It may be nearing the end of February, but that by no means spells out the end of winter (especially in Chicago). Our hats, gloves, and boots are sure to see plenty more action before the season’s out. The best way to beat the winter chill? Keep your stomach full of warm and comforting foods. We can tell you where to find some of the city’s favorites.
Soups are standard "warm-you-up" dishes, but the innovative scene of Chicago isn’t satisfied with a simple can of vegetable soup. Instead, why not try a chicken and wild rice soup from Soupbox? The Lowcountry boil from Carriage House, while not strictly a soup, will do the job and more with heaps of sausage, seafood, and veggies in a delicious broth.
On the topic of soup, its common partner deserves a mention. In the Windy City, though, grilled cheese sandwiches are anything but pedestrian. At Cheesie’s Pub & Grub, thick Texas toast is loaded with meat, peppers, and, of course, plenty of cheese. Grahamwich serves up a keeper as well, with prosciutto, tomato marmalade, and cheese curds.
Chicago is well-known for its prevalent Polish population, and their hearty fare is a great way to put some meat on your bones to get through the winter. You can stock up on sausages at Bobak’s, or hit up the widespread buffet at Jolly Inn. Eat enough, and you can become your own snowman as you roll home.
Ramen is all the rage these days, and for good reason; the soupy noodles are perfect for warming up a winter’s day. Try the pork ramen at Oiistar, or spend a cozy afternoon in the window seats at Slurping Turtle with a bowl of their signature noodles.
No list of winter staples would be complete without this sweet finish. Forget powdered packets and treat yourself to something truly decadent. Mindy’s Hot Chocolate lives up to the name with delicious drinks like Black and Tan and Chai. Katherine Anne Confections is another chocolate lovers’ dream and will keep you nice and toasty with their rich mugs of Salted Caramel and Hazelnut cocoas.