The 2024 Workplace: Elevating Experiences with Local Food

Complete with the latest 2024 employee survey data and trends, this guide is designed to help you transform your workplace into one that resonates with the expectations and values of today’s modern workforce.

Chicago is where we’re from. So we know the best restaurants for catering. Whether you’re in the Loop or the suburbs, we’ve got you covered. We’ve gotten to know dozens of restaurants, but if you just want to see the best options, keep reading.

These five restaurants are some of our customers’ favorites for corporate catering in Chicago. You can find everything from a taco truck to Belizean Garifuna options. There’s no end to the great food you can get for your employees.

Here’s where you should start:

Wicker Basket Cafe

With classic dishes to suit every taste, the Wicker Basket Cafe is a great Chicago catering choice for any corporate event—including a daily lunch. Have vegetarians? Order a strawberry feta salad, a fresh yogurt parfait, the chickpea orzo salad, a quinoa salad bar, or a classic egg salad sandwich.

For meat eaters, consider tuna salad, the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich with bacon, a roast beef and cheddar sandwich, a salad with chicken, or The Whole Basket, which packs three kinds of meat into a single sandwich.

What we love about the Wicker Basket is that there’s nothing super out of the ordinary—but the quality makes it a great choice. Everyone can get one of their classic favorites, whether it’s a ham and cheese sandwich or a Greek salad. And they’ll love the quality.

You won’t break the bank, either. A small salad for 8–10 people is about $35. Pasta salad for 15–20 is $40 or less. And box lunches are just $12 per person. It’s hard to find this kind of food at a better price.


For the true Chicago food experience, you need Italian cuisine. That’s just how it is. And Orso’s family-owned Italian eatery is the perfect place to get it. It’s an Old Town mainstay with phenomenal atmosphere—and while you can’t bring the atmosphere to your office, you certainly can bring the amazing food.

All of the classics are here, from lasagna to tortellini to veal. But you can get lots of interesting modern takes on Italian food, too, like jalapeño gnocchi, penne tossed in vodka, and even gluten-free pizza and pasta.

For catering, you can order large trays of just about anything on the menu, as well as smaller half trays for smaller groups or a wider variety of food. Sandwiches are available individually, as well. And don’t forget the chocolate chip cannoli. Seriously. Don’t forget that.

Orso’s isn’t the cheapest corporate catering option in Chicago. A full tray of some entrees can be $70 or more (the jalapeño gnocchi tray is $100). But it’s hard to top it if you want classic Chicago Italian food.

Jarabe / La Adelita

After the success of their La Adelita food truck, Teddy and Alexis Vejar opened a standalone restaurant: Jarabe. Both of their ventures channel the food they had in their childhood, straight from their mom’s taco shop in their local bus terminal in Mexico. They continued the tradition by opening one of the first food trucks in Chicago.

Have 40 or more employees you want to feed? Book La Adelita to bring the authentic taco truck experience to your company for $800! Want a more traditional catering option? Get a variety of tacos, fajitas, and sides from Jarabe.

Jarabe’s tacos are served family-style, so employees can top them however they like. Tacos come in trays of 20, 40, or 80, so you can feed everyone with ease—including vegans and vegetarians. Calabacitas (squash) and mojo mushrooms are both vegan, and most dishes are gluten-free.

We love that La Adelita has been part of Chicago’s innovative food scene and that Teddy and Alexis are continuing the tradition of tacos in their family. Their mix of traditional and trendy taco ingredients—as well as the numerous healthy options—makes this a can’t-miss corporate catering opportunity.

Each dish has its own pricing, so you’ll have to check out the menu for specifics. But you can plan on about $3 per taco.

For another Mexican option, check out Burrito Beach, one of the most popular restaurants on our Best of Fooda Chicago 2019 list!

Garifuna Flava

Want something a little different than your typical American, Italian, or Mexican fare? Garifuna Flava brings authentic Caribbean flavor straight from Belize to Chicago. If you’ve never had Belizean food, prepare to be amazed.

The Garifuna people are of Carib, Arawak, and West African descent. After relocation to Central America, they moved to cities like Los Angeles and Chicago. They brought a rich cultural tradition with them that includes food and music, both of which are found in spades at Garifuna Flava.

Start with the panades: an appetizer made of corn stuffed with sauteed buffalo fish and topped with sweet or spicy slaw. Or the garnaches, crunchy fried tortillas with refried beans, cabbage sauce, shredded cheese, and ketchup. Grab an entree like the jerk chicken or pot roast to top it off.

Stew chicken, ox-tails, and jerk wings are favorites. But vegetarians have options, too: fried plantains, vegetable patties, sauteed vegetables, and macaroni and cheese are all available.

It’s hard to capture what makes Garifuna Flava so special in a few words. You just have to try it. It will bring you to the Garifuna lands of Belize (without the cost of a flight; per-person catering starts at $11 and pan-size catering at $40).


You’ve never had falafel or shawarma like this. This is classic Middle Eastern cuisine with a modern Chicago twist. Sure, you can get traditional options like chicken and steak shawarma and gyros. But you can also turn it into a bowl. Or a pita. Or a salad. And get it with fries on the side. Add some carrot salad or Mediterranean pickles to top it off. And don’t forget the signature hot sauce. (It starts at $12 per person, so you can afford to pile on the extras.)

There’s no better way to explain Benjyehuda than they explain themselves:

Take a look around and you’ll pick up on what we mean. Our name is impossible to pronounce and even harder to spell. We play our music loud and watch bawdy movies while we work. We refuse to value profits more than quality. We do what matters to us. We don’t do the rest.

Their simple menu gives you the power to create a huge mix of dishes that cater to a wide variety of tastes. And with vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free options, you can order for everyone without difficulty.

This no-holds-barred shop brings attitude as well as great Chicago corporate catering. Be sure not to miss it.

Where Will You Order Your Chicago Catering?

With these five options, you can cater a huge number of events without repeating your order. And you can satisfy tastes that range from the traditional to the innovative (and everything in between).

Choose one of these restaurants or let us choose for you! We have a ton of Chicago corporate catering menus on file, and we’d be happy to help you find the best option for your event.