By now you’re already RSVP’d to the First (Unofficial) Annual International Videogum Monster Meetup & Lecture. You’ve bought your plane ticket and you booked a two week stay at the Peninsula Hotel. You’re ready to go, like now. But what do you do with your free time in between Ikram and Moncler shopping sprees? Climb on your 1968 Pontiac Firebird and roll out to these culinary landmarks.
White Palace Grill 1159 South Canal St
This is by far the most Guy Fierish restaurant in this list. People I know who have eaten there either love it or hate it. I hate it.
Almost 100 years before Oprah Winfrey destroyed the beef industry for good, Upton Sinclair’s book, The Jungle, struck the first blow against industrialized meat. People were hesitant to eat hamburgers due to Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. The ancient Chicagoans were wary to eat beef for ages until White Castle moved to the neighborhood and showed them that burgers could be a safe food choice. You know your industry is fucked up when White Castle is considered to be the safest choice. I’m pretty sure that’s the reason this place is called White Palace, right? Anyways, the only other reason this place is so popular is that for decades this was the only food place open in the middle of the dreary old South Loop neighborhood, which, up to about a decade ago, was a neighborhood filled with warehouses and factories. Only eat there if you want to get a real Fieri experience.
Kuma’s Corner 2900 W Belmont Ave
The second most Fieri place in this count. I actually love this place. The food is great and metal is the only type of music that you should listen to if you’re eating an animal four times your size. Us Chicago monstes went here last year when Paper St Soap was in town. My only gripe is they don’t take reservations. This wouldn’t be a big deal except they’re kind of in the middle of nowhere and we had to sit in two different tables.
Hackney’s 733 S Dearborn St.
Home to many a monster meet up, Hackney’s is nice. I like. Specially the South Loop location. Try the chicken sandwich.
Tre Kronor 3258 W Foster Ave.
A popular brunch place, Tre Kronor is one of the most interesting places in the northwest side of the city. I went here with Slothdrop, The Wurst, Kateness, and Joshiswrong last year. They have a Swedish shop next door where The Wurst bought some awful lye fish candy.
Panozzo’s Italian Market 1303 S. Wabash
This is my favorite Guy Fieri approved place. It’s a simple Italian bistro and a little steep in price, but man it is good.
Honky Tonk BBQ 1800 S. Racine
My second favorite BBQ place in Chicago. If you’re in Pilsen and want something besides Mexican food, this is the only choice, IMO.
Hopleaf Bar 5148 N Clark St
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been to Hopleaf Bar a bunch of times and never noticed they had food until I saw this video, so I can’t really speak for their food but the place is great. It has a great ambiance and tons of beer options. Do watch the video, though, if you want to see a whole pig’s head dipped into brine.
Glenn’s Diner 1820 West Montrose Ave
This place is more Stephon than Fieri. It’s a diner that focuses on seafood and cereal. Good stuff.