Brumberry’s Top REAL, Food List for Chicago

I consider myself both a Texan (born and raised) and a Chicagoan after living in “the Windy City” for almost seven years. I miss it so much, particularly all the great food!


Recently, a local food expert asked me for my recommendations to Chicago’s farmers’ markets and restaurants. I shared my go-to list that I frequently provided to my health-coaching clients in Chicago. It includes REAL food that is clean, local and sustainable. Actual chefs prepare the food. In other words, the food is not processed or laced with artificial ingredients and chemicals.

This list is too good not to share with everyone. Without further ado…

Chicago Restaurants (for omnivores, vegetarians, vegans and raw foodists):

  • Uncommon Ground – Organic, local and sustainable food heaven! A green restaurant with an organic rooftop garden. Try the peanut butter French toast and the veggie burger!
  • Karyn’s Raw (raw), Karyn’s Cooked (vegan), and Karyn’s on Green (upscale vegan): Tasty raw and vegan food. Karyn is a raw foodist and a well known holistic health leader; she’s even been a guest on Oprah
  • Green Zebra – A delicious upscale, contemporary vegetarian restaurant focused on local foods
  • Girl & the Goat – An evening hot spot, with special emphasis on local food. Stephanie Izard (Executive Chef) is the winner of Top Chef’s 4th season. Get your reservations now!
  • Browntrout – A local and sustainable fine-dining restaurant (primarily seafood) with a rooftop garden
  • The Bristol – A delicious farm to table American restaurant focused on seasonal, local food
  • Frontera GrillTopolobampo and XOCO – Rick Bayless’s contemporary, sustainable Mexican restaurants
  • Protein Bar – A casual breakfast and lunch spot with great raw juices, breakfast bowls and bar-ritos!
  • Hannah’s Bretzel – A fantastic sandwich cafe. Try their veggie bomb and amazing chocolate selection

Chicago Farmers’ Markets: There are many farmers’ markets all over the city, but here are my favorites:

  • Green City Market – The largest farmers’ market in the heart of the city; it’s “recognized for distributing, promoting and educating about local sustainably-grown food.”
  • Lincoln Square Farmer’s Market – A charming, fun neighborhood market! They have summer farmers’ markets and concerts. You can enjoy delicious local food, a glass of wine and live music in the square.
  • Chicago French Market  – An indoor market with a plethora of yummy foods. Foodie heaven!

Chicago Fun:

  • The Architectural Tour on the River – I’ve done this boat tour a million times with visitors and it’s always a good time. You can enjoy a beverage, while floating by all the incredible Chicago architecture!
  • The Wit Hotel Roof – The hotel’s rooftop is huge with a great view; it’s a perfect place to enjoy a cocktail.
  • A Cubs game in Wrigleyville – This is a Chicago must in the summer. The games are such a blast!
  • Millennium Park – This is a great scenic spot. In the summer, they have live outdoor music concerts.

There are so many amazing restaurants in Chicago. Have you tried any other restaurants? Share your favorites below.

Stay tuned for my upcoming Top REAL Food lists for Austin and Dallas…

2 Replies to “Brumberry’s Top REAL, Food List for Chicago”

    1. I haven’t been to Lula Cafe. It looks great and I love that it is farm to table! I will definitely try it the next time I’m in Chicago. Thanks for the tip!

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