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Foodie finds in Chicago: The best casual eating spots

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Hello Chicago! Excited to be eating, drinking, and sharing the Chicago must-dos with all of you!

Chicago is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, but more than that, it is a city with a foodie culture to serve any palate. Some of my favorite evenings in Chicago are around a casual table, with good friends and delicious food, but not necessarily with all the frills. If you are looking for a great casual night out, here are some great Chicago staples and new favorites to head to, with any cuisine on your mind.

  • Little Goat (American, diner) - Stephanie Izard does it again at Little Goat (sister to Girl and the Goat). Here you find casual diner favorites, like Chicken and Waffles and Shrimp and Grits, in a trendy diner setting. But don’t be fooled by the famous name, this is a great casual spot for lunch or dinner any day. (www.littlegoatchicago.com)
  • Lyfe Kitchen (International, Vegan, Vegetarian, Healthy) – California comes to Chicago at this very hip, very healthy spot. If you are vegan, vegetarian or even just love veggies, this spot is casual with a healthy kick, and sports gluten free and vegan menus as well. My favorite menu item, the vegan corn chowder, which is comfort food bliss in every spoonful. (www.lyfekitchen.com)
  • Pizzano’s (Italian) – The best Chicago Pizza debate can go on forever, but if you are looking for a great spot to dine in and enjoy delicious Italian deep dish, head to Pizzano’s for several hearty and cheesy deep dish delights. And if you don’t want deep dish, try the thin crust, with all the baked goodness in a smaller shell. (www.pizzanospizzaandgrinderz.com)
  • Thalia Spice (Asian, tapas) – This small plates Asian spot is a Chicago staple for those who love flavor and spice, but want to be able to order more than one dish. The Malaysian Roti Canai is delectable, and the Drunken Spice Noodles are a crowd favorite time and time again. (www.thaliaspice.com)
  • Irazu (Latin American) – Have a hankering for some empanadas, then this is the spot. Irazu in Bucktown is a gem of a spot for a taco or other latin treat, or to order in from. (www.irazuchicago.com)

Here’s to enjoying more great casual meals in Chicago in shorts for the rest of the summer. Bon Appétit!

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