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Where to Find Cozy Comfort Foods in Chicago

These dishes are just the thing to warm up on a chilly day

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When the temperatures drop, there’s nothing better than getting food that warms the soul. Chicago’s filled with great options for mac and cheese, ramen and pies, to name a few quintessential comforts. Here are 13 places to find a variety of favorite comfort foods, ordered from north to south.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Pulled pork sandwich at Smoque BBQ

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3800 N Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60641
(773) 545-7427
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Sometimes a messy, hearty and meaty barbecue sandwich is the cure to a cold day. The pulled pork sandwich at Smoque is hand pulled and smoked over apple and oak making a great mixture of crunchy bits with the tender insides. The sandwiches are also available downtown at Revival Food Hall.

2. Macaroni and cheese at Kuma's Corner

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2900 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 604-8769
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Kuma’s may be best known for its burgers with metal/punk names, but the mac and cheese is a serious dish. It’s heaping and creamy, topped with breadcrumbs and scallions. And it’s customizable. Kuma’s also has locations in Fulton Market, Lincoln Park, Fulton Market, suburban Schaumburg.

3. Chicken pot pie at Bang Bang Pie Shop

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2051 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 276-8888
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Everything on the menu at Bang Bang Pie Shop qualifies as comfort food, including the chicken pot pie. Hearty with a flaky leaf lard crust and the traditional peas and carrots, this guy makes it alright to have pie for your meal and for dessert.

4. Fried chicken at The Budlong Hot Chicken

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1008 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 270-9005
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Nashville hot chicken is taking Chicago by storm, and the Budlong knows how to do it well. Fashioned to be served in varying degrees of hotness on slices of bread and topped with pickles, the skin is crunchy with tender and juicy insides that’ll bring a warming comfort to even the dreariest of days. Budlong has locations at Soldier Field, Lincoln Square, and Revival Food Hall.

5. French onion soup at Le Bouchon

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1958 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 862-6600
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Painstaking to make but a true delight when finished, there may not be anything that’s cozier than a bowl of French onion soup. Le Bouchon’s rendition is excellent, with a solid gruyère top with beef broth and caramelized onions, it’s the cure to every ailment.

6. Strata and quiche at Spinning J Bakery and Soda Fountain

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1000 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(872) 829-2793
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There’s a daily rotating strata and quiche at Spinning J, chock full of a selection of vegetables, perfect for the vegetarian looking for a breakfast that warms the soul. Pair it with a side of greens and mustard vinaigrette to complete the meal.

7. Pie at Hoosier Mama Pie Company

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1618 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 243-4846
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The selection of pies changes daily at Hoosier Mama, but there’s always plenty to pick from for a taste of coziness. From apple to chocolate chess to pecan, pair any slice with a warm cup of coffee from their new coffee bar for maximum warmth.

8. Turkey, sweet potato and greens ‘neatloaf’ at Beatrix

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519 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 284-1377
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Meatloaf may be one of the ultimate comfort foods, although tough to find a reliable source. Thankfully, Beatrix’s ‘neatloaf’ is filled with hunks of chicken, sweet potatoes and greens to create a balanced meal that is also the peak of comfort. Beatrix also has locations in Streeterville and Fulton Market.

Anjali Pinto

9. Gnocchi bolognese at il Porcellino

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59 W Hubbard St #1
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 595-0800
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Fluffy pillows of gnocchi topped with bolognese sauce is the ultimate in pasta comforts. The sauce is made with rosemary, parmesan and prime beef, but the gnocchi is the star — tender and delicious.

Jeff Marini

10. Tokyo classic shoyu ramen at Ramen Takeya

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819 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 666-7710
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A hearty bowl of ramen is just the right thing to cure the sniffles when it’s extra cold outside. Ramen Takeya’s classic shoyu ramen is made with cage free chicken and Berkshire pork broth, topped with pork belly char siu and a soft boiled egg. While this one is just right for warming up, the spicy chicken paitan will give an extra special kick of warmth.

11. Chicago Double at M Burger

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100 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 578-1478
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While it’s great to eat a burger all year long, there’s a little bit more leeway when the temperature drops. So dig into M Burger’s Chicago Double, an indulgence with two patties, American cheese, pickles, and mustard.

Anjali Pinto

12. Fries at Au Cheval

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800 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

French fries are an excellent comfort food, but few are up to the same scale as Au Cheval’s crispy fries, topped with a fried egg and served with both mornay sauce and garlic aioli. They’re pretty much an entire meal on their own.

13. Dumplings at Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings

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2002 S Wentworth Ave #103
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 799-1118
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Dumplings are among the coziest foods available, perfectly made bites filled with flavorful meats and vegetables. Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings provides a huge array of dumplings in a variety of sizes and cooked various ways. Servers are readily armed with suggestions, like the flavorful beef and onion dumplings.

14. Royal pies at Pleasant House Pub

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2119 S Halsted St #1
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 523-7437
Visit Website

Fit for warming up a cold day, Pleasant House Pub has a list of royal pies (that can be topped with mashed potatoes and gravy) that hit the spot. Choose from a warming steak and ale pie or a creamy kale and mushroom and pair with a beer to cheer up a drizzly day.

15. Pecan pancakes at Peach's Restaurant

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4652 S King Dr
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 966-5801
Visit Website

A thick stack of fluffy pancakes is just the right thing to kick off a cold winter day, and the pecan pancakes at Peach’s are ripe for just that. Other winners include soul comforts like fried chicken with cinnamon french toast and the biscuits and gravy.

