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A bowl of borscht and its various ingredients.
Shokolad’s borscht offers a warm embrace.
Official Photo

20 Hot & Delicious Soups That Beat the Chicago Cold

'Tis the season to stay toasty

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Shokolad’s borscht offers a warm embrace.
| Official Photo

When Chicagoans can't feel their faces due to the frigid temps, there’s arguably no better remedy than the soups that are cooking in the following kitchens. From the spicy heat of tom yum to the classic matzo ball, all types of nourishing options are represented here. The latest additions include seolleongtang at Han Bat, borscht at Shokolad, and spicy beef noodle soup at Taipei Cafe.

As of October 30, Chicago restaurants can no longer serve customers indoors. Still, a number of Chicago restaurants have outdoor seating. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Pho 5 Lua

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6261 N McCormick Rd
Chicago, IL 60659
(773) 509-0909
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Pho is delicious year-round but it’s essential when the temperatures dip. One of the best bowls is found at Pho 5 Lua on the northwest side, far from Argyle Street. The Vietnamese staple cures any ailment (or hangover) with an intense beef broth and add-ins like rice noodles, brisket, tendon, tripe, meatballs, bean sprouts, cilantro, Thai basil, and more. The restaurant has outdoor seating and is open for takeout.

2. Big Jones

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5347 N Clark St, Chicago
IL, 60640
(773) 275-5725
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The signature Gumbo Ya-Ya at Paul Fehribach’s acclaimed Southern restaurant is packed with Amish chicken, andouille sausage, and buttered Arkansas rice. The Cajun dish can be enjoyed as either a starter or a full meal, and is available by the pint or quart. Big Jones offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery.

3. Taste of Lebanon

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1509 W Foster Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 334-1600

This Andersonville hole-in-the-wall offers tasty Lebanese food at wallet-friendly prices. Made fresh, the hearty lentil soup is a nice addition to a fall or winter meal. Taste of Lebanon is open for takeout.

4. Han Bat

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2723 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 271-8640

Hidden away in the back of a parking lot on Lawrence Avenue, this unassuming Korean spot specializes in ox bone soup. Called seolleongtang, the milky white broth is known as a hangover remedy because of its simple-yet-comforting flavor. Each bowl also contains choice of brisket, flank steak, tripe, tendon, or tongue. It’s accompanied by rice and kimchi and can be seasoned to taste with salt, chopped green onions, and chili paste. Han Bat is open for takeout.

5. Gene’s Sausage Shop

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4750 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
IL, 60625
(773) 728-7243
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Customers can pick up encased meats, gourmet goods, and chicken noodle soup that doesn’t skimp on flavor at this vintage Polish delicatessen. The satisfying soup is made daily from Amish chickens. Gene’s is open for takeout and delivery.

6. Cafe El Tapatio

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3358 N Ashland Ave, Chicago
IL, 60657
(773) 327-5475
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Whether it’s chicken tortilla or cream of roasted poblano pepper, the Mexican soups at this mom-and-pop spot are made with plenty of love. Don’t expect any frills, just some good old fashioned home-style cooking. A second outpost is located in Glenview. Cafe El Tapatio offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery.

7. Andy's Thai Kitchen

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950 W Diversey Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 549-7821
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Tom yum soup is a Thai favorite and its spices are much needed during the cold season. The rich and funky, spicy and sour broth is characterized by notes of lemongrass, alongside other ingredients like mushroom, onion, tomato, and cilantro. For a heartier option, go with ATK’s boat noodle soup: A complex, dark broth filled with brisket, rice noodles, Chinese broccoli, fried pork skins, and more. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery.

8. Ramen Wasabi

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2101 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 227-8180
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Ask any ramen enthusiast what the most important component of the dish is and chances are they’ll say it’s the broth. The tonkotsu at Ramen Wasabi is a labor of love — simmered for days to produce a lip-smacking base that’s rich and creamy. It’s topped off with Berkshire pork belly, bamboo shoots, scallions, sesame, mushrooms, garlic oil, and a soft-boiled egg. The restaurant offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery via third party services.

A bowl of ramen.
Tonkotsu is Ramen Wasabi’s specialty.
Ramen Wasabi [Official Photo]

9. Le Bouchon

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1958 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 862-6600
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France’s iconic onion soup dates back centuries and needs little introduction. Thaw off by diving into Le Bouchon’s top notch version. It’s a beef stock full of caramelized onions with a layer of melted gruyere on top. The restaurant offers takeout via Tock.

