Farm-to-Fork in Chicago, Illinois: 4 Places to Sample Locally Fresh Fare
Chicago is a world-famous destination known for its incredible Lake Michigan waterfront, diverse attractions and ideal location in the middle of the USA’s heartland.
Restaurants here have the entire world of meat and produce at their disposal, but many establishments are increasingly looking to their own backyard (or close to it) for fresh ingredients. These Chicago restaurants favor meat, produce and seasonings that can be traced back to their source – and when it comes down to taste, you will notice the difference.
Fresh Fusion at nana
The food at nana in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood is missing a few things – like growth hormones, GMOs, antibiotics, and artificial colors and flavors. Instead, this family-owned eatery serves up organic, locally sourced ingredients in dishes that reflect Latin American, Mexican and Spanish influences. Try breakfast favorites such as the “eggs nanadict,” a play on eggs benedict spiced up with chorizo and poblano cream, or the breakfast burrito with refried beans, chorizo and salsa. Bonus: nana has been on Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list for seven years, an accolade given to noteworthy, affordable restaurants.
A tempting spread of organic and farm-fresh fare at nana
Brunch and Other Necessities at The Bristol
When you taste the food at The Bristol, you’ll understand why it’s been written about in publications from GQ to Zagat. Located in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, The Bristol serves up handmade pasta, farm-fresh produce, innovative cocktails and beers from around the world. Brunch at The Bristol has its own cult following – not surprising when the menu is packed with comfort food (chicken with a biscuit and gravy), flavor-filled additions (pork chilaquiles) and morning-after drinks like bloody Marys and Moscow mules.
Dinnertime ambience at The Bristol featuring innovative cocktails and a friendly neighborhood bar
Midwestern Farm Food at Farmhouse Chicago
The ingredients at Farmhouse Chicago are procured from a small, four-state footprint (and, when possible, Chicago’s own Green City Market). This means you’ll get in-season, sustainably sourced ingredients in their hearty, Midwestern dishes. You’ll definitely get your meat and potatoes fix with servings of kielbasa, lamb, pork and grass-fed beef burgers, but vegetarians will be pleased with meat-free options, too. Insider tip: Order the fried cheese curds for a decadent but classic Midwestern treat.
The welcoming exterior and sidewalk seating of Farmhouse Chicago
Above-and-beyond Farmer’s Market at Green City Market
What started out in 1998 as a small, nine-vendor operation is now Chicago’s largest farmer’s market. The Green City Market operates year-round, supplying locally grown, sustainably harvested ingredients and prepared foods to more than 175,000 visitors a year. In addition to the market, Green City features chef demonstrations and a Savor the Season program, where in-season produce and seasonal recipes are offered as samples. In July, the Chef BBQ attracts hungry visitors to Lincoln Park for craft beverages, heirloom produce and tasty meat and vegetarian barbecue.
Chicago serves as Illinois' and the Midwest’s major transportation hub, with two international airports offering worldwide service. Fly in to O’Hare (ORD) or Midway (MDW); both airports offer multiple transportation options into the city, including trains, shuttles and rental cars.