5 Great Chicago Restaurants for Summer Meals | Midwest Living
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5 Great Chicago Restaurants for Summer Meals

Celebrate long days with casual bites from sunrise to sunset. Here are 5 easygoing Chicago eateries:
Skyline Views at Roof. Photo courtesy of Roof.
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1 Loretta’s Bake Shop and Cafe in the West Loop makes hand-size fruit pies ($2.25) perfect for on-the-go breakfast and snacking (blueberry, cherry, peach and apple). Especially popular with early-morning commuters, the mini pies sell out by 11 a.m. But owner Marybeth Flynn makes more sweets—many from her mom Loretta’s recipes—all day. The menu of fresh-baked goods, salads and sandwiches changes daily. See reviews and ratings. (312) 243-3959; lorettasbakeshopandcafe.com

2 Four Seasons Hotel’s casual-chic Allium restaurant dishes a gourmet interpretation of a Chicago-style hot dog. It has balsamic ketchup, beer mustard and heirloom tomato relish topping an all-beef dog in a buttery sesame seed bun, plus a side of hand-cut fries ($14). The salty-sweet miso-butterscotch milkshake ($5) just might be our new favorite flavor. See reviews and ratings.  (312) 799-4900; alliumchicago.com

3 At My Mother’s Kitchen, the sizzle-pop sound of frying chicken makes guests feel at home in the Galewood neighborhood’s Southern comfort-food restaurant. A blackboard menu lists dishes Carol Simmons learned to prepare while growing up in Natchez, Mississippi. Meals change daily but often include crispy fried chicken, catfish and delicately spiced seafood gumbo. All entrees ($9.99–$16.99) include two sides; pick from red beans and rice, okra, collard greens and garlic smashed potatoes, to name a few. Sweet potato pie ($3) and fruit cobblers ($2.50) bring back mom-made memories, too. See reviews and ratings. (773) 887-4368; mymotherskitchenchicago.com

4 At Chicago Diner in Wrigleyville and Logan Square, vegan dishes and a robust microbrew menu satisfy meat-eaters, vegans and everyone in between. Diners nosh on country-fried seitan “steak,” avocado tostadas, Reubens, wraps, salads ($9–$13) and thick, creamy soy milk shakes ($5.75). See reviews and ratings. veggiediner.com

5 Up on the Roof, the Wit Hotel’s year-round rooftop nightclub, a party crowd feasts their eyes on stunning views of skyscrapers. Of the seasonal shared plates ($9–$21), we liked the duck fat fries, brisket sliders slathered with cheddar and horseradish, and tropical fruit push pops. At night, count on standing in line at street level to get up to Roof. But late afternoons afford the same landmark surroundings and a more relaxed vibe, without the wait. On some game days, Roof turns into a sports bar. See reviews and ratings. (312) 239-9501; roofonthewit.com 

(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® May/June 2013.  Prices and other details are subject to change, so please check specifics before making travel plans.)

 

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