10. Pozoleria San Juan

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1523 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago
IL, 60651
(773) 276-5825
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One of Chicago’s few pozolerias offers the hominy soup in three different varieties: Roja, verde, and blanco. It comes with a number of toppings including avocado, cilantro, lime, radish, and cabbage, as well as chicharrones that are perfect for dipping. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

11. Podhalanka

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1549 W Division St, Chicago
IL, 60642
(773) 486-6655
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If Chicagoans are missing babcia's sour soup, travel to this Polish Triangle restaurant that time forgot for a bowl of zurek, a traditional white borscht. If the fermented rye soup isn't their fancy, there are over several other "zupy" to choose from. Podhalanka offers takeout.

12. Shokolad Pastry & Cafe

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2524 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 276-6402
Visit Website

Visit this Ukrainian Village cafe for a variety of European baked goods and an outstanding bowl of borscht. The famous beetroot soup is mixed with sour cream and herbs and paired with fresh

ricotta rolls and a garlic dipping sauce. Shokolad is open for takeout and delivery via third party services.

A bowl of borscht and its various ingredients.
Enjoy Ukrainian staples like borscht at Shokolad.
Shokolad Pastry & Cafe [Official Photo]

13. GT Fish & Oyster

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531 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 929-3501
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Giuseppe Tentori and Boka Restaurant Group’s seafood hotspot is renowned for its refined shared plates. Diners won’t be judged, though, if they decide to order their own clam chowder. Served in a mason jar alongside housemade oyster crackers, the creamy soup is chockfull of bivalves and has a hint of smokiness thanks to the addition of Nueske’s bacon. GT Fish & Oyster offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery via third party services.

14. La Scarola

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721 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 243-1740
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Chicagoans flock to this Italian-American establishment for its old-school charm and hearty fare. The menu is filled with red sauce dishes and other classics like pasta e fagioli. Recipes for the traditional “pasta and beans” soup vary by region and the version here features cannellini beans, pasta, and Parmesan cheese in a white wine broth. La Scarola offers outdoor seating and takeout.

15. Greek Islands

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200 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 782-9855
Visit Website

Greeks and non-Greeks alike favor this longtime restaurant for well-executed classics in a traditionally-decorated space. The avgolemono, or egg lemon soup, is an extra creamy version made with chicken broth, rice, egg yolks, and lemon juice. Greek Islands offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery.

16. Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen

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1141 S Jefferson St, Chicago
IL, 60607
(312) 939-2855
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For those seeking Jewish comfort food, head over to this timeless delicatessen for a real deal matzah ball soup. Using the same recipe since 1942, it's no surprise that it's the best selling soup on the menu. Manny’s offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery.

17. Taipei Cafe

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2609 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 374-1986
Visit Website

Beef noodle soup, a beloved dish in Taiwan and Southeast Asia, takes center stage at Bridgeport’s Taipei Cafe. The spicy beef broth is loaded with tender braised beef, chewy noodles, pickled cabbage, and green onion. Variations include an herbal broth version. The restaurant is open for takeout or delivery.

18. Taqueria Los Gallos

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4211 W 26th St
Chicago, IL 60623
(773) 762-7452

There are more than just tacos on the menu at this Little Village taqueria. In fact, its signature dish is a soup from the Mexican city of Guadalajara called carne en su jugo. Translating to “meat in its juices,” the soup stars beef broth teeming with grilled steak, avocado, bacon, and pinto beans. Taqueria Los Gallos offers takeout.

19. Birrieria Zaragoza

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4852 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60632
(773) 523-3700
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Renowned for its roasted goat, Birrieria Zaragoza serves up a fantastic complementary dish: Consommé. It's cooked without meat drippings, so vegetarians are in the clear. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery via third-party services.

