Pop over to Ops Pizza Kitchen and Cafe for some hop (and highly-acclaimed) 'za, and find out what everyone's been raving about.
This place will leave you feeling satisfied no matter what kind of dietary needs you have.
This pizzeria is kid-friendly, so little ones are welcome to tag along.
Wifi is on the house at Ops Pizza Kitchen and Cafe, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Ops Pizza Kitchen and Cafe's tasty dishes at your next party.
For the nights you just want to stay in and cozy up, order in great takeout or delivery from this pizzeria.
The parking options near Ops Pizza Kitchen and Cafe are quick and painless.
At Ops Pizza Kitchen and Cafe, bikers can lock their bikes safely outside.
If pizza is your all-time favorite, it's important to find a pie that's worth your while. With star-studded reviews and sky-high ratings, there's no better way to spend your time than eating some 'za at Ops Pizza Kitchen and Cafe.
So bring your appetite to Ops Pizza Kitchen and Cafe. This no-muss, no-fuss pizza joint comes with rave reviews.
For hot pizza and a cool atmosphere, be sure to stop in at Ops Pizza Kitchen and Cafe.
Craving pizza tonight? Stop in for a tasty slice at Ops Pizza Kitchen and Cafe.
The tacos are top-tier and the burritos are nothing short of amazing at Pepper's Mexican Grill-Cantina — sift through five-star reviews or just head on over to find out more about this Mexican menu.
At this restaurant, everyone will find something they love — kids included!
Leaving the couch is half the battle. Your foods awaits your pickup at this restaurant.
The parking options near Pepper's Mexican Grill-Cantina are quick and painless.
Store your bike safely at one of the main bike racks near Pepper's Mexican Grill-Cantina.
Your bill at Pepper's Mexican Grill-Cantina will typically run less than $30 per person, so bring the whole gang!
So come to Pepper's Mexican Grill-Cantina, where you can taste the highest rated Mexican cuisine around.
Pepper's Mexican Grill-Cantina is an easy choice for anyone looking for a casual meal and great Mexican food.
When you have a craving for some ethnic Mexican fare, make your way over to Pepper's Mexican Grill-Cantina and indulge in an array of eats.
Load up on toppings or opt for a simple slice of cheese at Papa John's Pizza, Saint Marys' classic pizza venue.
Help yourself to a healthier lifestyle at Papa John's Pizza, where gluten-free and low-fat plates are the standard.
No need to dress up for a trip to Papa John's Pizza — the casual pizzeria encourages laid-back attire.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Papa John's Pizza.
Eating requires the perfect environment. This pizzeria's pickup and delivery options let you choose where you want to dine.
Ample parking is available in the area.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Papa John's Pizza since it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
When you are craving a little taste of Italy, make your way over to Papa John's Pizza and indulge in a fresh and flavorful pizza.
Stop by Borrell Creek Landing in Saint Marys for flavorful fare and refreshments.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Come order a flavorful feast at Borrell Creek Landing, and sit outside if it's nice!
Seating is readily available at Borrell Creek Landing for those with large parties.
No need to put on airs for a trip to Borrell Creek Landing — the dress code and ambience at this restaurant are totally laid-back.
Want to enjoy this restaurant without the wait? Get it to go.
At Borrell Creek Landing, you can find ample parking that is readily available any time of day.
Borrell Creek Landing offers various parking options, including bike parking.
Fancy snacks do come at a higher price, but wow are they delicious.
Sirloin, filet, hanger, rib-eye...find the (five-star) steak that's calling your name at top-rated Osaka Japanese Steak House.
Go ahead and bring your rug rats with you — this restaurant has kid-friendly food and seating.
Or, take your food to go.
At Osaka Japanese Steak House, service is a priority. That why we provide parking spaces on site.
For food that tastes like a million bucks, Osaka Japanese Steak House s got you covered for a fraction of the price.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but the dinner menu is the real standout.
So when you're looking for the perfect blend of flavor and familiarity, the star-studded fare at Osaka Japanese Steak House is sure to hit the spot.
For the best cuts in town, you just have to try Osaka Japanese Steak House.
Grab a homemade soup and sandwich for lunch or dinner at Larry's Giant Subs.
The noise level can often drown out conversation, so make sure your party is prepared to speak up.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Take the comfort of your own home and add great grub from Larry's Giant Subs to create the perfect night.
Driving to Larry's Giant Subs? Check out the nearby parking selections and park with ease.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
The menu at Larry's Giant Subs includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner — stop by for your favorite meal.
Don't settle for just any sandwich on your next meal break. Pick one up from the wich doctors at Larry's Giant Subs.
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