Chicago

Here's How to Volunteer in Chicago This Holiday Season

'Tis the season for giving back.

PAWS Chicago
PAWS Chicago
PAWS Chicago

2020 has been one of most challenging years in recent memory, but there’s never been a better time to support the businesses and organizations that keep our Chicago communities strong. This year, we’re focused on supplying you with plenty of meaningful ways to give back to fellow Chicagoans through engaging virtual and socially distanced volunteer opportunities-organized by interests-so you can make a positive impact while staying safe and healthy until we can all be together again.

This list will get you started, but you can also check out Chicago Cares, One Good Deed Chicago, HandsOn Suburban Chicago, and national networks like VolunteerMatch and Corona Connects, a new directory that matches volunteers with pandemic-related opportunities.

Volunteering Untapped Chicago
Volunteering Untapped Chicago
Volunteering Untapped Chicago

For those still looking for a cause they want to support

Volunteering Untapped Chicago partners with a different nonprofit each month, so volunteers can help various local organizations throughout the year and get a feel for what causes might be most important to them. Opportunities are socially distanced and virtual these days. Volunteers clean up local parks, write letters to encourage Americans to vote, create handmade cards for kids, and record holiday carols for seniors from home, then kick back with the group afterwards for happy hour and games virtually. 

United Way Chicago strengthens Chicago communities through a range of volunteer initiatives, including virtual projects. Volunteers can sew face masks for high-risk folks, help job seekers prep for interviews, assemble care packages, and more all from their own homes. 

 

JourneyCare
JourneyCare
JourneyCare

For people who want to help in the healthcare field

For those interested in supporting healthcare professionals in a more hands-on way, Chicago Mask Makers is collecting and donating handmade face masks to organizations in the Chicagoland area during COVID-19. Hospice care and counseling services provider JourneyCare is looking for volunteers who can knit comfort items like blankets for patients and make check-in phone calls to access the needs of patients and families.

Heartland Alliance, an anti-poverty organization focused on ending poverty through healthcare, housing, jobs, and justice, is looking for volunteers who can host food drives to help low-income Chicagoans with HIV stay healthy during COVID-19, send handmade greeting cards to isolated seniors, or get their hands dirty working at the urban farm in Englewood.

With walk-in clinics all around Chicago-including a variety of spots to get free testing for COVID-19 without insurance-Howard Brown Health makes quality, affordable healthcare services accessible to those who are uninsured or under-insured, and offers non-judgmental, specialized care for queer and trans folks. Volunteers can assemble safer sex kits to be distributed at clinics and in the community, get involved in fundraising events, and more.

 

Open Books
Open Books
Open Books

For education and literacy advocates

This city is filled with reading- and language-focused charities. Anyone passionate about reading and writing can look to organizations like 826CHI and Open Books-there are multiple ways for volunteers to get involved, from something as simple as donating or packing books to leading youth reading and writing workshops. Volunteer tutors at Literacy Chicago help teach students learning English as a second language or help native speaking adults with reading and comprehension, and even digital literacy. Chicago Books to Women in Prison connects incarcerated folks with books and uses reading as a tool for rehabilitation that can help break the prison cycle. Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) Literacy Project volunteers assemble, paint, and install little free libraries in various Chicago neighborhoods to expand access to free books for children, teens, and adults.

 

For people passionate about mental health services

Shatter the stigma around mental health illnesses and give hope to those struggling with mental illness as a volunteer at Mental Health Association of Greater Chicago. Volunteers provide vital educational and resource support, and virtual opportunities include office support, graphic design, event planning, grant writing, fundraising phone-a-thons, and curriculum and program support. Volunteers can also support Hope For The Day, a local organization dedicated to raising awareness about proactive suicide prevention in Chicago communities.

Cardz for Kidz
Cardz for Kidz
Cardz for Kidz

For creative types

The volunteer-run nonprofit Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange redistributes donated surplus supplies, materials, and equipment to Chicago teachers and nonprofits in the form of art kits. Volunteers can also help with social media, blogging, grant writing, graphic design, donor solicitation, special events, workshops, material pick-ups, and more. 