1. Pulled pork sandwich at Smoque BBQ

3800 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60641

Sometimes a messy, hearty and meaty barbecue sandwich is the cure to a cold day. The pulled pork sandwich at Smoque is hand pulled and smoked over apple and oak making a great mixture of crunchy bits with the tender insides. The sandwiches are also available downtown at Revival Food Hall.

3800 N Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60641

2. Macaroni and cheese at Kuma's Corner

2900 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Kuma’s may be best known for its burgers with metal/punk names, but the mac and cheese is a serious dish. It’s heaping and creamy, topped with breadcrumbs and scallions. And it’s customizable. Kuma’s also has locations in Fulton Market, Lincoln Park, Fulton Market, suburban Schaumburg.

2900 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

3. Chicken pot pie at Bang Bang Pie Shop

2051 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Everything on the menu at Bang Bang Pie Shop qualifies as comfort food, including the chicken pot pie. Hearty with a flaky leaf lard crust and the traditional peas and carrots, this guy makes it alright to have pie for your meal and for dessert.

2051 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

4. Fried chicken at The Budlong Hot Chicken

1008 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Nashville hot chicken is taking Chicago by storm, and the Budlong knows how to do it well. Fashioned to be served in varying degrees of hotness on slices of bread and topped with pickles, the skin is crunchy with tender and juicy insides that’ll bring a warming comfort to even the dreariest of days. Budlong has locations at Soldier Field, Lincoln Square, and Revival Food Hall.

1008 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

5. French onion soup at Le Bouchon

1958 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Painstaking to make but a true delight when finished, there may not be anything that’s cozier than a bowl of French onion soup. Le Bouchon’s rendition is excellent, with a solid gruyère top with beef broth and caramelized onions, it’s the cure to every ailment.

1958 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

6. Strata and quiche at Spinning J Bakery and Soda Fountain

1000 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

There’s a daily rotating strata and quiche at Spinning J, chock full of a selection of vegetables, perfect for the vegetarian looking for a breakfast that warms the soul. Pair it with a side of greens and mustard vinaigrette to complete the meal.

1000 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

7. Pie at Hoosier Mama Pie Company

1618 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

The selection of pies changes daily at Hoosier Mama, but there’s always plenty to pick from for a taste of coziness. From apple to chocolate chess to pecan, pair any slice with a warm cup of coffee from their new coffee bar for maximum warmth.

1618 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

8. Turkey, sweet potato and greens ‘neatloaf’ at Beatrix

519 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Anjali Pinto

Meatloaf may be one of the ultimate comfort foods, although tough to find a reliable source. Thankfully, Beatrix’s ‘neatloaf’ is filled with hunks of chicken, sweet potatoes and greens to create a balanced meal that is also the peak of comfort. Beatrix also has locations in Streeterville and Fulton Market.

519 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654

9. Gnocchi bolognese at il Porcellino

59 W Hubbard St #1, Chicago, IL 60654
Jeff Marini

Fluffy pillows of gnocchi topped with bolognese sauce is the ultimate in pasta comforts. The sauce is made with rosemary, parmesan and prime beef, but the gnocchi is the star — tender and delicious.

59 W Hubbard St #1
Chicago, IL 60654

10. Tokyo classic shoyu ramen at Ramen Takeya

819 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

A hearty bowl of ramen is just the right thing to cure the sniffles when it’s extra cold outside. Ramen Takeya’s classic shoyu ramen is made with cage free chicken and Berkshire pork broth, topped with pork belly char siu and a soft boiled egg. While this one is just right for warming up, the spicy chicken paitan will give an extra special kick of warmth.

819 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

11. Chicago Double at M Burger

100 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
Anjali Pinto

While it’s great to eat a burger all year long, there’s a little bit more leeway when the temperature drops. So dig into M Burger’s Chicago Double, an indulgence with two patties, American cheese, pickles, and mustard.

100 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601

12. Fries at Au Cheval

800 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

French fries are an excellent comfort food, but few are up to the same scale as Au Cheval’s crispy fries, topped with a fried egg and served with both mornay sauce and garlic aioli. They’re pretty much an entire meal on their own.

800 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

13. Dumplings at Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings

2002 S Wentworth Ave #103, Chicago, IL 60616

Dumplings are among the coziest foods available, perfectly made bites filled with flavorful meats and vegetables. Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings provides a huge array of dumplings in a variety of sizes and cooked various ways. Servers are readily armed with suggestions, like the flavorful beef and onion dumplings.

2002 S Wentworth Ave #103
Chicago, IL 60616

14. Royal pies at Pleasant House Pub

2119 S Halsted St #1, Chicago, IL 60608

Fit for warming up a cold day, Pleasant House Pub has a list of royal pies (that can be topped with mashed potatoes and gravy) that hit the spot. Choose from a warming steak and ale pie or a creamy kale and mushroom and pair with a beer to cheer up a drizzly day.

2119 S Halsted St #1
Chicago, IL 60608

15. Pecan pancakes at Peach's Restaurant

4652 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653

A thick stack of fluffy pancakes is just the right thing to kick off a cold winter day, and the pecan pancakes at Peach’s are ripe for just that. Other winners include soul comforts like fried chicken with cinnamon french toast and the biscuits and gravy.

4652 S King Dr
Chicago, IL 60653

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