Top Food Influencers in Chicago for Your Windy City Foodie Needs

Chicago is one of the top food cities in America, so it's not surprising that there are lots of excellent food influencers in Chi

 min. read
June 23, 2022

Countless lists name Chicago as one of the top food cities in America. US News has this city at number three. Like any foodie city, there are lots of food influencers in Chicago, but who should you listen to or work with to make sure locals and visitors alike know what restaurants to choose for an evening on the town?

Whether it is for a hidden seafood spot, in-depth deep-dish pizza recommendations, or a hot dog “drug through the garden”, we have put together a list of the top food influencers in Chicago for your windy city foodie needs.

Erica Eckman

  • Instagram handle: @everthingerica
  • 174.4K Instagram followers
  • 1.86% engagement rate

Having been featured on ABC, WGN, FOX, The Chicago Tribune, and many others, Erica is one of the top food influencers in Chicago with media recognition. She is well known around the city where she points her very large following to restaurants and even hosts prime location events. Erica is also an amazing cook known for her ability to take recipes with high-calorie counts and convert them to low-calorie dishes. She does all this while being a mom and sharing her day to day life with others.

There are many others who juggle motherhood while being creators. Read about more of them here.

Erin Byrne

  • Instagram handle: @312food
  • 140.4K Instagram followers
  • 1.33% engagement rate

Naming her page after Chicago’s area code, 312, Erin’s account is one of the biggest accounts of the food influencers in Chicago. She has a strong passion for female-owned restaurants, and her guide to Chicago will quickly get you to the best avocado toast, cutting through the wait lines, or sipping a drink with the best views the Chicago foodie scene has to offer.

Sherrie Tan

With a dessert-laden Instagram, it comes as no surprise that Sherrie is a pastry chef. Currently holding the position as head pastry chef at Sweet Mandy B’s, hands down the popular choice for baked sweets in the city, Sherrie attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York before setting up camp in Chicago. She says her favorite thing to work with is fruit because it changes with the seasons and represents more than just the flavor.

Kit Graham

  • Instagram handle: @thekittchen
  • 49.2K Instagram followers
  • 0.22% engagement rate

With an art history background, Kit has carved out a space for herself not only as one of the top food influencers in Chicago but also as a travel and lifestyle blogger. Everything she does has a flare of Chicago pride, whether creating a new recipe, supporting her peers, or combining food and her favorite spots around the city. Kit creates everything herself, doing her own photography, cooking, writing, and business management.

Seth Marcus

  • Instagram handle: @chicityfoodie
  • 43K Instagram followers
  • 0.93% engagement rate

Proudly using his iPhone 6 for every shot, Seth is committed to gathering the hidden nuggets from around Chicago and sharing them with his following. As one of the top food influencers in Chicago, he is lucky enough to get lots of behind-the-scenes tours and info to share about all the foodie spots in Chicago. He also seems to have a thing for putting a fried egg on top of as many different dishes as he can.

Starr Nordgren

On her website, Starr tells us she is a “writing professor by day and a not-so-secret foodie by night." She finds great joy in trying new restaurants, attending food festivals, tracking down food trucks, and perusing farmers' markets. And luckily for all of us, the only thing that she loves as much as finding great food is sharing it with her followers. Starr keeps an archive of all the restaurants she has featured on her feed along with a regularly updated list of her Chicago favorites.

Michele “Chele” Thompson

  • Instagram handle: @champagnechele
  • 27.4K Instagram followers
  • 3.96% engagement rate

Chele has cemented a spot on this list of food influencers in Chicago through things such as her bachelor's in food science, her mixologist license, and equally through her status as a self-proclaimed food snob. She heavily promotes black-owned businesses and can even be found hosting discussions on the relationship between food and mental health.

Are you interested in learning about other black creators? See the list here of the top black influencers on YouTube

Pooja Naik

With a knack for finding seafood restaurants, Pooja comes in hot on this list, presenting trending diets and the unique niche she has carved for herself. That being said, she does not only review and share seafood. Pooja is also an enthusiast of every other cuisine, religiously attending new restaurant openings, festivals, and other food events. She moved to Chicago from India as a teen and quickly learned to fill the role of Chicago’s primary seafood/pescetarian foodie.

Mauna Punukollu

The final creator on today’s list of the top food influencers in Chicago is Mauna. While quite evident that she is a lover of all things food, Mauna has a special ability to sniff out the best coffee and tea the city has to offer. If you are looking to keep on the move and grab a signature cup of joe as you explore, Mauna may be the perfect food influencer to follow.

Love all of these, but are looking for vegan specific foodies? Find some here.

As you are building your Windy City food bucket list, be sure to check out each of these food influencers in Chicago for unique perspectives, beautiful pictures, and recommendations that won’t let you down. No matter if you are checking out West Loop, Logan Square, River North, or one of the other neighborhoods in this extravagant foodie city, these influencers are the guides you need.  

Influencer marketing and the success of campaigns all depend on choosing the right influencers. Whether you’re looking for a full-scope campaign or just getting connected to influencers, platforms like Tensor Social can do it all for you. They match you with the right influencer, provide performance metrics, and manage the entire process so that you can put in minimal effort to see your investment work!

Blog by Philip Murray