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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.

Sixteen

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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.

Part of its 18-dish tasting menu, Alinea serves up a "burn morels" which includes ramps, fiddlehead fern, and miner's lettuce.

Green Zebra

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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.

Everest

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Everest has an Alaskan halibut with savoy cabbage, veal bacon and fiddelhead ferns paired with pinot noir jus.

Elizabeth

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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.

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.

mk The Restaurant

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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.

At Tru, fiddlehead ferns come alongside a roasted sage and butter cervena venison dish with garlic farro and gooseberry puree.

Frontera Grill

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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.

Mana Food Bar

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The vegan standby on Division serves fiddleheads with roasted cauliflower, kalamata olives, and a tomato charmoula.

Nico Osteria

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Nico Osteria has a roasted spring vegetable dish with carrots, caper aioli, fried fish, and fiddleheads.

The Dawson

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The Dawson's "stinging nettle fettucine" has pesto, bluefoot mushroom, and fiddlehead ferns.

Sixteen

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.

Alinea

Part of its 18-dish tasting menu, Alinea serves up a "burn morels" which includes ramps, fiddlehead fern, and miner's lettuce.

Green Zebra

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.

Everest

Everest has an Alaskan halibut with savoy cabbage, veal bacon and fiddelhead ferns paired with pinot noir jus.

Elizabeth

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.

Naha

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.

mk The Restaurant

Mk's a la carte menu includes a side of green asparagus, pickled white asparagus, snap peas, and you guessed it, fiddlehead ferns.

TRU

At Tru, fiddlehead ferns come alongside a roasted sage and butter cervena venison dish with garlic farro and gooseberry puree.

Frontera Grill

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.

Mana Food Bar

The vegan standby on Division serves fiddleheads with roasted cauliflower, kalamata olives, and a tomato charmoula.

Nico Osteria

Nico Osteria has a roasted spring vegetable dish with carrots, caper aioli, fried fish, and fiddleheads.

The Dawson

The Dawson's "stinging nettle fettucine" has pesto, bluefoot mushroom, and fiddlehead ferns.

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