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The 15 Best Restaurants in Chicago


When you think of Chicago food, the first thought that comes to mind might be unbuckle-the-pants Midwestern meals like Italian beef sandwiches and deep dish pizzas that are either dripping with cheese, grease, or a delicious combination of both.

Chicago’s 15 Best Restaurants (Slideshow)

No doubt, Chicago has lots of casual, calorie-bomb favorites for quick meals. Little Goat's cheesey shrimp and Hot Doug's hot dogs hold a special place in our hearts (and on our Best Casual Restaurants list). But with nearly 3 million residents from every corner of the globe, Chicago’s food scene is bound to have lots of colors in its culinary rainbow. And when it comes to fine dining, Chicago is one of the hottest culinary spots in the country. This February, an impressive seven Chicago restaurants landed on our list of the 101 Best Restaurants in America.

New restaurants like Curtis Duffy's Grace and Ryan McCaskey's Acadia have put Chicago on the map as an exciting place for traditional American flavors mixing with contemporary and international touches. Hot spots like Paul Kahan's The Publican, with its beer-centric menu and communal dining table, and Philip Ross' El Ideas, where the chefs dress in street clothes and guests are encouraged to take peaks into the kitchen area, are helping to shed inventive food of its sometimes stodgy image. And Grant Achatz's Next and Alinea have helped make Chicago a premier place for culinary innovation.

To put our list together, we considered every aspect of the culinary experience these restaurants offer their customers, from their ambiance and creativity, to their ability to simply deliver the goods on a delicious meal. Without further ado, here are our choices for the best restaurants the Windy City has to offer.

15. Schwa

Chef Michael Carlson puts his spin on contemporary fine dining at Wicker Park’s Schwa, which has been open since 2005 and features a rotating, nine-course prix fixe menu. The space is simple, seating only 26 and features no support staff — just chefs who deliver your food directly. The menu, however, focuses on seasonal ingredients from around the globe and packs enough personality to fill the space with life. Sweet and savory in unexpected ways, the menu features items like tiger fish touched with marshmallow and cardamom, botargo flavored with chocolate, and biscuits and gravy with mustard.

14. Grace

Opened by James Beard Award-winning chef Curtis Duffy in 2012, the Near West Side’s Grace has gone on to receive nearly every accolade imaginable from the culinary community including: Two Michelin Stars in the Chicago 2014 Guide, AAA's Five Diamond Rating, Forbes Travel Guide's 5-Star Rating, and Chicago Magazine’s Best New Restaurant. So how’s the food? Flavorful, to say the least. Options include surprising combinations like scallops with licorice flavors, and Miyazaki beef with peanuts and Vietnamese herbs.

Click here for the rest of Chicago’s 15 Best Restaurants.


Best Restaurants in Chicago

What makes a restaurant in an unequaled restaurant city one of the best? It's a delicate formula of fresh food, innovative presentations, cutting edge ideas, interesting combinations plus price, ambiance and service.

These 10 places promise a stellar experience and a distinctive taste of Chicago.

At most of the listed Chicago spots, it&rsquos more than a meal but rather a downright experience. Reservations at places like Alinea can take a while to secure but expect a multi-hour session that involves all of your senses at a James Beard award-winning and Michelin-star standout. The model of successful chef-driven restaurants? That would be Boka.

A stop at aba is like a whirlwind taste voyage to the Mediterranean with visits to Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, if you can wrap your brain and taste buds around that. Temporis' menu defines "seasonal" and the restaurant's own indoor hydroponic garden brings a bounty of herbs, greens and flowers to the courses year round. Daisies won a Jean Banchet Award for Best Neighborhood Restaurant in Chicago in 2018 and its vegetable-driven and pasta focused menu continues to wow in a comfortable, unfussy atmosphere. Everyone loves Mexican food but combine it with French technique and Michelin starred phenom, Chef Carlos Gaytan, and expect fireworks at Tzuco.

The Publican is a sure thing for Happy Hour, dinner or weekend brunch, indoors or out and Smyth is the embodiment of the celebration of the table. Diners are treated to an authentic home-cooked experience, heritage techniques and secret family recipes at Virtue. And you can't beat the exceptional, seasonal, Piemontese fare at Osteria Langhe.

Taste, of course, is subjective and if there were a list of the 50 best in Chicago, we would probably hit on many of your choices. Let's call these 10 among the best restaurants in Chicago, so if you're in the market for an inevitably impressive dining experience, make your reservation.


