Travel

Illinois Specialty

Specialty city
Blue Door Farm Stand
843 W. Armitage Ave., Lincoln Park
Part neighborhood café, part grocery, this Lincoln Park favorite is the definition of farm-to-table: All seasonal ingredients for the café and fresh produce for the market either come from the Blue Door farm, which is situated on what used to be Oprah’s property, or a number of other local purveyors. The eat-in menu has six grilled cheese varieties and a selection of craft beers while the small dry-goods section offers house-made pantry stockers and giftables from Chicago Candle Co., and goop-approved Murchison-Hume.
Bobtail Ice Cream
2951 N. Broadway St., Lakeview
Bobtail Ice Cream was born out of a business plan competition at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and inspired by the grandfather of one of the founders (Grandpa Wilcoxon) who sold ice cream door-to-door from a truck in his Ohio neighborhood in the 1950s. The ice cream here is hard-packed and homemade, a mix of expected flavors and specialty creations, like Merlot ice cream with dark chocolate chips. And for those cold, windy Chicago days, there are some more weather-appropriate options, like hot fudge on a warm brownie, ice cream lattes, hot chocolate, and white mocha.
Chef Made (Closed)
The first thing that makes Chef Made stand apart is their gorgeous food photography, but the food itself is just as good. Recipe-wise, they excel at inventive spins on classic dishes, like ginger chicken noodle soup with lime and chili, turkey meatballs and lemony rice, and an edamame bowl with miso brown rice cakes. They also offer really good drinks, like cold-brew Intelligentsia coffee and homemade jasmine milk tea. The whole operation is one for one: For each meal purchased, Chef Made donates a meal to someone in need through a local food bank.
Cooked
After Chef Jona Silva read Michael Pollan’s book Cooked, he cut out refined sugar and started eating healthier—basically re-inventing his style of cooking. His meal delivery company of the same name, which he started with his wife, is beloved in Chicago because it provides a huge variety of options, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and kids meals (they even do great lunchboxes). The food is always local, organic whenever possible, and changes considerably with the seasons—plus, they offer Whole30-approved reset plans. They now deliver to all of Chicago—the city and surrounding suburbs.
Dollop Coffee Co.
4181 N. Clarendon Ave., Uptown
While Dollop has expanded across Chicago over the past 10 years, it’s still very much the neighborhood coffee house at heart—there’s nothing slick or overwhelmingly modern about any of the cafes. At the original Uptown spot, the seating options include lived-in couches and upholstered chairs, which if you’re in it for the long haul, makes a difference. The food offering, while modest, will do the trick in a pinch. The Streeterville location is spacious and well suited for study groups or casual meeting. Want fresh-baked pie to go with your coffee? Evanston serves Hoosier Mama pie all day. Perfectly brewed Metropolis coffee is consistent throughout so check out the Lakeview, Downtown, and Gold Coast outposts, too.
Dollop Coffee Co.
824 W. Belmont Ave., Lakeview
While Dollop has expanded across Chicago over the past 10 years, it’s still very much the neighborhood coffee house at heart—there’s nothing slick or overwhelmingly modern about any of the cafes. At the original Uptown spot, the seating options include lived-in couches and upholstered chairs, which if you’re in it for the long haul, makes a difference. The food offering, while modest, will do the trick in a pinch. The Streeterville location is spacious and well suited for study groups or casual meeting. Want fresh-baked pie to go with your coffee? Evanston serves Hoosier Mama pie all day. Perfectly brewed Metropolis coffee is consistent throughout so check out the Downtown, and Gold Coast outposts, too.
Dollop Coffee Co.
345 E. Ohio St., Streeterville
While Dollop has expanded across Chicago over the past 10 years, it’s still very much the neighborhood coffee house at heart—there’s nothing slick or overwhelmingly modern about any of the cafes. At the original Uptown spot, the seating options include lived-in couches and upholstered chairs, which if you’re in it for the long haul, makes a difference. The food offering, while modest, will do the trick in a pinch. The Streeterville location is spacious and well suited for study groups or casual meeting. Want fresh-baked pie to go with your coffee? Evanston serves Hoosier Mama pie all day. Perfectly brewed Metropolis coffee is consistent throughout so check out the Lakeview, Downtown, and Gold Coast outposts, too.
Dollop Coffee Co.
343 S. Dearborn St., Downtown
While Dollop has expanded across Chicago over the past 10 years, it’s still very much the neighborhood coffee house at heart—there’s nothing slick or overwhelmingly modern about any of the cafes. At the original Uptown spot, the seating options include lived-in couches and upholstered chairs, which if you’re in it for the long haul, makes a difference. The food offering, while modest, will do the trick in a pinch. The Streeterville location is spacious and well suited for study groups or casual meeting. Want fresh-baked pie to go with your coffee? Evanston serves Hoosier Mama pie all day. Perfectly brewed Metropolis coffee is consistent throughout so check out the Lakeview, and Gold Coast outposts, too.
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