Illinois

Restaurants in Illinois

Pie

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.

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.

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.

Taste a corn dog on a stick. The drive-in offers a family basket including four dogs and fries for $9!

Located in Bucktown, Takashi is a favorite with locals for its unique American-French cuisine with a Japanese flair. Inside, exposed brick is painted slate gray, and white upholstered chairs sit atop the hardwood floors.

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.

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?

In the land of 20-pound pizza and street-seller hot dogs, there’s a new craving in town, and it comes from (and with) Seoul. Crisp, a Korean fried chicken headliner in the Lakeview ‘hood, dishes out a half dozen versions of chicken, all served two ways: half or whole.

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.

Inside an unassuming storefront on Chicago Avenue sits one of the city’s favorite bakeries, Hoosier Mama Pie Company.

Once a personal chef to Oprah Winfrey, chef Art Smith opened his Table Fifty-Two inside the historic 19th century carriage house of the Biggs Mansion. The Northside restaurant features two stories and rustic décor that includes an open-hearth oven and a pressed copper ceiling.

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.