BEST CHICAGO RESTAURANTS FOR BREAKFAST

DOVE’S LUNCHEONETTE

Before you start exploring all the vintage shops like the trendy Moon Voyage shop to classic pieces from Vintage Underground, and unique boutiques in Wicker Park, you need to fuel up on a hearty breakfast and the spot to go is Dove’s Luncheonette. This American neighborhood diner will take you back to the soul and blues era of Chicago in the 1960s and 70s with its comfort food and full mezcal and tequila bar. The chicken fried chicken was one of the best I’ve ever had and love that Dove’s Luncheonette serves local coffee, Dark Matter. Pro tip: Play a song on the jukebox for just a dime.

What to order: chicken fried chicken and burnt ends hash

FIRECAKES

You have to eat doughnuts when visiting Chicago and the spot to go is Firecakes. The artisanal donuts are made in small batches from an old family recipe with flavors like buttermilk old fashioned to candied pepper bacon and maple long john. The Tahitian vanilla iced is what Firecakes is known for but might as well get the Valrhona chocolate iced to eat later.

What to order: Tahitian vanilla iced

STAN’S DONUTS

When I walked by Stan’s and saw all the beautiful doughnuts in the case, I had to go in! Greeted by the smell of freshly baked doughnuts and a super cute Instagrammable space makes Stan’s a must eat stop in Chicago. The Le Stan’ Croissant Donut was layers and layers of flaky goodness with a creamy center.

What to order: Le Stan’ Croissant Donut

1560 N Damen Ave, and multiple other Chicago locations, stansdonutschicago.com


Best desserts in Chicago

1. Proxi

Chef Andrew Zimmerman&rsquos menu at Proxi blends borders and pulls from every corner of the globe, so it's no surprise that pastry chef Sarah Mispagel's desserts follow suit. Try black raspberry kulfi (a play on an Indian dessert) or down spoonfuls of chocolate custard with Vietnamese coffee. But our favorite dessert of all is the tres leches cake, a cube of dense, milk-laden pastry showered in strawberries, shards of meringue and bits of caramelized goat&rsquos milk.

2. Elske

Anna Posey's name is synonymous with whimsical, well-crafted desserts. At Elske, the restaurant she owns with her husband, David, Anna crafts mind-blowing confections that are truly special. Though the options change with the season, one of our old favorites (and an exemplary specimen) is the fried sourdough rosette with vanilla custard and hearth-roasted pear butter.

3. Marisol

Seasonal flavors&mdashwhat's available at the farmers market, really&mdashdictate the menu at Marisol, located inside the Museum of Contemporary Art in Streeterville. Honey panna cotta gets a zing of citrus from fresh blood orange, the flourless chocolate cake is dressed with huckleberry creme fraiche ice cream, and the buckwheat cake gets a helping hand from preserved apples.

4. Acadia

After he graduated from Kendall College, chef Ryan McCaskey took a gig as a pastry chef at an acclaimed Wisconsin restaurant. These days, he's the head honcho at two-Michelin&ndashstarred Acadia in the South Loop, where dessert is an important part of his 10-course tasting menu. Though the lineup of sweets is constantly changing, we were blown away by a bite that included roasted pineapple, zephyr caramel mousse and durian ice cream.

5. Pacific Standard Time

Inspired by California, Pacific Standard Time dessert menu is rife with fresh, summery flavors. Taste the bounty with dishes like the citrus pavlova, which is paired with lemongrass pudding, yuzu curd, grapefruit granita and mint. Or indulge with the sweet and savory chocolate budino with miso caramel, creme fraiche ice cream and candied sesame.

6. Margeaux Brasserie

You didn't think this upscale French restaurant in the Gold Coast would skimp on desserts, did you? At Margeaux Brasserie, the last course is a show, with options like a giant chocolate macaron stuffed with fresh raspberries and milk chocolate crémeux or the banana tarte tatin with warm citrus caramel that's poured tableside.

7. Entente

The casual fine dining concept from Brian Fisher and Ty Fujimura offers a stellar lineup of painstakingly beautiful plates to share. Just be sure to save room for dessert. The offerings are always changing, but unique ingredients (finger lime, lemongrass, white port) and attention to detail make this section shine.

8. Dos Urban Cantina

This Mexican eatery in Logan Square has a more robust dessert menu than you might expect. That's where Jennifer Jones Enyart shows off her wildly inventive talents with a coconut tres leches with mezcal meringue and an unforgettable mint chocolate chip sundae with hot fudge and toasted marshmallow. If it's your first time, order the aptly named "Best Piece of Chocolate Cake" with two layers of heavenly pastry glued together and sealed with rich chocolate frosting.

