Cool weather may be descending on Chicago, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of fresh produce. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Autumn is a time of leafy greens, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, edamame and beets — and that’s just naming a few of the season’s vegetables. Fruits are still in abundance as well. So if you’re looking for a delicious seasonal salad this fall, look no further than these five restaurants.

(Photo Credit: quartinochicago.com)

(Photo Credit: quartinochicago.com)

Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar
626 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 698-5000
www.quartinochicago.com

Tomatoes are still in abundance come fall, and they go perfectly with fresh mozzarella. For the best caprese salad in town, head to this Near North Italian restaurant. While Quartino features small plates of Italian regional specialties, as well as Neapolitan pizza, there’s nothing moderate about the portion serving of this caprese salad. The buffalo mozzarella, roma tomatoes and fresh basil are also topped with just the right amount of balsamic vinegar syrup, all for a reasonable price.

Bad Apple
4300 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 360-8406
www.badapplebar.com

This North Center restaurant may be best known for its burgers and craft beers, but don’t overlook your leafy green dishes. Most of the salads on the menu reflect what’s in season, and as such, you’re getting the freshest cuts of veggies there are. The beet salad, for one, is always on the menu, but what accompanies those beets changes depending on the season. Even if you don’t think you’re a fan of beets, don’t overlook this salad, as it’s a great accompaniment to the burgers when you order a small, or great all on its own when you order a large. Other seasonal salads are typically on the menu as well.

Basil Leaf Café 
2465 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 348-7243
www.basilleaf.com

This Italian cafe in Lincoln Park has an extensive menu featuring everything from pastas to meat entrees and more. But the highlight of a meal here is often the seasonal salads. When the cooler weather descends, take your pick from a plethora of vegetable-only salads to some that also feature fall fruits. One of the most popular salads is the baby spinach with poached pear salad, which comes with gorgonzola, roasted honey sunflower seeds and a honey balsamic dressing.

Related: Best Spring Salads in Chicago

Franks ‘N’ Dawgs
1863 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 281-5187
www.franksndawgs.com

A salad from a hot dog joint? Yes, you read that right. While this Lincoln Park eatery is best known for gourmet sausages, don’t bypass the sides menu. That’s because, in addition to divine truffle fries, Franks ‘N Dawgs also offers a Brussels sprouts salad (which is actually available year round). The Brussels sprouts are finely shaved and then mixed with lemon zest, toasted pistachios for a bit of added crunch and the perfect amount of parmesan cheese. The salad is topped off with a bit of blood orange oil to tie it all together.

Nellcôte
833 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 432-0500
www.nellcoterestaurant.com

Any dining experience at this Randolph Corridor restaurant promises to be a decadent one, even if you’re dining on salad. While the menu is European-inspired, all ingredients are locally sourced for the restaurant’s small plates, and, as such, feature seasonal ingredients. Chef Jared Van Camp currently offers a couple of salads on his menu, including a roasted pear and Brussels sprout salad, both ingredients of which come from Kluge Farm. The salad is simple as it is dressed with parmigiano reggiano and balsamic — and that’s it, but your taste buds, and your waistline, will thank you.

Related: Best Salads in Chicago

Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s writing about a variety of topics for numerous websites and blogs, and working part-time at a culinary vacation company based in the Windy City. Some of her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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