Cardz for Kidz delivers cards and bookmarks crafted by volunteers to seniors and children with pre-existing conditions. Volunteers are also needed to help sort cards. The organization is collecting and shipping thousands of cards each week, and being extra cautious with cards received and delivered by mail at this time.

Volunteers at the Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center, a safe retreat center dedicated to social justice issues, engage with the community through the arts by painting murals, giving the women’s residence rooms makeovers, entertaining at events, gardening, and more. Volunteers can also help clean and update the women’s residence, pick up litter, and assist with grant writing and donation soliciting virtually. 

 

For resume pros who want to help job seekers secure employment

Through Care for Real’s Employment Resource Center, volunteers help clients with their resumes and cover letters, search for job opportunities, submit online job applications, and conduct mock interviews. The organization also offers one of the few free clothing services in the city, giving job seekers and others access to Clothes Closet donations. Volunteers can also pitch in with food distribution for neighbors experiencing job loss or other economic challenges.

Help someone in need secure a job through Cara Chicago. They’re currently at a limited volunteer capacity due to the impact of COVID-19, but continue to support participants in their job search through virtual coaching services.

 

La Casa Norte
La Casa Norte
La Casa Norte

For people who want to end homelessness and poverty

La Casa Norte serves youth and families confronting homelessness through housing resources and opportunities. Volunteers can help people work towards long-term stability by assisting with apartment rental searches, employment searches, and mock interviews, and as a personal shopper in their food pantry. The Night Ministry and Sarah’s Circle are also great organizations that provide outreach services and housing for homeless adults and teens. 

Volunteers can help organizations like Digs with Dignity and Humble Design Chicago sort and organize donations in the warehouses, refurbish older furniture, and select and box furniture and home goods for individuals and families exiting homelessness and, in turn, keep otherwise good items out of landfills.

 

Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity
Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity
Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity

For fair and affordable housing advocates

If you’ve ever been on the hunt for solid answers to housing questions, like whether it’s really OK for your landlord to still be “fixing” the heat after it’s been off for most of January, you know how hard it is to find reliable information on the legalities of being a renter. Metropolitan Tenants Organization hotline is so good at giving tenants advice that over half of the volunteers answering the phone are former callers. Help empower tenants to exercise their right to affordable and safe housing as a hotline volunteer. 

For a more hands-on approach to housing, Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity is building a better Chicago, literally. Volunteers can attend a virtual orientation-and learn about the extra on-site precautions in place due to COVID-19-before working at build sites or in Habitat ReStores, where used home goods, appliances, and furniture are sold to help give back to the community. 

 

For people who want to help families secure essentials for their children

There are many ways to make life better for local families in need. Set kids up for success early on by putting together clothing packs for children in need across Chicago at Share Our Spare, where warehouse volunteers can also help sort and inventory donations of baby and toddler essentials like diapers, wipes, formula, hygiene products, and winter clothing.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago

For folks interested in mentorship

Becoming a “Big” is kind of a huge deal. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago matches volunteers with underprivileged youth in the city who need mentorship the most. Littles bond with their Bigs through one-on-one and group activities. Every step in the process to become a Big is now virtual, so you’ll be prepared to connect with your Little.

Do you work in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics profession? Volunteer to be a positive influence on young people in Chicago through Project Exploration, which focuses on students of color and girls. Get kids fired up about STEM topics through illuminating virtual programs or connect at socially distanced STEMBus events, and expose them to exciting education and career paths.

Provide guidance for low-income community college students through One Million Degrees. Volunteer coaches help guide low-income community college students in their academic, professional, and personal pursuits. These connections-even virtual ones-are critical, especially during this challenging time for students.

 

For folks who want to fight hunger in Chicago

There are a staggering number of folks in our community who are facing food insecurity, and the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically increased the needs of our neighbors. Community food pantries and organizations like the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Lakeview Pantry, and Fight2Feed need volunteers to sort, repack, and distribute fresh and non-perishable food for families and individuals, many of whom are children, seniors, and veterans. 

Urban Growers Collective volunteers have the opportunity to dig their hands in the soil, learn what it takes to grow food, and give back to their community. Depending on the season, they prepare beds, shift compost, plant, harvest, or clean up the land-rain or shine.

