Taste Test Chicago


After a weekend of fun at Grant Park’s Lollapalooza, we’re divulging some of our favorite places to refuel and rehydrate. Ahead, our recommendations for dining in the windy city:


Real Good Juice Co

1647 N Wells St.

If you’ve overindulged (or overimbibed), and need a refresh, Real Good Juice has got you covered. Their juices themselves have some of the best names we’ve ever heard—like the Juice-tin Bieber, made with almonds, coconut nectar and sea salt, or the Juice Bigalow with apple, beets, lemon and kale. They also make a killer acai bowl, layered with fruit, nuts and paleo honey granola. If you’re more in the market for an immediate jolt of caffeine, try their incredible bottled almond milk latte.

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519 N Clark St.

This funky, casual eatery (with two locations in Chicago) is one of those rare restaurants that puts up an equally strong showing at brunch, lunch and dinner. For brunch they’ve got items like Lemon-Blackberry Pancakes and Green Chile Enchiladas, while for dinner they offer a bevy of inventive salads and proteins, like a Chili-Chocolate glazed salmon. At brunch and breakfast they also offer something called “Bulletproof Coffee,” which is infused with grass-fed butter and coconut oil to “improve brain energy…[and] burn cleaner fuel.”


Lou Malnati's

Pizza-lovers, rejoice. Lou's is lauded as some of the best deep dish pizza in the country and is a Chicago staple. They’ve got tons, and we mean TONS, of locations (including one inside Lollapalooza’s gates) so getting your hands on a slice isn’t tricky. The gooey, decadent pies are a far cry from paper-thin NY slices, but we’re definitely not complaining.  


Au Cheval

800 W Randolph St

This upscale diner’s burgers have been ranked number TWO on the “18 Best Burgers In America” list. If that doesn’t send you running, we don’t know what will. There’s often a lengthy line at their original location, but the Au Cheval team also operates Small Cheval and 3 Greens Market, which serve petite versions of their world-renowned burgers.

Au Cheval in Chicago, IL. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki/PLATE

Aloha Poke Co

Since opening earlier this year, Aloha Poke Co has already expanded to three locations around the city. This quick serve concept, reminiscent of Chipotle in menu layout, offers poke (fresh, sashimi grade fish), over a bed of rice or greens with twelve unique toppings (like avocado, jalapeno and pineapple) with a variety of sauces.


Girl & The Goat

809 W Randolph St

As the name would imply, Girl & The Goat is a meat and goat-heavy concept brought to life by Stephanie Izard, winner of Top Chef’s fourth season. Stephanie’s menu is entirely small-plates, and features a variety of complex items that would intrigue even then most seasoned NYC foodie. Think calamari bruschetta, ham bread, goat empanadas, and chickpea fritters with garam masala yogurt, to name a few.




By Michaela Rollings