Some days, you’re willing and able to venture far afield to explore Chicago’s many culinary gems. Other days… who has the time? Or maybe the weather has turned, and you know you’ll never get your friends to schlep through the wind and rain, no matter how awesome the restaurant is. But you don’t need to embark on a huge journey to find gourmet food. There are still plenty of Chicago hot spots just steps away from L stops. So hop off the train and come in for a fantastic meal.
Chicago q – Red Line – Clark and Division Stop
Chicago q calls itself “not your ordinary BBQ joint,” and there is no better title for this Gold Coast location. You can smell the smoky BBQ from down the block, and as soon as you enter the cozy interior, the food will capture you. Warm up your hands with fall-off-the-bone ribs or perfectly cooked brisket. While you’re smacking your chops and waiting for it to come out, take in the hustle and bustle of the open kitchen, where those meats are hand-rubbed and cooked to perfection.
Blaze Pizza – Brown/Red/Purple Line – Belmont Stop
Gourmet food doesn’t have to be served on a white tablecloth. Blaze Pizza is a new fast-casual chain in the Windy City where everything is made your way. Slide down the smooth-moving assembly line of so many super-fresh toppings and friendly folks. Want crumbled meatballs, chopped garlic, Gorgonzola cheese, and white cream sauce on your pizza? Blaze has you covered. How about crispy pizza fresh made in under five minutes? See you at Blaze.
Bar Takito – Green/Pink Line – Morgan Stop
Bar Takito hits you with sound, smell, and color as soon as you step off the L platform, thanks to their live music and deliciously spicy menu. Colors abound with the cheery decor and broad bar area, but the real color is on the menu. The minute your papas fritas arrive, it’s evident that they are not your típico French fries. Pop one of these crispy, pork-belly-and-cheese-sprinkled, deep purple spears in your mouth, and you’ll be happy you made the trip.
Bull & Bear – Brown Line – Merchandise Mart Stop
Sometimes you need to make a pit stop on the way home from work for a quick happy hour drink. It’s been a long day, and you deserve it: You shouldn’t have to disrupt your commute. Luckily for you Loop workers, the L stops only steps from Bull & Bear, which offers a wide range of brews and food. Climb in a big, wraparound banquette with a horde of your coworkers and start filling up your glasses. That’s right, Bull & Bear has table taps – not to mention more televised sports games than you can count.
Longman & Eagle – Blue Line – Logan Square Stop
“Eat. Sleep. Whiskey.” Who couldn’t get on board with that lifestyle mantra? Longman & Eagle impresses you immediately with its no-frills, dark-wood ambiance, making your experience all about the food, the whiskey, and the warmth. Settle in at a stool and order yourself the classic old fashioned you’ve been thirsting for. You’re in no hurry to get home, so why not try the flaky seared monk fish with roasted shrimp and banana? Maybe the tropical vibe of this exquisite dish will catch on.
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