Restaurants in Chicago
Chicago restaurants reflect the city’s diversity and richness: deep-dish pizza, hot dogs piled high with fixins’, restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs, and entire neighborhoods dedicated to certain culinary delights, like Greektown and Chinatown. For an unmatched view of the Chicago waterfront, try Riva on the Navy Pier. Their menu includes classic seafood dishes like oysters, lobster corn bisque and crab cakes, as well as a selection of steaks and a number of modern twists on traditional dishes. The food is matched only by the incredible view of Chicago’s skyline.
The Michelin-starred Allium Chicago, a foodie favorite, is a classically American dining experience for a classically American city – with a farm-to-table twist. The establishment serves up menus inspired by Chicago’s local markets – seasonal vegetables and cheeses, an assortment of local meats, and Chicago classics like the Chicago Style Hot Dog with “homemade everything.” Chicago restaurants are also indebted to the lunch counter scene of the 1960s; for a taste of that old vibe, visit Paul Kahan’s Blackbird Dining Room. This Chicago restaurant merges minimalism with farm-fresh dining for an unforgettable experience.
Homegrown seasonal veggies take the limelight at this trendy “flexitarian” (mostly vegetarian) eatery owned by James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain.
Unless you knew to look for it, you’d probably never notice the dingy storefront of this local secret—and that would be a shame.
Designed to share, the small plates at Quartino are reasonably priced (around $10 each), making it a popular spot for group dinners. Although the interior feels more like a neighborhood deli with hanging meats and glass display cases, the outdoor patio is a comfortable spot to dine.
Located in an old train car, this Lakeview landmark serves greasy spoon specialties on paper plates 24 hours a day.
Priscila Satkoff, who grew up in Mexico City, opened Salpicón in 1995 after realizing the shortage of authentic yet modern Mexican cuisine in Chicago.
This hip Windy City café is another big supporter of fresh ingredients from regional markets and farmers. There's always a "griddle cake" on the menu, but the ingredients change according to season and whim.
Don't be fooled by its shabby appearance. When Danny Meyer was developing the Shake Shack menu, he turned to this 1980s strip-mall relic for frankfurter inspiration. And these char-grilled jobs remain Meyer's favorite bun-pocketed specimens outside New York.
A native of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy where prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano-Reggiano originated, chef Luisa Silvia Marani now offers homemade Bolognese sauces and pastas to Chicago's Gold Coast residents at this authentic Italian eatery.
Reminiscent of a small Parisian bistro, this restaurant brings rustic French cuisine to the Lincoln Square neighborhood. Inside, the date-worthy dining room is designed with dark wood trim, large windows, and white-clothed tables set in secluded little nooks.
Since its opening in the former Ambassador East Hotel in 1938, this Gold Coast landmark has hosted such guests as Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, and Ronald Reagan.
Deep-dish pies are a Chicago phenomenon, and Burt Katz is quite possibly the master of this bready variation. For the past 20 years, kitschy Burt’s Place has been a mecca for buttery caramelized crust and market-fresh toppings, although some sticklers may flinch at the funky, cluttered interior.
Aside from the absence of cigarette smoke, it’s hard to imagine that this classic steak-and-seafood place has changed much since it first opened in the same wood-framed house in 1941.