Chefs—they’re just like us. When the temperature drops and snow begins piling up outside, even the city’s most accomplished cooks cruise apps like Grubhub and Caviar to get their favorite foods ferried straight to their door. We asked Chicago’s top chefs to divulge their delivery cravings. Just remember to tip your driver!
Brian Fisher, Entente: “The Carne en su Jugo from Coyotes Restaurant is the perfect soup for fall and winter... and spring and summer. It’s rich, meaty and seasoned perfectly. The lengua [tongue] tacos are my favorite in Chicago.”
Zoe Schor, Split-Rail: “If I’m lucky enough to have a quiet evening in, I’m often hanging with my parents. They live very close to the best Chinese restaurant on the North Side, Chengdu Impression. We always get the pan-fried dumplings, scallion pancakes and dry chili chicken. The chicken is so dope."
Brian Jupiter, Frontier and Ina Mae Tavern: “We always order Wabi Sabi. My daughter, Adriana, really loves the Cha Shu bowl and requests it all the time. My wife and I always order the tonkotsu ramen—it’s really good. It’s all really good.”
Carlos Cruz, The Promontory: "Football and wings are a great combination, but football and BBQ pork fried rice from Cheng Chopsticks is a perfect marriage! That’s typically how I like to spend my Sundays off while watching the Chicago Bears.”
Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde: “Recently, we’ve been digging MCCB. I always order a wonton soup, a favorite of mine since I was a little kid. Other must-order dishes include the Cheng Du spicy dumplings, which are doused in the most delicious chili-garlic oil; the cumin lamb—be sure to avoid the red chilies, but don’t skip the jalapeños; and the peapod tips with garlic, which are sweet, tender and the perfect side dish to the lamb.”
Ross Henke, Mundano: "I have to divulge my love for Aurelio’s Pizza. I grew up in the south suburbs eating the original Aurelio's tavern-style squares in Homewood, so this is a true comfort food for me. I get the fried zucchini, antipasto salad and Fiesta-size pizza with sausage, pepperoni and hot giardiniera."
Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia and Proxi: “I’m rarely in charge of the delivery orders—I get home too late, and I usually cook for my wife and kids on my days off—but my wife knows that my favorite delivery meal to come home to is chicken vindaloo from Rangoli. The vindaloo is really hot, and their base level is darn spicy.”
Jason Vincent, Giant: “Medium red, double–well-done pizza with pepperoni, sausage, onion, mushroom, green pepper and black olive from Piece. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a better long-cooked pizza. You would almost swear that there’s butter in the crust.”
Jimmy Papadopoulos, Bellemore: “One of my all-time favorite deliveries is the beef noodle soup from Katy’s Dumpling House, in Westmont. It is a legitimate bowl of soul: a spicy, salty, beautifully complex broth with fermented greens, tons of garlic and their house-made noodles.”
Diana Davila, Mi Tocaya Antojería: “There’s this supermarket by my house called Rico Fresh, and they have a little restaurant inside the market. They always have all of these different guisados, or stews, you would find as a home-cooked meal in a Mexican household. It comes fully equipped with rice and beans. They also do really good carnitas.”
Tom Carlin, Dove’s Luncheonette: “Lao Sze Chuan: It’s not your run-of-the-mill Chinese food, but they have the classics like egg drop soup, crab rangoon and veggie fried rice. I like the chef’s special chicken, which is kind of like a classy General Tso’s chicken, but their maw is crazy-good and so are their spicy cucumbers.”
Ellison Park, Income Tax: "My takeout go-to is Kabobi, a Persian joint on Kedzie Avenue. I order the kashkeh bademjoon—roasted eggplant and yogurt dip served with pita or lavash bread—and lamb koubideh, which is spiced ground lamb on a skewer with dill rice. Be sure to get a side of hot sauce. I don’t know what they do to make it taste so good."