Get us in your inbox

Shanti Chu

Shanti Chu

Ever since Shanti can remember, she has been a lover of all things culinary in the Chicago area. Shanti’s approach to food is rooted in philosophical, cultural and ethical concerns, which are illustrated by her focus on plant-based eating. She has appeared on several podcasts, such as Overthink and Bourbon 'n BrownTown, to discuss philosophy and food and has more recently published a chapter on food for the Companion to Public Philosophy. She got her start with food writing through the community-centric publication, LoganSquarist, and has contributed to Eater Chicago, ARTNews and Time Out Chicago. When she isn’t philosophizing or writing, Shanti loves cooking plant-based meals for her loved ones and DJs techno and ambient music.

Articles (7)

The 13 best bars in Pilsen

The 13 best bars in Pilsen

Undeniably, Pilsen is home to some of the best Chicago restaurants. However, it's also a great place to grab a pint or cocktail. Once you've finished your meal at a Pilsen restaurant, keep the good times going at some of the best nearby bars, too. Cocktail enthusiasts can enjoy alluring elixirs while craft beer connoisseurs can find something at the best breweries in the neighborhood. Some of these bars host popular DJ sets, which can turn the night into a dance-a-thon very quickly. So be sure to stick around a while, with your drink of choice in hand, at the best bars in Pilsen.  RECOMMENDED: Discover more things to do in Pilsen, Chicago

The 28 best restaurants in Pilsen

The 28 best restaurants in Pilsen

Founded by Czech immigrants who named it after the city where pilsner beer was first produced, Pilsen is emblematic of the waves of immigration that have shaped Chicago. Known for its vibrant murals and arts scene, the Lower West Side neighborhood has a large Latino population and is the place to go if you want to hit up the best Mexican restaurants in Chicago for authentic tacos, chicharrones or conchas, which are among the city’s best cheap eats. But the area also features its own style of pizza and some excellent barbecue and Vietnamese fare. So hop on the train to 18th Street and check out the best restaurants in Pilsen. RECOMMENDED: Discover the best bars in Pilsen

Where to find the best salads in Chicago

Where to find the best salads in Chicago

Chicago is known for its indulgent foods, and is often lauded for its amazing pizzas and juicy Italian beef sandwiches. With a culture seemingly centered around decadence, it seems easy for vegetables and salads to be an afterthought. But Chicago has an evergrowing sustainable and healthy food scene, centered around local ingredients and plant-based proteins. If you’re looking to make some wholesome changes or just crave vegetables after a debaucherous season, then we've got you covered with Chicago’s best spots for salads. From greens and papaya to chicken and tofu, you'll never get bored eating your way through Chicago’s flourishing salad scene, which keeps you on your toes and also accommodates a variety of diets. RECOMMENDED: Discover the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Chicago

The 20 best French restaurants in Chicago

The 20 best French restaurants in Chicago

France has one of the world’s most celebrated culinary traditions, but you don’t need to fly across the ocean to get a taste. Some of the best restaurants in Chicago serve French fare, offering new spins on classic dishes like steak tartare and foie gras. The city is home to beloved institutions that have been dishing out French onion soup for decades, as well as new spots exploring French-Moroccan and French-Canadian cuisine. There are cozy wine bars pouring Champagne and bordeaux and outdoor restaurants where you can pretend you’re people-watching in Paris. Book a spot at one of the best French restaurants in Chicago to take your tastebuds on a culinary journey. RECOMMENDED: Discover the best Chicago restaurants

10 top-notch rooftop happy hour deals in Chicago

10 top-notch rooftop happy hour deals in Chicago

Chicago has an alluring rooftop bar scene and dynamic happy hour options, but what if you want to have happy hour on a rooftop? Whether you’re having a Sunday funday or trying to relax after a stressful day at work, these Chicago rooftop bars have you covered. Some of the best bars in Chicago are whipping up creative cocktails and delicious bites for happy hour atop their gorgeous rooftop spaces, offering everything from pisco sours and frosé specials to incredible deals on appetizers—and best of all, the views are always free. Gaze at the dazzling skyline or retreat to a cozy, intimate space away from the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s busy streets with these rooftop happy hour specials throughout the city. RECOMMENDED: The best rooftop restaurants in Chicago

The 8 best places to drink tea in Chicago

The 8 best places to drink tea in Chicago

Tea is more than just a secondary option at the best coffee shops in Chicago—it’s an incredibly versatile beverage that can be served hot, iced, decaf or caffeinated. The best tea in Chicago can serve as a hot antidote to a frigid winter afternoon or as a refreshing break from a humid summer day. Ranging from milky boba tea in Chinatown to loose-leaf herbal tea and chai in Logan Square, you’ll find all sorts of amazing varieties throughout the city. We’ve rounded up some of the best spots for tea in Chicago, including cafes, restaurants and tea houses. 

Where to find vegetarian ramen in Chicago

Where to find vegetarian ramen in Chicago

Ramen is a quintessential comfort food—just tuck into a bowl served by some of the best restaurants in Chicago on a cold day if you need proof. Hot broth, luscious noodles and a vast array of toppings make this a dish that's appealing to many different palates. While meat- and seafood-based bowls are common among the best ramen shops in Chicago, vegan and vegetarian ramen options have been slow to follow. Recently, ramen spots throughout the city have started offering ramen that plant-based eaters can enjoy, complete with super-flavorful broth. Gone are the days when vegetarian ramen means a bland broth with steamed vegetables thrown in. Enjoy these meat-free bowls when you sample the best vegan and vegetarian ramen in Chicago.

Listings and reviews (1)

Hugo Tea Space

Hugo Tea Space

Immerse yourself during an informative tea session embodying “gong fu cha” or “tea with effort” at this Bucktown tea house. Hugo Tea Space takes tea education very seriously, with highly knowledgeable tea tenders who can offer you an individual tea session, a shared session with snacks or a private tasting. For a quicker tea experience, you can order a cup of loose leaf tea imported from sustainable partner farms across Asia. Hugo Tea Space’s extensive tea collection includes an assortment of green, white, oolong, black, matcha and herbal teas.