Here's Our Travel Guide to This Nation of Over 7,000 Islands
1. Momotaro820 W Lake St, Chicago
2. Tippling Hall646 N Franklin St, Chicago
3. Tallboy Taco325 West Huron, Chicago
4. The Kitchen Chicago316 N Clark St, Chicago
5. Charlatan1329 W Chicago Ave, Chicago
6. Kokopelli1324 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
7. Kanela Breakfast Club1408 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
8. Summerdale5413 N Clark St, Chicago
Momotaro is Fulton Market’s 11,000sqft, three-story, high-end Japanese restaurant from Boka Restaurant Group. And it should come as no surprise that the menu, like the restaurant itself, is enormous: it is a daunting multiple-page list with myriad options (order with purpose) and obscure ingredients (pay attention, heed your server’s advice, and keep your smartphone handy). There are a dozen categories to navigate, among them Kushi Yaki, Rice and Noodles, Nigirizushi, Makimono, and Donburi Bowls. Decisions are best made over cocktails (or sake, wine, or Japanese whiskey), which are available both in the dining room and at Izakaya Lounge, the subterranean late-night bar below the restaurant. Momotaro is a destination for an immersive, modern Japanese experience; go hungry, choose wisely.
From the folks behind Mercadito Hospitality, Tippling Hall is a beer hall/cocktail lounge that focuses on "global comfort food" and boasts a highly impressive cocktail menu.
Located in River North, Tallboy Taco is a cozy, café light-strewn taqueria set up inside Nacional 27 that's offering counter-service lunch, full-service dinner, eight killer taco varieties (including a 12-hour smoked brisket taco, a shredded adobo chicken taco, and a meatless beer-battered avocado taco), and a tallboy selection that runs more than a dozen brews deep.
Hailing from the Rocky Mountain state, The Kitchen takes sustainable, farm-to-table food very seriously. Located in the riverfront Reid Murdoch building in River North, the restaurant is meant to feel like someone's own kitchen, albeit an upscale one with industrial supplies. The menu includes cheese and charcuterie small plates, seafood platters, and pasta, meat, and vegetable mains. The restaurant has its own non-profit, The Kitchen Community, that builds gardens in local schools.
The guys behind Three Aces unleashed this spot in West Town. While Charlatan may lack the raucous vibe of its sister restaurant, it doesn't lack the fantastic cuisine: American farm-to-table and Italian influences produce standouts like Slagel Farm beef carpaccio, skate wing, house-made pastas, and pig’s head for two.
Affectionately referred to as "Crackopelli" by loyalists, this vibrant, 90-seat, Tijuana-based taco joint is the first outpost to open outside of Mexico. The menu maintains a focus on seafood, vegetable tacos, and Mexican beers, and includes The Kraken, a taco loaded with cilantro-marinated grilled octopus, avocado, and cheese; Black Harder ceviche with squid ink, cilantro, and pickled onion; and... Mexican beers.
With leather banquettes, chandeliers, and even a 12-seat espresso bar, Kanela's the perfect place to score breakfast sandwiches to-go on your way to work, or stop in and linger over bacon waffles drenched in bourbon caramel, red velvet French toast, new menu additions like a Southwest chicken wrap, and a weekends-only BYOB Bloody Mary bar.
This casual Clark St resto boasts a straightforward menu loaded with American favorites. Fill up on beer-saturated IPA cheese spread on pumpernickel toast, get in on the aptly-named "Double Napkin" burger, and liquor up with your choice of "old-school", "new-school", and/or (probably and) "summer school" cocktails.