1. Vanilla Hazelnut Latte at C-Shop (Einstein’s Bros. Bagels)
Imagine a warm cup of Einstein’s freshly brewed coffee. Pretty good, right? Now imagine mixing in a shot of hazelnut and vanilla syrup and a swirl of frothed cream. It’s velvety, comforting and everything you could want in a warm beverage. It’ll make you temporarily forget about the frigid weather for sure.
2. Ripe Tomato Cous Cous at Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen
If you’re cold and starving, have no fear. Head to Cedars and get a piping hot bowl of ripe tomato couscous; it’s hearty and, of course, warm. If you’re not into vegetarian fare, you can also add lamb or chicken for an extra meaty bite.
3. Spinach Goat Cheese Pizza at Medici’s on 57th
It’s hard to go to the Med for a meal and not get one of their famous pizzas. Whether you like thin crust or deep dish, vegetarian or meat lover’s pizza, the spinach and goat cheese pizza is sure to please. It has layers of hearty spinach, tangy goat cheese and mozzarella cheese. The crust is soft and pillowy and smeared with pesto instead of tomato sauce. It has all the melty and satisfying goodness you could ask for on a cold winter night at UChicago.
4. Mexican Hot Chocolate at Medici’s on 57th
Hot chocolate: the classic winter drink for escaping the cold. The Med does it with a twist. Imagine your standard hot chocolate made with Mexican chocolate — the warmth of cinnamon, the sweetness of vanilla and the subtle flavor of almonds. Give it a try; it won’t disappoint.
5. Panang Curry at Noodles, etc.
A warm and comforting meal at Noodles, etc. can only mean one thing: curry. My favorite curry at Noodles is the Panang Curry. It’s a relatively thin, coconut milk-based curry with a spicy kick (depending on how you like it). It’s filled with mixed veggies and a meat of your choice, and it pairs well with a side of rice.
6. Beef Pho at Pho 55
Craving some Vietnamese pho but too lazy to make the trek to Argyle Street? I feel you. The closest thing to good pho in Hyde Park is located at Pho 55, a relatively upscale Vietnamese fusion restaurant. The broth is warm and complex, and the noodles have the perfect amount of chewiness. The sliced beef is served almost rare, cooking the rest of the time in the broth. Don’t let it sit; it won’t be nearly as good cold!
7. Bangkok Curry Bowl at Native Foods
Vegan food, comforting? Yes, it’s possible. Think brown rice piled high with broccoli and carrots drenched in a thick, subtly sweet curry sauce. It’s also served with a skewer of grilled tofu coated in sesame seeds. It’s super filling and super satisfying.
8. Mentaiko Carbonara at Yusho
If you’re looking for a warm dish with high quality ingredients, the Mentaiko Carbonara is a must-have. Everyone who has asked me about Yusho can tell you that I cannot shut up about this dish. It consists of handmade squid ink bucatini pasta from A10 bathed in a creamy carbonara sauce and topped with scallions and a perfectly poached egg. The pasta has a delightfully chewy texture and is not overly salty, and the combination of egg yolk and carbonara sauce is the definition of indulgence.
Feast away, friends, and stay warm.