subway's menu — you can stop by whenever the moment's right for you.
Whether you sit down to eat or get a sandwich to go, Subway is a great place to stop by for a much-needed meal.
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