Chicago Restaurants

Sure, this city has great architecture, museums, and sports venues. But at its heart, Chicago is really a food town. This is evident in the priority that good eating takes, no matter the occasion. Rain or shine, locals will wait in a line that snakes around the corner for dolled-up doughnuts at Doughnut Vault. They’ll reserve part of their paychecks to dine at inventive Alinea. And they love to talk about their most recent meal—just ask.

It's no wonder that outdoor festivals are often centered on food, from Taste of Chicago in summer, which packs the grounds at Grant Park, to smaller celebrations, like the German-American fest in Lincoln Square, a mini-Oktoberfest in fall.

Although the city has always had options on the extreme ends of the spectrum—from the hole-in-the wall Italian beef sandwich shops to the special-occasion spots—it's now easier to find eateries in the middle that serve seasonal menus with a farm-to-table mantra. For the budget conscious, it's also a great time to dine: some talented chefs aren't bothering to wait for a liquor license, opening BYOB spots turning out polished fare (just try Ruxbin in West Town).

Expect to see more Chicago chefs open casual concepts—Rick Bayless, Paul Kahan, and Michael Kornick have a head start with their respective sandwich, taco, and burger spots. Yet the goal remains the same: to feed a populace that knows good food and isn't willing to accept anything less than the best. In the following pages, you'll find our top picks, from quick bites to multicourse meals, in the city's best dining neighborhoods.

Sort by: 35 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
CLEAR ALL Area Search CLEAR ALL
Loading...
  • 1. Alinea

    $$$$ | Lincoln Park | American

    Believe the hype and secure tickets—yes, tickets—well in advance. Chicago's most exciting restaurant demands an adventurous spirit and a serious...Read More

  • 2. Big Star

    $ | Wicker Park | Mexican

    It's cramped and noisy, and the service is often ambivalent, but most locals are willing to bear the substantial waits at Big Star because the...Read More

  • 3. Boka

    $$$ | Lincoln Park | American

    If you're doing Steppenwolf pretheater dinner on North Halsted Street, this upscale spot gets the foodie stamp of approval, especially with...Read More

  • 4. Mindy's Hot Chocolate

    $$ | Bucktown | American

    The city's most celebrated pastry chef, Mindy Segal, goes solo at Hot Chocolate, and as you might expect, it's a hit for a really great dessert...Read More

  • 5. North Pond

    $$$ | Lincoln Park | American

    A former Arts and Crafts–style warming house for ice-skaters at Lincoln Park's North Pond, this gem in the woods fittingly champions an uncluttered...Read More

  • 6. The Bristol

    $$ | Bucktown | American

    While Bucktown isn't wanting for dining options, this self-proclaimed "eatery and bar" sets itself apart by focusing intently on the food. Chef...Read More

  • 7. Trenchermen

    $$ | Wicker Park | Eclectic

    When many people think of "adventurous dining," the first thought usually turns to offal. But this Wicker Park hot spot is full of unusual flavors...Read More

  • 8. Yusho

    $$ | Logan Square | Japanese

    Yes, it's Japanese, but a standard sushi-teriyaki spot this is not. Charlie Trotter's veteran Matthias Merges gives diners a cheffed-up look...Read More

  • 9. Balena

    $$$ | Lincoln Park | Italian

    This place burst onto the scene with a prime location across from Steppenwolf Theatre and a sexy Italian-inspired design that draws a respectable...Read More

  • 10. Belly Shack

    $ | Logan Square | Eclectic

    Chef Bill Kim affectionately refers to Belly Shack as his "love story," because the menu fuses his Korean roots and his wife's Puerto Rican...Read More

  • 11. Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!

    $$ | Lincoln Park | Spanish

    The name is kitschy cute, and it's jammed with partying Lincoln Parkers, so you might not think the food is a selling point—but you'd be wrong...Read More

  • 12. Dove's Luncheonette

    $ | Wicker Park | American

    None of award-winning chef-owner Paul Kahan’s restaurants are alike, so it's little surprise that his latest concept is another trendy original...Read More

  • 13. Feast

    $$ | Bucktown | American

    The cozy fireplace and sofa-filled lounge create a fittingly social, casual setting for the arty Bucktown locals who dine here regularly. If...Read More

  • 14. Goddess and Grocer

    $ | Bucktown | Café

    Tasty sandwiches and salads that please vegans and carnivores alike are served at Goddess and Grocer. ...Read More

  • 15. Le Bouchon

    $$ | Bucktown | French

    The French comfort food at this charming-but-cramped bistro in Bucktown is in a league of its own. The onion tart has been a signature dish...Read More

  • 16. Longman & Eagle

    $$ | Logan Square | American

    Chef Jared Wentworth adheres to a farm-to-table aesthetic, so the menu at this hip gastropub changes often. Look for gamey dishes such as fried...Read More

  • 17. Lula Café

    $$$ | Logan Square | American

    Locals worship Lula Café, a neighborhood favorite that's a quick walk from the Logan Square El stop. A bohemian storefront splits a spacious...Read More

  • 18. MANA Food Bar

    $ | Wicker Park | Vegetarian

    It's easy to miss this slim, stylish restaurant amid the clothing boutiques and bars along Division Street, but those in the know squeeze in...Read More

  • 19. Milk & Honey Café

    $ | Wicker Park | Café

    Division Street has long been a prowl of night owls but with the growing number of spas and boutiques in the area, not to mention the many work...Read More

  • 20. Mon Ami Gabi

    $$ | Lincoln Park | French

    Although there are now satellite restaurants in the Chicago suburbs and across the country, the original Mon Ami Gabi has not lost its charm...Read More

No Restaurants Results

Please try a broader search, or expore these popular suggestions:

There are no results for {{ strDestName}} Restaurants in the searched map area with the above filters. Please try a different area on the map, or broaden your search with these popular suggestions: