Indulge in a wide array of American dishes at Fibs.
Low-fat, gluten-free and anything else you've been looking for waits here.
This restaurant's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
Children are more than welcome to dine at this restaurant, where there's something for everyone on the menu.
During the summer months, don't miss out on Fibs' outdoor patio seating.
If you need to feed a big crowd, Fibs also offers catering services for parties and get-togethers.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
Fibs is centrally located near many parking lot options.
For those who prefer to travel by bike, Fibs is a great option due to its generous bike parking options.
Fibs knows how to put a smile on your face
the fairly-priced fare is easy on your taste buds as well as your wallet.
Night owls will be happy to hear that the restaurant is best known for their evening menu, though breakfast and lunch are also served.
The friendly staff at Fibs are ready and waiting to cook and serve your favorite American meal.
Find something for anyone at any time with American food from Fibs.
Snack on tasty pub fare at Fire House Pub, a local favorite.
Be sure to complete your meal at this restaurant with a drink from the restaurant's full bar.
Bring the whole clan to this restaurant — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Summer meals will taste even better when you enjoy them on Fire House Pub's gorgeous patio.
Whether you have a large or small group, Fire House Pub can accommodate both.
Stay in the loop (and online!) by tapping into Fire House Pub's free wifi hotspot.
Throw on your favorite T-shirt and head out the door — dining at Fire House Pub is all about comfort.
Just through the door at this restaurant, you can claim your food. No delivery required.
Score parking in the lot adjacent to Fire House Pub, a local restaurant.
All major credit cards are accepted, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
Three meals a day are served at Fire House Pub, so you can choose to start your day or end your evening here.
Stop waiting to order that burger you're craving and come into Fire House Pub for some terrific pub food.
Hungry for all-American cuisine? Visit Sophia's Restaurant for all of your favorite American dishes.
The chefs at Sophia's Restaurant know how to prepare tasty, gluten-free and low-fat meals.
This restaurant is a terrific spot for families to gather with its kid-friendly ambience and menu.
If you're having a party, no need to stress out about cooking, cleaning or getting tables and chairs, have your party at Sophia's Restaurant instead.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Drivers can park in the neighboring lot.
Customers should be prepared to spend around $30, but more importantly, they should be prepared to enjoy a great meal.
The breakfast dishes at the restaurant really bring the crowds in, though lunch and dinner are also served.
For a meal truly worth eating, the place to go is definitely Sophia's Restaurant who serves up the mouthwatering best food in town.
If you're looking for classic American fare, try Sophia's Restaurant for your next meal.
Enjoy traditional American cuisine at Jessica's Restaurant, home of American comfort food.
Guess what? Jessica's Restaurant serves food that's free of gluten and low in fat, so everyone can find something that tastes and feels great.
Youngsters don't need to sit out a trip to this restaurant — it's super family-friendly and perfect for little diners and their folks.
You'll find most people wearing their favorite T-shirt and pair of jeans, as casual dining is Jessica's Restaurant's style.
At this restaurant, you can work your arms a little. Pick up the food yourself and carry it out.
Take your vehicle to dinner
nearby parking is plentiful and will not pose a problem for drivers looking to dine.
Brunch is the house specialty at Jessica's Restaurant, though you can also stop by for lunch and dinner.
Stop what you're doing and pay a visit to Jessica's Restaurant's restaurant today.
For a classic American dish, head over to the casual establishment of Jessica's Restaurant.
Featuring fresh and flavorful American food, Backyard Grill and Bar is a local favorite.
The drink list at this restaurant has everything you need to complete your meal (and your night out).
You won't need to get a sitter before heading to this restaurant — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment.
If dining outdoors is your idea of a good time, you'll love the gorgeous patio seating at Backyard Grill and Bar.
The food is prepared and packaged, just waiting for your pickup.
Backyard Grill and Bar is centrally located near many parking lot options.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
Take a break from the kitchen without breaking the bank! Backyard Grill and Bar will fill you up with top-notch fare that s modestly priced.
Rediscover your favorite American meals at Backyard Grill and Bar.
When you're in need of a casual night out, head to Backyard Grill and Bar and enjoy some great American classics.
Feel like family at Pizza Ranch — this low-key pizza hub bakes each slice better than the last.
Feel satisfied but not stuffed with Pizza Ranch's gluten-free and low-fat alternatives.
Youngsters don't need to sit out a trip to this pizzeria — it's super family-friendly and perfect for little diners and their folks.
No need to put on airs for a trip to Pizza Ranch — the dress code and ambience at this pizzeria are totally laid-back.
Homebodies can take advantage of this pizzeria's delivery and take-out options.
The pizzeria also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Pizza Ranch to your next party or event.
Pizza Ranch is centrally located near many parking lot options.
It will typically cost you about $30 to enjoy a meal at Pizza Ranch.
If you're looking for a relaxed space to enjoy a pizza with friends, be sure to stop in at Pizza Ranch.
When you are in the mood for a delicious, mouthwatering pizza, pay Pizza Ranch a visit.
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