If you aren’t still suppressing the bloat from Taste of Chicago, chew on the latest in food: punchy chains occupying new neighborhoods, fresh out the oven exhibits and jackfruit.
Slice #1: Get your T & T on.
Federales — West Loop (180 N Morgan St)
Tacos. Tequila. A tantalizing two. Rustle up office amigos, or split a plate of brisket nachos with a stranger. Let overhanging bulbs, trippy murals and open architecture host summer magic without leaving your “backyard”. Resist a night of reheating in exchange for authentic cocktails, barbacoa bias, and seafood favorites.
Slice #2: Plan to shake it around a new town.
Shake Shack — Fulton Market (coming 2017 to 185 N Morgan St)
Soon enough the third wheel location situation will round out. A fourth Shake Shack arrives in a hotbed of premier eateries by next year’s end. The latest Fulton Market entry will neighbor other beloved inhabitants like Au Cheval, Leña Brava and Girl & the Goat. Prepare to live off the Market.
Slice #3: Say “bye” to Birchwood and “hello” to a Medi meal.
Americano 2211 — Wicker Park (2211 W North Ave)
Once you’re done mourning Birchwood Kitchen’s past, ring in the space’s future with Mediterranean cafe fare. Pick up pastries (rosemary-sea salt biscuits, banana yogurt cardamom tea cake, wild mushroom tartlette, TCHO chocolate chip cookies) for breakfast, lunch, or just because. Summon a little schug (hot sauce featured in the seared haloumi dish- mightyvine tomatoes, shaved onions, and potatoes) to keep your coffee company.
Slice #4: Spend time with collectables and a lot of cheese.
U.S. Pizza Museum (at The Whistler) — Logan Square (2421 N Milwaukee Ave)
A 2-month showcase is rumored to present everything from vintage pizza boxes, video games and records to dough slinging mascots and Vans slip-ons. Don’t just eat the pies; appreciate them as a saucy constant, starting July 18. Opening event is July 20 at 6PM. Father & Son Restaurant serves up free pizza for this party.
Slice #5: Accommodate your vegan or curious palate with a load of jackfruit.
Upton’s Breakroom — West Town (2054 W Grand Ave)
Sample meat alternatives and 100% vegan items any day of the week. With eat-in, delivery and pickup options, Upton’s is eager to spread all natural noms and the tropical, freshly migrated jackfruit (Al Pastor Jackfruit Tacos, Bar-B-Que Jackfruit Sandwich). Serve up meals in your own kitchen with their ready-to-buy products.
Slice #6: Try a dog named after the mayor.
Chicago’s Dog House — Lincoln Park (816 W Fullerton)
If cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and a sweet and spicy house sauce smells like your ideal dog, give The Rahm a try. Mark your turf with other winners like Midway Monster (colby cheese, bacon, BBQ and hot giardiniera peppers) or Greek Town (hummus, onions, tomota and a homemade Tzatziki sauce). Evaluate their “gourmet and fast food” ideology with the classics, gourmet sausages and sides. Frips (chip and fry hybrid) anyone?
Slice #7: Explore street art and street eats.
Kimski (at Maria’s Community Bar) — Bridgeport (960 W 31st St)
Not only does chef Won Kim whip up some mean Korean-Polish street food, she tags like a boss. Since her original graffiti display, Kim has begun inviting fellow artists to color an otherwise visually vacant alley. Stop here when you’re craving counter service and free art to escort a Maria’s ginger beer creation.
Slice #8: Tee off / tea on.
3 Greens Market — River North (354 W Hubbard St)
All mixed up? Try Brendan Sodikoff’s relaxed, snacking experience that combines all his past food endeavors. Work on your putt or hang with a Dillan’s pastrami on rye at this burgeoning cafe / clubhouse. Salads, pastries, coffee, soups, Doughnut Vault old fashioneds and Small Cheval patties also available.