Gourmet Live and BlogHer Road Trip: Chicago Food Guide

BlogHer Original Post

Gourmet Live BlogHer Road Trip Chicago

April 27ATLANTA August 31CHICAGO
Nothing says a true Chicago feast like hot dogs and pizza -- though there's much more to the city than that. We're gearing up for Chicago Gourmet and arming you with an insider’s guide to The Windy City's best eats, stretching from the shores of Lake Michigan to the sidewalks of The Mag Mile.

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Photo by Adam Jones / Getty Images
Chicago Food Guide: Tips From Local Bloggers
Daisy Just Daisy
Where are the best cheap eats near the Magnificent Mile?
Billy Goat Tavern, where you will think of the famous Saturday Night Live "Cheeseburger" skit while you eat a burger surrounded by newspaper writers and locals. Just remember you have to walk UNDER the Mag Mile to find it!

-- Daisy, Daisy, Just Daisy

Julie O'Hara
What food trends are sweeping the city right now? Where do you go to discover them?
Barbecue is a big one, and we have some excellent options: The Smoke Daddy is my favorite old standby (order the very meaty baked beans) and Lillie's Q has great pulled pork and sweet potato fries with a choice of four house made BBQ sauces.

-- Julie O'Hara, A Mingling of Tastes

Penny Pantomime Papers
What is it that makes Chicago hot dogs different from all the rest? Where's the best place to grab one?
You know a Chicago dog when you see one: celery salt, tomato slices, a pickle spear -- but nary a drop of ketchup in sight. In Chicago, ketchup on a hot dog equates to high treason. Chicagoans get their fix at Hot Dougs, and don't forget the duck fat fries!

-- Penny, Pantomime Papers

Amanda Simpson
Where would you send a vegetarian or vegan?
Karyn's On Green. It's one of my favorite restaurants in the city and I'm not a vegan or vegetarian. Everything is delicious, fresh and local and meat eaters will never know they're eating vegan cuisine. Don't leave without trying the steak fries with aioli.

-- Maris Callahan, In Good Taste

Terry Boyd Blue Kitchen
What's the hottest table in town right now? What makes it so?
Chicago is blessed right now with an explosion of exciting new restaurants, from the Michelin-starred Longman & Eagle, to Grant Achatz's ever-changing new place, Next, Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard's Girl & The Goat, the Publican, and Maude's Liquor Bar. Together, they're moving Chicago far beyond its pizza and hot dog rep.

-- Terry Boyd, Blue Kitchen

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Jessica Ashley Sassafrass
What are the best beaches for a summertime picnic? Where do you stock up on supplies?
Montrose Beach has a long stretch of sand and has lots of attentive lifeguard coverage. Rent a chaise or wave runner or bounce on the bungee trampoline there. It's also steps away from The Dock, an outdoor eatery and bar with live music and refreshing drinks. Also critical? Parking is pretty easy.

-- Jessica Ashley, Sassafrass

Abby Murphy
What's the best brunch spot with a view?
Sixteen, on the 16th floor of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago with its 30-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, is the place for spectacular views with your meal. Brunch is served on Sunday from 11:00am to 2:30pm. Save your pennies, as this place will put a dent in your wallet. But for fine dining -- an incredible brunch buffet whose stations are laden with everything from eggs Benedict to fresh sushi -- with a backdrop of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, and the Wrigley Clock Tower, it's totally worth the experience.

-- Abigail Murphy, murphys in the kitchen

Daisy Just Daisy
Where can we go to splurge on the best Italian eats?
Spiaggia, where the view from the enormous windows and the other patrons (including President Obama, who celebrated his 2008 presidential victory there) are often as impressive as the amazing food. Tony Mantuano (you might remember him from Top Chef Masters presides over a sophisticated menu of food and wine . Splurge for the tasting menu!

-- Daisy, Daisy, Just Daisy

Jesse Life as a Momma
What's the best restaurant for a date or anniversary?
Capital Grille for dry-aged steaks and an impressive wine cellar, on major anniversaries, Fuego Mexican Grill for margaritas and authentic moles on a date night.

-- Jesse, Life as a Momma

Sara Sew Sweetness
And finally: Where can you get the most authentic deep-dish pizza?
Lou Malnati's or Giordano's. Nothing else compares.

-- Sara, Sew Sweetness

For 10 more exclusive Chicago tips and recipes, download the free Gourmet Live app -- now for the iPhone! -- or visit the Gourmet Live blog.

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