Acanto – The Loop, Chicago

I live in a residential yet touristy part of Chicago, the South Loop.  Although I love to venture all around the city to check out the wide array of restaurants in each neighborhood, I am happy to stay closer to home, especially on a really frigid day.  So, last week I hopped on the CTA Green Line over to Acanto for a delightful solo lunch.

Acanto on Michigan Avenue

Acanto is located just 1 block east and 1/2 block south of the Wabash/Madison ‘L’ stop which serves the Green, Pink, Purple, Orange and Brown CTA lines.  You can also take the CTA Red line to the Monroe ‘L’ stop and walk 2 blocks east and 1/2 block north to the restaurant.

Madison/Wabash 'L' stop near Acanto

Acanto is an Italian restaurant located on Michigan Avenue, so, it is a perfect spot

to enjoy some people watching.  Also, it is directly across the street from Millenium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago and steps from Chicago Symphony Center.

The kitchen at Acanto is run by Chef Christopher Gawronski who also helmed Henri which formerly occupied this space.  

Here is how my lunch went down:

Since it was such a cold day in Chicago, I decided to order some hearty food.  I chose the duck egg spaghetti with creamy pork sugo, carmelized pearl onions and rapini.  The pasta is house made and arrived hot and al dente.  The pork was very flavorful and well spiced.  The rapini was crunchy without being too tough to chew, as is often the case with rapini, in my dining experience.  It was the perfect bowl of comfort I needed.

Acanto's duck egg spaghetti


The space at Acanto is bright, airy and cozy at the same time.  The room is divided into the bar area with some dining tables and a second room which has a more warm feel to it.

Acanto's bar area


Acanto's dining room


Although I did not have a drink with my lunch, I noticed that Acanto has quite an extensive libations menu which features, wine, beer and spirits from over 20 different regions in Italy.  I will definitely need to check it out during my next visit.

Whether you are a Chicago resident or just visiting the city, I suggest you stop by Acanto for some good Italian fare in The Loop.  Don’t worry about the calories because there are plenty of activities nearby, including the ice skating rink at Millenium Park, where you can work them off 🙂

Acanto is located at 18 S. Michigan Avenue.  For more information, visit

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Brown, Pink, Purple, Orange or Red lines to Acanto.  Save gas money.  Avoid traffic and parking.  Don’t drink and drive!