Volunteers at The Love Fridge Chicago, a network of community-run, free food fridges across the city, can take on a variety of responsibilities like managing a fridge, distributing food, and even communications and outreach work.

 

PAWS Chicago
PAWS Chicago
PAWS Chicago

For animal lovers

We’re probably all in need of a little pet therapy right now, and there are plenty of great organizations for animal lovers like One Tail At A Time Dog Rescue, Chicago Canine Rescue, PAWS Chicago, and Chicago Pet Rescue. While it might not be an option for you to foster a friendly furball, even an hour of your time creating pet profiles, posting on social media, and walking or bathing our furry friends can help the rescue shelters and adoption centers fulfill their mission of finding these lovable dogs and cats a permanent, loving home.

Friendship Pet Food Pantry helps keep people and their pets together by distributing pet food and other items like cat litter, leashes, and toys to the doors of Chicago families. Volunteers can help with pet food pickup and delivery and identify underserved populations in need of pet food pantry resources.

 

Meals on Wheels Chicago
Meals on Wheels Chicago
Meals on Wheels Chicago

For people passionate about helping older adults and people with disabilities

Make a meaningful impact on Chicago seniors with your friendship and time through organizations like Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly Chicago Chapter and H.O.M.E. Volunteer orientations are online now, and they’ll match you with an older adult to connect with over the phone or by mail. You could be providing companionship to someone who might really need it.

Through Meals on Wheels Chicago’s Love Notes Program, volunteers can write notes to homebound seniors and people with disabilities, which are distributed with nutritious meals. 
KEEN Chicago uses exercise to instill confidence in kids with disabilities. Volunteers are now meeting virtually, and don’t need to be athletic or have prior experience working with individuals with disabilities-they’ll receive helpful coaching tips catered specifically to their athlete’s needs. Volunteer coaches can plan and facilitate session activities with athletes, and groups will even meet in small breakout groups once a month to encourage interaction. 

For those who want to support the LGBTQIA+ community 

While many of the organizations and charities on this list weave LGBTQIA+ into their missions, some others deserve special shout out. Brave Space Alliance-the first Black- and trans-led LGBTQIA+ center located on the South Side of Chicago-focuses on food insecurity, housing insecurity, and economic justice for Black and Brown queer and trans people. Volunteers can help with the crisis food pantry for queer, trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people in Chicago. Chicago House supports people in the community, particularly those who are HIV/AIDS positive, through housing, health, and employment programs (Howard Brown Health has even teamed up with them to provide employment assistance). Volunteers of The Center on Halsted, a huge community resource center for the LGBTQIA+ community, answer calls on the Anti-Violence or Behavioral Health Resource Lines, provide legal services to those in need, spread awareness about HIV prevention and treatment, and more.

 

RefugeeOne
RefugeeOne
RefugeeOne

For people who want to welcome immigrant families

Welcome newly arriving families and help them build a life in Chicago through RefugeeOne. The organization assists refugees with citizenship, finding homes, learning English, gaining job skills, and much more. New volunteer mentors and tutors are trained and matched virtually, and are encouraged to continue meeting virtually until it is safe to meet in person again due to COVID-19. 

Chicago- and Austin-based GirlForward matches women mentors with adolescent refugee girls for weekly mentoring and tutoring. Women who identify as immigrants, refugees, and/or women of color are strongly encouraged to apply. To advocate for Chicago’s Muslim community, CAIR Chicago offers a variety of volunteer roles, such as community outreach, tutoring, event planning, etc., as well as forms to report hate crimes and instances of media bias.

For people who want to support indigenous communities

The Chicago area is located on the ancestral lands of various indigenous tribes. Informed public education and awareness building is critical to the implementation of indigenous rights, and that is everyone’s responsibility. We can learn how to best support the many nations through local organizations like the Chi-Nations Youth Council, UNITY Midwest, American Indian Center, and Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative-each doing their unique part to foster cultural awareness, and strengthen the community through activism and volunteerism, and education.

