Lou Malnati’s on the Magnificent Mile
If you’re visiting Chicago, we know you’re craving a stop at a deep dish pizza spot. The first restaurant on our list is one of the oldest family names in Chicago pizza. If you’ve never had Chicago style deep dish pizza, the cheese goes right onto the dough, then the toppings are applied, and finally it’s finished with their sauce made from California vine ripened plum tomatoes. The layers are thick enough that I’ve gotten full on one slice. If you stop in for a bite, you’ll be seated in a classic brick and subway tiled wall interior with cushioned booths and sweet smell of fresh baked pizza. There's a distinctly vintage feel that is so right for this Chicago staple. You can take a frozen pizza home to cook in your oven, but your leftovers might be enough to feed you for more than one meal!
Punch Bowl Social
Looking for something with a bit more of a cocktails and games vibe? Punch Bowl Social’s name comes from the Victorians who would often drink punch during their gatherings. Bringing that concept into a fun modern space, this restaurant provides ample opportunities for a good time with friends. The website describes Punch Bowl Social, which is a chain found in a few big cities in the US, as “foodertainment.” The Chicago location in the Fulton Market District was designed by Convexity Properties and has shuffleboard, marbles, ping pong, bocce ball, virtual reality, and BOWLING. There’s something fun for everyone’s tastes. The menu is full of bar favorites like queso, wings, nachos, fries, and quesadillas, but you can also get the “fruit ‘n’ fromage” which features seasonal berries, nuts, cheeses, and baguette. There are also tons of drinks to choose from and a brunch menu. This would be a perfect spot to bring a group of friends on a Friday night or the Saturday morning after!
Feeling a little fancier? This might be the right restaurant for you. Proxi, designed by Meyer Davis, will serve you a four-course meal that is sure to delight your decadent taste buds. Let me just list for you some of the items on the current menu: green tea soba noodle salad, Szechuan braised lamb shoulder, jasmine rice congee, brown butter cake, grilled swordfish, New York Strip Steak, and those are just some of the delicious foods you can enjoy at Proxi. Chef Andrew Zimmerman has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation and Michelin, so you know the cuisine is going to be incredible. The interior is quite classy with gorgeous floor tile details at the bar and mid-century style lamps hanging over the tables. There are lots of corners and nooks that give a more private dining experience. If you’re tastes are in fine dining, be sure to check out Proxi.
Formerly known as Veggie Girl, Stand-Up Burger is a great option if you’re looking for some vegetarian delights. They’re a restaurant that believes in “bold flavors and bold actions.” Serving up your favorite fast American fare with a plant-based twist, this fast casual chain has two locations in Chicago and donates some of their profits to local organizations. The burgers look delicious enough to entice even your meat eater friends. You can get fries, hot dogs, shakes, slaw, and even some chocolate chip and walnut cookies. This seems like an ideal lunch stop for a busy day enjoying Chicago.
Last but not least, we bring you this gorgeous Southwest and Mexican restaurant on California Avenue. Whether you’re there for brunch, lunch, or dinner, this eatery is sure to hit the spot. They’ve got chips with salsas, guac, or multiple kinds of queso; tacos of all kinds; burritos; and some delicious desserts like horchata soft serve or dulce de leche pie. They’ve also got you covered in the marg department fourteen types of tequila and some delicious flavors to mix them with. The space was designed by Land and Sea Department to feel approachable and open, using bright natural light, dusty pink details, terra cotta, and midnight blue accents. The bar features some lovely arches with bespoke mirrors. You won’t believe this used to be an old punk club. It also has a great rooftop if you want to feel the outside air.
Well, that’s the Grand Rapids Chair tour of Chicago eateries. We hope you enjoy the windy city. Let us know if you stop by one of these amazing spots!
Featured photo by Sawyer Bengtson