We spend so much time scavenging other cities for inspiration, we sometimes forget that our own backyard is chock-full of places that reflect Chicago's true grit, gusto, and occasional grace. Follow our lead to experience some of the best spots in town.
1. The Plant, 1400 W 46th St, 773-847-5523, plantchicago.com
It’s urban agriculture and food business incubation at its finest. This net-zero-energy Southwest side building defies all Midwestern norms with vertical farming, aquaponics, and small-batch kombucha brewing.
Weekends offer farmers markets featuring the building’s tenants (think: kombucha, cheese, pasties, and produce) as well as behind-the-scenes tours.
Photo credit: Daniel Zemans
2. Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse, 4610 N Western Ave, 773-654-3610, bakermillerchicago.com
An outstanding slice of pie is hard, though not impossible, to find. A self-taught miller who uses only the best organic grains he can source from his network of farmers and prefers building a local community to garnering national attention? Not so common. Owners Dave and Megan Miller (yep, it was meant to be) just might be at the forefront of a new food movement. And with a Beard nomination under their belt, we're not the only ones who think so.
Photo credit: Brandon Zeman
3. Few Spirits, 918 W Chicago Ave, Evanston, 847-920-8628, fewspirits.com
Chances are Chicago isn’t the first city that comes to mind when you think "craft spirits," but it's actually a hotbed of Midwestern distilling. Located in a nearby suburb, Evanston’s Few Spirits makes and sells bourbon and rye whiskey, American and barrel gin, and, occasionally, the infamous wormwood-based liquor, Malört. Wind your way through a back alley to this modest spot on Saturdays for tours and tastings; just make sure to sign up in advance.