For those who want to help victims of abuse

Through 24-hour crisis counseling, Resilience helps rape and sexual assault survivors by making sure those seeking emergency medical treatment at partner hospitals are never alone. The organization has temporarily suspended in-person hospital response due to COVID-19, but will continue to advocate by phone until further notice. Sarah’s Inn volunteers advocate for domestic violence survivors through community outreach and education, and answer calls for the 24-hour crisis line service. Apna Ghar supports victims of abuse in immigrant communities in Chicago, focusing on survivors who might otherwise face cultural or language barriers when seeking help. Volunteers can undergo online training to work directly with survivors, or other special projects without training.

Midwest Access Coalition
Midwest Access Coalition
Midwest Access Coalition

For women’s reproductive rights advocates

Aside from sharing your own story and calling legislators, there’s no better way to help protect women’s rights to healthcare services than giving our time to organizations fighting for the cause. Midwest Access Coalition volunteers provide safe transportation, housing, and a non-judgmental ear for low-income women coming to Chicago for reproductive services. Non-client facing roles include fundraising, communications, and client and tech support.

For those who want to secure justice for fellow Chicagoans

Ascend Justice provides free legal assistance to survivors of gender-based violence and families impacted by the child welfare system. Volunteers can help provide brief legal services to survivors of gender-based violence over the phone via the Emergency Order of Protection Remote Hotline hotline. No ongoing case commitment is required and a staff attorney will be available for support.

Many of Legal Aid Chicago’s volunteer opportunities have been adapted to allow remote work. Practicing attorneys, law students, and even those who didn’t go to law school can help people living in poverty get free civil legal services like eviction mediation, criminal records relief, and consumer bankruptcy assistance, and a fair shot in our city’s legal system. Chicago Volunteer Legal Services and the Greater Chicago Legal Clinic are always looking for volunteer attorneys to help with their pro bono work as well.

For environmentalists

There are many ways to help protect the environment, but supporting local parks and organizations working to preserve nature is a great start. In the city, volunteer to pitch in at your local public park, Chicago Botanic Garden, an urban farm like Plant Chicago, or even a farmers market like Green City Market. You can fight back against climate change through the youth movement Sunrise Movement Chicago or the Chicago Conservation Corps sustainability focused program through the Peggy Notebaert MuseumSign up here for our daily Chicago email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Nicole Bruce is a Chicago-based writer covering travel, food, entertainment, technology, and more. Tell her what you’re doing to make a difference in Chicago on Twitter @nicoleabruce.

Chicago

A Food Expert's Guide to Chicago's Chinatown

Just in time for Lunar New Year.

Courtesy of Ninja Bar Chicago Instagram
Courtesy of Ninja Bar Chicago Instagram
Courtesy of Ninja Bar Chicago Instagram

Chicago’s Chinatown, a triangular slice of the Near South Side loosely bordered by Cermak Road, Wentworth Avenue, and a northbound-snaking branch of the Chicago river, has been fueling Grace Wong’s culinary cravings long before she cut her teeth dishing on the city’s vibrant restaurant scene for the Chicago Tribune

“Both my parents are from Shanghai and they immigrated to Naperville, which is about 40 minutes outside of the city,” says the esteemed former dining reporter, recalling her suburban upbringing. “When I was growing up, we’d make this semi-monthly pilgrimage into Chicago, especially Chinatown and the Argyle area, to get supplies because there was no real Asian population where we lived. There were maybe two small Asian grocery stores at the time; when we got an H Mart, it was literally the biggest news of my life. My mom was so hype about it.”

“It was always just a huge deal, piling into the van,” she continues. “We would go for dim sum in the morning and then the entire afternoon we’d be following my mom around to all these different specialty grocery stores so she could get the ingredients she needed to make dishes from her homeland. I remember being a kid and carrying giant plastic buckets around because we would pick up live crabs and live fish, stuff like that.”

Wong now lives on the North Side and although both the pandemic and her recent departure from the Tribune and their centrally located office has made travelling down to Chinatown a bit less convenient, she still manages to pay her favorite establishments a visit every now and then.

“I haven’t gone much since the virus hit but I have made the trip a few times, mostly when I’m just like, ‘I need my Boba fix!'” she says with a laugh. “And then once I get down there I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I need barbecue pork from BBQ King House. And I need my roast duck. And I might as well go to Park To Shop because I’m out of like, I don’t know, oyster sauce or whatever.’ It always ends up being an extended time.”

