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Food and Restaurants

Chicago boasts a vibrant and internationally-renowned restaurant scene. Read the latest news and updates from the dining world.

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‘Hot and delicious’ - Chicago food truck fest serves up gourmet meals in the heart of downtown

The weekly festival wrapped up its final day of the season with mouth-watering tacos, hand-breaded fried chicken, and "shrimply delicious" seafood.

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Council member wants to deny valet license renewals to Chicago bars

"There is no reasonable explanation for issuing valet permits to serve taverns and nightclubs that have built a business model around bottle service and rounds of shots," said Ald. Brendan Reilly, whose goal is to prevent patrons of Chicago’s lively bar scene from driving home drunk.

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Portillo’s files to raise $405 million in stock offering

The restaurant chain is offering new shareholders a 28% stake in a business that has grown despite the pandemic.

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Millennium Park gets food, beverage makeover; clout-heavy Park Grill will reopen with new name

City Hall picks Eleven North Hospitality as Millennium Park’s concessionaire, with renovations already underway at the 140-seat restaurant behind the skating rink.

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Fascinating documentary gives a taste of Charlie Trotter’s dazzling talent, complex personality

‘Love, Charlie’ tells the Chicago chef’s story from his International fame to his shocking death.

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Kentucky bourbon production skyrockets despite pandemic

Bluegrass State bourbon producers filled nearly 2.5 million barrels in 2020, setting a new production record.

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Why coffee could cost you more at groceries, cafes

After hovering for years near $1 per pound, coffee futures — the price large-volume buyers agree to pay for coffee upon delivery months down the road — doubled in late July, reaching heights not seen since 2014.

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‘RBG’ directors turn to Julia Child for next feminist love story

Upcoming documentary on the great chef also celebrates her husband Paul, content to stay in the background as she taught French cuisine on TV.

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McDonald’s McRib sandwich returning nationwide Nov. 1

McDonald’s said the "internet boom and emergence of social media solidified the McRib’s icon status" and "hype around its annual return even gave birth to the phrase ‘McRib Season.’"

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Marc Malnati on new investor in family’s pizzeria: ‘Great pizza will remain great pizza’

The Meritage Group, an investment firm based in San Francisco, is buying an ownership stake in Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria.

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McDonald’s phasing out use of plastic for Happy Meal toys

The fast-food giant is aiming to reduce the use of virgin fossil fuel-based plastic in all Happy Meal toys around the world by the end of 2025.

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Bar, restaurant owners near Soldier Field cross fingers Bears — and their mutual customers — stay in city

"When the Bears play it brings a lot of business to Chicago, a lot of people travel in for the weekend to watch their team play the Bears and fill up hotels and restaurants," said Grant DePorter, head of Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group.

Arab swag tacos served at Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen.
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Dishin’ on the Dish: Arab swag tacos at Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen

Cedars’ Arab swag tacos are a tasty and prime example of a Middle Eastern and Midwestern infusion of cultures and flavors.

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Portillo’s sets sights on 600 restaurants

The chain’s initial public offering is expected once the SEC reviews the company’s filing.

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Guinness taps Chicago as site of 2nd U.S. brewery, taproom

The iconic Irish brewer plans to open a beer house and brewery in the former Pennsylvania Railroad Terminal Building, 375 N. Morgan St., in the Fulton Market area.

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New Asian American bakeries finding a bicultural sweet spot for younger generation

From ube cakes to mochi muffins, bakeries that sweetly encapsulate growing up Asian and American have been popping up more in recent years.

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Possible indoor vaccine mandate faces flak from city restaurant group

The plea against an indoor vaccine mandate is in response to a letter eight aldermen sent to the city health commissioner, urging her to require proof of vaccination for entrance to some gathering spots, such as restaurants, bars, gyms and theaters.

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Popular mobile coffee bar Southside Grinds sets up shop in Boxville Marketplace

Ebony Blue’s mobile coffee bar Southside Grinds will have a grand opening ceremony Saturday at the Bronzeville enterprise hub.

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Dishin’ on the Dish: Pot roast cupcakes at Oooh Wee It Is

Diners at Oooh Wee It Is tend to stumble upon an unusual yet intriguing dish as they peruse the menu at the soul food restaurant in Chatham: Pot roast cupcakes.

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City Council committee approves watered-down ban on single-use utensils

Chicago restaurants could still hand out plastic silverware or other single-use items but only if asked — though compliance is voluntary, with no fines.

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Taco Bell brings back breakfast menu nationwide

The chain recruited rapper Lil Nas X to appear as part of a campaign touting the nationwide return of the breakfast menu.

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City should require vaccine proof for patrons of restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, music venues, aldermen say

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady have encouraged various businesses to require proof of vaccination, but they haven’t followed New York City in imposing a citywide requirement.

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Pop-up restaurants may be here to stay as COVID sees resurgence

Cheaper to operate than regular restaurants, pop-ups have less overhead and staffing costs.

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Jim’s Original, home of the Maxwell Street Polish, told it can no longer stay open all night

Jim’s owner says he’s been told by his landlord, UIC, that they are worried about crime in the area.

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City Hall sues Grubhub and DoorDash for deceptive practices

The two lawsuits filed Friday in Cook County circuit court see he city of Chicago accusing the food-delivery platforms of engaging in ‘predatory tactics’ that hurt restaurants, mislead consumers.

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Starbucks adds Apple Crisp Macchiato to fall menu, joins Pumpkin Spice Latte

The coffee giant said the inspiration for the apple beverage started with the idea of the fall harvest and builds on the popularity of its pumpkin flavor.

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‘Food Americana’ has the goodies we love

A new book by the creator of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" tours our country’s favorite cuisines.

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Popular dining series ‘Check, Please!’ ends 20-year run on WTTW

Over time, the show hosted thousands of Chicagoans who gave their thoughts on the city’s eateries, including a Hyde Park state senator who went on to become the 44th president of the United States.

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St. Sabina’s hidden garden welcomes residents with fresh, free produce

Barbara’s Market hopes to bring relief to the food desert around the Auburn Gresham parish by offering free produce every Wednesday.

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Colectivo Coffee workers in Chicago area, Wisconsin vote to unionize

The workers have affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers after disputed ballots in a close election were counted.

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Wendy’s opening delivery-only kitchens to meet growing demand

Wendy’s said third parties like DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub will deliver the food.

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Steve Spurrier uses sports memorabilia to create one-of-a-kind restaurant, museum

Spurrier has his Heisman Trophy on display along with 14 championship rings, among a trove of other sports-related memorabilia.