Samantha Roby, food blogger

Lover of all things social media and edible, Samantha Roby of @chicagofoodauthority enjoys documenting her food journey as she eats and drinks her way around the Windy City, and bringing people together online. Check out her favorite spots here—which include more than a few taco joints—brought to you by the makers of PEPCID®, helping food lovers explore great tastes without the fear of heartburn.

① Kai Zan

Between the stunning, fresh raw fish creations to the playful shooters (fresh uni and scallop or oyster served in ponzu with raw quail egg), I consider Kai Zan a life-changing sushi experience. It's a small spot, so definitely make a reservation. And say hi to identical twin chefs Melvin and Carlo Vizconde. They're sushi rock stars!

Photo: Kai Zan

② Au Cheval

This. burger. is. everything. Bon Appétit even declared it the best in America. Yes, you may have to wait more than two hours to taste it, but it’s worth it for the perfectly grilled double patties in an ideal burger-to-bun ratio with a soft, lightly toasted bun from Chicago’s Z Baking. And if you’re really in an indulgent mood, you can add a three-ounce slab of foie gras.

Photo: Au Cheval

③ The Bento Box

This little BYOB spot in Logan Square is the best for a relaxed, comforting meal with friends. Grab a bottle of wine (or two) and get cozy with a rotating menu of pan-Asian dishes like beef bulgogi, Korean short ribs and red chili chicken Singapore Noodles.

Photo: The Bento Box

④ The Purple Pig

OK, I’m obsessed with meat. That may actually be an understatement. Okay, I'm obsessed with meat. Can't-go-more-than-a-couple-hours-without-thinking-about-it obsessed. So this place is way up there for me with its exceptional charcuterie and over-the-top turkey leg.

Photo: The Purple Pig
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⑤ Pequod's Pizza

This is my absolute favorite deep-dish pizza in Chicago. The burnt, caramelized crust oozing with melted cheese, sauce, pepperoni and even the option to add meatballs? Oh, yeah. Skip all those other stuffed-pizza places and go here instead.

Photo: Samantha Roby

⑥ Dove's Luncheonette

Located in the heart of Wicker Park, Dove's is a standout spot for brunch or lunch. It offers a wide array of Southern-inspired Mexican menu items alongside a tequila and mescal-focused bar program, and everything I've had there has been absolutely incredible.

Photo: Dove’s Luncheonette

⑦ Bohemian House

The restaurant itself is absolutely stunning, and chef Jimmy Papadopoulos does not disappoint with “Bohemian” fare drawing inspiration from the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. Think chicken liver on rye with brandied prunes, pistachios and mustard, and a Bavarian pretzel with Camembert cream.

Photo: Bohemian Restaurant

⑧ Happy Camper

I could go to Happy Camper every day of my life and never get sick of it. It just makes me so happy. The Jalapeño Homies (jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese, bacon, cheddar, tomatoes, served with a BBQ dipping sauce) are epic, and the pizza has a special place in my heart.

Photo: Happy Camper


HASH is a very small place that gets pretty slammed on the weekends, but it's absolutely worth the wait for brunch. I love the corned beef hash with Thousand Island dressing and the Pork Bubble and Squeak, which is pork shoulder, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, and bacon-fat hash served with mustard cream sauce.

Photo: HASH

10 Parson’s Chicken & Fish

Love the people, the food, the drinks—I just love it all there. Famous for its summer patio scene (which has made many magazine best-of lists), it’s the ideal spot to sip a Negroni Slushy made with Letherbee Gin. The Grilled Amish Chicken flavored with citrus, scallions, rum and habanero is my favorite, but also consider the award-winning fried chicken sandwich.

Photo: Parson’s Chicken & Fish