Do you want to recognize your favorite local Slow businesses, entrepreneurs and farmers for their contributions to the good food movement? Nominate them for a Snail of Approval! The Snail honors food businesses that exemplify the principles of Slow Food – Good, Clean and Fair – and contribute to the quality, authenticity, and sustainability of food in our community.

CONGRATS to our Current Snail Recipients:

Uncommon Ground

Butcher and Larder

Sandwich Me In

Scrumptious Pantry

Fig Catering

What does a Snail recipient get?

  • Listing on the Slow Food Chicago website

  • A Snail of Approval decal to display proudly at their place of business

  • Recognition in the Snail press release to Slow Food media partners

Nomination & Selection

Any food business in the Chicagoland area that contributes to the quality, authenticity, and/or sustainability of our food supply is eligible. Establishments can self-nominate or be nominated by members of the community.

Eligible Businesses Include:

Restaurants and cafes
Caterers and food service
Food trucks
Underground suppers
Organic and natural farmers
Artisans and producers
Vineyards and breweries
Purveyors and markets
Other horticultural businesses

To nominate a business of Snail of Approval, submit the below form for review. Once a quarter*, the Board of Directors will visit the nominee and evaluate them according to the guidelines**.

Name *


*The Snail of Approval designation is good for two years.
** Snail of Approval Guidelines:



  • Seasonality: Menu emphasizes use of seasonal, fresh produce.

  • Taste: Menu offers fresh and wholesome ingredients; food is prepared with care and craft.

  • Community: Contributes to the uniqueness and richness of the Chicago community. Involved in advancing the awareness of Slow Food principles in the community through sharing time, talent, knowledge, and/or resources.

  • Artisan: Presents fine food created by their own or the hands of other artisans; traditional foods are true to their cultural heritage.

  • Authenticity: Heirloom varietals and heritage breeds are true to their evolutionary history.


  • Sustainability: Establishment uses natural products free of additives and strives to incorporate local, seasonal foods on the menu. Uses meats, dairy, fish, and shellfish that have been produced responsibly, sustainably, and humanely from reputable providers. Produce is grown and harvested with methods that have a positive impact on our local ecosystems and promotes biodiversity.

  • Low Impact: Produces food using products and processes that minimize waste and impact of food production/distribution (e.g., avoids single-use, nonrecyclable packaging/products; participates in recycling/composting and low-carbon delivery programs).


  • Local Sources: Makes an effort to procure food sources in the City of Chicago, Illinois, or surrounding areas.

  • Awareness: Establishment includes outreach and education for customers on the source of the products used.

  • Fair Business and Labor Practices: Contributes to the quality of life in Chicago and surrounding areas through fair employment practices; purchases ingredients produced by people who are treated with dignity and justly compensated for their labor.