A Foodie's Guide to Eating Around Chicago
If you need 1 reason to go to Chicago, go for the food. The Chicago food scene is absolutely booming right now. With rents skyrocketing in NYC and LA, chefs and restaurateurs are starting to see the value in bringing their businesses to the Windy City, which makes hungry Chicagoans very happy.
I've done my fair share of eating my way around the city the last few years and think it's time to pass along my knowledge to other foodies living in or traveling through Chicago. Whatever you're in the mood for, I've got you covered. I've included a place for almost every occasion you can think of--girls night out, cheap eats, power lunches, rom-din (new abbreviation for romantic dinner??), and even places #FTB. So without further ado, here are my top restaurant recommendations around Chicago! Bon appétit!
- Summer House Santa Monica, $$, 1954 N Halsted St, *Retractable roof in the summer time!
- Zella, $$, 1983 N Clybourn Ave, *Good spot if you want to party during brunch
- Bongo Room, $$, 1470 N Milwaukee Ave, *Typically have seasonal menus, but red velvet pancakes are amazing
- Taverna 750, $$, 750 W Cornelia Ave, *Great outdoor patio in the warm season
- Blackwood BBQ, $, 305 W Lake St, *Amazing BBQ for any meal / More of a grab-&-go spot
- Sable Kitchen & Bar, $$$, 505 N State St
- Yolk, $$, 355 E Ohio St
- La Creperie, $$, 2845 N Clark St, *Check out the darling patio in the back too!
- Tavern On Rush, $$$, 1031 N Rush St, *Great location for people watching / Try the breakfast pizzas
- Stanley's Kitchen & Tap, $$, 1970 N Lincoln Ave, *Near a ton of great sports & dive bars
- Slurping Turtle, $$, 116 W Hubbard St
- Siam Rice, $$, 117 N Wells St, *Great power lunch spot to sit with fast service/ Basil Chicken is out of this world
- LYFE Kitchen, $$, 413 N Clark St, *Very healthy spot with great food
- Luke's Lobster, $$, 134 N LaSalle St, *One of the best lobster rolls in the city
- HUB 51, $$, 51 W Hubbard St
- Smoque BBQ, $, 3800 N Pulaski Rd, Ste 2
- Bridge House Tavern, $$, 321 N Clark St, *Beautiful location along the river
- Big Star, $$, 1531 N Damen, *Famous taco spot in Wicker Park / Cash only
- Chicago French Market, $$, 131 N Clinton St, *Open market to walk through and stop at different kiosks
- Bub City, $$, 435 N Clark St, *Cool, country vibe / Also has karaoke and live music on most nights
- Protein Bar, Roti, or Freshii, $, Multiple Locations, *All great, fast eats for when you're in a hurry
- Del Seoul, $, 2568 N Clark St, *Omggggg this place owns my heart... Get the shrimp tacos and thank me later
- Crisp, $, 2940 N Broadway Ave, *Korean BBQ comfort food
- Chicago Bagel Authority, $, 953 W Armitage Ave
- Urbanbelly, $$, 1400 W Randolph St, *Attached to BellyQ / Just as good, but for half the price
- Pierogi Heaven, $, 169 N Wells St
- Naansense, $, 171 N Wells St
- Torta Haüs, $, 926 W Diversey Pkwy
- Belly Shack, $$, 1912 N Western Ave
- Lou Malnati's, $$, Multiple Locations, *Best pizza in the city / The thin crust is delicious
- Al's Beef, $, 169 W Ontario St, *Classic Italian beef sandwich
- Portillo's, $, 100 W Ontario St, *Everything on the menu is amazing and you can't go wrong here
- Pequod's, $, 2207 N Clybourn Ave, 2nd best pizza in the city IMO
- Billy Goat Tavern, $, 430 N Michigan Ave, *Made famous by the likes of SNL
- Wiener's Circle, $, 2622 N Clark St, *Go here late night for the "show"
- Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse, $$$, 1028 N Rush St
Drinks & Sports Bars
- D.O.C. Wine Bar, $$, 2602 N Clark St, *You can order the food from Dunlay's next door, too
- RM Champagne Salon, $$$, 116 N Green St, *Cute date spot that feels like you're transported to Paris!
- All of these speakeasies on this "favorite" list!
- Old Town Ale House, $, 219 W North Ave, *Iconic stomping grounds of current & former Second City cast members such as Chris Farley, Billy Murray, and more!
- The J Parker, $$, 1816 N Clark, 13th Floor, *Great rooftop view from Hotel Lincoln
- Pops for Champagne, $$$, 601 N State St
- The Pump Room, $$$, 1301 N State Pkwy, *Historic and popular bar in the Public Hotel / Food is great too
- Berkshire Room, $$, 15 E Ohio St
- Benchmark, $$, 1510 N Wells St, *Sports bar with retractable roof in nice weather!
- Old Town Pour House, $$, 1419 N Wells St
- State, $$, 935 W Webster Ave, *Great place for trivia night and watching a game
- Fairways, $$, 1141 W Armitage Ave, *Sports bar with golf simulators
- Public House, $$, 400 N State St
- Bull & Bear, $$, 431 N Wells St, *Good happy hour spot & great food menu too
- Au Cheval, $$, 800 W Randolph St, *LITERALLY the best burger you will have in your life
- Longman & Eagle, $$, 2657 N Kedzie Ave
- Dunlay's on Clark, $$, 2600 N Clark St, *Get the turkey burger--my fave!
- Glenn's Diner, $$, 1820 W Montrose Ave, *One of the city's hidden gems of seafood
- Maude's Liquor Bar, $$$, 840 W Randolph St, *French onion fondue... yes.
- Sunda, $$$, 110 W Illinois St
- Kuma's Corner, $$, 2900 W Belmont Ave, *Great burger spot
- GT Fish & Oyster, $$$, 531 N Wells St
- Bavette's Bar & Boeuf, $$$, 218 W Kinzie St, *Get the thick cut bacon
- Gilt Bar, $$$, 230 W Kinzie St, *Best steak tartare on earth
- Fat Rice, $$, 2957 W Diversey Ave
- Mana Food Bar, $$, 1742 W Division St, *Healthier vegetarian and vegan option
- Roka Akor, $$$, 456 N Clark St
- Girl & The Goat, $$$, 809 W Randolph St, *Stephanie Izard of Top Chef runs this awesome West Loop spot
- Mercadito, $$$, 108 W Kinzie St
- BellyQ, $$$, 1400 W Randolph St
- Butterfly Sushi, $$, 1139 W Grand Ave, *Great BYOB sushi spot
- Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, $$, 2024 N Halsted St, *My favorite tapas bar in the city
- Crosby's Kitchen, $$, 3455 N Southport Ave, *The rotisserie specials and skillet cookie are amazing
- Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder, $$, 2121 N Clark St, *Legendary place with delicious "pizza pot pies"
- Boarding House, $$$, 720 N Wells St
This list is just scratching the surface on all the amazing eats there are in Chicago! Try these places out, ask other locals for their opinions, or walk around and stumble upon some quality spots yourself! You really can't go wrong with dining in Chicago...
What are your favorite places to eat in Chicago? Comment below with more spots!