Restaurants in Illinois
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.
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.
Chef and television personality Rick Bayless opened this Near North Side restaurant next door to his more casual Frontera Grill back in 1989, introducing the Windy City to the concept of fine Mexican dining.
Located within the Hotel Les Armures in the city’s historic Old Town, this restaurant serves traditional Swiss fare in a two-story space that dates from the 17th century.
Housed in the space that was formerly Mister Kelley’s, a nightclub that hosted performances by such artists as Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday, Gibsons Steakhouse is still frequented by A-list guests, as evidenced by the autographed photos lining the wood-paneled walls.
Home to what Good Morning America named the best burger in the nation, Rockit Bar & Grill is a River North landmark serving upscale American bar fare.