It’s time to reject charcoal lemonade and poké bowls and order anything soaked in smoky whiskey or sticky maple. Bring back the carbs in the most delicious way at Logan Square’s Daisies, where Chef Joe Frillman manages to effortlessly combine dishes from his Polish/Russian/German heritage with his training in Italian food. You can’t believe what this guy does with veg and he has a 2018 Jean Banchet Award for Best Neighborhood Restaurant in Chicago to prove it. Since you’re replacing revealing clothes for sweaters and jeans, live it up and have that burger already. Find some of the city’s favorites at Owen and Engine, a sanctuary of wood, leather and superb autumn victuals, or Maillard Tavern’s titular burger with crispy onions, bacon and onion jam, cheddar, pickles, and Dijon mayo. If it’s dumplings, duck and a familial feeling you crave, Bohemian House and The Duck Inn are not to be missed. Speaking of family, take the lot of them to River Roast for entire roasts carved tableside like Prime Rib; Crystal Farms Applewood smoked whole chicken and whole fish. If a German Disneyesque experience lifts your spirits, Hofbrauhaus Chicago’s Oktoberfest is your ticket to ride. Have a top-notch steak in a refurbished barn in Evanston. And Shaw’s Crab House considers it the best shucking time of the year as the seafood temple welcomes hungry oyster fans to its 30th “Pearl” Annual Oyster Fest this October. 

Shaw’s Crab House

Supposedly, legendary lover Casanova ate 50 raw oysters every morning as an aphrodisiac. Shaw’s Crab House has been the authority on the briny bivalves with the sexy rep for years with its annual Oyster Festival – the best shucking time of the year. Shaw’s celebrates it’s 30th “Pearl” Annual Oyster Fest from Oct. 4-12 at both the Chicago and Schaumburg locations. Expect an oyster-centric menu as well as all day Oyster Happy Hours in the Oyster Bar. In addition, Shaw’s Chicago will host nightly blues and jazz bands, slurp off competitions, and pop up 50-cent oyster hours. Shaw’s offers plenty of other choices when you open the menu: lobster, sushi, King crab, and a boatload of seasonal swimmers from Atlantic Yellowfin tuna to Ecuadorian Mahi Mahi. Enjoy bubbles by the glass, a sturdy Manhattan and desserts big enough to share. The ambience is warm, woody and retro.