The only thing as good as a hot chocolate on a freezing cold winter day in Chicago is piping hot soup. While you can always hunker down and make your own batch of soup — with these hearty recipes — you can also get rid of your cabin fever by socializing and enjoy a delicious slurp or two at these five restaurants around the city.
Spicy Monkey Soup Co.
131 N. Clinton St.
Chicago, IL 60661
Whether you’re getting off the train or heading towards one after being out in the cold, warm up with a house-made soup from this quick-service restaurant. The soups are made from scratch every day so the menu does change, but you can be sure there will be a hearty soup that will fill you up and warm you up too. Spicy Monkey also offers signature soups that are always on the menu, including its delicious tomato soup. All soups can even be customized with ingredients like chicken, broccoli and even pasta and rice!
619 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60661
For a gourmet soup experience, make a reservation at Paul Kahan’s contemporary Midwestern restaurant in the West Loop, a place that’s been awarded and nominated for James Beard honors numerous times. Since Blackbird is all about the seasons, and local ingredients, the soup will be tailored for a winter palate. Some options may include a celery root soup (elevated with grilled lobster and preserved lemon) or a butternut squash soup. Soups, typically, are available both on the lunch and dinner menus.
2943 N. Broadway Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
It’s all about the soup at this Lakeview quick-service restaurant (with a second location in the Near North neighborhood). Time and time again, the soup here has been voted the best in Chicago, and with 12 house-made soups made daily, it’s not hard to see why. Warm up, and fill up, with hearty soups like the beef stew (packed with veggies like carrots and potatoes), a creamy broccoli and white cheddar, a chicken chili, and many more. Soupbox also offers both vegetarian and gluten-free soups.
Related: Chicago’s Best Chicken Soup
2656 W. Lawrence Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
For a beautifully presented, and delicious, meal in an intimate setting, head on over to Lincoln Square’s Goosefoot. While the nine-course menu does change, it always focuses on seasonal items, and Chef Chris Nugent creates a seamless and culinary experience like no other. One winter soup that may delight your senses is the chef’s heirloom squash soup, which is made perfectly with black tea, hazelnut and a bit of holiday cheer with some cranberry.
1406 W. Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
The soup at this Lakeview restaurant may be available all year round, but it’s also the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter day in Chicago. In fact, the lentil soup is, hands down, the must-have item at Zachi. While it is offered in both small and large size versions, you’ll easily slurp up the small and wish you’d gotten the bigger size. Zachi also offers a loaded lentil soup, which is a bowl of rice that comes with chicken shwarma and is smothered in the soup. One thing’s for sure, order the loaded soup and you won’t go home hungry.
Related: Best Chili Dishes in Chicago
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s writing about a variety of topics for numerous websites and blogs, and working part-time at a culinary vacation company based in the Windy City. Some of her work can be found at Examiner.com.