Jun 10, 2022 - Food and Drink

Best Day Ever: Oriole's Noah Sandoval


Noah Sandoval, chef/owner of Oriole. Photo by Garrett Sweet, courtesy of Oriole

Chef Noah Sandoval dreams up exquisite, contemporary American tasting menus nightly at Oriole, his two-Michelin-star restaurant in the West Loop.

  • It's earned him a second trip to the James Beard Awards, where he's vying for Best Chef: Great Lakes on Monday.
meat on plate
A dish from Sandoval's tasting menu at Oriole. Photo by Garrett Sweet, courtesy of Oriole

Backstory: After starting his career in Richmond, Virginia, Sandoval moved to Chicago in 2008 to work at Marcus Samuelsson's C-House. He then went to Spring and Schwa before earning his first Michelin star at gluten-free Senza.

  • In 2016, he and his wife, Cara, opened Oriole. It scored four stars from the Tribune months after opening.
  • They later added Japanese-style dining bar Kumiko, run by partner Julia Momosé — also vying for a 2022 Beard Award for her book "The Way of the Cocktail: Japanese Traditions, Techniques, and Recipes."

What's happening: We recently caught up with the chef to ask about his ideal day in Chicago.

🧇 Breakfast: "I love going to Windy City Cafe in River West. My go-to is the Second City Combo: bacon, sausage link, half a waffle."

🐕 Morning activity: "I'm always walking my dogs around my Albany Park neighborhood."

Chicken salad sandwich from JT's Genuine Sandwich Shop. Photo courtesy of the shop

🥪 Lunch: "JT’s Genuine Sandwich Shop, near my home. What I love about their sandwiches is they're never stingy on their ingredients."

🎸 Afternoon activity: "If it's my day off on Mondays, it's always band practice." (Sandoval is also a guitarist in a rock band.)

🍽️ Dinner: "Korean BBQ at Chicago Kalbi. I could grill short ribs and eat plates of banchan all night."

🥃 Evening activity: "You'll find me drinking at the Montrose Saloon, usually something with Templeton rye."


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