Explore Chicago

Chicago's Best Food and Drinks for Summer 2018

The 10 best things we are eating and drinking in Chicago this season.
Summertime and the living is easy when you have great food and drink options to get you through the hottest days of the year. Here are 10 of our favorite things we've enjoyed this season. 
©Lindsey Simon

When the temperatures heat up, we cool down with Moody Tongue Brewing Company's Frozen Banana Hefeweizen. This German-style wheat beer is still on tap at the brewpub's tasting room at least through August. (2136 S. Peoria St.)

Courtesy Moody Tongue Brewing Company

Lito’s Empanadas was the latest addition to join Revival Food Hall this summer, serving savory and sweet options. While the al pastor with slow-simmered beef and rice is a great traditional option, we really love the textures and flavors of the Nutella-banana dessert treat. (125 S. Clark St.)

Madelaine Deaton/Flickr, Creative Commons

Public House celebrated National Hot Dog Month in July with creative takes on dogs from different cities in America. Our favorite was the Crab Mac ‘n Cheese Dog, but there was also the Fenway Frank, BBQ Slaw, Texas Dog and the Tijuana Danger Dog. Proceeds were also donated to the no-kill PAWS Chicago animal shelter. (400 N. State St.)

©Lindsey Simon

The rainbow sangria at the I|O Rooftop at the Godfrey looks stunning, it tastes just as great. It features a blend of frozen fruit granita, a touch of grey goose le melon, and a splash of moscato caposaldo. (127 W. Huron St.)

©Edward Fox Photography

Bill’s Bar & Burger recently opened in River North with a bang. Their hand-crafted red, white & blue milkshake was a big hit for July 4th but is available year-round, comprised of red, white and blue vanilla ice cream topped with cotton candy, sprinkles and an American flag. (30 E. Hubbard St.)

Courtesy Bill’s Bar & Burger

One of the biggest hits at the Taste of Chicago this summer was the one-day pop-up of Sun Wah BBQ, featuring the special Beijing Duck Sandwiches. Though the Taste has wrapped you can still head to their restaurant for tasty delicacies like these. (5039 N. Broadway St.)


Southern-inspired Big Jones in Andersonville recently overhauled its menu with tasty new options, including a "biscuit takeover," with a wide section of biscuit sandwiches like the Sweet and Spicy Chicken and Cajun Duck Egg and Boudin. (5347 N. Clark St.)

Thomas Head/Flickr, Creative Commons

The Monster Hell Challenge at Strings Ramen is not for the faint of heart. Finish a complete bowl of possibly the hottest ramen in Chicago in 20 minutes and you'll get your bowl free plus a $50 gift certificate and a t-shirt to commemorate your victory. (919 W. Belmont, 2141 S. Archer Ave.)

Courtesy Strings Ramen

Lincoln Park's neighborhood hot spot Gemini introduced "The Painkiller" to their beverage menu in May, and to be honest we haven't been able to feel a thing for any other drink since. It features Don Q Silver Rum, pineapple, orange, coconut, Hamilton 150 float and nutmeg. (2075 N. Lincoln Ave.)