Equal parts chocolaty, gooey, and crunchy, linked with storytelling and stargazing, this campfire favorite always leaves us wanting “some more.” If you can’t skip town for the real deal, no worries: Chicago restaurants are bringing the bonfire to the city and getting creative in their interpretations, from the icebox-required to the Asian-inspired. Here are six great excuses for a midsummer staycation.
Those particular about the doneness of their ’mallows can roll up their sleeves for this DIY take (above), complete with the traditional trio of ingredients—graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows—and a tiny hibachi grill. $8
This playful proxy fills a bao bun with hazelnut spread, two steamed marshmallows, and a dusting of graham cracker crumbs for a handful of springy-meets-sticky bites. $2.49
A couple of summer favorites—the s’more and the sundae—collide. A malted milk chocolate brownie upholds fudge sauce and toasted and frozen homemade marshmallow fluff, which dutifully softens up two thick graham cracker slabs for spoon-cracking. $8
The team here partially bakes mozzarella-bedecked pizza dough before layering it with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and—for good, lighthearted measure—Teddy Grahams. It meets the oven once more before it’s ready for New York–style folding. $4
Three distinct components—smoked chocolate soufflé, smoked graham cracker ice cream, and brûléed marshmallow—quickly morph into several soul-satisfying bites thanks to the piping-hot delivery from pastry chef Jeremy Brutzkus. $9
Don’t be deceived by the hot dog bun. Pastry chef Karianne Soulsby bakes them slow and low with chocolate cake, mini-marshmallows, and custard for this rich twist on bread pudding. Post-oven sidekicks, including graham crisps and brandy sauce, result in a far-from-savory spin. $9