Courtesy of Grace Wong Instagram
Courtesy of Grace Wong Instagram
Courtesy of Grace Wong Instagram

Getting the lay of the land

It might look like one cohesive cityscape at first glance, but according to Wong, Chicago’s Chinatown is actually composed of two distinct, nuanced districts.

“So, there’s new Chinatown and there’s old Chinatown,” Wong explains. “The big plaza with all the Zodiac animals next to it-that’s considered, at least to my parents, new Chinatown. And then old Chinatown is down Wentworth Avenue, south of Cermak. If you look at a map, there’s a little triangle where Archer, Clark, and Cermak meet. Everything south of Archer is more old Chinatown and everything north of Archer is more new Chinatown.”

“Growing up, we spent a lot of time at old Chinatown, mostly because there are a bunch of bakeries there and we would bring home pastries to eat for weeks and weeks,” she says. “As I got older, we started going to new Chinatown more. You’ll see a younger demographic in new Chinatown, trendy places like Bonchon and Mango Mango-that’s more of the vibe. And it’s more touristy in the sense that the people who go into new Chinatown to walk around and spend their day there, they might not necessarily live there. Whereas with old Chinatown, you’re bumping past the old ladies that have lived in that neighborhood forever.”

What makes the neighborhood stand out?

After high school, Wong moved to California to pursue a degree in journalism at USC. And while she enjoyed the years she spent on the (much, much) sunnier West Coast, her experience in Los Angeles only further cemented her devotion to Chicago’s Chinatown.

“I think a lot of Chinatown’s across the country are kind of going away,” she says. I was in LA for like six and a half, seven years, and the actual designated “Chinatown” there is maybe one city block. Here, you can bump into people who straight up just arrived from China or Taiwan one minute then turn around and talk to someone who has lived in the area for generations the next, that’s all they know. I think that’s really cool.”

“Another important thing to note is that Chinatown is not only for the people who live there but also for all the Asian-Americans who in the surrounding suburbs, of which there are so many,” Wong adds. “To be able to go to a place where my parents can just chit chat with whoever without any worries about language, or where I can tell someone my very specific boba order and they’ll get it exactly right without asking me all these questions-I don’t know, it’s just a really special place for everybody.”
 

Grace’s list of can’t-miss Chinatown spots:

Courtesy of Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings
Courtesy of Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings
Courtesy of Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings

Qing Xiang Yuan

“One of my favorite places to get dumplings is Qing Xiang Yuan. They also have a location in the Loop. They do a lot of different styles, all handmade, which is really awesome. They’re really playful with the fillings and you can customize if you want them boiled or fried. And they have these really amazing takeout boxes that they designed for themselves-yes, I’m here for that packaging. They’re also pretty new and modern. I don’t know if my parents would love it, per se, because they’d be like, ‘This is a fancy restaurant.’ But it’s just dumplings! Go there and you’ll have a really great time.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

Elitea

“Just south of QXY is the entrance to the Richland Center, which is basically a glorified food court. It’s one of the few places where you can get really regional cuisine and it’s also home to Elitea, one my favorite places to get boba. They have this fire brown sugar boba that is just, I mean, incredible.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

 

Hing Kee

“For soup dumplings, I like to go to Hing Kee. Back in the day there were always, like, aunties making dumplings in the window-I loved that. Every now and then I’d go for some other kind of snack, but their soup dumplings are the best.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

Courtesy of Hello Jasmine
Courtesy of Hello Jasmine
Courtesy of Hello Jasmine

Hello Jasmine 

“Hello Jasmine on Clark Street is really good for Taiwanese snacks and boba. I usually get their roasted oolong, popcorn chicken, and maybe some sausage skewers. They also have this fried chicken sandwich that’s unreal. It was definitely a spur of the moment decision to get it, but it was so good I posted about it on Instagram.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

 

Laojiumen

“For hotpot, there’s this new place called Laojiumen. They basically do ‘fancy hotpot’ and I honestly can’t wait to go there when I feel like it’s safe to do so.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

Bingo Tea

“Bingo Tea has the best cheese tea. They were one of the first and the biggest to do it. You know how cheesecake is cheese but not really? Like how it’s sweet but has a touch of like salt to it? Imagine that but whipped. There’s a fruit or loose-leaf tea on the bottom and on top there’s this foam-like latte foam but thicker. The name might be a little bit of a marketing issue, but don’t knock it until you try it!”
How to order: Click here to order online.

