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.
Bringing the freshest fish to Lincoln Square, Tank has quickly become the neighborhood’s go-to place for sushi. Sleek black furniture fills the bright, narrow dining room, which is also adorned with hardwood floors and fish-themed stained glass.
While seated on plush, dark brown banquettes, surrounded by a floor-to-ceiling water wall, mirrored columns, and color-changing neon lights, patrons quickly realize that N9NE is a far from traditional steakhouse.
Since it first opened in 1967, Wolfy's has been known for its take on the traditional Chicago-style hot dog.
Set in Wicker Park, this Japanese restaurant is known for its pricey but high-quality sushi. Patrons recommend dining on the candlelit outside patio or the upstairs lounge, a smaller, quieter space than its downstairs counterpart.
Long before The Publican served the first sweetbread schnitzel and hay-smoked “ham chop” from a menu that reads like a map of boutique American farms, Chicagoans were in a tizzy of anticipation. Why?
Although the South Side is not known for its restaurants, Beverly residents rave about the food at Café 103. Just past the faux wood entryway, the small dining room features color-blocked walls with shades of red and tan and red upholstered furniture.
Located in River North, Nacional 27 serves modern interpretations of dishes from all of Latin America’s 27 nations (hence the name).
Set in the 12th-floor lobby of the Ritz-Carlton, Deca Restaurant + Bar opened in 2010 and offers contemporary American cuisine in an Art Deco-inspired dining room.
In the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park's signature restaurant, the evocative design incorporates mahogany walls, red and orange linens, clean-lined furniture, and a date-worthy, noodle house-inspired bar area with sari-inlaid tables.
Marked by a burgundy awning and neon beer signs on the outside, this Irving Park eatery specializes in Mexican fare from the southern state of Oaxaca. Inside, hanging plants and plastic tablecloths emphasis the casualness of Taqueria La Oaxaqueña.
Established in Lincoln Park in 1977, Potbelly began as an antique store that just happened to serve sandwiches to hungry customers. Soon, the shop evolved into a café and has now expanded to become a 200-store franchise.
Situated inside Chicago’s Peninsula hotel, Avenues is a feast for the senses, combining flavorful contemporary cuisine with a lush, elegant atmosphere.
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.