If you don’t love food, don’t read this. If you’re hungry, you probably shouldn’t read this, either. Salivation will occur. We are about to explore some of the best restaurant spots in the West Loop of Chicago.
There are so many restaurant connoisseurs out there. They all eat at the best restaurants in every city and usually end up writing reviews. These reviews usually include words like “Confit” to describe chicken, “Tartar” to describe finely chopped meat or fish, or “Amuse Bouche,” meaning “amuse the mouth.”
That’s all fine and dandy, but I have a different style. I’m not going to use big culinary words in this post; I’m simply going to tell you what I’ve tried and what I like. I like to eat things that taste good and I want to tell you about them so you can try them out, too. That’s the purpose of this post. This particular post will focus on restaurants in Chicago’s West Loop.
West Loop Top Grub Spots
1.) Girl & The Goat
Believe the hype; Girl & The Goat is for real. Located on the 800 block of West Randolph Street, Stephanie Izard’s food is nothing short of awesome. Specializing in small plates, Girl & The Goat just feels like a happening place right when you walk in the door. The atmosphere is great, and the food is even better. The service is top-notch the staff is knowledgeable and the atmosphere is not too pretentious. Plus, the brains behind the operation and Executive Chef, Izard, was born in Chicago. Oh yeah, you can drink wine there, too.
What I Ordered:
- Soft Shell Chili Crab = so good
- Wild Striped Bass = unbelievably good
- Goat Empanadas = you have to get them
Originating in Memphis, Gus’s is the best spot for fried chicken. Not the best place for a first date (lots of finger licking involved). Hit up Gus’s in the Fulton Market District for some of the best fried chicken you’ve ever had. Gus knows how crispy to make his chicken and he knows how spicy to make his chicken. The crunch to spice ratio is on point and the chicken is just about as juicy as it gets. Oh wait, don’t forget to order the fried pickles. If you like pickles, it’s a no doubter.
- Gus’s Famous Fried Chicken has earned the right to call itself “famous”
- Order white or dark meat, they’re both really damn good
- Fried pickles = better than un-fried pickles
- I’m not much of a sweets guy, but I’ve heard great things about their homemade pies
Let me tell ya, Nonna knows how to make a heavenly meatball sub. The Italian beef is really good, too. If you’re ever in the West Loop for lunch and want something fairly quick, Nonna’s is your spot. It’s a little on the pricey side for a sandwich shop ($10-$11 for a sandwich), but you get what you pay for. You won’t leave hungry. My co-worker, Dan, eats about 1-2 Nonna’s meatball subs per week. I’m thinking about adopting a similar routine.
- Great meatball sub
- Excellent lunch spot
- Very solid Italian beef
Little tip: get the hot giardiniera on your meatball sub!
4.) Au Cheval
If you’re lucky enough to get into Au Cheval without having to wait hours for a table, don’t pass up on the opportunity; it’s as good a restaurant as advertised. I ordered the double burger with a fried egg and bacon. The bacon was extremely thick and tasty, and the fried egg was an excellent addition to the juicy, perfectly cooked burger. Au Cheval also has a great selection of specialty cocktails. It’s a perfect place for a date or a good time with your pals. Expect to spend some money, especially if you’re planning on drinking. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself 😉
Technically not a restaurant, but still food. Good food. Desert. Sorry, my sentences are getting shorter and shorter because I am now drooling. There isn’t much to say about Glazed and Infused except that they make awesome doughnuts. After eating at one of the four spots above, infuse yourself with some glaze-y goodness. Try anything because they’re all good.
West Loop Parking sucks. So if you are in fact heading down to Chicago’s hottest neighborhood, make sure you rent parking in advance using ParqEx. Simply download the ParqEx app on the App Store or Google Play or sign up on the ParqEx website. ParqEx is a peer to peer parking technology platform. Simply rent parking Chicago or list parking Chicago to make your parking experience a lot easier, and better.
ParqEx is a technology company that connects owners of private parking spots to people looking for parking. In urban areas where parking demand is high but available options are scarce or expensive, ParqEx makes additional supply available to the driving public by listing exclusive inventory owned by local residents and businesses.
Using ParqEx, parking owners are able to make some supplemental income from an underutilized asset while renters get access to exclusive inventory in more convenient and hard-to-park locations. The ParqEx support team ensures that the entire process of listing, reserving, parking, and paying is as smooth as possible for all involved.
ParqEx has also developed the revolutionary Access+ Technology. With Access+, residents and approved visitors can open the garage door from their smartphones. Property managers and condo boards can simplify management and improve control of the garage.
Don’t have our parking app yet? Get it now @ParqEx on the App Store and Google Play!
Watch our short video to see the beauty of the ParqEx app!