Great food neighborhoods: Chicago’s West Loop
Some of the country’s best restaurants can be found today in Chicago’s West Loop, but the neighborhood hasn’t lost its industrial, blue-collar appeal, said Jim Webster in The Washington Post. Don’t be distracted by the new global headquarters of McDonald’s, where visitors can try specialties from overseas that aren’t available at Golden Arches in the U.S. The West Loop’s best eating has a neighborhood feel.
Eastman Egg Company For a quick breakfast, you can’t beat the omelets and egg sandwiches served at this bright, modern counter-service joint. The burgeoning homegrown chain began five years ago with a food truck and a devotion to fresh-from-the-farm Illinois eggs. Choose a brioche or biscuit to build your egg sandwich, then top it with white cheddar, housemade mustard, and bacon or sausage from a local farm. 939 W. Randolph St., (773) 231-8865
Au Cheval Ordering anything but the burger on your visit to this dark, sexy bar-diner would be “a tremendous strategic error.” The fried bologna sandwich is good, too, but the cheeseburger has been called the best in the country, and it’s the reason you might wait in line for a seat with executive types who like to finish their lunch hour with a shot of the house whiskey. Save room for the fries slathered with a cheesy Mornay sauce. 800 W. Randolph St., (312) 929-4580
The Loyalist Downstairs from their restaurant Smyth, where they serve a $225 tasting menu, husband-and-wife chefs John and Karen Urie Shields have created a more casual, pub-inspired space, “albeit one where you meet your pals for éclairs filled with foie gras mousse.” The cavatelli with tripe in a long-simmered red sauce is “decadence masquerading as a common treat.” 177 Ada St., (773) 913-3773