Only in Chicago

Only in Chicago

3 of our favorite local spots
Jessica Herman
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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,

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.

  • Hood: Back of the Yards
  • Will set you back: $10 for a tour
  • Don't leave without: buying Pleasant House Bakery mushroom or chicken pasties and checking out the aquaponics setup
Photo credit: Daniel Zemans

2. Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse, 4610 N Western Ave, 773-654-3610,

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.

  • Hood: Lincoln Square
  • Will set you back: $5 for a slice of pie or less than $10 for an entrée
  • Don't leave without: trying at least two types of pie
Photo credit: Brandon Zeman

3. Few Spirits, 918 W Chicago Ave, Evanston, 847-920-8628,

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.

  • Hood: Evanston
  • Will set you back: $10 for a tour, more for a bottle
  • Don’t leave without: spending some quality time in the tasting room

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Jessica Herman
A former magazine editor/writer, Jessica Herman was delighted to find the magical art of storytelling widely celebrated in the world of design. In addition to finding inspiration in beautifully crafted stories, she finds crafting things with her hands just as life-affirming as she did tie-dying t-shirts at summer camp.
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