Visit A&W Restaurant for some true American comfort food smack dab in the middle of Riverbank's Riverbank.
Drivers can find parking right by the restaurant, so don't forget your car keys.
You can save your money and eat out at A&W Restaurant. It's all cheaper than $15 here, folks.
Don't look any further, head to A&W Restaurant for your next American meal.
Burger-enthusiasts will love biting into a beef patty at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.
At Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, you can easily keep your diet in check with vegan, gluten-free and low-fat menu options.
Drinks here are readily available, so you can enjoy a glass of red or try something new.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this burger joint with its kid-approved food and ambience.
Al fresco eating options are also available at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, which presents a lovely patio seating area for warmer months.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers' dress code is casual — diners are welcome to dress up (or down) to their comfort level.
If time is of the essence, this burger joint's take-out option may be a better fit.
Waiting can feel like forever, especially when you're hungry. Spare yourself time spent in the parking search and dine with us. We've got space available for you and your car.
Cyclists are in luck. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers provides bike parking.
Menu items at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers tend to be mid-priced, so expect to plop down about $30 per person to dine here.
Savor the delicious flavor of one of the many amazing burgers from Red Robin Gourmet Burgers today.
So amp up your burger game and visit Red Robin Gourmet Burgers for a tasty and casual meal.
For the best pick-me-up in town, grab a cup of java at Leonardo's Cafe.
Whether you have something to celebrate or just need something to take the edge off, the drink menu at this coffee shop won't disappoint.
Gather the whole family for a trip to this coffee shop — everyone will find something to like (even the pickiest little eater) on the menu here.
Sit outside when the weather is fine — Leonardo's Cafe has a lovely patio to enjoy a warm day.
Surf the web from your tablet or laptop on Leonardo's Cafe's complimentary wifi.
Casual clothing is the name of the game at Leonardo's Cafe, where suits and ties won't be spotted for miles.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Leonardo's Cafe's tasty dishes at your next party.
You can also grab your grub to go.
Drivers will embrace the number of street and lot parking choices close to Leonardo's Cafe.
You'll also find plenty of safe spaces to lock up your bike if you prefer to cycle to the coffee shop.
If you're short on cash, take care of business with one of many major credit cards.
You can stop by at almost any time, since Leonardo's Cafe offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Leonardo's Cafe serves up freshly brewed coffee, so make your way over and enjoy a good cup of Joe.
Low-key Mexican fare at its best is found at El Ranchito Restaurant.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Little ones are free to make a mess at this restaurant, where the whole family is invited to dine.
Between the music and the crowds, expect noise levels to reach upper limits at the restaurant.
Feeling a little shy? Carryout is available.
If you need to feed a big crowd, El Ranchito Restaurant also offers catering services for parties and get-togethers.
Driving to El Ranchito Restaurant? Check out the nearby parking selections and park with ease.
El Ranchito Restaurant offers various parking options, including bike parking.
You can take it easy on your wallet at El Ranchito Restaurant — prices are generally less than $30 per person.
Spend your morning, afternoon, or evening at El Ranchito Restaurant, where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So head to El Ranchito Restaurant for some tasty Mexican fare.
So pay El Ranchito Restaurant a visit and get introduced to the many flavors and spices of Mexican cuisine.
The tacos are top-tier and the burritos are nothing short of amazing at El Rosal — sift through five-star reviews or just head on over to find out more about this Mexican menu.
If you're in need of a booster seat, this restaurant's got you covered. This is a great spot for the whole family.
Stay connected at no cost thanks to El Rosal's wifi.
Open air seating is ready for diners at El Rosal when the weather is warm.
Don't be afraid to enjoy your food on the go — this restaurant offers takeout for your busy schedule.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from El Rosal.
Don't fuss with street parking. We've got some parking available.
El Rosal makes bikers feel at ease with the multiple storage racks outside.
El Rosal s fare is so good, you ll want to sample everything on the menu (and with its middle-of-the-road prices, you can!).
Experience the flavorful traditions of Mexican cooking at the highly-rated El Rosal.
So head to El Rosal for some tasty Mexican fare.
With all the spices and flavors you love, El Rosal is ready to be your Mexican restaurant of choice tonight!
Fresh from the oven every time, the insanely-cheesy slices at Pizza Plus have visitors hooked on five-star reviews.
Looking for low-fat, gluten-free meal options? Look no further than Pizza Plus.
Bring the whole clan to this pizzeria — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Don't stay cooped up on a beautiful summer day! At Pizza Plus, you can dine outdoors on their lovely patio.
A tad noisy, the pizzeria is well-suited for those who don't mind a little extra hustle and bustle.
Can't stay at this pizzeria long? Pick up and go home.
Score a close parking spot at Pizza Plus.
Store your bike at a nearby rack and enjoy a bite to eat at Pizza Plus.
Who doesn't love pizza? And who doesn't love pizza with great ratings? Pizza Plus is home to some of the best slices in the neighborhood, so order a hot one today.
So bring your appetite to Pizza Plus. This no-muss, no-fuss pizza joint comes with rave reviews.
When you just want to relax in a casual setting and enjoy some pizza, make your way over to Pizza Plus.
For a pizza that is out of the world, call or make a visit to Pizza Plus.
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