We stopped into Left Coast recently to try the fast casual daytime dining spot that was dubbed, “As California as Chicago’s going to get,” by Urban Daddy.
The menu is a veggie-lover’s delight. The atmosphere is busy, yet comfortable. And the philosophy of the owners is true Journey to Good-ness. Read on to learn more about why we love Left Coast.
Do you live in a city and desire the goodness of organic fruits and vegetables, but struggle with getting to expensive Whole Foods on the reg?
That’s exactly why I signed up for Imperfect Produce.
Anne and I love drinking wine.
It’s generally our alcoholic drink of choice. It helps us relax, it’s fun with friends, and it potentially offers us a few health benefits.
Being enthusiastic wine drinkers, we were happy to discover that there’s a method of making wine that possibly reduces terrible hangovers and headaches, and is better for us and our environment.
We had to try it.
These special thoughtfully-sourced wines are sold in a quaint corner shop in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood called Red & White Wines. They’re known as “one of the first natural wine retailers in the US.”
Matcha green tea has become very popular in recent years, and I'm sure you've seen matcha lattes at your local coffee shops. Green tea usage dates back over 800 years, and matcha is the most potent and nutritious green tea on the planet as the entire leaf is ground into matcha powder to be ingested. Many key nutrients are typically thrown away in the process of making regular green tea as matcha is the only whole leaf version that maintains all the leaf's fiber, chlorophyll, and vitamins.
I find that the energy from matcha is less of a spike and more of a sustained boost throughout the day. Matcha contains the amino acid, L-Theanine, which combined with the caffeine in the tea, is absorbed slowly by our bodies to provide a steady 3-6 hour energy boost without your typical "caffeine crash". L-Theanine is also associated with improving mental clarity on top of increasing natural energy. Moreover, matcha contains high amounts of antioxidants (up to 137x the antioxidants of regular green tea) compared to other fruits and vegetables (hello, anti-aging benefit).
It's an expensive habit to purchase matcha drinks out every day. Also, when buying your drinks out you can't control the ingredients and make your latte exactly to your taste and health preferences.
Hence, I knew I needed to figure out my own healthy DIY matcha latte to make at home each morning before work. I wanted mine to include powerful adaptogens to increase the balance within my body as well as my energy.
Below are my favorite versions of a healthy homemade matcha latte followed by some more information on the ingredients I'm using. These recipes take only 10 minutes or less to make, and are delicious.
We noticed a new coffee shop open on Fullerton Avenue near Kimball Avenue in Logan Square, and had to check it out.
It's called HalfWit Coffee Roasters, and in addition to being a large coffee shop, they do their own artisanal roasting three times a week.
Intimate, cosy and delicious. A tiny inviting space complete with hanging plants and delicate flowers on the wood tables. The perfect BYOB restaurant to cure your winter blues, that happens to also be plant-based, vegetable forward and supportive of local farms.
Cellar Door Provisions is a 20-seat BYOB restaurant in Logan Square “crafting farm-to-table American fare, country bread and pastries.” They are unique in that they state their food comes “almost entirely from local farmers whom we know personally.”
Their menu changes at least weekly, and they make almost everything in house (no wonder it tastes so fresh!). The food from scratch and beautiful dishes, all a little different, further adds to the homey feel provided by Cellar Door Provisions.
It was the morning of Monday, October 16 and my husband and I had arrived in Dublin the previous day, just in time for ex hurricane Ophelia to hit Ireland. After watching the local news, we felt safe enough to venture out, as the storm was not scheduled to reach that part of Ireland until 1 pm.
It was our first time in Dublin and we were looking for a full Irish breakfast experience. It only made sense to enjoy a good meal before hunkering down inside at the recommendation of the newscasters who had strongly encouraged, “No unnecessary journeys” that afternoon.
As we walked the streets it became clear that the city was shutting down. We knew schools were closed, but we were surprised so many shops and restaurants had already hung signs in their windows indicating closures due to Ophelia.
We consulted my Google Map where I had starred several restaurants we were interested in trying in Dublin. Two of the first three we walked to were closed. Then we made it to Cornucopia.
Fortunately, more and more restaurants understand diners with healthy eating needs are increasing and are offering options to accommodate demand.
While it’s now common to see a vegetarian or vegan option on menus, some restaurants are emerging that are focused on all healthy options. Most of these that we've seen are in the fast casual category, such as Freshii or Lyfe Kitchen, and Amy's.
But what if you are looking for a dining experience that is a step up from fast casual? You may be looking for a restaurant in a beautiful atmosphere with friends and family, enjoy table service and order from a menu of all healthy options.
One of my most favorite and unique organic juice & smoothie shops in Chicago is Infiniteus Rocks and Juice located in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.
However, they are not solely an organic juice & smoothie bar, they are also a “metaphysical boutique” with a crystal shop in the back of the organic juice bar.
They were actually offering their metaphysical crystals and stones for sale two years before their delicious and organic juices, smoothies, cleanses, healthy snacks, super-foods and supplements. The “rocks” shop opened four years ago, and the juice bar two years ago.
Today I visited The Kombucha Room, a cafe located in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago that offers 20 varieties of kombucha, on tap.
This intimate space is a laid-back neighborhood gem. If you’ve never tried kombucha, this would be a great place to start exploring this probiotic tea drink that can help with healthy digestion.
For innovative craft lattes, smoothies and confections made with organic ingredients and superfoods, journey to Oromo Cafe located at 4703 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625, open 7 days a week.
I'd been wanting to try Oromo since I was desperately searching for an organic, healthy latte in Chicago, and found them in a Google search. As soon as I read they had house-made nut milk and were using some of my favorite superfoods in their lattes (such as turmeric and maca), I knew I had to go into the cafe as soon as possible.
My dirty little habit for about 10 years was drinking a Starbucks latte every day (venti chai latte with soymilk or venti vanilla latte with soymilk).
On days where I had a lot of work to complete and low energy (due to poor diet and sleep), I would drink at least 2.
A couple years ago, I switched over to an expensive but delicious cold brew coffee and almond milk juice from Owen & Alchemy. Unfortunately, they're now permanently closed. During that time, I would still rotate Starbucks into my daily routine.
I had to find a solution that allowed me to prioritize my health and avoid Starbucks altogether (for health and ethical reasons).
Luckily for us, I found it:
If walking from the west on Fulton Market to reach the newest Beatrix location - aptly named Beatrix Fulton Market, you may risk a little dirt in your eye or a close encounter with a forklift, but grin and bear it.