Subway: Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Adams, Red to Monroe(312) 443-8650 terzopianochicago.com41.878114 -87.629798 North garden of the Art Institute of Chicago, 125 E Monroe St (at Michigan Ave) Loop, Chicago
Lunch (weather dependent; typically open June–October)Average salad: $9
Good food comes from quality ingredients—but not necessarily quality ingredients alone. This is the lesson learned at Piano Terra, a food cart stationed in one of the Art Institute's lovely and peaceful public gardens. Here, visitors are instructed to design their own salads or sandwiches with ingredients sourced from a Rolodex of nearby farms. The results (e.g., chopped chicken with pea shoots, radishes and goat cheese on focaccia) are worth the few extra bucks you'll pay in comparison to a chain, but the chocolate-dipped semifreddo and tarragon-assaulted chips aren't worth depleting your lunch budget.