2019 is going to be Chicago’s year — we can feel it. Now, more than ever, it seems that the city is teeming with new life, and there’s so much that beckons to be explored — particularly when it comes to the world of wellness.
From the mouthwatering-yet-good-for-you restaurants popping up on the city’s renowned culinary scene to the state-of-the-art gyms we’ve been itching to get to, the Windy City is leaving us with no shortage of ways to feel—and look—our best in the new year.
Read on to get a jumpstart on all the newest health spots sure to cause a fitness frenzy in the new year.
We get it: Who wants to pound the pavement—more like snow—outdoors when it’s five-below? Certainly not us! Enter: Runaway Fitness, the 4,000 square-foot indoor conditioning gym which graced the Streeterville ’hood with its presence in October. Here, you’ll find advanced running machines (the future of treadmills) designed to respond to your feet more quickly as you increase your speed, making them closer than ever to the real deal. Add in interval training and personalized attention from on-hand trainers and you’ve got a complete training experience.
This meat- and dairy-free pizza house, which has been a Lakeview staple for the past two years, will gain a whole new legion of fans come spring 2019 when it takes over the space formerly known as Sola/Kick in Chicago’s North Center. The new, larger location, with an oven three times the size of the one in ’Za’s old spot, means even more vegan diners will be able to experience the restaurant’s Chicago-style stuffed specialties, complete with cashew cheese and seitan pepperoni. Sicilian and thin crusts are also available, as are meatless calzones — our mouths are watering already!
This two-story interval, cycling, and yoga studio all-in-one arrived on the Lincoln Park scene on January 5 — just in time to help you get a fresh start on all those new year’s resolutions! With a space that’s even bigger than its original River North locale, Studio Three has room for you and about 70 of your closest friends to get your sweat on in one of its 1,600-square-foot workout areas. The newly completed $6 million renovation also boasts state-of-the-art locker rooms, a beauty bar, a business center, and a daycare. In short? We’ve died and gone to workout heaven.
The ushering in of the new year saw Wicker Park gaining a delicious new staple on its culinary scene in the form of Rakki Cafe. Dishing out soft serve with health-boosting matcha as the main attraction, you can get your antioxidant and your sugar fix all in one. Other Asian flavors, such as black sesame, will soon be on the menu’s rotation, too, as will more traditional treats from Chinatown’s own Chiu Quon Bakery. In short? It’s a one-stop shop for anyone with a sweet tooth.
The Windy City gained its first—and only—Baptiste Power Yoga affiliate in Lakeview’s Yoggic late last summer. Based on a yoga style founded by Baron Baptiste, which focuses on poses, meditation, and self-inquiry, the standards of Baptiste Power Yoga (BPV) gain new life in this novel studio, where founders Gerard Sanchez and Jesus Villanueva welcome “everyone and anyone.” In fact, Yoggic even offers up a 40-day challenge program to help you acclimate to the studio and “spark changes within” — sign us up!
As if we needed another reason to visit Revival Food Hall, the hospitality collective gave us just that in late fall with the addition of TŌMI Sushi. Serving up colorful spins on your run-of-the-mill rolls with rainbow maki in hues of butterfly pea flower blue, panda leaf green, and saffron yellow, the restaurant not only appeals to our senses, but to our minds, as well — they’re made with love by technologically-advanced Suzumo robots. (Yes, really!)
Life in Lakeview just got a whole lot sweeter. Fancy Plants Cafe, an extension of Kevin Schuder’s vegan catering company, moved into the ’hood in January, bringing with it all the plant-based chocolate babka, cinnamon rolls, breakfast sandwiches, muffins, and scones you can handle. Java fans can get their fix with Dark Matter coffee (soy milk comes free!) and tea-drinkers can delight in Rishi offerings. We’re so there.
Not all workouts are created equal, and UFC Gym is here to prove it. Mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, barre and cardio classes, and jiu-jitsu are just some of the options being offered at this rapidly expanding franchise. Though the gym already boasted several Chicagoland locations—including Wrigleyville, Lincoln Park, River North, and the South Loop, to name a few—its count has grown to nine with the addition of three 12,000- to 40,000-square-foot facilities in Lombard, Downers Grove, and Naperville, the latter of which was developed with featherweight fighter Ricardo Lamas. Fitt Tip: Start things off with a free pass to find out what all the fuss is about.
The West Loop officially has it all when it comes to food — even healthy takeout. Nic’s Organic, the “first certified organic drive-through of its kind” appeared in mid-November, filling a hole in not only West Loop’s dining offerings, but Chicago’s at large. Vegan and veggie burgers, gluten-free nuggets, and antibiotic-free breakfast sandwiches might sound too good to be true, but thanks to this suburban chain, it’s real. Eat your heart out, Mickey D’s!
Suburb dwellers will delight in Naperville’s latest fast-casual eatery, B.GOOD , which allows you to—yep, you guessed it!—be good, even when you’re eating out. Instead of fatty french fries and deep-fried foods, you’ll find healthy menu items with seasonal produce here. Winter’s menu, for instance, might include four-bean chili, roasted Brussels sprouts, or an avocado salad supplied by local farmers and suppliers — the chain works to foster partnerships with its communities.
Forget PSLs and Peppermint Mochas! Award-winning indie chain Colectivo Coffee, which has plans to expand its reach with a new Wicker Park hub is currently whipping up tasty, health-minded alternatives in Andersonville, Lincoln Park, and Logan Square to whet your whistle this season, including Maple Cold Brew Oat-Laits, Cold Brew Horchata and Turmeric Ginger Chai Frappes. Or, if plain old java is more your style, try one of the shop’s hand-roasted cups — each batch is farmer direct or co-op sourced. P.S. did we mention the new Colectivo this spring will also serve up house-brewed beer like the rest? What’s not to love?