Our Food Favorites in 2015
Post by Jeremy
2015 was a tough year for us to eat all the great food options we desired. More and more delicious options continue to open around Chicago, but at the same time the goal was to look good for wedding pictures! Eating a little less pizza, more salads at lunch and a better workout regimen allowed us to still enjoy some great food this past year. This list isn’t necessarily what was the hot new opening or the best new chef; it’s a mix of what we enjoyed, brought smiles to our face and overall just some of our favorites!
Baker Miller– Baker Miller had previously managed to escape us as brunch destination as we typically opt for something within walking distance of our East Lakeview home. Happily we branched out and were able to experience what true oatmeal should taste like, sour dough cinnamon rolls, and the delicious bread bar filled with an array of homemade jams and butters.
Stan’s Donuts – Luckily for our waist line, up until around Halloween, there hadn’t been many standout Donut options in Lakeview compared to River North, Wicker Park and other spots. That changed when Stan’s opened at the corner of Clark and Diversey. Oh Stan’s you’ve been a welcome and unhealthy addition to our weekend mornings! We’re pretty partial to the apple fritter (me) and the regular cake old fashioned (Steph).
Bar Pastoral / Pastoral – Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the good things that are right in front of you. With only so much money and time to dedicate to a fancy Saturday night date meal, our minds often wandered to whatever was new on Randolph Street or in Logan Square. Yet just a five minute walk from our home sits Bar Pastoral, where every time we’ve been has been delicious. The food is fresh, the staff is kind and knowledgeable and it’s just a great place for date night. In addition, the sandwiches at Pastoral never let me down. Yes, they cost a bit more than the chain places, but they are always fresh and I trusted the quality so much it was my last meal before walking down the aisle!
Charlatan – Carbs be damned, I’m a sucker for pasta. Some of the best pasta we had this year came courtesy of Charlatan. It’s hard to stay popular in Chicago with new great spots continually opening up, but don’t forget about this gem on Chicago Ave! I loved that this place offered half portions of pasta, so you can order a variety without worrying you’ll be completely stuffed.
Pleasant House Bakery – It’s not often I’m ahead of Stephanie in regards to food knowledge but this current member of the Eater 38 had escaped her. During a hot summer day before a White Sox game, we trekked to Pleasant House in Bridgeport for some delicious savory pies and then over to Maria’s for a pre-game cocktail. Everything was worth the sweaty walk!
Analogue – Maybe this spot is better known to the west-side crowd but this restaurant/bar served up some of the most delicious and surprising southern food we had all year. A basket of biscuits is a must and the pate, catfish sandwich, and Po Boys were all great. In addition they have a great back patio that is perfect for some of Chicago’s warmer, sunnier days.
Angry Crab – All we need to say, is we have yet to find a frigid temperature or wait time, we will not endure in order to ensure we scarf down our favorite seafood in the city. Our go to have been the head on shrimp and crab legs, medium spice with maniac seasoning. Be prepared to wait, be prepared to get messy, and be prepared to end your meal happy.
Dominos – What, were you expecting Alinea? As much as we hope to enjoy Alinea one day, let’s end this on a realistic choice we enjoy maybe too often enjoy. Our favorite chain place is the right price, right location and never seems to disappoint. We love Coalfire, Blaze, Piece, Mista and more, but sometimes you want something fast, easy and cheap on a Friday night in!
Eat well in 2016 Chicago!