Illinois

Restaurants in Illinois

Inspired by the street vendors of Mexico, chef Rick Bayless developed Frontera Fresco, a casual restaurant located on the seventh floor of Macy’s.

This gourmet Chinese restaurant, located in the Peninsula hotel, successfully evokes the styles and flavors of 1930’s Shanghai. Inside, sleek black furnishings, light hardwood floors, and expansive windows are accented by bold red linens and Asian-inspired artwork.

Homegrown seasonal veggies take the limelight at this trendy “flexitarian” (mostly vegetarian) eatery owned by James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain.

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 an old train car, this Lakeview landmark serves greasy spoon specialties on paper plates 24 hours a day.

The hipster BYO nook with four communal tables sits in an Avondale strip mall between a laundromat and a dry cleaner owned by relatives of Korean- American chef Bill Kim. Asian street food?

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.

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.