24 Hours (Of Delicious Eating!) in Chicago. Photo credit: Cherrylet

Chicago, the midway point for many American travelers as
well as the start of the iconic Route 66, is a foodie pit stop paradise. Forget
deep dish pizza and hot dogs. While those remain Chicago classics, the Windy
City’s culinary treats have evolved to reflect its cultural diversity,
sophistication and sense of fun.  Here’s
a suggested itinerary for eating your way around America’s third largest city.


Expect a full house at 820 West Randolph Street in Chicago,
especially on weekends when the crowds for brunch bulge. At Little Goat, breakfast is served all
day. The menu, is, um, shall we say eclectic, so there should be something for
all tastebuds. Try the “Breakfast Spaghetti  ‘N Clams ‘N Crab” or the “Shrimp
and Cheesy Grits” or the ever-popular “Fat Elvis Waffles” with
bananas, peanut butter-butter and bacon maple syrup (yes, you read that
right—bacon-flavored maple syrup). There are less artery-clogging options, like
the “Healthy Goat” breakfast as well as gluten-free menu items.


This one is my favorites: Chicago
, one of
the country’s first all-vegetarian diners that recently marked its 30-year anniversary
of serving delicious veggie cuisine.
There are now two locations, one at Logan Square and the mother ship at
Halstead Street. Whether you’re a die-hard carnivore or a true-blue vegan,
Chicago Diner’s healthy comfort food hits the spot. You won’t taste better
sweet potato fries, lentil-mushroom loaf or barbecue or burgers anywhere else.
This place converts people because it’s that good.


I grew up along the Great Lakes and have weathered my fair
share of brutal winters so I empathize with Chicagoans, who take a yearly
beating of snow and wind off Lake Michigan. All the more reason to warm up over
a bowl of hot ramen during these long winter days. There are plenty of great
noodle houses in Chicago, but one worth schlepping in the snow for is Slurping Turtle. Here, noisy
eating is welcomed.  For those who are
gluten sensitive (myself included) the “Slurping Noodle” bowl is a
wheat-free, rice noodle dish with black tiger shrimp, tofu and cabbage. Yum! Or
add  a little heat to your cold day by
trying the “Tan Tan Men Ramen” bowl , a spicy concoction with thick
noodles, pork shoulder, and pork meatballs. You’ll forget about those
single-digit temperatures in no time.

Coffee and Dessert

Don’t let the name turn you away: Wormhole on North Michigan Avenue is a
fun coffee house that has a way of turning a cup of coffee into a dessert. If
you like a slice of cake or pie with your coffee, then any old diner around Chicago
will do. But if you want to try something different, give “The Cosby
Classic” which is a banana-pudding latte with a cookie, a whirl. Think
dessert in a cup. You can even order the banana-pudding latte hot or cold.

more information about visiting Chicago, go to http://www.choosechicago.com/.

Chicago-bound? Grab a discount flight on CheapOair!

Photo credit: cherrylet


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