30 Things to Eat & Drink This Fall Around Chicago

By Sarah Freeman  |  September 21, 2015

A new season means a fresh bucket list of things to eat and drink. From hearty venison goulash with bone-marrow dumplings to a cool cognac cocktail loaded with apple and cinnamon, this fall will be a delicious one.

  • Credit: Eric Kleinberg

    Gnocchi at Balena

    With a change of seasons comes a change on the pasta menu. Say goodbye to noodles simply dressed and hello to housemade potato gnocchi in a medley of mushrooms and brown butter.

    Price: $13 for half or $24 for a whole order

  • Short-Rib Lasagna at Bar Siena

    An early favorite at Fabio Viviani’s West Loop hot spot is this hearty lasagna made by layering pasta with short rib, taleggio cheese, roasted garlic and béchamel sauce.

    Price: $18

  • Caramel Cream Nitro Coffee at Beatrix

    The hottest coffee trend of summer — nitro coffee — transitions into fall with a dollop of housemade caramel whipped cream and sprinkling of Sugar in the Raw.

    Price: $4.75

  • Credit: Matthias Merges

    Hanastél at Billy Sunday

    The name for this cocktail comes from the Icelandic word for cocktail. The destination is currently a favorite of chef Matthias Merges and also the home of the birch schnapps in this drink. They are combined with brandy, Manzanilla sherry, Pluot Plum and Osha Root bitters.

    Price: $12

  • Carrots at Bin 36

    Don’t forget to eat your veggies, especially hen they look like these spiced baby carrots over pecan butter with apples and “magic sauce.”

    Price: $10

  • Venison Goulash at Bohemian House

    “This goulash was made off of a traditional recipe, but I added Praga dark beer and a bit of bitter cocoa, which really brings a different level of depth to this soul-warming dish,” says chef Jimmy Papadapolis about his venison goulash with bone-marrow dumplings.

    Price: $30

  • Foie Gras No. 1 at The Blanchard

    An entire section of the menu is dedicated to different preparations of foie gras, including a seared lobe with Seedling Farms strawberries, pan-fried brioche French toast and vanilla gastrique.

    Price: $18

  • Kentucky High Holiday at Bub City

    It's now seasonally acceptable to call whiskey your spirit of choice. Cheers to that with Old Forester bourbon mixed with hard cider and spiked with apples, honey, cinnamon and lemon.

    Price: $11

  • Pozo-Pollo Taco at Cantina 1910

    Chef Diana Davila takes the flavors of pozole and transforms them into a taco using chicken braised in the flavors of pozole. The taco is garnished with shaved kohlrabi salad with fresh radish and shallots and oregano and is topped with toasted ground corn nuts.

    Price: $8.50

  • The Harvest at Celeste

    Drink in the siren call of fall with this cognac cocktail balanced with the quintessential flavors of cinnamon and apple. The stirred cocktail is served straight up with a cinnamon stick.

    Price: $13

  • Seafood Stew at Embeya

    This simple seafood stew is loaded with prawns, halibut and scallops in a lemongrass-tomato broth. It's served tableside and meant to by enjoyed with a group, so invite your friends to try this comforting dish.

    Price: $36

  • Butternut Squash & Chestnut Velouté at Fig & Olive

    This soup is a beauty. The purée of roasted butternut squash is poured over a mosaic of shaved chestnut, onion and roasted squash seeds. It's accented with Arbequina olive oil.

    Price: $10

  • Credit: Kailley Lindman

    Italian Fried Chicken at Formento's

    There’s a new fried chicken on the block from an old-school Italian restaurant. The Italian fried chicken gets dressed up for fall with roasted corn polenta, chile jam and garlic Parmesan dressing during lunch and brunch. It’s the perfect dish to celebrate the end of swimsuit season.

    Price: $18 

  • Sea Bass at Girl & the Goat

    Chef Stephanie Izard serves up pan-seared sea bass with Jupiter grapes, Sichuan vinaigrette and vanilla bean–herb yogurt. She'll be serving up more spicy fare at Duck Duck Goat later this year.

