1. Roxie's by the Slice1732 N Milwaukee, Chicago
2. The Doughnut Vault111 N Canal St, Chicago
3. Leghorn Cafe600 N LaSalle St, Chicago
4. Shake Shack66 E Ohio St, Chicago
5. Oak + Char217 W Huron St, Chicago
6. Frite Street3006 N Elston Ave, Chicago
7. Stan’s Donuts259 E Erie St, Chicago
8. Fahlstrom's Fresh Fish Market1258 W Belmont Ave, Chicago
9. Ten Mile House1700 Central St, Evanston
Brendan Sodikoff checks "pizzeria" off his restaurateur bucket list with Roxie’s, a cozy, 56-seat, brick-fired ‘za mecca in the former Café Con Leche space, where Chefs Cameron Magee and Chad Anderson are slinging 28in Brooklyn-style pies by the slice. Toppings include hot coppa, serrano ham, pork salami rolled in black pepper, sweet peppers, and more. Thirsty? Snag a cold one from the shop’s selection of craft beers.
This outpost of Doughnut Vault lives on the ground floor of 111 N Canal, the Chicago HQ for Twitter and Uber. The Vault brings its roster of six different old fashioneds, including triple chocolate, pistachio, and coconut cream, plus a rotating special and Bow Truss Coffee pours influenced by the methodology of Japanese cafe Steamer Coffee Company (expect a pretty sweet rosetta on your latte).
Come visit Ukrainian Village chicken joint Leghorn's second, decidedly more laid back outpost in the River North. The diner-esque spinoff is open all day and serves up breakfast biscuit sandwiches, local doughnuts, and Stumptown Coffee in addition to classic fried chicken sammies and savory sides.
Once a hot dog cart dedicated to spreading the Vienna Beef gospel to New Yorkers, Shake Shack has come full-sausage-circle with a location in Chicago, bringing all your favorites (flat-top dogs! Gourmet burgers! Crinkle fries! Beer! Concretes!) to River North.
Staying true to its name, the space sports plenty of oak, as well as billowy light fixtures that look like plumes of smoke. Feast on ultra-flavorful "M.S.G." wings (trust us, it’s not what you think) and a smoky double-patty burger, or go big with a market price 32oz bone-in ribeye served with bone marrow and sauce Perigueux on a badass wooden board.
A food truck-turned-restaurant, Frite Street is a fry-centric offshoot of the slider slingin’ Slide Ride. The brick-and-mortar space is simple -- even a bit divey -- with red walls, minimal seating, and not a whole lot else. Score a few of the truck’s most popular sliders, along with 11 different French fry renditions, like poutine smothered in Guinness gravy; Korean frites with crispy pork belly, house kimchi, and garlic aioli; or the Mac Daddy number with pulled pork, mac & cheese, and a house pickle.
California-based doughnut visionary Stan Berman and local bakery mogul Rich Labriola have joined forces to bring Stan’s to Streeterville. The shop boasts a modern aesthetic with retro touches, a wall of multi-colored KitchenAid stand mixers, and the same peanut butter pockets, lemon-pistachio doughnuts, and cinnamon and sugar-dusted pretzel twists you know and love (and eat).
For nicely priced seafood and a casual, laid-back vibe, look no further than Fahlstrom's, a bright storefront with cereal mascot-themed chalkboard art and vibrant blue accents throughout. Though it specializes in fish offerings like a cornmeal-encrusted catfish po’ boy, New England clam chowder with bacon, and rotating catch-of-the-day specials, Fahlstrom's actually does really great burgers and meatloaf sandwiches, too. And thanks to a "breakfast anytime" menu, featuring omelets, pancakes, and more, you can even get your BFD (breakfast-for-dinner) fix.
Evanston welcomes Ten Mile House: a comfort food specialist inspired by the city’s oldest social gathering point. The inviting atmosphere reflects the equally inviting menu, which is loaded with deliciousness like wood-fired pizzas, a slow-cooked pork shoulder sandwich, poutine, and dry-rubbed baby back ribs.