Chicago’s food scene rivals that of New York, with no shortage of standout restaurants. Here, seven not to miss.
Elizabeth: An all-white dining room in Lincoln Square with only 24 seats sets the stage for chef-owner Iliana Regan’s locally foraged dishes. The 20-course menu is divided into three sections (farm; woodlands; ponds, lakes, and seas), with crowd-pleasers like lamb loin wrapped in dandelion greens with acorn-squash gnocchi. $$$$
Fat Rice: Pioneer chef Abraham Conlon and co-owner Adrienne Lo have gained a cult following for their innovative Macanese dishes at Fat Rice. Those who brave the hours-long wait are rewarded with shareable plates that take cues from India, Southeast Asia, and Portugal: piri-piri chicken in spicy tomato sauce; arroz gordo topped with linguiça sausage, salted duck, and char siu pork. $$$
Girl & the Goat and Little Goat Diner: In an industrial space with burnt-cedar walls, Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard turns out nose-to-tail specialties, including fried pig face and kidneys stuffed with goat confit. Nearby at Little Goat Diner, Izard puts a creative spin on classic breakfast dishes; try the sourdough pancakes. $$$; $$.
Longman & Eagle: Chicago’s beard-and-flannel tribe pack this locavore temple in Logan Square for Saturday brunch. Here’s the drill: start with Stiegl-Radler grapefruit brews and cheesewurst at the pop-up sausage stand on the patio, then head inside for diet-busting platters of fried chicken and waffles with pork belly. $$$
Next: The age-old aphorism “Food is theater” comes to life at chef Grant Achatz’s follow-up to foodie hot spot Alinea in the West Loop. To get a table, you need to buy a ticket on the website—and they go quickly. But if you manage to snag one, you’re in for a treat: the seriously ambitious menu rotates three times a year and may include dishes such as pheasant smoked in hay with grilled baby leek, caramelized onion, and blanquette sauce. $$$$
Parson’s Chicken & Fish: A 1977 El Camino marks the entrance to this no-frills spot in Logan Square, opened by the same team behind Longman & Eagle. Here, young chef Hunter Moore serves cobia ceviche, and a whole fried chicken with Texas toast and coleslaw, accompanied by craft beers and negroni slushes. $
The Publican and Publican Quality Meats: For the city’s best oysters and aged charcuterie, head to Paul Kahan’s buzzy restaurant, the Publican. Across the street, his just-opened butcher shop serves a killer barbecued veal brisket sandwich. $$$$; $$.
Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150