The Purple Pig, Hot Doug’s and Kuma’s Corner

Every trip to Chicago is an adventure with thousands of restaurants and eateries to choose from. During this past trip, I ate at some old favorites and tried new, up-and-coming spots. Overall, my advice is to ditch the guidebooks and trust locals and friends to show you a good time and good eats.

A good college friend suggested we check out The Purple Pig, an up-and-coming restaurant with contemporary Mediterranean tapas. The small plates are perfect for sharing; seating is communal, which is great for making new friends; and the food is downright amazing. Next, I paid a visit to Hot Doug’s, the inspiration behind Hank’s Haute Dogs. The gourmet and specialty dogs there are inventive, daring and ridiculously tasty. Lastly, I got to rock out at Kuma’s Corner, a heavy metal-themed burger bar for massive burgers with massive personalities.

The Purple Pig

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The Purple Pig, located on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, is one of the city's hottest new restaurants. Friends from the area made sure this made it onto my eating itinerary, and the food, service and atmosphere brought me back for lunch two consecutive days.

The Purple Pig is a collaboration of some of Chicago's biggest names in the restaurant industry. Chefs from Mia Francesca, Spiaggia and Heaven on Seven put together an amazing Mediterranean menu, featuring house-made charcuterie and cheeses.