Besides his coveted Spiaggia, where he is the executive chef, where can you find "Top Chef" champ Joe Flamm dining in Chicago? We found out -- including the restaurant he says is the "best kept secret in Chicago."
Cafe Marie Jeanne/Instagram
Favorite brunch spot? Cafe Marie Jeanne. Flamm calls it "hipster church" but said he loves the homey atmosphere. "You see your neighbors, people you know, other chefs in the industry."
Lula Cafe in Logan Square is Flamm's "all-time favorite restaurant ever." He calls the meals a "really, really nice chef-y dinner you could afford."
Listen up lovers: Avec is the restaurant Flamm took his wife to on their first date and they've gone there since for anniversaries. "It's always so good," he said.
Vito & Nick Pizzeria
Best pizza in Chicago? Flamm picked the pizzeria he said he grew up going to. "If you want good (Chicago) pizza you've got to go South," he said.
Is Cafeteria Marcelas the best kept secret in Chicago? Flamm thinks so. Pro tip: Order the lechon with salsa verde. "The best sandwich people don't know about," he said.
Carly Fisher/The Feast
Having worked here for 2 years earlier in his career, Flamm said Girl and the Goat is a must-eat. "The food is very nostalgic," he said. "For me, it's like your mom's cooking."
When asked where you can find the best Italian beef in Chicago, Flamm took no time in thinking about his answer before blurting out Al's Beef on Taylor Street.
Kimski, the project of Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar, is one of Flamm's top picks because he finds it "so not typical" for its location on the city's South Side. "It brings something different to the neighborhood," he said. (Photo: Ed Marszewski of Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar took home a Critic's Pick award for Best Chip Off the Old Block.)