Restaurants in Illinois
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.
Grab charbroiled burgers at the Lincoln-Douglas Café, where everything is homemade.
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.
Built from a 1890s print shop, this West Loop restaurant celebrates both the traditional and contemporary. Inside the dining room, glass encased chandeliers hang above the custom Art Nouveau tile floor, while Windy City memorabilia covers the walls and vintage stemware sits on each table.
To the delight of Lakeview residents, Doug Zell and his wife Emily Mange established the first Intelligentsia Coffeebar in 1995. Though the small franchise has now grown to five locations, Intelligentsia upholds their original mission to provide the highest quality, direct trade coffee.
The flagship location of an ever-growing national chain, this sandwich shop was first established in 1938 as a curbside wooden food stand in Little Italy.
Located 30 minutes north of Chicago, this Evanston bistro pairs creative New American cuisine with an extensive selection of international wines. The candlelit dining room is warm and inviting, with hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, and wooden shelves lined with wine bottles.