It’s common knowledge that Chicago’s restaurant scene is world-class, but did you know that the local catering scene is every bit as impressive? From a barbecue restaurant with a catering offshoot to a company helmed by a Michelin-starred chef, here are eight of Chicago’s most reputable caterers, and what to request from each.
This lauded extension of chef Charles Webb’s private dining services showcases organic ingredients and artful presentation, and specializes in at-home dinner parties, corporate events, and weddings and rehearsal dinner.
What to order: Malbec braised short rib bites with shave three-year-aged Parmigiano Reggiano. 312-860-2188
By maintaining its commitment to local products, Paramount Events ensures that each menu designed and executed—be it for a wedding, a charitable event, or any occasion in between—arrives with fresh, seasonal ingredients that represent some of the Midwest’s finest farms.
What to order: Gunthorp Farm’s spring chicken, which comes with speck-mint spaetzle, English pea puree, ceci neri, fava beans, morels, and Calabrian herbed gremolata. 1932 W. Lake St., 773-880-8044
From small bites like duck and pork rillettes with seasonal jam and smoked fish with crème fraiche and dill to expansive charcuterie and cheese boards fit for an army, the catering extension of this West Loop purveyor has the answer to all your gourmet food needs.
What to order: House-made charcuterie and chef-selected cheese platter. 825 W. Fulton Market, 312-445-8977
Chicago’s most popular smoked meats emporium is also the city’s foremost caterer for all things barbecue sauce-lacquered. Interested parties may pick up the ready-to-eat feast themselves, or request to have Smoque bring the ‘que to the event space and assist with setup and on-site staffing.
What to order: St. Louis-style spare ribs. 3800 N. Pulaski Rd., 773-545-7427
This sustainability-driven catering service keeps its focus on customized menus packed with locally sourced ingredients, even producing many of its own crackers, breads, and pastries in-house in an effort to reduce packaging and shipping impacts.
What to order: Pie, especially lemon meringue and mixed berry crumble. 1850 S. Blue Island Ave., 773-793-1035
This luxury caterer specializes in a stylish array of miniature hors d’oeuvres designed to eat in just one or two bites, like adorable cheeseburgers the size of a quarter on house-baked brioche buns, mini ramen shooters (accompanied by a mini mug of Sapporo, of course), and more.
What to order: Mini cheeseburgers with optional, fully-customizable mini burger containers. 224 N. Ada St., 773-313-3211
Helmed by Michelin star-rated chef D’Andre Carter, this award-winning company based out of Evanston handles everything from chef-driven bites and a customized bar to tables, chairs, and other decorations you might need for your event.
What to order: Chicken liver mousse cones. 1601 Simpson St., Evanston, 847-491-9744