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It's Spring: Where to Find Fiddlehead Ferns in Chicago

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Despite a return to winter temps, a sign that spring is here is the appearance of fiddlehead ferns on Chicago menus. The elusive spring green is a chef favorite that's often harvested in early May, thus many of the restaurants that have them now are among the trendiest and priciest in town. Check out the map to see where fiddleheads are already sprouting in the city.


Eater Chicago intern Aimee Gasior contributed to this story.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sixteen

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401 N Wabash Ave Fl 16
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 588-8030
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Sixteen is using fiddleheads in its "fairy ring" dish on the new night and day menu along with morels, veal sweetbreads, and sea buckthorn with a laurel and elderflower emulsion.

2. Alinea

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1723 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 867-0110
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Part of its 18-dish tasting menu, Alinea serves up a "burn morels" which includes ramps, fiddlehead fern, and miner's lettuce.

3. Green Zebra

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1460 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 243-7100
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Green Zebra is offering a menu featuring fiddlehead ferns on April 29 and 30. Dishes include fiddlehead fern and brussel sprout panzanella, sauteed fiddlehead succotash, fiddlehead and goat cheese raviolo, and pickled fiddlehead ferns.

4. Everest

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440 S La Salle St
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 663-8920
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Everest has an Alaskan halibut with savoy cabbage, veal bacon and fiddelhead ferns paired with pinot noir jus.

5. Elizabeth

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4835 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 681-0651
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Elizabeth's spring menu includes a fava bean and parmesan soup with pearl barley, parmesan pudding, roasted and pickled fiddleheads, pickled seabeans, and house grown buckwheat.

6. Naha

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500 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 321-6242
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Carrie Nahabedian's signature restaurant delivers a venison entree with slow cooked applewood bacon, red wheat berries, parsnip puree, “lady fern” fiddleheads, broccoli, preserved cherries, and argan oil.

7. mk The Restaurant

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868 N Franklin St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 482-9179
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Mk's a la carte menu includes a side of green asparagus, pickled white asparagus, snap peas, and you guessed it, fiddlehead ferns.
676 N Saint Clair St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 202-0001
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At Tru, fiddlehead ferns come alongside a roasted sage and butter cervena venison dish with garlic farro and gooseberry puree.

9. Frontera Grill

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445 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 661-1434
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Frontera Grill's "Chicken Fideos" dish combines wood-grilled Gunthorp Farms chicken breast with grilled fiddleheads, maitake mushrooms and dry jack chicharrón served in red chile broth.

10. Mana Food Bar

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1742 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 342-1742
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The vegan standby on Division serves fiddleheads with roasted cauliflower, kalamata olives, and a tomato charmoula.

11. Nico Osteria

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1015 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 994-7100
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Nico Osteria has a roasted spring vegetable dish with carrots, caper aioli, fried fish, and fiddleheads.

12. The Dawson

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732 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 243-8955
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The Dawson's "stinging nettle fettucine" has pesto, bluefoot mushroom, and fiddlehead ferns.

1. Sixteen

401 N Wabash Ave Fl 16, Chicago, IL 60611
Sixteen is using fiddleheads in its "fairy ring" dish on the new night and day menu along with morels, veal sweetbreads, and sea buckthorn with a laurel and elderflower emulsion.
401 N Wabash Ave Fl 16
Chicago, IL 60611

2. Alinea

1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
Part of its 18-dish tasting menu, Alinea serves up a "burn morels" which includes ramps, fiddlehead fern, and miner's lettuce.
1723 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614

3. Green Zebra

1460 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Green Zebra is offering a menu featuring fiddlehead ferns on April 29 and 30. Dishes include fiddlehead fern and brussel sprout panzanella, sauteed fiddlehead succotash, fiddlehead and goat cheese raviolo, and pickled fiddlehead ferns.
1460 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

4. Everest

440 S La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60605
Everest has an Alaskan halibut with savoy cabbage, veal bacon and fiddelhead ferns paired with pinot noir jus.
440 S La Salle St
Chicago, IL 60605

5. Elizabeth

4835 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Elizabeth's spring menu includes a fava bean and parmesan soup with pearl barley, parmesan pudding, roasted and pickled fiddleheads, pickled seabeans, and house grown buckwheat.
4835 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

6. Naha

500 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Carrie Nahabedian's signature restaurant delivers a venison entree with slow cooked applewood bacon, red wheat berries, parsnip puree, “lady fern” fiddleheads, broccoli, preserved cherries, and argan oil.
500 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654

7. mk The Restaurant

868 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60610
Mk's a la carte menu includes a side of green asparagus, pickled white asparagus, snap peas, and you guessed it, fiddlehead ferns.
868 N Franklin St
Chicago, IL 60610

8. TRU

676 N Saint Clair St, Chicago, IL 60611
At Tru, fiddlehead ferns come alongside a roasted sage and butter cervena venison dish with garlic farro and gooseberry puree.
676 N Saint Clair St
Chicago, IL 60611

9. Frontera Grill

445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60610
Frontera Grill's "Chicken Fideos" dish combines wood-grilled Gunthorp Farms chicken breast with grilled fiddleheads, maitake mushrooms and dry jack chicharrón served in red chile broth.
445 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60610

10. Mana Food Bar

1742 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
The vegan standby on Division serves fiddleheads with roasted cauliflower, kalamata olives, and a tomato charmoula.
1742 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

11. Nico Osteria

1015 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611
Nico Osteria has a roasted spring vegetable dish with carrots, caper aioli, fried fish, and fiddleheads.
1015 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611

12. The Dawson

732 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
The Dawson's "stinging nettle fettucine" has pesto, bluefoot mushroom, and fiddlehead ferns.
732 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654

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