A variety of dishes laid out, including consommé, roasted goat, tortillas, and salsa.
The consommé is vital to Birrieria Zaragoza’s signature dish.
Birrieria Zaragoza [Official Photo]

20. Nita's Gumbo

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8100 S Stony Island
Chicago, IL 60617
(773) 734-2788
Visit Website

Home to arguably the finest gumbo in the city, Nita’s Gumbo has two locations on the South Side. The recipe for the Creole dish is a family secret that has been passed down through generations. It all starts with the roux, which provides a savory foundation for the intoxicating stew. Pieces of popcorn shrimp, crab meat, chicken, and chicken andouille sausage are mixed in, making every bite irresistible. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

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1. Pho 5 Lua

6261 N McCormick Rd, Chicago, IL 60659

Pho is delicious year-round but it’s essential when the temperatures dip. One of the best bowls is found at Pho 5 Lua on the northwest side, far from Argyle Street. The Vietnamese staple cures any ailment (or hangover) with an intense beef broth and add-ins like rice noodles, brisket, tendon, tripe, meatballs, bean sprouts, cilantro, Thai basil, and more. The restaurant has outdoor seating and is open for takeout.

6261 N McCormick Rd
Chicago, IL 60659

2. Big Jones

5347 N Clark St, Chicago, IL, 60640

The signature Gumbo Ya-Ya at Paul Fehribach’s acclaimed Southern restaurant is packed with Amish chicken, andouille sausage, and buttered Arkansas rice. The Cajun dish can be enjoyed as either a starter or a full meal, and is available by the pint or quart. Big Jones offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery.

5347 N Clark St, Chicago
IL, 60640

3. Taste of Lebanon

1509 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

This Andersonville hole-in-the-wall offers tasty Lebanese food at wallet-friendly prices. Made fresh, the hearty lentil soup is a nice addition to a fall or winter meal. Taste of Lebanon is open for takeout.

1509 W Foster Ave
Chicago, IL 60640

4. Han Bat

2723 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

Hidden away in the back of a parking lot on Lawrence Avenue, this unassuming Korean spot specializes in ox bone soup. Called seolleongtang, the milky white broth is known as a hangover remedy because of its simple-yet-comforting flavor. Each bowl also contains choice of brisket, flank steak, tripe, tendon, or tongue. It’s accompanied by rice and kimchi and can be seasoned to taste with salt, chopped green onions, and chili paste. Han Bat is open for takeout.

2723 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

5. Gene’s Sausage Shop

4750 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL, 60625

Customers can pick up encased meats, gourmet goods, and chicken noodle soup that doesn’t skimp on flavor at this vintage Polish delicatessen. The satisfying soup is made daily from Amish chickens. Gene’s is open for takeout and delivery.

4750 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
IL, 60625

6. Cafe El Tapatio

3358 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL, 60657

Whether it’s chicken tortilla or cream of roasted poblano pepper, the Mexican soups at this mom-and-pop spot are made with plenty of love. Don’t expect any frills, just some good old fashioned home-style cooking. A second outpost is located in Glenview. Cafe El Tapatio offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery.

3358 N Ashland Ave, Chicago
IL, 60657

7. Andy's Thai Kitchen

950 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614

Tom yum soup is a Thai favorite and its spices are much needed during the cold season. The rich and funky, spicy and sour broth is characterized by notes of lemongrass, alongside other ingredients like mushroom, onion, tomato, and cilantro. For a heartier option, go with ATK’s boat noodle soup: A complex, dark broth filled with brisket, rice noodles, Chinese broccoli, fried pork skins, and more. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery.

950 W Diversey Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60614

8. Ramen Wasabi

2101 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
A bowl of ramen.
Tonkotsu is Ramen Wasabi’s specialty.
Ramen Wasabi [Official Photo]

Ask any ramen enthusiast what the most important component of the dish is and chances are they’ll say it’s the broth. The tonkotsu at Ramen Wasabi is a labor of love — simmered for days to produce a lip-smacking base that’s rich and creamy. It’s topped off with Berkshire pork belly, bamboo shoots, scallions, sesame, mushrooms, garlic oil, and a soft-boiled egg. The restaurant offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery via third party services.

2101 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

9. Le Bouchon

1958 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

France’s iconic onion soup dates back centuries and needs little introduction. Thaw off by diving into Le Bouchon’s top notch version. It’s a beef stock full of caramelized onions with a layer of melted gruyere on top. The restaurant offers takeout via Tock.

