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.
Chicago hot-dog lovers tend to lie in one of two camps—the newfangled spot Hot Doug's or this Windy City classic. Superdawg is an old-school, 1950s-style diner that was ahead of the curve when it opened in 1948.
Although it may look like a typical old-fashioned diner, Ann Sather is actually a Chicago institution. Named after its founder, who established this original Andersonville location in 1945, the Swedish restaurant has now expanded to include two smaller cafés.
An unusual combination of classic comfort foods and innovative cocktails awaits diners at this retro-style restaurant in Bucktown. Illuminated by fringed lamps, the dining room contains red leather booths, a 1920’s-era bar, a working jukebox, and even a selection of board games.
Founded by Polish immigrant Frank Bobak, this Chicago-based company has been manufacturing artisan sausages and deli meats since 1967.
At the forefront of the groundbreaking molecular gastronomy movement, Alinea offers meals that are quite simply unlike any others.
Master of Mexican gourmet Rick Bayless delights diners with this casual and affordable “little sister” to the more upscale Frontera in River North and North Side’s Topolobampo.
Operated by the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group, R.J. Grunts has a casual ambiance peppered with good humor, from its motto ("catering to the neurotic compensation of eating") to its unique cartoonish menu design.
Americanizing Neapolitan-style pizza, Coalfire, as the name suggests, cooks their pies in an 800-degree oven heated by coal instead of the traditional wood. Even though the city is known for deep dish, this Noble Square is quite popular with locals who love the thin crust.
Chess sets, Academy Award statues, and life-size high heels are among the unusual chocolate creations crafted by this family-owned company. Originally established in Chicago in 1920, the shop moved to its current location in Palatine in 1967.
This two-story, red brick eatery offers a contemporary take on American cuisine, while focusing on local ingredients infused with global tastes.
The Scene: Supper club veteran and chef Efrain Cuevas (he did time with Ghetto Gourmet in Oakland) launched a new culinary club earlier this year; bimonthly Chicago-style locavore dinners are held in lofts and gardens within easy striking distance from the Loop.
Founder Dick Portillo began serving his delicious Chicago-style hot dogs out of a trailer back in 1963, and now this legendary franchise has nearly four dozen locations (including one in Buena Park, California).