Lunch in Chicago: So Many Options From Healthy to Indulgent

Lunch is a great way to experience Chicago's local flavor. In a full service restaurant, like the Loop's lively Dearborn Tavern  or the contemporary Robata outpost of Roka Akor, you're likely to spend less money than at dinner while savoring the same deep flavors. Sit down or carry out healthy, delicious menu specials, sandwiches and salads, fresh-squeezed juices, robust coffee and beautiful pastries at any of the four Beatrix  eateries. 

If you want deep dish (or thin crust) pizza but can't wear elastic for the rest of the day, the Art of Pizza on State Street  is your ticket to excellent slices. If there a Portillo's in the neighborhood, you're on your way to satisfying and authentic Chicago style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Look for The Fat Shallot  rolling by in truck, at Revival Food Hall or the new brick and mortar restaurant - the sandwiches are outstanding. Wow Bao offers comforting noodles, dumplings, rice dishes and the titular baos in just a couple of minutes. IAnd, it's right there in the name - Dove's Luncheonette. 

If you have some time, explore Chinatown, Argyle Street, Pilsen, Greektown or the Polish "downtown" of West Town for authentic flavors, friendly people and low prices. 



Irish owned but utterly American, The Dearborn Tavern can be found at the intersection the Theater District in the heart of downtown), satisfying food and lively ambience. Executive Chef, Aaron Cuschieri (Season 11 of Bravo's Top Chef) offers a...  Read More



Open weekdays, The Ruin Daily is a sandwich shop and day bar that touts, "life is too short for sh*tty sandwiches." If you're taking a train or find yourself in this part of the western edge of the Loop, make a point to stop in the boozy deli...  Read More



Older Chicagoans fondly recall "luncheonettes" and diners where you could get a cup of joe and a platter full of well greased food for very little dough. No doubt, Wicker Park had its share in the 40's to 60's but now we have Dove's...  Read More

Furious Spoon
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Furious Spoon


The ramen noodle obsession in Chicago hasn't waned and Furious Spoon seems to be furiously multiplying every year - it's now checking in at eight locations across Chicagoland. The Tokyo-style ramen shop boasts daily handmade noodles and if you...  Read More



Baos, or steamed Asian buns, are considered fast food in China, and they're picking up steam across the country thanks to Chicago born Wow Bao. Baos are stuffed with teriyaki chicken, barbecued pork, spicy beef, Thai curry, and veggies. Asian...  Read More

Lincoln Park


Co-owned by husband and wife, Sam Barron and Sarah Weitz, The Fat Shallot began as a food truck, expanded to a spot in Revival Food Hall and now there's a stand alone brick and mortar eatery in Lincoln Park. Barron focuses on sandwiches - and...  Read More



Surely you can get some of the finest sushi in the city at Roka Akor, but who knows? On a chilly day you may feel like ingesting something warm and wonderful prepared on a twelve-foot robata grill that uses mesquite charcoal for a fabulous...  Read More



A slice for lunch contains protein, carbs, fats and comfort all in one handheld delivery system. Downtown shoppers, students and visitors won the pizza jackpot when much lauded, The Art of Pizza (in Lakeview), opened a second location on State...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Portillo's


The Chicago born and based chain is a smart choice for a snappy Chicago style hot dog, a spiced-just-right Italian beef or combo, better than decent char burgers and really good shakes, malts and chocolate cake. Service is fast, staff gets your...  Read More



The coffeehouse-meets-restaurant concept, Beatrix, is known for healthy meets delicious menu specials, fresh-squeezed juices and an appealing coffee and pastry counter. Launch lunch with a freshly squeezed juice (Power Greens or a Blueberry...  Read More


Meet Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and...  More About Jacky