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Posted inBest of Chicago

Best frozen water

JustIce icecoldjustice.com If you think ice doesn’t make a difference in a cocktail then you haven’t been to any of the 50-some bars that buy rocks from husband-and-wife duo Rosanna Lloyd and Kimpton Hotels’ manager of bar education, Mike Ryan. Available in several varieties—cubes, blocks, globes, and custom shapes—it’s so diamond clear you can read […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best classic cocktails

Ward Eight wardeight.com Bourbon, Fernet, chartreuse, and a splash of cava? Gin, maple syrup, amaro, and sparkling white wine? A slurpee mixed with turtle’s blood and Bulleit rye? Stop, I want to get off! After drinking so many outrageous half-dozen-ingredient concoctions, sometimes I just want someone to serve me a fucking drink. Evanston’s unimpeachable Ward […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best local vodka for whiskey drinkers

Barrel-Aged Ceres Vodka from Chicago Distilling Company chicagodistilling.com Bartenders and distillers are barrel aging everything these days, from gin to cocktails—but barrel-aged vodka is still fairly rare. And that alone was enough reason for Two mixologist Graham Crowe and Chicago Distilling Company owner Jay DiPrizio to want to make one. They collaborated in late January […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best cheap fancy lunch

Sikia Restaurant washburneculinary.com/facilities/sikia In an industrial part of Englewood populated largely by empty lots, factory buildings, and fast-food restaurants is the 77-year-old Washburne Culinary Institute—and inside of that is Sikia Restaurant, where Washburne students prepare and serve food in a room full of white tablecloths, tasteful artwork, and soothing music. Sadly, the $7 three-course meal […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best $3 lunch

The sandwiches at Xi’an Cuisine xiancuisinechicago.com I read a quotation once to the effect that people who eat sandwiches have given up on life. I don’t agree with this. In fact, I think in many ways we’re experiencing a sandwich renaissance in Chicago, where any bored office worker can hop on the Red Line, get […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best use of food waste

Nance Klehm, the Ground Rules spontaneousvegetation.net/the-ground-rules During the last year and a half, ecological systems designer, landscaper, horticultural consultant, permacultural grower, and forager Nance Klehm has undertaken an ambitious composting and bioremediation project called the Ground Rules. Each week her group collects some 1,000 gallons’ worth of food waste from local businesses like Owen & […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best new cookbook from Chicago

The Big Jones Cookbook store.bigjoneschicago.com A category like this has more candidates than you might expect, and it’s no slam on people from Mindy Segal to Anupy Singla to say that there’s one obvious winner here: Paul Fehribach’s The Big Jones Cookbook. Organized by regions of the south, it’s a cookbook built on cookbooks, as […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best sausage that brings the funk

Soppressata from ’Nduja Artisans ndujaartisans.com Ever since it burst onto the scene with its spicy, spreadable Calabrian meat butter, salumi start-up ’Nduja Artisans has been expanding its production line with heritage meats like Wagyu salame di manzo, Wagyu bresaola, Berkshire hot coppa, and a black-label ’nduja made from Mangalitsas and Ossabaws. But it’s the new […]

Posted inBest of Chicago

Best comeback(s) from disaster

5 Loaves Eatery 5loaveschicago.com The kind of place every neighborhood wants, 5 Loaves Eatery is a brightly painted, friendly breakfast spot making delicious soul-food staples like chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits. And food with soul it is: the name comes from the five loaves that Jesus multiplied in Matthew, and the owners give […]