10 of Our Favorite Chefs in Chicago and, Yeah, They’re All Women

We still think our mom’s the greatest cook in the game, but these ten Chicago female chefs give her a run for her money. (Sorry, Mom. It’s just that your green beans never quite tasted like Stephanie Izard’s.) Whether it’s Italian, Ethiopian, Indian or even just a breakfast pastry so perfect, you’ll never look at the world the same again, these are the ten women running the food game in town.

Afternoon Tea Is the New Trendy Hangout and Here’s Where to Go

iliana regan of elizabeth restaurant lady run restaurants chicago
Jeff Marini

Iliana Regan Of Elizabeth Restaurant

The foraging fanatic recently opened up a new spot, Kitsune, serving Japanese pub fare—which translates to some of the best ramen you’ve ever had.

4835 N. Western Ave.; 773-681-0651 or

stephanie izard of girl and the goat lady run restaurants chicago
Stephanie Izard, Inc.

Stephanie Izard Of Girl And The Goat

This Top Chef can do anything: small plates (Girl and the Goat), diner food (Little Goat), dim sum (Duck Duck Goat)….but it’s her simple sautéed green beans dish at Girl and the Goat that wins us over every time.

809 W. Randolph St.; 312-492-6262 or

sandra holl of floriole cafe bakery lady run restaurants

Sandra Holl Of Floriole Cafe & Bakery

Even if you haven’t visited Floriole, you’ve probably tasted its pastries at coffee shops across the city. Holl is just that good.

1220 W. Webster Ave.; 773-883-1313

sarah grueneberg of monteverde lady run restaurants chicago
Galdones Photography

Sarah Grueneberg Of Monteverde

We didn’t need more reasons to love pasta, but Grueneberg gave us some with her cacio whey pepe. (The “whey” is the ricotta…mmm.)

1020 W. Madison St.; 312-888-3041 or

hema potla of hema s kitchen photoshopped

Hema Potla Of Hema’s Kitchen

Whether on Devon Avenue or Clark Street, Potla serves up some of the city’s best Indian.

2411 N. Clark St.; 773-529-1705 or

mindy segal of mindy s hot chocolate lady run restaurants chicago

Mindy Segal Of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

Head to Bucktown to meet the reigning Cookie Queen. Her hearty American mains aren’t bad, either.

1747 N. Damen Ave.; 773-489-1747 or

jill barron of mana food bar lady run restaurants chicago
Philip Dembinski

Jill Barron Of Mana Food Bar

At Mana Food Bar, Barron proves that vegetarian food is sexier than just alfalfa sprouts.

1742 W. Division St.; 773-342-1742 or

nicole bayani of presidio lady run restaurants chicago
Felicia Saade

Nicole Bayani Of Presidio

From Tru to Scofflaw and now Presidio, Bayani’s built up an impressive résumé and even more impressive pork shank with bacon-braised greens.

1749 N. Damen Ave.; 773-697-3315 or

beverly kim of parachute lady run restaurants chicago
Cory Dewald Photography

Beverly Kim Of Parachute

Nearly three years since opening, the 40-seat Korean-American eatery is still getting buzz. (Well, considering how yum the pork belly and mung bean pancakes are, of course it is.)

3500 N. Elston Ave.; 773-654-1460 or

tigist rena of demera lady run restauarnts chicago
Demera Ethiopian Restaurant

Tigist Reda Of Demera

After sopping up her Ethiopian stews with spongy injera, we’re not sure we could (or even want to) go back to fork and knife.

4801 N. Broadway St.; 773-334-8787 or

amanda nyren

Writer, yogi, mom to about a dozen houseplants

A lifelong Chicago resident, Amanda started covering the local scene for PureWow in 2016. She's a freelance writer and content strategist.