11 Refreshing Food Options to Beat Chicago’s Heat

Photograph by Luisa Brimble

Chicago is experiencing a heatwave that has residents yearning for the cooler days of fall, but there is still some time before the trees adorn autumn hues. While we await the change of season, finding respite from the scorching temperatures remains a top priority. To help you stay cool, we’ve curated an assortment of refreshing food options throughout Chicago that are sure to provide the perfect chill.


Beyond their Chilled Shrimp Cocktail, Formento’s offers an assortment of dishes that perfectly complement the sunny vibes on their patio. Don’t miss their Caprese Wrap, enveloped in a slow-roasted tomato aioli, luxurious buffalo mozzarella, and cool balsamic glaze! Their light salads and decadent pasta portions are certain to keep you sustained, yet chilled.

The Dearborn

Elevate your taste buds with The Dearborn’s exquisite Ceviche. Expect a harmonious blend of Cod, Salmon, Shrimp, Fennel, Orange, Tomato, and Cilantro, all delicately combined with a Coriander-Lime Dressing. Crowned with Crispy Tortilla, this dish promises a burst of fresh flavors that will transport you to culinary paradise. Alternatively, their Midwest Is Best Salad serves as the canvas for a masterful composition. It consists of Port-Soaked Dried Cherries, Zingerman’s Creamery ‘Detroit-Street Brick’ Cheese, Honeycrisp Apples, Candied Pecans, Lardons of Nueske’s Bacon, all drizzled with a Champagne-Mustard Seed Vinaigrette!

Chilled Soba Noodle Salad at UrbanBelly


Craving a cooling and satisfying meal to combat the summer heat? Look no further than UrbanBelly’s refreshing Chilled Soba Noodle Salad, now offered at their Wicker Park location! Crafted by Chef Bill Kim to commemorate Urbanbelly’s 15-year anniversary in Chicago, this dish features shrimp, marinated cucumber, and a soy garlic dressing with a basil puree!

BLVD Steakhouse

BLVD Steakhouse invites you to savor the elegance of their Dayboat Scallops. Asparagus and a Brown Butter Vinaigrette create a symphony of flavors, while the addition of Preserved Lemon adds a twist. This dish is a celebration of exquisite seafood prepared with the utmost care and attention to detail. Their Tuna Crudo is another option that is nothing short of refreshing, carefully accompanied by Veal Aioli and House Giardineria!

Thomas & Dutch

Enlighten your senses with the Lemon Panna Cotta from Thomas & Dutch. Embellished with Strawberry Limoncello Sauce, Lemon Curd, and a Shortbread Cookie Crumble, this dessert is a symphony of sweet and tangy notes. Topped with Whipped Cream, it’s the perfect finale to a reviving dining experience.

Hannah’s Bretzel

The Marisol at Hannah's Bretzel

At Hannah’s Bretzel, savor The Marisol. It is a tasty roasted chicken creation with Butter Lettuce, Pecorino Toscano, Fresh Avocado, Organic Sliced Apples, Chopped Macadamia Nuts, and Fresh Dill. Carefully coated in their housemade Green Goddess Dressing this bracing meal is served on their Organic Bretzel Baguette. Plus, enjoy the Chilled Cucumber Soup. It consists of Summertime Cucumber blended with Greek Yogurt, Rice Oil, Lemon Juice, and Fresh Herbs, a true embodiment of a summer breeze in every spoonful!


At SummerHouse, a sanctuary of refreshing cuisine, the Costa Mesa Salad takes the spotlight. This creation combines charred corn, pico de Gallo, avocado, queso fresco, quinoa, crispy tortilla, chipotle crema, and a zesty lime vinaigrette over a bed of romaine and mixed greens. And that’s just the beginning! Elevate the flavor experience by adding their grilled chicken or salmon, taking this dish to a new level of deliciousness!

Hub 51

Hub 51, a staple in Chicago’s culinary scene, has earned renown for its mouthwatering offerings. Although it garners acclaim for its nachos, burgers, and tacos, it also provides a reliable selection for those seeking something refreshing. Amid their savory lineup, Hub 51 surprises with its exceptional salads, notably the Complete Chopped Salad. This salad not only boasts the expected elements but also incorporates quinoa, hemp, and pumpkin seeds, elevating the dish.

Antique Taco

Antique Taco proudly presents the visually stunning Antique Taco Salad, a bowl brimming with vibrant flavors. Kale, seasonal fruit, red pepper, onion, queso, spicy peanuts, cranberries, sesame, and tortilla strips harmoniously combine, enhanced by an exceptional pomegranate vinaigrette dressing that stands out as unmatched. While this creation shines on its own, the experience can be elevated by adding your choice of chicken, pork, shrimp, or avocado!

Canal Street Eatery

Indulge your taste buds at Canal Street Eatery, where the Chamomile Panna Cotta emerges as a true standout. Lavishly adorned with honey, a subtle hint of lemon, and a touch of fennel, all amongst anise cookies, this invigorating dessert promises to leave you yearning for more, while also igniting anticipation for your next visit!

Lemon Blueberry Le Stan at Stan's Donuts

Stan’s Donuts

End your chilled culinary journey on a sweet note with Stan’s Donuts. Indulge in the Lemon Blueberry Le Stan! It is a traditional Le Stan donut filled with a Blueberry Lemon Zest Jam, topped with an exquisite Lemon Drizzle. This Le Stan pairs seamlessly with Stan’s Lemonade, creating a harmonious blend of flavors that will leave your taste buds dancing!

Written by Bridget McGann

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