by Kaylee Rodriguez

You’re basically grown now, which means it’s time to get out of your kitchen and into the world. Here are some places to eat in the city to satisfy every palette.

The Willow Room

1800 N Halsted Street

As a brunch spot, the menu here has a large variety, from salmon bagels and lobster mac and cheese to chilaquiles and shrimp tacos. The best part was the orange ricotta donuts, with the perfect ratio of citrus and sweet — especially dipped in the chocolate ganache. “ It’s a cute ambiance inside and exactly what you would expect from a hip but relaxed spot in Lincoln park,” said Chicago local, Amoli. 

The Chicago Q

1160 N Dearborn Street

This restaurant, located in the near north side of Chicago, serves traditional American barbecue like baby back ribs and pulled pork sandwiches, but that’s not all: they also make the more atypical fried creole alligator. This restaurant is very elegant, and perfect for a business meeting or a fancy date. 

Chavos Tacos El Original

2333 W Grand Avenue

When I first walked in, I thought I made a mistake choosing the restaurant due to its small size and lack of customers, but the first bite of arrachera changed my mind completely. It was perfectly seasoned, and cooked just right so that it was juicy and crispy. It was like my grandma’s cooking in that kitchen. Best Mexican restaurant EVER.

Mama Luna’s

Multiple locations

I’ve tried many Chicago style pizza places, and Mama Luna’s takes the gold. This Italian restaurant not only serves great pizza, but also great dishes like eggplant parmesan, rib platters, pasta, burgers, salads, and many more. This is a great place to eat no matter what you’re craving. 

Jibaritos on Harlem

3317 N. Harlem Avenue

The most recent Puerto Rican restaurants that opened in Chicago — and the only one that I have seen with authentic Puerto Rican food that could’ve been made by my Wela herself. 


832 W. Randolph Street

When my sister first opened the box of donuts, I could smell their sweetness and warmth right away. She handed me one, and the scent was nowhere near as satisfying as the first bite was. It only got better when she handed me a squeeze bottle with vanilla cream, and I was able to squeeze it INTO the donut! Pure goodness.

Hoosier Mama Pie Company

Multiple locations

This place has the best pie I’ve ever had! I went and ordered a slice of apple pie and hot chocolate, and not only was the pie warm, but the hot chocolate was made with mocha and steamed milk, and it was definitely the chocolatiest hot chocolate I’ve ever had. The interior was so quaint and welcoming, and it was a nice getaway from the snowy weather.

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