Lao Sze Chuan

“Lao Sze Chuan is a classic for Sichuan food across the board. It might be an unpopular opinion, but I love their dry chili chicken. People say it’s for tourists, but it’s actually so good!”
How to order: Click here to order online.

Courtesy of Minghin Cuisine
Courtesy of Minghin Cuisine
Courtesy of Minghin Cuisine

MingHin

“Right next to Lao Sze Chuan is MingHin. I’m telling you, no dim sum trip is complete without a stop there.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

Courtesy of Slurp Slurp Noodles
Courtesy of Slurp Slurp Noodles
Courtesy of Slurp Slurp Noodles

Slurp Slurp Noodles

“Slurp Slurp Noodles is in the old Chinatown area and their hand-shaved noodles are some of my all-time favorites. They’re super bouncy and springy and served in this delicious sauce. And they’re not soupy noodles-more like the dry, tossed-in-a-wok kind. They also make their own mustard greens, which are fire. It’s a solid spot.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

BBQ King

“BBQ King is the absolute go-to for all your barbecue needs. And they’re for sure doing takeout right now, I know that from experience.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

MCCB

“MCCB, they do ridiculous, mouth-numbingly spicy food and it’s fantastic. Their grilled whole fish, it’s just swimming in chilies, and you’re like, ‘I’m going to die and I’m going to enjoy every moment of it.’ I love it there.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

Courtesy of Chef Xiong
Courtesy of Chef Xiong
Courtesy of Chef Xiong

Chef Xiong

“Another good place for spicy Sichuan-style food is Chef Xiong. They have a really cute logo with a Panda on it. I don’t know if I have a favorite dish, but I would say just go, sit down, and whatever they tell you to eat, do that. You won’t regret it.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

Dolo Restaurant and Bar

“If you want to feel like you’re at a club but also eating Chinese food, Dolo is the spot for you. They also do cocktails and their food is definitely good, but it’s just like, ‘I’m here with my parents in this dark room with this loud music… I don’t know what to say.'” 
How to order: Click here to order online.

Feida Bakery

“Barbecue pork buns? Obviously great. Ham and egg buns? Obviously great. Cream horns? Obviously great. Am I missing anything?”
How to order: Call 312-808-1113 to order.

Park To Shop

“You have to check out a grocery store because grocery stores are the best. We love going to Park To Shop-there are two big locations in Chinatown. One is on Archer and one is farther south but both are great.” 
How to order: Click here to order online.

Xi’an Cuisine

“Xi’an Cuisine, they do what people call Chinese hamburgers. I kind of hate that name because it’s a bun that’s been pan fried and stuffed with cumin-spiced meats-to me, that’s not really a hamburger, but I understand the desire to assign it a name you’re familiar with. Either way, they taste great.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

Aji Ichiban

“Up near the Richmond Center there’s this little candy specialty store called Aji Ichiban. I love going in there for sweets-they have Japanese candies, Korean candies, Chinese candies, all the candies.”
How to order: Click here to order online. 

Nine Bar

“More recently, there have been a few pop-ups coming from second generation Chinatown kids like this one out of Moon Palace. Pop-ups are such a big COVID thing. I would be remiss not to mention them.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

Courtesy of Meet Fresh Chicago
Courtesy of Meet Fresh Chicago
Courtesy of Meet Fresh Chicago

Meet Fresh

“Another place for dessert is Meet Fresh-it’s so good. And you will definitely be shell-shocked by a tiny, 90-pound Asian girl eating an entire mountain of ice cream on her own because, yeah, that’s a normal occurrence there. It’s happened to me twice now and I’m shocked every time. I’m talking a mountain of shaved ice and pudding and taro balls-delicious, but you’d need at least four people to eat it. It’s amazing.”
How to order: Click here to order online.

Meredith Heil is originally from St. Louis, now lives in Chicago, and in between has been to all 50 states (that’s feet on the ground, none of that airport BS). She enjoys reading about, thinking about, talking about, writing about, putting on events about and drinking about craft beer.

Related