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Situated within the grounds of Lincoln Park, at the edge of a pond overlooking the Chicago skyline, North Pond claims to have one of the loveliest settings in the city. Photo: The North Pond
Situated within the grounds of Lincoln Park, at the edge of a pond overlooking the Chicago skyline, North Pond claims to have one of the loveliest settings in the city. Photo: The North Pond

Food & Drink

Eat well in Chicago

One of the cities embracing the clean-eating trend is Chicago, with many of the Windy City’s most popular restaurants serving food that is local, seasonal and organic. These are Scandinavian Traveler’s top picks from Chicago’s farm-to-table dining catalog:

Fast, junk, processed – when it comes to food, the U.S. gets a bad rap. But attitudes in a country best known for its greasy diners, humungous portion sizes and billion-dollar fast food chains, are starting to change.

These days, “fresh” and “healthy” are increasingly emerging as food industry buzzwords. Data from the United States Department of Agriculture shows the continued growth of farmers’ markets in every region in the country, while Wal-Mart has publically committed to making its organic offering more affordable.

One of the cities embracing the clean-eating trend is Chicago, with many of the Windy City’s most popular restaurants serving food that is local, seasonal and organic. These are Scandinavian Traveler’s top picks from Chicago’s farm-to-table dining catalog:

The Publican. Photo: Joni Kat Andersson/Marc Hauser

The Publican

Situated in the über-trendy Fulton Market area, The Publican is a top destination for Chicago foodies. With a focus on beer, pork and oysters, its menu is inspired by farmhouse fare in a space evocative of a European beer hall. From Belgian-style mussels and seafood stew to housemade terrines and charcuterie, the menu reflects the best seasonal and local ingredients available. Other favorites include beef heart tartare, country ribs and The Publican’s signature Farm Chicken.

The Publican

837 W. Fulton Market, Chicago

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Hot tips from the Farmhouse menu include the famous cheese curds, the veggie burger and the trout.

Farmhouse

A farm-to-tavern concept that sources most of its product from within four nearby states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. According to owner Ferdia Doherty, 85 percent of the restaurant is reclaimed and recycled from old Chicago taverns and factories. Hot tips from the Farmhouse menu include the famous cheese curds, the veggie burger and the trout.

Farmhouse

228 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago

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Chicago Raw

The immensely popular Chicago French Market is jam packed with food stalls and specialty vendors. One of these is Chicago Raw, which specializes in raw, vegan take-out dishes. Every day, it prepares and packages more than 100 raw, ready-to-eat vegan items. Bestsellers include spinach lasagna, garden burgers, kale chips, gluten-free dehydrated breakfast muffin and tiramisu.

Chicago Raw

131 N. Clinton Street, Chicago

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Big Jones

With its genuine Southern warmth and not a whiff of pretentiousness, Big Jones has brought true New Orleans hospitality all the way to Chicago. Specializing in Cajun and Creole cuisine, this is Southern comfort cooking at its best; prepared exclusively with heritage and heirloom ingredients. Signature dishes include gumbo, skillet cornbread and fried chicken and, of course, shrimp & grits.

Big Jones

5347 N. Clark Street, Chicago

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The Bristol has a nose-to-tail approach to cooking.

The Bristol

Warm, attentive service and delicious food, has made The Bristol a staple for Chicago’s local dining crowd, off-duty chefs and visiting gastronomes. And it’s easy to see why with a menu that features handmade pasta, charcuterie, farm-fresh produce, and a nose-to-tail approach to cooking.

The Bristol

2152 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago

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North Pond

Situated within the grounds of Lincoln Park, at the edge of a pond overlooking the Chicago skyline, North Pond claims to have one of the loveliest settings in the city. Drawing inspiration from the local market, chef Bruce Sherman supports small, local farmers whenever possible. North Pond’s vision is to deliver a truly unique dining experience that is always in sync with the seasons. The menu changes frequently, but make sure you order the egg dish of the day!

North Pond

2610 N Cannon Drive, Chicago

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