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Billy Lawless’s Guide to Chicago

Restaurant owner Billy Lawless gives us his favorite spots throughout the Windy City

Galway, Ireland, native Billy Lawless has five successful restaurants (Acanto, Beacon Tavern, Coda di Volpe, The Dawson and The Gage), a larger-than-life personality and a deep love for Chicago, the city he’s called home for 20 years. When he scores a rare moment of downtime, here’s where he’ll likely be.

Cup of Joe: At Caffe Streets in Wicker Park, I chat with the owner, Darko, over a cortado. It’s also where I get the Metric coffee that we carry at a few of our restaurants.

Power Lunch: I’m usually hosting the power lunchers, but on the weekends I go to Spinning J in Humboldt Park, where the housemade breads, scones and quiches are fantastic.

Cocktail Hour: I don’t drink but if I did I’d go to Delilah’s, the best whiskey dive bar in the city.

Retail Therapy: I enjoy chatting with Alex and longing over the beautiful watches at Geneva Seal, a family-owned jeweler in the Gold Coast.

Field Trip: We’re lucky the Art Institute is steps away from both Acanto and The Gage. I love popping over for a few moments when I have a break.

Date Night: For the past few years the go-to has been Avec, where my wife and I enjoy a late dinner.

Hidden Gem: I head to Red Square Spa, the Russian and Turkish Baths in Wicker Park.

Main image credit: Galdones Photography