Oct 13, 2023 - Food and Drink

Chef Joe Flamm's Best Day Ever in Chicago

Joe Flamm at Rose Mary. Photo: Courtesy of Matt Haas.

Joe Flamm has worked beside some of the city's most famous chefs before acing "Top Chef" and launching Rose Mary, his Fulton Market ode to "Adriatic drinking food" and his grandmothers.

  • The father of two, who grew up in Beverly, also oversees the nearby BLVD, revamped with an all-season patio.

This Chicago foodie shared his perfect day in the city with us.

☕️ Breakfast: Coffee at Two Mile to start the day. I get an iced red eye, at least until it snows, then we switch to hot. Always black. Then I walk across the street to Afro Joe's for a Bronzeville Breakfast Sandwich.

👟 Morning activity: Run in the woods. Head down the Major Taylor Trail into the Dan Ryan Woods, swing the loop around, up the hill, through the tunnel and follow the aqueducts out to some beautiful historic homes.

Pulled pork, tortilla shells, bowl of red salsa, bowl of beans, bowl of cilantro, bowl of onions on metal tray.
Carnitas, chicharrones, beans and tacos dorados from Carnitas Uruapan in Gage Park. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

🌮 Lunch: Time to start heading north, but first we're stopping on 55th and Rockwell at Carnitas Uruapan. I get the No. 1 of carnitas, a dozen homemade tortillas, salsa verde and a giant chicharron to eat in the car.

  • Don't forget to say hi to Ramon and the boys in the back.

🧋 Afternoon activity: Walk through Chinatown. Start down Wentworth and pop into every little store you see.

From of restaurant with brightly colored sign reading Lula Cafe.
Lula Cafe in Logan Square. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

🍷 Dinner: Headed to Logan Square (to feel like I'm young again) for dinner at Lula Cafe, one of my favorites of all time.

  • Whatever seasonal magic the HH combo of Hammel and Holladay are working up in the kitchen, get it. Order wine you haven't heard of, chat up the bartenders about the music, check if anyone from Wilco is sitting behind you, and get all of the desserts.

🎥 Evening activity: Walk over to the Logan Theatre and catch a late-night showing of a classic like "The Goonies," "Top Gun," or whatever it may be.

  • Grab a drink, settle in, and feel 17 years old again. If you're still hungry after that, go to La Puebla next door for a chimichanga, Puebla style. You have to ask for it because it's off menu. But really, that's more of a late late evening activity…

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