Best of ezCater

Best of ezCater: Top Chicago Caterers for 2020

  • ezCater
  • 3 Min Read

Chicago is known for several things: skyscrapers, sports teams, and world-class art museums. However, you can also add an outstanding food scene to that list. And no, we’re not necessarily talking about deep-dish pizzerias or hot dog stands, although there are plenty of excellent examples in that category. Instead, we’re talking cutting-edge chef-driven restaurants and exceptional global dishes. Of course, the vast selection of high-quality food extends to the catering scene as well, so here’s a list of the best caterers in Chicago to make ordering for your next meeting a cinch.

Best in Chicago

1. Jarabe (2255 W Taylor St., Chicago)

On Chicago’s west side, brothers Teddy and Alexis Vejar serve all kinds of tacos and fajitas, with plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options to please the crowd.

2. The Pasta Bowl (2434 N Clark St., Chicago)

Serving Chicago’s favorite pasta since 1996, one taste of their signature Farfalle Pollo with grilled chicken, sun-dried & fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, and house cream sauce will blow your mind. 

3. Atolito (4429 N Broadway St., Chicago)

Look no further than this Mexican restaurant for hassle-free breakfast catering packages ranging from the Yogurt Bar to Chicken Apple Sausage and Ranchero Eggs. 

Best for Large Meetings

1. The Goddess and Grocer (600 E Grand Ave., Chicago)

For catering packages that go above and beyond, try the Butternut Squash Ravioli, or crunchy Panko-Crusted Chicken Breast finished with a vibrant Goddess Rainbow Cake topped with buttercream and sprinkles.

2. Catering Out The Box LLC (2443 W 16th St., Chicago)

Since 2003, this caterer has been delighting the crowds with dishes like Penne alla Vodka, Chicken Piccata, or even a Taco Bar with flour & corn tortillas, fajita vegetables, marinated grilled chicken, ground beef, pico de gallo, guacamole, and cheese. 

3. Marmalade (1969 W Montrose Ave., Chicago)

Feed a mob with a massive platter of Mayan Wraps filled with spicy chorizo, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, cheddar, scallions, sweet onions, green peppers, salsa verde, sour cream, and garlic in a flour tortilla. 

Best for Small Meetings

1. Atolito (4429 N Broadway St., Chicago)

With one click of a button, order a Mexican breakfast fiesta complete with eggs ranchero, cheesy eggs, French toast, pancakes, chicken apple sausage, and fruit.

2. Granite City Food & Brewery (801 Plaza Dr., Schaumburg)

Make your next team meeting a special occasion with a Family Dinner Bundle with entrée choices like Mediterranean Shrimp Scampi Pasta or Chicken Asparagus Linguine.

3. FelFel Grill (4429 N Broadway St., Chicago)

For a smaller group, consider fresh fare like slow-roasted Chicken Shawarma and Rice, vegetarian-friendly Mujadara Rice & Lentils, or savory Salmon Kebab. 

Best for High Stakes Meetings

1. The Pasta Bowl (2434 N Clark St., Chicago)

For more than 20 years, this local chain of restaurants has been earning accolades for their signature farfalle with grilled chicken, sun-dried and fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, and house cream sauce.

2. Capri Express – Pizza & Pasta (114 Burr Ridge Pkwy., Burr Ridge)

Get your pasta fix from this Burr Ridge caterer with dishes like Ravioli, Baked Ziti, Stuffed Shells, Lasagna, and even Homemade Rigatoni alla Vodka.

3. Cusina Italiana (31 E Golf Rd., Arlington Heights)

From this Arlington Heights caterer, you’ll find a variety of traditional choices, from-scratch dishes like Chicken Marsala to Penne Primavera.

Best for Last Minute Orders

1. Pizza Capri (1733 N Halsted St., Chicago) 

Customers rave about unique pies like Pesto Lover’s w/ Shrimp, Rosemary Potato and Chicken, and even a Thai-inspired pizza topped with scallions, cilantro, and peanut sauce. 

2. Taylor Street Pizza (535 Fairway Dr., Naperville) 

Old-fashioned Chicago-style pizzas, as well as pasta and cannoli, are why this Naperville caterer has been thriving for more than 20 years.

3. Hala In – Original (4624 W Lawrence Ave., Chicago)

If you find yourself under a time crunch, go with an all-inclusive catering package brimming with shawarma and falafel. They also include Mediterranean salad, hummus, pita, rice, grilled vegetables, tahini, and spicy sauce. 