1958 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

10. Pozoleria San Juan

1523 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL, 60651

One of Chicago’s few pozolerias offers the hominy soup in three different varieties: Roja, verde, and blanco. It comes with a number of toppings including avocado, cilantro, lime, radish, and cabbage, as well as chicharrones that are perfect for dipping. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

1523 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago
IL, 60651

11. Podhalanka

1549 W Division St, Chicago, IL, 60642

If Chicagoans are missing babcia's sour soup, travel to this Polish Triangle restaurant that time forgot for a bowl of zurek, a traditional white borscht. If the fermented rye soup isn't their fancy, there are over several other "zupy" to choose from. Podhalanka offers takeout.

1549 W Division St, Chicago
IL, 60642

12. Shokolad Pastry & Cafe

2524 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
A bowl of borscht and its various ingredients.
Enjoy Ukrainian staples like borscht at Shokolad.
Shokolad Pastry & Cafe [Official Photo]

Visit this Ukrainian Village cafe for a variety of European baked goods and an outstanding bowl of borscht. The famous beetroot soup is mixed with sour cream and herbs and paired with fresh

ricotta rolls and a garlic dipping sauce. Shokolad is open for takeout and delivery via third party services.

2524 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

13. GT Fish & Oyster

531 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654

Giuseppe Tentori and Boka Restaurant Group’s seafood hotspot is renowned for its refined shared plates. Diners won’t be judged, though, if they decide to order their own clam chowder. Served in a mason jar alongside housemade oyster crackers, the creamy soup is chockfull of bivalves and has a hint of smokiness thanks to the addition of Nueske’s bacon. GT Fish & Oyster offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery via third party services.

531 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654

14. La Scarola

721 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

Chicagoans flock to this Italian-American establishment for its old-school charm and hearty fare. The menu is filled with red sauce dishes and other classics like pasta e fagioli. Recipes for the traditional “pasta and beans” soup vary by region and the version here features cannellini beans, pasta, and Parmesan cheese in a white wine broth. La Scarola offers outdoor seating and takeout.

721 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654

15. Greek Islands

200 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661

Greeks and non-Greeks alike favor this longtime restaurant for well-executed classics in a traditionally-decorated space. The avgolemono, or egg lemon soup, is an extra creamy version made with chicken broth, rice, egg yolks, and lemon juice. Greek Islands offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery.

200 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60661

Related Maps

16. Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen

1141 S Jefferson St, Chicago, IL, 60607

For those seeking Jewish comfort food, head over to this timeless delicatessen for a real deal matzah ball soup. Using the same recipe since 1942, it's no surprise that it's the best selling soup on the menu. Manny’s offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery.

1141 S Jefferson St, Chicago
IL, 60607

17. Taipei Cafe

2609 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608

Beef noodle soup, a beloved dish in Taiwan and Southeast Asia, takes center stage at Bridgeport’s Taipei Cafe. The spicy beef broth is loaded with tender braised beef, chewy noodles, pickled cabbage, and green onion. Variations include an herbal broth version. The restaurant is open for takeout or delivery.

2609 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608

18. Taqueria Los Gallos

4211 W 26th St, Chicago, IL 60623

There are more than just tacos on the menu at this Little Village taqueria. In fact, its signature dish is a soup from the Mexican city of Guadalajara called carne en su jugo. Translating to “meat in its juices,” the soup stars beef broth teeming with grilled steak, avocado, bacon, and pinto beans. Taqueria Los Gallos offers takeout.

4211 W 26th St
Chicago, IL 60623

19. Birrieria Zaragoza

4852 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60632
A variety of dishes laid out, including consommé, roasted goat, tortillas, and salsa.
The consommé is vital to Birrieria Zaragoza’s signature dish.
Birrieria Zaragoza [Official Photo]

Renowned for its roasted goat, Birrieria Zaragoza serves up a fantastic complementary dish: Consommé. It's cooked without meat drippings, so vegetarians are in the clear. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery via third-party services.

4852 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60632

20. Nita's Gumbo

8100 S Stony Island, Chicago, IL 60617

Home to arguably the finest gumbo in the city, Nita’s Gumbo has two locations on the South Side. The recipe for the Creole dish is a family secret that has been passed down through generations. It all starts with the roux, which provides a savory foundation for the intoxicating stew. Pieces of popcorn shrimp, crab meat, chicken, and chicken andouille sausage are mixed in, making every bite irresistible. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

8100 S Stony Island
Chicago, IL 60617

Related Maps