Guy Fieri's Illinois Spots
Chicago, IL
restaurants
La Scarola
Whenever Guy is rolling through Chicago he stops to eat at La Scarola. Chef and owner Armando Vasquez’s serves up unbeatable Italian food and a welcoming atmosphere that Guy can’t get enough of. To make Guy’s go-to order, Veal Chop a la Gabe, a huge 10-ounce pork chop is pounded thin, breaded and fried until crisp and then topped with a lemon, garlic sauce.
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Chicago, IL
cafe
Bella Luna Cafe
If you are in the the River North region of Chicago and craving old school Italian head to Danny Alberga’s Bella Luna Café. Try the crispy deep-dish sausage pizza with hand-crushed tomato sauce and the massive handmade sausage ravioli.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Saucy Porka
Latin fare meets traditional Asian dishes at this Chicago hot spot. From pork carnitas pho soup to arrozo con edamame, Saucy Porka brilliantly balances the fusion of flavors. We recommend trying the Asian Style Paella (Chinese Lap Chang pork sausage, spicy sausage, pork carnitas, edamame, bean sprouts and scallions) or the Pork Pozole (smoky guajillo peppers and tomato base soup served with pickled cabbage, cilantro and corn tortillas).
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Vito & Nick's Pizzeria
Thin-crust pizza may be blasphemy in Chicago, but The Original Vito & Nick's thin-crust pizza has been winning over locals for more than 90 years. Guy dropped by for the signature cheese and egg pizza. Stop by if you want a slice because Vito & Nick's doesn’t deliver.
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Schaumburg, IL
restaurants
Kuma's Corner Schaumburg
When this bar opened, it was all about craft brews and music, but soon the burgers (almost all named for bands) caught on. Graham Elliot is fan of the Mastodon, a beefy patty topped with strips of crispy bacon and a squirt of bourbon-laced barbecue sauce, plus a slice of melty cheese and a pile of fried onions. It’s the perfect fuel for rocking the night away.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Smoque BBQ
Smoque is all about barbecue tradition; even the baked beans are infused with smoky flavor. The ribs are simply irresistible, as they’re coated in a Memphis-style dry rub and glazed with a sweet, tangy barbecue sauce. Guy can’t get enough of the brisket, which he declares “capital T, tender.”
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
DMK Burger Bar
Chef Michael Kornick is making more than a dozen types of gourmet burgers. The unique and contrasting "monster flavors" of the bison burger with blueberry barbecue sauce, goat cheese and marinated onions impressed Guy. He also enjoyed the salmon burger with Thai curry mayonnaise and Asian coleslaw.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant & Catering
A mother-son duo brings the flavors of Costa Rica to Chicago at the family-friendly Irazu. On Triple D, Guy sampled two traditional dishes: classic fried Chicarron with pico de gallo; and Pepito sandwiches made with steak, onions and black beans, before telling Chef Henry Cerdas, "You rocked it."
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Garifuna Flava
From roasted chicken to oxtails to empanadas, Guy's a fan of the traditional Belizean dishes served at Garifuna Flava on the south side of Chicago. Chef Yolanda Castillo treated him to homemade hudut baruru, or mashed plantains, with tikini, a peppery cabbage and fish stew, on Triple D.
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Chicago, IL
bar
Hopleaf
This bar doesn't know the meaning of pub food. They're nixing regular fries and burgers and adding in none other than head cheese (that's pig's head) charcuterie. Or, try a duck and Gruyère crepe. Add a side of frites to that and order from the lengthy menu of beers, and you'll never barhop again.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Cemitas Puebla
Visit one of Cemitas Puebla’s locales for a rare breed of sandwich and a taste of Mexican history. This eatery is the only one of its kind in Chicago serving cemitas, authentic poblano sandwiches made on sesame seed rolls slathered with avocado and chipotle adobo, then stuffed with meaty fillings.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
mfk. restaurant
Score a table at this tiny spot and you’ll be rewarded with a pour of crisp txakolina and a plate of boquerones, pristine anchovy fillets perched on smoky grilled baguettes. For your main, order the cataplana. This tomato-and-anise-flavored stew is larded with bits of cobia collar and fresh shrimp.
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Chicago, IL
cafe
Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli
As a Jewish food specialist, Ted Allen calls Manny's noodle kugel "classic" and a "great way to gain a lot of weight." The kugel in itself merits a trip to Chicago, but diners nationwide head to Manny's for all the tasty Jewish fare, including the chicken soup and massive corned beef sandwiches.
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Glenview, IL
restaurants
Hackney's
This spot has been slinging burgers since original owner Helen "Bebe" Hackney served them with brews on her back porch during the Prohibition era. A standout is The Famous Hackneyburger, served on dark rye with a brick (yes, a brick) of onion rings on the side. As Guy proclaimed, ''It's all-American, baby.''
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Mount Vernon, IL
bar
The Frosty Mug Bar & Grill
The host of Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy Fieri, discovers the secret to great Italian beef at The Frosted Mug in Alsip, IL, a Chicago area drive-in.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
White Palace Grill
Since 1939, White Palace Grill has been open 365 days a year, making it a Chicago landmark. Even with a 24/7 routine, owner George Liakopoulos insists on a menu that's 99-percent scratch made. Guy loved the service and the homemade biscuits and gravy. The veal parmesan? That's "the real deal."
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Tufano's Vernon Park Tap
For more than 80 years, Tufano's Vernon Park Tap has been dishing out old-school Italian dishes. The James Beard award and solid Chicago fan base prove the quality of their classic dishes. The way Guy sees it, their signature lemon chicken is nothing short of a "bodacious bird."