Best Mexican Catering

1. Jarabe (2255 W Taylor St., Chicago)

The Taco Bar from this west side taqueria offers a little more variety with choices like Cochinita Pibil, Shrimp Tinga, and Mojo Mushroom in addition to the more familiar Carne Asada and Chicken Adobo.

2. North of the Border (961 S Illinois Rte. 59, Bartlett) 

Order everything you need with this Bartlett Mexican restaurant’s all-inclusive Office Taco Party that comes with marinated pork, shredded chicken, tortillas, black beans, Spanish rice, chips, salsa, guacamole, and even soft drinks and churros for dessert.

3. Sabroso Mexican Grill (624 N Ashland Ave., Chicago)

For great Mexican flavor that offers a change of pace from tacos or burritos, try the Beef Guisado or Chicken Tamales topped with zesty green sauce and queso fresco. 

Best Sandwich Catering

1. Pita Pit (2404 North Lincoln Ave., Chicago)

The sizzling griddle is the secret behind the flavorful sandwiches like Buffalo Chicken, Souvlaki, and Thai Chicken, but don’t overlook the Pita & Dip Platter with your choice of Tzatziki, Classic Hummus, and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. 

2. Babycakes Gourmet (3031 N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago)

Owner Leah Cox is renowned for her Ham & Cheese “Croissanwiches” and Nashville Petite Sandwiches on halved mini biscuits slathered with jalapeño jelly and stuffed with spicy fried chicken.

3. Golden Brunch (8901 Oleander Ave., Morton Grove)

Customers clamor for the Sandwich & Wrap Buffet with choices like Caprese, Chicken Pesto, and Corned Beef Sandwich on Rye.

Best Italian Catering

1. Fratello’s (7101 183rd St., Tinley Park) 

Indulge in an Italian feast with Fratello’s Favorite Package that includes lemon chicken, sausage & peppers, rigatoni alla vodka, chopped salad, garlic mashed potatoes, and bread & butter. 

2. Rosati’s Pizza (322 E Wilson St., Batavia)

The family of founder Sam Rosati still relies on his recipes, in use since 1964, to turn out their authentic Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas stuffed with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and your choice of toppings like Sausage, Italian Beef, Sauteed Spinach, and so much more. 

3. Bonta (430 Milwaukee Ave., Lincolnshire)

Look no further than this Italian deli and market for delicious platters of authentic appetizers like Antipasto, Bruschetta, and imported cheeses in addition to homemade entrees like Stuffed Red Peppers and Chicken Marsala.

Best Mediterranean Catering

1. Taza Cafe (176 N Franklin St., Chicago)

Offering from-scratch appetizers like creamy Baba Ghanouj and Hummus, as well as à la carte meats like Chicken Shawarma, Kifta Kabob, or Roasted Turkey, it’s no wonder this cafe’s name means “fresh.”

2. Backyard Grill (6355 N Pulaski Rd., Chicago)

The catering packages offer a range of flavors from Greek to traditional American barbecue— think perfectly grilled entrees like Baby Back Ribs, Grilled Shrimp, and Grecian Chicken. 

3. Tanoor Kabob (2304 S Kedzie Ave., Chicago)

This eatery prides itself on offering generous catering packages with dishes like hummus, falafel, and fattoush salad that accommodate a wide variety of dietary needs like vegetarian and gluten-free.  

Best Breakfast Catering

1. Golden Brunch (31 E Golf Rd., Arlington Heights)

Start your morning with some exquisite breakfast dishes like Strawberry Nutella French Toast or healthy Vegan Breakfast Burritos bursting with quinoa, spinach, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms. 

2. Bourgeois Pig Cafe (738 W Fullerton Ave., Chicago)

For more than 25 years, this Lincoln Park cafe has been improving mornings with a Quiche du Jour with spinach or potato and bacon, and Breakfast Paninis stuffed with scrambled eggs, cheese, tomato, and smoked ham.

3. Cozy Corner (6349 N Clark St., Chicago)

At your next morning meeting, wake up to an enticing spread of Brioche French Toast, Breakfast Crepes, and Green or Red Chilaquiles.

The Best of ezCater Awards recognize top performing ezCater catering partners in 25 cities across the US. Selection criteria include catering performance over the past 12 months, customer reviews and ratings, and adherence to ezCater editorial guidelines. All winners must have a location in the 25 designated metro areas.

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