Working downtown means that you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options. But that can also mean the potential for serious analysis paralysis: How do you decide? Luckily, we’ve done exhaustive research into this matter and are here to make sure you can eat well. Most of these spots can be found within a few blocks of the office, with a couple options a bit farther afield for days when you know that feedback on your new campaign won’t be coming in for a while. Besides, who couldn’t use a walk?Read More
Where to Eat Near Your River North Office
1. Naf Naf Grill
Let’s start with the homemade pitas, because... well, do we really need to explain why? Once you’ve tasted the warm, pillowy pitas at Naf Naf, you’re ruined for everywhere else. Fill them up with juicy chicken shawarma, steak marinated in Middle Eastern seasonings, or freshly made falafel, and add a variety of crunchy veggies and colorful sauces, plus an order of fries or some of the best lentil soup you’ve ever tasted, and you’ll wonder why the line out the door isn’t even longer. Lucky for you, they take online orders.
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2. Revival Food Hall
For the picky, the indecisive, and the eclectic, there’s Revival, which brings together some of the city’s best restaurants under one industrial-chic roof. Want poke, a local beer, and an artisan doughnut? Not a problem. European-style sandwich and a smoothie bowl? They’ve got that too. In addition to their regular vendors, Revival recently introduced Pizza City, a rotating selection of local pizza restaurants that will do pop-up stints in a dedicated space, proving that Chicago pizza is so much more than deep dish.
3. Goddess and the Baker
An offshoot of the crazy popular Goddess and the Grocer, this newer concept focuses on, you guessed it, baked goods! And what incredible baked goods they are, with everything from the morning buns to the granola bars to the ham and cheese croissants baked fresh daily. Goddess also offers a menu of their fantastic sandwiches, wraps, and salads for lunch and dinner. Come by in the morning for a coffee, come back after work for a glass of wine — it’s the perfect place any time of day.
4. Jaffa Bagels
Maybe Chicago isn’t the bagel mecca that New York City is, but Jaffa Bagels is doing their best to change that. This Middle Eastern-influenced spot bakes up fresh bagels, croissants, and muffins every day, and also serves specialties like baba ghanoush, shawarma, and falafel. Light on ambiance but big on pretty much everything else, Jaffa will become your go-to when you have to grab something quick but can’t face another sad desk lunch.
5. Pierogi Heaven
If your idea of heaven is a place filled with dumplings, sour cream, and bacon, it’s going to be way easier to find than you expected. This Polish spot serves a few other Eastern European specialties, but the pierogi are, of course, the stars. Vegetarians and carnivores alike will find something to love here — the potato and cheese dumplings are a standout, while the dessert pierogi are fresh and fun. And don’t miss the charming and informative history of pierogi on the restaurant’s website if you’re looking for something to read while you eat.
6. Imperial Lamian
Hand-pulled noodles are the star at Imperial Lamian, and they’re used across the menu in fried dishes, soups, and more. (In fact, the name comes from the Chinese word la, meaning “pull,” and mian, meaning “noodle.”) Traditional dim sum brunch items like barbeque pork buns and spring rolls as well as a variety of soup dumplings are also available in the mornings, along with a full bar and tea menu throughout the day.
7. Hannah's Bretzel
One of Chicago’s favorite lunch chains, Hannah’s Bretzel starts its day with breakfast sandwiches like White Truffled Goat Cheese + Mighty Vine Tomatoes and then moves on to serving up creative gourmet sandwiches served on house-baked “wecken,” or small rolls, or whole grain or pretzel baguettes. They also have a rotating Chef Series sandwich, which features an exclusive recipe from a local chef, the proceeds of which go to charity. Like you needed another reason to not bring your own lunch.
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You probably already know Rossi’s. You’ve been there after you won a pitch. Or lost a pitch. Or had a performance review. There’s nothing fancy here, just heavy pours, cheap beer, and a jukebox. As one of the only real dive bars in the Loop, Rossi’s is popular with people in the creative fields, meaning you’re almost guaranteed to run into someone you know there. It’s permanently evening in here, even on a summer afternoon, so expect to squint a little, and don’t forget some singles — it’s cash only.
9. Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea
The perfect place to stop in if you want a quick, healthy breakfast or lunch, Fairgrounds prides itself on serving fresh, ethically sourced food and drinks. Breakfast sandwiches and tacos, including vegan options, make up the morning menu, and lunch offers a wide array of options as well. As a nod to their name, there’s also a “From The Fair” section that includes a soft pretzel served with local cold-brew cheese dip, and funnel cake fries.