Over the past few weeks I’ve ventured to some great restaurants with friends. I wasn’t the best about taken pictures everywhere but I wanted to share my thoughts anyway!
I also wanted to mention I joined the Yelp and HappyCow community (a website to help people discover vegetarian and vegan places to eat). It’s been fun writing reviews occasionally and it’s so helpful to read up on restaurants before visiting.
1//. Meli Cafe – Loop
- I had the most AMAZING brunch at their Dearborn location. Seriously we still talk about how we want to go back but also don’t want to taint our first experience. The space is beautiful, the menu is large including a whole vegan/gluten-free section, plenty of coffee re-fills… I could go on and on. I had the fluffiest vegan pancakes with fresh fruit. My friends ordered omelettes, french toast, a breakfast bowl and loved it all. I want to try their River North location because I heard it’s a different vibe, it’s also closer and they really know how to do an awesome (vegan) brunch to please everyone!
Those are my pancakes in the top left… so good.
2//. Mahalo – Wicker Park
- Went to dinner here with a group. The ambiance is soooo cool and beachy, drinks are delicious and strong. I shared the Big Kahuna drink with a friend (it comes in a pineapple!) and then a Mai Tai.
- The food was a bit of a let down for the guys in our group. Our waitress was new and messed up a few orders and I think they were looking for larger portions.. But the highlights were the pork fried rice and coconut shrimp! I shared some french fries, which are not your average ones by the way. If I remember correctly they are crispy and seasoned sweet potato and turnips! For my main I had the veggie poke bowl, which was pretty good. Overall I’d give this place another try with a group of girls, even just for the drinks!
3//. Mia Francesca – Lakeview
- This Italian place has a few locations in and out of Chicago. I’ve been to the Lake Forest restaurant a few times and knew it was great quality so I was excited to try it downtown! The ambiance is lively with dim lighting, and the food is delicious. They were accommodating with my dairy-allergy and I had a huge bowl of linguine with fresh cherry tomato sauce. The friends I went with both ordered off the specials menu and had the lobster cheese ravioli. I would definitely come back here for a date or with a group.
(I swear I haven’t just gone to places that start with “M”…)
4//.Andy’s Thai Kitchen – Lakeview
- I love Thai/Asian food and had been dying to try this restaurant for a while. This is one of those places where it really helps to read Yelp reviews and tips – Andy’s doesn’t take reservations, is a small space, and is cash only!! So my friend and I were prepared to wait when we arrived, which actually was only 25 minutes.
- They’re a little understaffed so it took a little longer than normal to order, but our food came out very fast and was soooo good. We ordered veggie soup, hot and sour soup, Pad Thai with shrimp, and Vegan Pad See-Ew. This is a vegan-friendly place, you just need to tell your waiter of any dietary restrictions. They serve great portions and we both took home leftovers! Would highly recommend to anyone living in the area, just come prepared with cash.
Thai food doesn’t really ever look pretty in photos…
More delicious spots to come! Has anyone else eaten at these places?