Here are 15 recipes inspired by Chicago restaurants – these meals were so good that I needed to learn how to make them myself. If you live in Chicago, I am sure you will recognize some of the foods on this list.
One of the best things about living in Chicago is the access to incredible restaurants. It’s hard to have a bad meal in this city. The restaurant scene has exploded since I moved here. In 2008, the West Loop was a no-mans-land that was considered dangerous. Now it is one of the most desirable neighborhoods and home to some of the best restaurants in the country!
After over 11 years of living in Chicago, I have recreated over a dozen dishes from local restaurants. The list includes my go-to breakfast order at a restaurant that has since left my neighborhood, and a favorite pasta dish from a classic Chicago restaurant that has sadly closed. I love that I can still enjoy these meals even though the restaurants aren’t around anymore.
Some of these recipes are cult classics in Chicago. Blue Door Farmstand’s Brussels and Kale Salad is a personal favorite and a recipe I needed to learn so that I would stop spending $20 to have it delivered on a regular basis.
My hope that these restaurants are flattered that I took the type of create my own version of their menu item. Sometimes I added my own spin to the recipes. Even when I tried to stay true to the original, I didn’t have the recipe so it’s a close but not exact copy.
Recipes Inspired by Chicago Restaurants:
15 Recipes Inspired by Chicago Restaurants
These recipes were inspired by my favorite meals at local Chicago restaurants. From my favorite salads to a go-to brunch order and a beloved pasta at a now-closed restaurant these meals were so good that I needed to learn how to make them myself.
Inspired by Blue Door Farmstand, I created my own version of their most famous menu item. The combo of kale and brussels sprouts was too harsh on my tummy, so I add a significant amount of gem lettuce. I also like to add dried cranberries.
Fans of Le Pain Quotidien will recognize this meal. The French cafe has since closed its Old Town location but lucky I figured out how to make my go-to order at home. This omlete has mushrooms, goat cheese, and a drizzle of pesto.
Based on the Harvest Bowl at Sweetgreen, this salad has chicken, sweet potatoes, kale, broccoli, pepitas, and blue cheese.
Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad is a hearty and healthy meal made with buffalo chicken, broccoli, carrot, celery, corn, tomato, cheddar cheese, and bacon on a bed of greens and quinoa. It's high protein, loaded with veggies, and perfect for meal prepping. This meal is inspired by Charles's order at Protein Bar, he eats this for lunch almost every day.
The Pump Room was one of Chicago's most romantic and most legendary restaurants and I was so sad to see it close. This is my version of their lemon parmesan fettuccine. It's boldy lemon flavored with a very light cream sauce. It's not super saucy, but that's how The Pump Room made it.
The Negroni Slushy is one of the most iconic Chicago cocktails thanks to Parson's Chicken & Fish. It's a frosty cocktail that balances sweet and bitter flavors.
Inspired by my favorite side dish at GT Prime, one of Chicago's best steakhouses, this corn has a zesty parmesan lime sauce and is topped with smokey shishito peppers. It's a recipe that is easy and anything but boring.
When I lived in Lakeview, I loved going to Southport Grocery on weekends. My favorite menu item was an omelet filled with a mixture of cheese and artichokes.
I love a salad loaded with veggies just as mush as I adore ranch dressing. This salad inspired by The Allis in the West Loop has both. This recipe works well for meal prepping too.
Toast, cheese, a runny egg yolk, truffle oil, and asparagus come together in this dish inspired by Davanti Enoteca. This is so easy to make at home.
Del Frisco's didn't make it in Chicago, but I have my own version of their cheesesteak eggrolls! If you have leftover steak, this is the way to use it.
Another unique eggroll recipe, this one is inspired by Cochon Volant. These eggrolls are stuffed with diced ham and cheese and topped with mustard.
Joe's on Weed Street has a very specific way of making their Buffalo Chicken Dip. It isn't the layered dip that is typical in the Midwest, instead this is a creamy dip with chunks of chicken, and it's delicious.
I get these tacos delivered from Velvet Taco on a regular basis. Sometimes I order extra so that I can have leftovers the next day. They are just that good! These tacos have thin beef patties that are sliced in half, animal sauce, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado. The benefit to putting your burger in a tortilla is that there is more room for toppings.
I love a great steakhouse style wedge salad, and this salad was inspired by Gibson's, one of the most well-known Chicago steakhouses.
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Do you have an item from a restaurant’s menu that you love so much that you make it at home? I would love to hear about it in the comments!