Resy Staff Picks Chicago / June 2024
Photos courtesy of The Warbler, Leña Brava, Mi Tocaya Antojería, and Giant

Staff PicksChicago

The Chicago Restaurants We Loved in June


If there’s one thing you must know about the people who work at Resy, it’s that we genuinely love restaurants.

This month, Team Resy was in Chicago for the James Beard Awards, where we dropped in on institutions and new openings alike, delighted in quesabirria and lumpia Shanghai, and returned to our favorite spots for Italian beef and nachos.

There is a good reason this restaurant has been a staple for 25 years…

From the little touches of art everywhere to the lovely team, Lula Café is a gem. I will always, always order their grain bowl — it changes frequently, and every single time I’ve ordered it, I’ve walked away thinking about it for months (sometimes, years!). Go often, whether that be solo or with any number of dining companions, and order as much as you possibly can!

Chandre Geis, Director of Restaurant Partnerships

Lula Café dish
Photo courtesy of Lula Café
Lula Café dish
Photo courtesy of Lula Café

And the award for one killer breakfast goes to…

Kasama, whose morning weekend line was even longer due to every industry folk being in town for the James Beard Awards. Pros of waiting in that line: Someone happily leaving Kasama with their bellies full might just gift you a box of lumpia Shanghai on their way out (they were crisp and impeccable and shared amongst very grateful strangers). Cons: The hot items might sell out.

Pro tip: Order ahead of time and skip the line with pick-up! And order that longaniza egg and cheese breakfast sandwich (do add the hashbrown), which was one of my favorite bites of our weekend in Chicago.

Noëmie Carrant, Senior Writer, Resy Editorial


As with every trip to Chicago…

… a pre-airport stop at Johnnie’s Beef in Elmwood Park is an absolute must. My childhood hometown bias aside, it’s a perfect Italian beef. Get one juicy, hot, and sweet (or as a combo with grilled and braised Italian sausage) with a lemon Italian ice to cool down the fiery giardiniera.

Drew Nordstrom, Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager


It’s been on my list for ages…

… and I finally got to snag a reservation for Mi Tocaya Antojería off of Notify. I started with a super refreshing sparkling agua fresca de Jamaica and went right into the eats. The menu is so shareable and the quesabirria absolutely lived up to the hype. If you can go close to when they open, they might be able to squeeze you in as a walk-in on their cute patio. Run, don’t walk!

Emma Cadd, Restaurant Enablement Analyst


During a marathon eating weekend…

… some gals from the Resy team and I had dinner at The Duck Inn. It felt like the kind of neighborhood spot where everyone wants to be a regular. I was really impressed by unique menu items like escargot ravioli, Chicago-style duck hot dog, and huitlacoche gnocchi — but the star of the show was the whole rotisserie duck, which (pro tip) you need to pre-order ahead of time. I took home what we couldn’t eat and tried it cold the next day — it tasted like Thanksgiving leftovers in the best way possible. Next time I’m in Chicago, I want to go back for the four-course duck experience tasting menu.

Michelle Greenbaum, Senior Social Media Manager

Duck at The Duck Inn in Chicago
The whole rotisserie duck. Photo courtesy of The Duck Inn
Duck at The Duck Inn in Chicago
The whole rotisserie duck. Photo courtesy of The Duck Inn

One of my most recent favorite meals in Chicago…

… took place at Bistro Campagne, a hidden gem in the heart of Lincoln Square. They arguably have the best steak frites in the city, and while the escargots are the obvious choice for an appetizer, do not overlook the pain et beurre (a.k.a. bread and butter). All you have to do is choose between the old-school charm of the dining room or the more modern feel of the patio with its twinkly lights.

Lauren Kansupada, Director of Network Sales


Top of my list for our James Beard Awards weekend…

… was new Chicago hot spot Maxwells Trading from Erling Wu-Bower and Josh Tilden, and it did not disappoint. The space, with its warehouse aesthetic, vinyl vibes, and rooftop garden was the perfect canvas for this uniquely Chicago mashup of a multi-cultural menu.

To start, every menu needs a griddle bread and dunks section, a place where chef Chris Jung is able to flex. Other standouts included the bruléed Japanese sweet potato swimming in a spicy green curry, and the bountiful clay pot rice where every forkful yielded a new bite of savory goodness, with pork belly, lap cheong, yuba, and fava beans keeping us coming back for more.

I can’t wait to see how Maxwells continues to evolve, as it settles into itself as a pillar in the city’s dining scene.

Drew Nordstrom, Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager


I was in town for the Beard Awards…

… and was thrilled to finally check out Maxwells Trading, an exciting newcomer to Chicago. The menu reads so incredibly well and the only way to order was rapid-fire to force some difficult decisions. The table was filled with grilled breads, gnocchi fritto with ham, slow-cooked Japanese sweet potato with green curry, soup dumpling tortellini, salt-and-pepper asparagus, and my favorite, a perfect piece of turbot with Swiss chard and kombu beurre blanc. Flavors were far-ranging and exciting, and dishes meant for sharing, with some deliciously balanced desserts to wrap it up. Looking forward to a return visit soon!

Aaron Ginsberg, VP of Strategic Partnerships & Industry Developments

Griddles and their dunks at Maxwells Trading
Griddles and their dunks. Photo by Sandy Noto, courtesy of Maxwells Trading
Griddles and their dunks at Maxwells Trading
Griddles and their dunks. Photo by Sandy Noto, courtesy of Maxwells Trading

From start to finish…

Giant serves up incredible flavors. The menu feels spontaneous and each small plate is so different from the next. We kicked off the meal with an incredible jalapeño and corn biscuit with maple butter. Then, onto the broccoli with smoked pepper dressing, some parmesan-dusted onion rings, and a saffron tagliatelle — all had really fun twists and were packed with flavor.

Pro tip: Sit in the patio on a nice evening and finish the meal with their delicious cajeta ice cream.

Sarah Slaton, Product Designer


Here’s to a must-try whenever you’re in Chicago…

Leña Brava, where we started with the tuna carpaccio, which was lovely. We also adored the seared scallops, which were perfectly cooked and came with an amazing sauce. We ordered the roasted oysters, albondigas meatballs, and the steak frites, all 10/10. Favorite cocktail of the night was La Playita with rum, mezcal, Ancho Reyes, guava, and lime. The service and atmosphere were super vibey.

Lysandra Whitlow, Technical Project Manager


To the staff that went above and beyond…

On a recent family trip to Chicago to celebrate our little girl’s fourth birthday, we dined at Ascione Bistro, and it was nothing short of A-MAAAAZE-ING! The Fiorentina steak for the table with garlic butter was mouthwatering, the off-menu smash burger was delicious, and best of all: the staff went above and beyond to cater to my children (with off-menu kid-friendly portions, kid-sized cutlery, and more), ensuring a memorable, enjoyable, and stress-free dining experience for the whole family.

Nhaomie Louhisdon, Project Administrator


Here’s to a place with a great outdoor patio and a bar…

The Warbler, a neighborhood spot in Lincoln Square. They have family-style meals during the week, which I love to do with my eight-year-old. My favorite appetizer is the nachos made with roasted pork belly and sambal, which is the secret ingredient that makes the dish incredibly flavorful. My husband loves the smash burger and I am a fan of the arugula salad with whipped ricotta, olives, and walnuts. But the real star of the show, according to my kiddo (although I happen to agree), is the cookie skillet — the perfect end to an easy, delicious meal!

Lauren Kansupada, Director of Revenue Growth