G. Garvin's Chicago Travel Tips

By: G. Garvin
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Host G. Garvin tasting fried chicken and honey butter with cornbread muffins, chicken and grits, and fried chicken sandwich with executive chef Christine Cikowski at Honey Butter Fried Chicken, as seen on Cooking Channel’s Roadtrip with G. Garvin, Season 3.

Photo by: Peter Wynn Thompson/Getty Images ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Peter Wynn Thompson/Getty Images, 2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The Windy City is an amazing vacation destination to explore with your family and friends. The third-largest city in the United States is home to jazz, comedy and the country’s first skyscrapers. Many visitors stick to the downtown area, but the next time you’re in Chicago, go beyond the central district. Locals identify proudly with their neighborhoods, and there you’ll find some fantastic restaurants.

Grandma J’s

Grandma J’s sits in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Humboldt Park. This is a hip space the locals love, because it’s filled with knickknacks that would remind you of your grandmother’s house. The food is no joke — if you want a fun breakfast, go for the duck three ways or the pork belly Benedict.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Honey Butter Fried Chicken is the product of two chefs with a big passion for putting the butter on the bird. It seems like a simple concept, but it’s a delicious one. You can’t go wrong with any of their chicken dishes with homemade honey butter, but make sure you try the sides like the macaroni and cheese, too.

The Purple Pig

Jimmy Bannos Sr. and Jimmy Bannos Jr. are prominent figures in Chicago’s food scene. This father-and-son team has done it again at the Purple Pig. Comfort-food ingredients like fried pig’s ears, kale, fried eggs and bone marrow are done with class and sophistication. This restaurant is perfect for a romantic evening.

Revolution Brewing Brewpub

Revolution Brewing is new to the craft beer scene but already has a solid national reputation. The brewpub is a great place to eat and drink with the locals. Bacon-fat popcorn, chipotle-marinated flank stank, and smoked pulled pork make the menu both approachable and mouthwatering.


Scofflaw is a gin-focused cocktail bar in Logan Square. Danny Shapiro is the brains behind the booze and can talk about the local scene while preparing a drink with seasonal ingredients. Their small plates are all comforting, like their chowder or the ever-popular and elusive Guapichosa layered sandwich — they make only five a night .

Batter and Berries

Derek J. Rylon knows what you really want for brunch: some amazing French toast! His French Toast “Super Flight” at Batter and Berries in Lincoln Park is perfect for the indecisive or curious. If savory is more your thing, you can get a chicken-stuffed sweet potato.

Check out new episodes of Road Trip with G. Garvin G. Garvin every Tuesday at 10pm ET.

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