Ah, Chicago. A place known for its art, music and generally friendly demeanor. Those who come to visit this waterfront city may be overwhelmed at all of the options, perhaps because it is the third most populous in the U.S., with a population of approximately 2.7 million people. With so many choices, it can be impossible to decide even the most basic of needs: eating and drinking. Read below to find out all the hot spots in this Windy City so you don't end up left out in the cold.
Best Food in Chicago
Looking to add a little spice to your life? You don't have to travel south of the border to dine on the delicious flavors of Mexico. Head to Frontera Grill, a restaurant that offers a laid-back atmosphere along with organic and fresh Mexican cuisine. Created in 1987 by Rick Bayless, award-winning chef and Top Chef Master, the restaurant boasts a monthly changing menu of hardwood grilled dishes, rich moles and authentic chile-thickened braise. In 1994, the International Herald Tribune named Frontera Grill the world's third-best casual dining restaurant, and it was given the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Restaurant award in 2007, designating it the best restaurant in the U.S.
Located at 445 North Clark Street, rickbayless.com/restaurants/grill.html
If you're hoping to let out your inner child (your inner child that can now legally drink) be sure to check out Headquarters, a new Lakeview establishment that blends arcade games with delicious beers. Play Donkey Kong, NBA Jam, Excitebike, and many more classics, while slugging down beers like Oskar Blues Deviant Dale's, Dark Horse Raspberry and Green Flash IPA. Just make sure that you stop for pizza before your trip to Headquarters – there is no kitchen there, but their patrons are more than welcome to bring their own food. On Mondays, this bar-arcade hybrid (hmm, barcade?) offers a "crafts and credits" special: one dollar worth of quarters (four free games) rebate for every craft beer you purchase.
Located at 950 W. Wolfram, hqbeercade.com
Fatpour Tap Works
For all of the beer-lovers out there, Fatpour Tap Works has got you covered. With over 50 beers on tap, served in 22-ounce frozen mugs, this fine establishment provides Chicagoans with one of the largest selections of draft beers in the city. For the more hands-on customer, table taps are available if you'd like to pour your own beer. But don't get too full on the stuff – Fatpour prides itself on its American cuisine, specifically the burgers. Get to the bar on Mondays and enjoy $5 Fatboys and $7 cheeseburgers. Other daily specials include $3 tallboy PBRs on Fridays, and $2 tacos on Tuesdays.
Located at 2005 W. Division Street, fatpourchicago.com
Have a sweet tooth? Karamela has your fix. The Euro-style bakery and cafe is stocked with a 360-degree candy counter, and the menu is chock full o' carbs and confections. To avoid a sugar crash, order some Greek-style coffee, or lattes made with Julius Meinl from Vienna. As if all this wasn't mouthwatering enough, Karamela also offers a DIY soft-serve machine and bacon-infused Nutella. There are even savory items like goat cheese-filled crepes... if you're into that sort of thing.
Located at 1250 S Michigan Ave, btwn Roosevelt and 13th
Arcade games, mole, crepes, beer, beer and more beer ... and you thought Chicago only had pizza.