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Wadsworth, IL
restaurants
The Shanty Restaurant
Don't judge a book by its cover at this 80-year-old joint serving classic burgers, steaks and pasta dishes. Try the best-selling Whiskey Shrimp that Guy called "dynamite." Surf 'n' turf lovers should indulge in the conch and filet mignon duo that’s got a bit of Cajun spice.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Taste of Peru
Peruvians and Chicagoans both head to Taste of Peru in Chicago for authentic chicken tamales, Anticuchos (beef heart kebabs) and Guy's favorite: Lomo Saltado. Along with succulent fried beef, onions and tomatoes, this dish adds french fries, making it what Guy calls "right on-point goodness."
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Des Plaines, IL
restaurants
Paradise Pup
At Paradise Pup the "big mess of a burger" is traditional Chicago fast food the way it should be. Folks line up outside the 800-square-foot joint for the one-and-only Char Cheddar burger -- what Guy calls the "mac daddy of all burgers." As for the Italian beef sandwich, it’s "oh, so good."
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Glenn's Diner
Although Glenn's Diner steps outside diner norms with a menu boasting 16 different kinds of fish (including a few straight from Hawaii), Guy was surprised to learn they do breakfast their way too. Here, you can order more than 25 kinds of cereal, everything from Cap'n Crunch to Cheerios.
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Willowbrook, IL
restaurants
Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket
Guy couldn't help but drive his fire-red Chevy up to Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket. The iconic restaurant off Route 66 makes 2,000 pounds of their world-famous slow-cooked chicken each week. Guy loved the chicken, and nicknamed Chef Patrick Rhea "Captain Creamy" for the scrumptious mac 'n' cheese.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Chicago Brauhaus
Chef Harry Kempf has brought classic and comforting German dishes from his homeland to Chicago. Guy enjoyed the "big flavor" and tenderness of the sauerbraten and the rindsrouladen, a beef roll. Loyal customers enjoy the liver dumpling soup and listening to the live polka band.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Sun Wah BBQ
This family-operated restaurant has some of the best and most authentic Chinese barbecue in Chicago. Served up Hong Kong-style, menu highlights include peanut butter egg rolls, crispy Beijing duck and a whole roasted suckling pig that Rahm Fama says is "mouthwateringly delicious."
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Springfield, IL
restaurants
Charlie Parker's Diner
Housed in a former military Quonset hut (think of a giant metal meatloaf), Charlie Parker's is serious about its portion sizes. Guy loved the 16-inch pancakes but had a field day with the "Horsehoe" dish, made to order with your choice of bread and meat and topped with cheese sauce and fries.
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Virginia, IL
restaurants
Depot
The Depot Diner is operating under new ownership since Triple D stopped there, but don't worry about missing out on Thanksgiving flavors with that famous turkey sandwich because they're still making it the same way. Come ready to eat with your hands and use lots of napkins.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Honky Tonk BBQ
You can't get more Honky Tonk than the Memphis in May award-winning pulled pork that's served at this Chicago championship-BBQ eatery. From St. Louis spares to baby backs to the big beef short ribs, they're serving up real-deal slow cooked barbecue with three signature sauces.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Tre Kronor
Get drunken salmon gravlax made with aquavit and other new twists on traditional Nordic food at Tre Kronor. Try the classic Swedish Meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce and the Danish Aebleskivers made with apples to satisfy your sweet tooth before heading out.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
BIG & little's Restaurant
Two chefs used their life savings to start this gourmet fast-food restaurant. Guy says that the foie gras with fries is "decadent" and perfectly medium-rare. The pork belly po' boy with maple mayo Guy described as "chicharrones meets pulled pork." Still hungry? Try the beer-battered fish and chips.
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Burbank, IL
restaurants
Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe
From barbecue to Tex-Mex, Chef Chuck Pine is serving up all types of Southern comfort food. The "incredible" cochinita pibil captured Guy's heart with its delicious shredded pork and spicy habanero salsa. Regulars enjoy ordering the full slab of ribs, catfish po' boy and chicken fried chicken.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Chilam Balam
Chilam Balam puts a "punk rock twist" on organic and farm-fresh Mexican tapas. According to Guy, the chicken flautas with pickled cabbage and homemade queso had great crunch and flavor. The combination of textures in the memelas with aged goat cheese, black beans and pea shoots also impressed.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
nana
Guy's visit to Nana's was a lesson in sustainability. Run by a crew of four siblings and Nana, their mother, the restaurant is all about local, organic produce. On Triple D, Guy devoured the sizzling pupusas. As for the shrimp and oyster po' boys, you could eat those morning, noon and night.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
Panozzo's Italian Market
Chef John Asbaty is bringing Italian comfort food classics to Chicago. Guy likes how the spice and acid from the peppers balance the sweetness from the currants in the meatball sandwich. The porchetta on the fried crescentina bread is "melt-in-your-mouth good."
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
90 Miles Cuban Cafe
Alberto Gonzalez may have left Cuba, but he brought his grandmother's recipes so he could continue to cook rich and savory Cuban cuisine. Guy was impressed by the balance of flavors found in the fricase de pollo served with rice, beans and maduros. The slow-roasted pork pleased Guy.
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Chicago, IL
restaurants
bopNgrill
At this food counter, Chef Will Song is cooking up some "righteous" all-American classics with a Korean spin. The umami burger topped with truffled mushroom duxelle, sun-dried tomato confit, and togarashi mayo sent Guy to euphoria and he couldn't get enough of the Korean Philly cheesteak eggrolls.
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Norridge, IL
restaurants
Rex Italian Foods, Inc
Following his nonna's recipes, Chef Anthony Pinello and his mother are cooking "real deal" Italian food. Guy swooned over the Sicilian schiacciata filled with ham, pepperoni, peppers, mild giardiniera and mozzarella. Customers on-the-go enjoy the homemade frozen soups and Italian deli meats.
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