Follow the Eater

The new Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago is packed with feast fodder

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Looking for exceptional old-school fried chicken, hidden Armenian spots and expertly prepared pad kee mao?

See pages 170, 86 and 181 in the new edition of The Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago ($16; pre-order it now), which comes packed with food adventures waiting to happen.

"I wanted to create a book that even I would find useful," explains author and long-time food writer Jennifer Olvera. Her first version, released in 2011, has been completely revised and updated for its second edition.

Her tome doesn't just cover restaurants, either. There are also sections for cocktail bars, specialty stores, farmers' markets, farms and cooking classes. There's even a guide to the local food media for those in search of further reading.

This brick of a guide is not for those seeking glossy photographs and trendy restaurants. But it is the most comprehensive book out there about Chicago food–one that's especially useful for hole-in-the-wall ethnic joints and suburban gems.

Olvera's hope is to inspire exploration. "I tried to put a lot of emphasis on mom-and-pop places. A lot of people don't realize how much great ethnic food we have–and how much of it is in the suburbs."

Road trip, anyone?