    Price: $17

  • Chicken at GreenRiver

    Chef Aaron Lirette uses one of his favorite fall ingredients, cauliflower, in a classic roast chicken dish. It's served with maitake mushrooms over course-ground grits and finished with sherry jus.

    Price: $19

  • Credit: Eric Kleinberg

    Kabocha Squash Gnocchi at GT Fish & Oyster

    These vibrant orbs of tender dough are kabocha squash gnocchi. The seasonal special is accented with mushroom, shrimp and rich uni butter.

    Price: $17

  • Pear at Homestead

    Executive pastry chef Chris Teixeira’s latest masterpiece at the rooftop restaurant turns poached pear into art with cardamom marshmallow, fermented milk chocolate ganache and pear sorbet.

    Price: $10

  • Pumpkin Truffle at Katherine Anne Confections

    Chocolatier Katherine Duncan takes roasted pumpkin, apricot, rum and maple syrup ganache and covers it with milk and semisweet chocolate. Each truffle is garnished with a toasted pepita.

    Price: Three for $10

  • Butter-Poached Maine Lobster at Kinmont

    “It’s simple home cooking, elevated and inspired, and with the weather cooling down we're getting into the heart of lobster season,” says chef Aaron Cushieri about his dish of butter-poached lobster over pumpkin ravioli with toasted walnuts in saffron buerre blanc sauce.

    Price: $23

  • Chicken & Dumplings at Lillie’s Q

    The cold-weather classic is back at this BBQ shack. Smoked chicken takes center stage in a creamy chicken gravy with buttermilk dumplings, peas, carrots and celery.

    Price: $16

  • Apple Cider Milkshake at M Burger

    This month’s shake takes some of the best flavors of fall and combines them into one creamy treat. It's an apple cider shake with caramel and is available throughout October.

    Price: $4.99

  • Credit: Neil Burger

    Brussel Shuffle Pizza at Parlor Pizza Bar

    Patio season may be over, but Brussels sprouts pizza season has just started. The signature pie is topped with dry-cured pancetta, fresh mozzarella, minced garlic, shaved sprouts, Parmesan and lemon zest.

    Price: $14

  • Chai Dolce de Leche Donut at Pub Royale

    Rather than let precious bits of leftover naan dough go to waste, the kitchen turns them into naan donuts that are topped with peppery chai dulce de leche and served during brunch.

    Price: $6

  • Credit: Jeff Marini

    Okonomiyaki at Ramen-san

    There’s a new okonomiyaki menu at this River North ramen shop. It features three varieties of the Japanese savory pancake, including one topped with Berkshire ham and cheese.

    Price: $6

  • Nightcap at Sable Kitchen & Bar

    Have your dessert and drink it too with this take on tiramisu, made with espresso sponge cake, mascarpone mousse, crispy cacao nib meringue kisses and paired with a shot of Hennessy XO.

    Price: $25

  • Brussels Sprout and Burrata Toast at Seven Lions

    Keep your avocado toast; we will opt for this one covered in roasted Brussels sprouts, burrata cheese, pine nuts, radicchio and apple saba.

    Price: $14

  • Bison Meatloaf at State and Lake Tavern

    This is not you mom’s meatloaf. This version is made gamey with bison meat. It's served over smoked creamed corn and bean slaw with ham hock vinaigrette.

    Price: $21

  • Risotto at Two

    Although, sadly, the ramp risotto has been retired, the dish was replaced with one swimming with sweet corn, sweet peas and finish with braised beef cheek.

    Price: $16

  • Credit: Matthias Merges

    Kedzie Pork Ramen at Yusho

    This bowl of suckling pig porchetta ramen with hijiki seaweed, dandelion miso and a 60-minute egg is worth coming out of early hibernation to slurp.

    Price: $16

  • Bone Marrow at Wood

    The simple act of layering roasted bone marrow on a fresh-from-the-oven Parker House roll with a dollop of apple mostarda might just lead to one of the best bites of the season.

    Price: $14