Looking to try a new restaurant that you haven’t heard of? Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood is quickly becoming the newest spot for tasty, trendy restaurants. Because of the rising popularity of the neighborhood, it’s best to make reservations for most restaurants in order to avoid the wait. With a wide variety of places to choose from, the West Loop is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.
Chicken and Farm Shop – 113 N. Green St.
The search for perfect fried chicken is finally over. Located inside Soho House, Chicken and Farm Shop serves up everyone’s favorites including fried chicken sandwiches, biscuits and gravy and chicken and waffles. The Shop also serves vegetarian-friendly dishes like veggie chili, a vegetarian “cop-out” burger and macaroni and cheese. Prices for individual items range from $7 – $18, so a main dish, side and dessert can add up quickly, but if you’re a chicken lover, it’s worth the hefty price tag. The ambience is quaint and the staff is very accommodating, making this a perfect stop for girls’ brunch or a casual first date.
Maude’s Liquor Bar – 840 W. Randolph St.
Maude’s Liquor Bar boasts inventive cocktails and indulgent French cuisine in an effortlessly hip environment. Locals swear by the bistro classics that include french onion fondue, steamed mussels and vanilla bean creme brulee. Dishes at Maude’s are around $20 and cocktails roughly $14, but frequent customers of this restaurant will tell you that you get what you pay for.
High Five Ramen – 112 N. Green St.
In the mood for something spicy? High Five Ramen will not disappoint. Located in the basement of Green Street Meats, High Five Ramen serves up modern takes on ramen along with Japanese beer and cocktails in a dimly-lit industrial setting. Locals recommend the Half-Spice for first-timers, but for the daring ones, there’s Kanabo Spice, High-Five’s signature spice-packed bowl. High Five Ramen only has 15 seats at the bar and its hours are limited, so this place is always packed, but the food is definitely worth the wait. Because of the limited space, groups of two are ideal and it’s best to arrive when they open at 6 p.m. to avoid the sometimes hours-long wait times.
Grange Hall Burger Bar – 844 W. Randolph St.
To those who say Au Cheval serves the best burger in West Loop, you clearly haven’t tried Grange Hall Burger Bar. Nestled in a building reminiscent of a trendy country kitchen, Grange Hall offers a variety of options for meat-eaters and veg-heads alike. The “Ultimate” burger, which comes with bacon, arugula, caramelized onions and horseradish aioli, and the “BBQ Picnic” burger, which comes with jalapeno jicama honey slaw, chipotle barbecue sauce, pepper jack cheese and fried avocado, are favorites of meat-loving locals, while vegetarians rave about the alternative “Garden” burger, which includes cheddar cheese, arugula, avocado, onions, mushrooms and garlic dijon mustard. The average meal ranges from $15-$30, depending on your choice of sides or speciality beverages.
Forno Rosso – 1048 W. Randolph St.
Have no fear, pizza-lovers. The West Loop has something for you too. Specializing in authentic Naples, Italy-inspired Neapolitan-style pizza, Forno Rosso hits the spot for any and all pizza cravings. Their menu boasts traditional pizza options, and numerous vegetarian and gluten-friendly alternatives for those with diet restrictions. For people with simpler palettes, the Margherita Pizza doesn’t disappoint. For those wanting something different, the Pizza Tartufo includes black truffle pate, sausage and porcini mushrooms, or Carbonara Pizza which includes the traditional standards plus a cracked egg, should not be passed up. Pizzas range from $11-$20 and serve approximately two people, making Forno Rosso one of the more budget-friendly places in the West Loop. The setting is bright and modern with seating that could easily accommodate larger parties.