Bites: What Playwright Joshua Allen Eats in a Day

Joshua Allen is about to conclude The Grand Boulevard Trilogy at Raven Theatre in Edgewater with The Prodigal Daughter (May 16–June 22). His commissioned series of plays follows Black families from Chicago’s south side, each one set on a different floor of the same apartment building. Allen was born and raised in Chicago but his career has spanned many cities including New York and Los Angeles writing and producing for stage and screen (Empire, The Morning Show, In Treatment and From Scratch, to name a few). So despite a notable career, filled with impressive credits, being a graduate of the University of Southern California and the Juilliard School, my most pressing question was, well, what do you like to eat?

It's first thing in the morning, coffee or tea? And who does your favorite brew? 

Photo by Adrian Anchando.

Coffee. I'm a big fan of Trader Joe's medium roast. I can barely function until I pop a cartridge into my Keurig.

What is your most craveworthy meal? 

For lunch or dinner, I can never resist the Hainan Chicken Rice from Phodega on Division.

Are you a grab-and-go lunch eater or a slow sit-down type? What's your place and order? 

I'm definitely more of a grab-and-go kind of luncher, and I'm actually dying to try a slice from Pete's Pizza on Granville. On a nice day, it's an easy walk from the Raven Theatre.

Afternoon pick-me-up? Snack? Caffeine or happy hour? Where is your favorite spot to jump-start the evening? 

If I'm downtown, and in a happy-hour mood, I will always try to find my way to City Social on LaSalle between Washington and Randolph. 

What place or meal brings your day to a close the right way? 

For dinner, if I'm anywhere near the Gold Coast, nothing's more satisfying than a trip to Velvet Taco on North State Street.

Did you enjoy this post and our coverage of Chicago’s  arts scene? Please consider supporting Third Coast Review’s arts and culture coverage by making a donation by PayPal. Choose the amount that works best for you, and know how much we appreciate your support!

Picture of the author
Caroline Huftalen

Caroline L. Huftalen received her MFA in writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design, making her running tab of degrees people find frivolous: 2. Her work can be found on,, Windy City Reviews, and other publications. She lives in Chicago and is working on her first novel.