Chicago Restaurants for Locavores Updates?
April 20, 2011 11:52 PM   Subscribe

A 2009 question by the same title ( with loads of good advice, but 2 years in the restaurant world can be a long time and it is not so critical to be in that 30-40$ range (though 195 before tax and tip is a stretch). Will be there for three nights in May. Any places that speak to the intersection of community and food would be of interest as well as those with wow factor for food (ambiance not so important) will be at hyatt regency
posted by dougiedd to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Any of Rick Bayless' 3 Mexican restaurants - Xoco, Frontera Grill, and Topolobampo. Menus change monthly at the latter 2, and can be found at The restaurants are all in a row with connecting kitchens. Xoco (pronounced Zhoko) is basically (fabulous) soups and sandwiches (caldos and tortas) and is thus the least expensive of the 3. Frontera is more casual and Topolobampo (aka Topolo) is more formal. He grows a lot of his own produce (some on the roof!) and runs the Frontera Farmer Foundation which supports small, sustainable farms in the Chicago area. If you'll be there on the weekend book reservations, and book soon because they suggest 8-10 weeks in advance.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:43 AM on April 21, 2011

Browntrout comes to mind, as does Prairie Grass Cafe in the northern suburbs (for which you'd need a car). Glenn's Diner, which came up in the comments on the thread you referenced, is still around and very good. There is also Hot Chocolate in the city; it's owned by Mindy Siegel who is a renowned pastry chef but even the sweettooths (sweetteeth?) of my acquaintance think the food is outstanding.
posted by DrGail at 4:57 AM on April 21, 2011

Girl and the Goat run by Stephanie Izard is a new place that's been well reviewed.
posted by garlic at 8:11 AM on April 21, 2011

Response by poster: girl and goat looks great but booked till late may, alas
posted by dougiedd at 9:14 AM on April 21, 2011

Prairie Fire in Chicago is the second restaurant from Sarah Stenger of Praririe Grass Cafe, and is near downtown. This will probably be the place nearest downtown with a local food focus.

The Publican is a meat-lovers paradise and offers many locally sourced proteins.

I'm pretty sure that the South Water Kitchen butchers a locally procured pig every week or so.

Big Jones in Andersonville offers "coastal southern" food but made with mostly locally sourced ingredients. It's quite a trek from downtown.

Honestly, locally sourced food is pretty trendy these days, so it's relatively easy to go to a restaurant and see a few farms name-checked on the menu.
posted by photovox at 9:01 PM on April 21, 2011

I love the Lula Cafe in Logan Square for this. On Monday nights they serve a prix fixe farm dinner that is out of this world. Artsy, friendly atmosphere.
posted by bonheur at 6:33 AM on April 22, 2011

Not sure what your schedule is like, but while Girl and the Goat is booked for reservations, they do hold tables for walk-ins. Hoping to go back tonight, myself, and the host I spoke with said if you come before 5:30 or after 9:30, the wait isn't too bad, and that they serve the full menu at the bar or in the lounge if you really can't wait.
posted by terilou at 6:38 AM on April 22, 2011

Response by poster: Girl and the Goat looks great
any similar recs within a short cab ride or a walk ?
posted by dougiedd at 7:15 PM on April 24, 2011

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