Iliana Regan, a F&W Best New Chef alum and chef-owner of restaurants Elizabeth and Kitsune, picks her favorite spots in the Windy City.
Credit: Jeff Marini

Whether it's the cerebral, elegant dishes at Alinea or the salty dogs (and language) at The Wiener’s Circle, Chicago is a city for all food lovers. Readers of our sister publication Travel + Leisure agree, voting Chicago one of the top U.S. cities in their 2018 World’s Best Awards. Many cite the Windy City’s diversity of neighborhoods as a big draw; chef Iliana Regan, a F&W Best New Chef alum and chef-owner of restaurants Elizabeth and Kitsune, feels the same way. Here are her favorite local spots.

Credit: Courtesy of Andersonville Chamber of Commerce


“I visit The Coffee Studio on North Clark Street for their cortado.” (And it’s never too early for one of their killer ice cream sandwiches, made in-house).


Lula Cafe has been around a long time, and it’s really market-focused.” This Chicago institution opened in 1999 as a trailblazer in the farm-to-table movement, serving dependably sophisticated, fresh fare.


“The pappardelle pasta from Anteprima! They hand-make all their pastas; they’re fresh and market-driven. They don’t play on trends; they just put out really nice Italian food that’s based on the seasons.”

Credit: Jack Li


“I really like Lou Malnati’s deep dish; I get the cheese and tomato sauce with their sausage.” This long-standing Chicago stalwart is one of the early pioneers of deep dish.


Cellar Door Provisions makes really nice croissants.” Make sure to check out the breads, canelés, and revolving assortment of quiches, too. Who can resist a whimsical little neighborhood cafe with sweet decor?


“At Andersonville Farmers Market, I like to stock up on Phoenix Bean tofu and River Valley Ranch mushrooms.” This small local market is open from late spring to early fall on Wednesdays from 3 to 8 p.m.