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Chef Stephanie Izard Shares Places She Loves in the West Loop

Chef Stephanie Izard’s restaurants helped to transform Chicago’s West Loop into the city’s hottest dining destination. She opened Girl & the Goat in 2010 after winning Top Chef, and today she has five additional eateries in the neighborhood: Little Goat, Duck Duck Goat, Cabra, Sugargoat, and the freshly opened Baobing.

In addition to her restaurants, Izard has authored two cookbooks, “Girl in the Kitchen” and “Gather & Graze”, and launched the This Little Goat line of sauces and seasonings and developed the Girl & the Goat meal kits for Goldbelly.

We are honored that she agreed to participate in City Guide to Chicago’s first interview!

When you are in LA, what do you miss about Chicago?

Now that it’s getting warm, there is no place on Earth like Chicago in the summer – happy people out and about at Cubs games and street fests and on patios sipping cocktails. The best!

Which Chicago neighborhood are you choosing to talk about and why?

My favorite Chicago neighborhood is probably the one I spend the most time in – the West Loop. It’s been crazy and amazing to see how much the neighborhood has evolved over the years – and how it keeps on growing and changing! 

Baobing’s Chocolate Sesame Bao

What are your go-to takeout spots in the neighborhood?

My favorite take-out spot is definitely J.P. Graziano’s – I love popping in for a sandwich…. my favorite in the city (we are even getting ready to launch a fun sandwich collab with our new This Little Goat chili crunch!)  I also gotta do a shoutout to our summertime-only window, the Baobing window behind Duck Guck Goat.  It’s like going to an ice cream social any day you want!

If you want to have a pre-dinner drink, where are you going?

Lazy Bird has super yummy cocktails!  Or a margarita on the patio at Lena Brava! 

Where would you go to celebrate a special occasion?

Rosemary by Joe Flamm is a really amazing restaurant. Joe is one of my favorite people and his restaurant has the same warm friendly fun vibe he does, plus it’s just delicious!