South Water Kitchen
The Real Deal in Downtown Chicago at Wacker and Wabash

Chicago's culinary history is a rich one. But if you're looking for honest Midwestern fare, prepared by a native Chicagoan, we invite you to take a seat in South Water Kitchen.

You will be hard pressed to find a truer Chicago restaurant than South Water Kitchen. Executive Chef Roger Waysok, himself a Windy City original, prepares substantial breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and tavern dishes, each of which is framed around the classic Midwestern recipes he grew up with. Sit back and dive into a timeless tour of flavor with Braised Durham Ranch Buffalo Shank, Bourbon Braised Pork Belly or the succulent Grilled Rabbit Sausage. Or venture over to Chef Waysok's delectable tavern menu featuring shareable dishes like whole wheat Flatbreads, Deviled Eggs, or domestic cheese or charcuterie board.

South Water Kitchen offers a full complement of specials in both the dining room and Tavern. Dan Rook, the Tavern's mixoligist in residence, has an established "Happy Hour All Day/Every Day" policy where you can expect happy hour prices and exclusive draft beer and wine specials daily, from open to close.

Located next to the Hotel Monaco Chicago, South Water Kitchen resides in what was known as the South Water Market district during pre-Prohibition days. It was here that Chicago received and distributed the fresh produce that arrived from around the country. Today, the region is a hub for the many theaters and businesses that ply their trade here. In acknowledgement of the region's market history, Chef Waysok personally buys his produce and meats directly from a host of local purveyors such as Slagel Farms, Gunthorp Farms, and Burton's Maplewood Farms. As with everything Chef prepares, if it's on the menu, then it is seasonally fresh. Which means you won't find a dish featuring tomatoes in the dead of winter. And it's not uncommon for a rancher to pull up to the back door on a Tuesday night and unload a whole hog for that upcoming week's menu.

South Water Kitchen provides seasonal outdoor seating on the patio – a rarity in downtown Chicago, in addition to the dining room and the River Room (available for private party dining and corporate meetings). The ambiance and the restaurant's surroundings lend an immediate comfort to just about any type of gathering.

Chicago's culinary history is a rich one. But if you're looking for honest Midwestern fare, prepared by a native Chicagoan, we invite you to take a seat in South Water Kitchen.

Standing On the Shoulders of Giants

Chef Roger Waysok grew up in a city that built from the ground up its own culinary culture. Even the name Chicago speaks to food. Chicagaoua is the word the Native Americans used for the plant, similar to a wild onion or garlic, which sprouted up around Lake Michigan. But to the point, Chicago didn't borrow its cooking pedigree from another region in the United States. There was no copying or duplication of styles. When you say Chicago cuisine, you are speaking specifically about dishes born here.

Chicago owes much of its culinary history to its vast melting pop of civilizations that came here from around the world. Italians, Poles, Puerto Ricans, African Americans… each carted their recipes and kitchen styles with them. From those family trees ultimately emerged names like Charlie Trotter, Rick Tramonto, Grant Achatz and Rick Bayless. These chefs have since become synonymous with cutting-edge flavors and approaches, all the while carrying their personal Chicago banner.

The Windy City is also the birthplace of – you ready for this? – Twinkies, Cracker Jacks, Cream of Wheat, Shredded Wheat, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, and Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Gum. Then of course there's the famous Chicago deep-dish pizza, created by Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo, and the infamous Chicago-style hot dog, which came into being as a "meal on a bun" during the Great Depression.

Today, you'll find more than 20 Michelin-starred restaurants scattered about the city, as well as a spectrum of specialty eateries that cater to tastes of every nature and calling.

* Chef Roger Waysok
* Recipes
* River Room
* Gift Certificates