One of Chicago’s Most Popular Chefs Dishes on the City’s Hottest Restaurants

Chef Nicole Bayani executive chef at Chicago's Presidio, unveiled a list of her favorite restaurants by occasion
Chef Nicole Bayani of Presidio gives us advice on her best bets around Chicago.
Chicago Tribune

Chef Nicole Bayani of Presidio gives us advice on her best bets around Chicago.

At 32 years old, Chef Nicole Bayani has a resume beyond her years. After jumping into the restaurant industry at 25, Bayani moved from sandwich shops to fine dining to cocktail bars and gastropubs.

It's quite a list. After working at Fumare in the French Market, Bayani transitioned to La Sardine to broaden her skill set in an "old school kitchen." From there, she joined the opening team at Dusek's before trying her hand at fine-dining with Tru. When the silence of the kitchen at Tru didn't suit her, she headed to Scofflaw in Logan Square, before landing at Presidio in December 2016.

In early May, Bayani unveiled her new menus at the Wicker Park restaurant and cocktail spot, focusing on fresh ingredients to say sayonara to winter and usher in the warmth of summer. With her wealth of experience, Bayani gave us sage advice on her best bets around Chicago.

Favorite breakfast spot: "Cafe Marie-Jeanne (1001 N. California Ave. 773-904-7660) in Humboldt Park. "What they do there is incredible. It’s a really industry-focused place, whether or not they try to be, because they offer such a wide variety of things. It seems so simple, but they do a lot of really simple things super well and they have a lot of options. I go there with everybody—chef friends or other industry friends like bartenders and stuff."

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Check out the rest of chef Bayani's favorite Chicago eats from her interview with the Chicago Tribune.