Illinois

Restaurants in Illinois

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.

The Chef: Rick Bayless is often credited with introducing Americans to more refined south-of-the-border cooking at his Chicago restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo (a favorite of the Obamas).

Hawaiian-born Shin Thompson synthesizes high art and fine cuisine at Bonsoirée, an American Nouveau hotspot that began as an undergound operation back in 2005.

Inspired by the traditional pizzerias in Naples, this Ravenswood eatery is known for its authentic, fresh ingredients. True to tradition, Spacca Napoli bakes each of its Neapolitan pies in a custom-built, wood-burning oven that is decorated in a mosaic of Bisazza glass.

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.

Just steps away from Oprah’s Harpo Studios, the unfussy Wishbone is a favorite among staffers for southern-inspired fare that tends toward the lighter side: grilled or blackened fish, vegetarian hoppin’ john, and North Carolina-style pulled pork.

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).

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.

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.