The Art of Eating in Chicago

In Chicago's vibrant dining scene, art meets haute cuisine—on the plates and on the walls.

Tweezed garnishes. Sauces swirled, just so, like paint on a canvas. Chefs, are indeed artists, so it’s only natural that their restaurants serve up as much drama in their décor as on the plate. At these spots, find dynamic pieces gracing the walls, offering one more bit of mealtime fodder.

Lula Café
Each season, the Logan Square neighborhood café kicks off its new art display with an artists reception, complete with drinks and passed hors d’oeuvres. This fall, abstract paintings by Chicagoans Carrie Gundersdorf and Katie Loomis, along with Gundersdorf’s collages, steal the spotlight. The two women were chosen to exhibit together for their complementary styles – Loomis uses vivid paints to dye the canvas while Gundersdorf uses fragments of image and color stacked together to form larger patterns. Generally, all work at Lula is for sale. 2537 N. Kedzie Blvd., Chicago, 773.489.9554

American Craft Kitchen & Bar
The most eye-catching piece of artwork here is the 82-foot-wide, 15-foot-tall canvas print by Ben Butler, appropriately titled The "Lake," as Butler was inspired by Chicago’s Lake Michigan landscape. The restaurant’s organic cuisine sparked a series of suspended wooden crafted art pieces. The four pieces, constructed with mahogany, maple, red oak and cedar, were manipulated into unique shapes and designs by undulating and layering various lengths of wood. 151 E. Upper Wacker Dr., Chicago, 312.565.1234 ext. 4496

Gary Weidner's art at Storefront Company
Gary Weidner's mural elevates the already elegant interior of Storefront Company. (Courtesy Storefront Company)

Storefront Company
A modern art installation by local muralist Gary Weidner serves as a focal point in this hip and casual restaurant. The 34-by-13-foot mixed-media collage of dried flowers in the winter snow is integrated into the 100-year-old masonry concrete wall. Weidner has several other black and white renderings of dormant flowers from the same series on display as well. 1941 W. North Ave., Chicago, 773.661.2609

Fun Fact
Like the local art you see at Uncommon Ground? It's yours for the purchasing.