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 pa
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 f
Sure, this city has great architecture, museums, and sports venues. But at its heart, Chicago is really a food town. Thi

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.

Recommended Fodor’s Video

Sort by: 79 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
CLEAR ALL Area Search CLEAR ALL
Loading...
  • 1. Avec

    $$ | West Loop | Mediterranean

    Go to this Euro-style wine bar when you're feeling gregarious; the rather stark space has seating for only 48 people, and it's a tight fit....Read More

  • 2. Frontera Grill

    $$ | River North | Mexican

    Devotees of chef-owner Rick Bayless queue up for the bold flavors of his distinct fare at this casual restaurant brightly trimmed in Mexican...Read More

  • 3. Gather

    $$ | Lincoln Square | American

    Class meets comfort in this upscale neighborhood eatery. The service is top-notch and everything on your plate is made in-house from scratch...Read More

  • 4. GT Fish & Oyster

    $$ | River North | Seafood

    The "GT" here stands for chef-partner Giuseppe Tentori, whose latest restaurant coup reinterprets the classic seafood shack as a refined,...Read More

  • 5. Hopleaf

    $$ | Far North Side | American

    When hops devotee Michael Roper added a dining room onto the back of his beloved tavern, swillers were thrilled with the opportunity to sop...Read More

  • 6. Little Goat

    $$ | West Loop | Eclectic

    Following the wild success of her flagship restaurant, the Girl & the Goat, Top Chef alum Stephanie Izard switches gears with this all...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Slurping Turtle

    $$ | River North | Japanese

    Slurping is not only allowed at this casual River North noodle shop—it's encouraged. Chef Takashi Yagihashi's ramen gained a cult following...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. The Purple Pig

    $$ | River North | Mediterranean

    The Magnificient Mile is known for many things—stunning architecture, historical landmarks, world-class shopping—but dining isn't usually one...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 312 Chicago

    $$ | Loop | Italian

    Part handy hotel restaurant, part Loop power diner, and all Italian down to its first-generation chef, Luca Corazzina, 312 Chicago earns its...Read More

  • 14. 694 Wine & Spirits

    $$ | West Loop | Wine Bar

    This smart wine bar is proof that you don't need more than a minimal kitchen (limited to what will fit behind the bar's counter) to thrill foodies...Read More

  • 15. A10

    $$ | Hyde Park | European

    Hyde Park is experiencing a bit of a culinary renaissance thanks to a few new faces in the crowd. Take chef-owner Matthias Merges, who does...Read More

  • 16. Ann Sather

    $$ | Lakeview

    This nominally Swedish mini-chain serves breakfast until midafternoon, including legendary lingonberry pancakes and giant cinnamon buns. Other...Read More

  • 17. Bar Toma

    $$ | Near North | Italian

    Italian culinary master Tony Mantuano (of Spiaggia and Terzo Piano) has reclaimed the Water Tower tourist trap area as Chicago's landmark piazza...Read More

  • 18. Beatrix

    $$ | River North | American

    Finding it difficult to accommodate everyone’s cravings? Beatrix is the ultimate crowd pleaser, pulling only the best menu items from the Lettuce...Read More

  • 19. Belly Q and Urban Belly

    $$ | West Loop | Korean

    Chef-owner Bill Kim expands his Belly empire, moving his flagship ramen restaurant Urban Belly under the same roof as his trendy Korean barbecue...Read More

  • 20. Big Jones

    $$ | Far North Side | American

    Even if you weren't raised by a Southern grandmother, the heirloom cooking at this Andersonville restaurant will make you feel right at home...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: