A Local’s Tour: Chicago with Iliana Regan

Seyine Park

Heading to Chicago? Who better to get the inside scoop from than a local – and an amazing chef, no less – like Iliana Regan of Elizabeth! 

Head of Michelin-starred Elizabeth Restaurant, in Chicago, Iliana Regan is certainly no ordinary chef. Spending her childhood growing up on a farm has had a lasting influence on her approach to her cuisine. How you ask? She oftentimes spears her own frogs and serves her customers ingredients like bear meat and dear hearts – just to give you a brief idea. Elizabeth’s remarkably daring and edgy cuisine is called New Gatherer – a cuisine dedicated to working with the best offerings of the season from their gardens, woods, local farmers, fishers, and hunters (some of whom are in-house, as we’ve just noted).

With great respect and much interest, we were delighted to gain chef Iliana’s insight of local spots to hit when in Chicago.

1.  Morning Sustenance

Beans & Bagels
2601 W Leland Ave.

What to order: Coffee and an egg on a sesame bagel with ham. The bagel is nicely toasted, and the egg and ham are farm fresh.


2. Nature Calls

Deep River County Park
7302 Ainsworth Road

What to do: Gather, forage, and hike. I’ve been going there since I was a child.


3. Lunch

Kopi A Travlers Cafe
5317 N Clark St.

What to order: A sandwich or a salad. I’ve been going there since I was 20. It is good and has a very comfortable atmosphere.


4. Art for your heart

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
220 E Chicago Ave.

The Field Museum
1400 S Lakeshore Drive

What to do: I look around and always come out inspired by something.


5. Time for Dinner

5316 N Clark St.

What to order: Anteprima is a go-to spot in my neighborhood. Order the octopus and potato salad and the papardelle with prosciutto ragu.

Gerald Forster/Bloomberg Pursuits

Chef Iliana Regan of Elizabeth. © Gerald Forster/Bloomberg Pursuits