9. Maple & Ash

Like any good steakhouse, Maple & Ash boasts an indulgent dessert menu for those who need something sweet to cap off the night. The Sundae Service is perfect for a small group and comes with three flavors of ice cream, hot fudge, peanut butter sauce, toffee crunch, sprinkles, seasonal fruit and more. Or opt for something from the pastry section, with decadent choices like coconut cream pie with rum chantilly or an apple galette with earl gray ice cream.

10. Beatrix

A healthy-fare-meets-comfort-food concept informs the menus at this cheerful River North restaurant and, to be sure, many of the dessert offerings&mdashlike the chia pudding with coconut milk and pomegranate&mdashcleave to this ethos. And then there&rsquos the Oh My! Caramel Pie, a tall wedge of luxurious burnished caramel&mdashless dense than dulce de leche, but not by much&mdashatop a shortbread crust so buttery it shatters beneath your fork. It&rsquos a devil-may-care-for-health kind of dessert, and it&rsquos worth it. For a sweet fix to go, check out the coffee counter&rsquos selection of enormous and excellent cookies.

11. Mindy's HotChocolate

James Beard Award&ndashwinning pastry chef Mindy Segal is something like the mama of the Chicago dessert scene, and her loft-like Bucktown restaurant/dessert bar is a longstanding favorite among locals and visitors who want to skip straight to the sweet course. Order from a menu of rich hot chocolates that vary in sweetness (sugar fiends will lap up the medium, while spice lovers will appreciate the subtly smoldering Mexican).


The Best Restaurants in Chicago

Finding a place to eat in Chicago is easy with these tried-and-true suggestions.

Related To:

Photo By: Jason Little ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason Little Photography

Photo By: Jason Little ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Galdones Photography

Photo By: Jason Little ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason Little ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason Little ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason Little ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Galdones Photography

Photo By: Jason Little ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason Little ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Welcome to Chicago

Chicago has always been considered a meat and potatoes town, a down-home Midwestern respite for hearty appetites. But these days those potatoes are likely to be soaked in clarified butter, gilded with black truffle and perched on a custom-designed steel pin ready to be dropped into a bowl of silky vichyssoise (as is the case at the international destination restaurant Alinea). Chicago is now a world-class food city, ripe with incredible mom and pop diners, tantalizing taquerias and some of the best prix-fixe vegetarian meals found anywhere. Check out this city guide to see what the Windy City dining scene is truly all about.

Pizza: Pequod’s

Gino, Giordano&rsquos and Malnati&rsquos&mdashall legendary sellers of slices so thick you need to eat &lsquoem with a knife and fork. But the pizza spot that towers over all of them is Pequod&rsquos, purveyor of a focaccia-style crust baked in cast-iron pans blackened with decades of seasoning. Don&rsquot let the cheesy lingerie-clad whale logo deter you. These pies are serious and sprinkled with so much cheese that it oozes toward the edges during baking to emerge as a caramelized, nutty halo of crisp goodness. There are plenty of toppings to choose from, but the quintessential Chicago combo features thick knobs of fresh sausage and sweet white onion.

Icon: Superdawg

Pie: Hoosier Mama

These pies are so good, the shops move up the pre-order windows for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Though they work to expand capacity, they find themselves shutting down the pre-order window earlier and earlier as well. What fans know is no matter how hard they try, they can&rsquot rival the intricate woven lattices, the shattery pastry, the burbling glossy local fruit filling, the velvety citrus curds and creamy chess variations that owner Paula Haney and her crew turn out like child&rsquos play.

Hot Spot: Giant

A few years ago, Chef Jason Vincent was on top of the world. After earning numerous awards and accolades, Vincent gave up his job at the highly rated, but now defunct, Nightwood to raise his daughter. In 2016 he came back with Giant, named after a Shel Silverstein poem he used to read to his daughter. Giant, as its name suggests, is a huge success. It&rsquos packed every night with people seeking a one-bite umami bomb of deep-fried sea urchin packed with sweetened condensed milk, tamari and butter. Though Vincent is a top talent, he&rsquos eschewed fine dining in favor of turning out mostly simple classics like buttermilk-marinated crisp onion rings and smoked ribs lacquered with the perfect finger-licking lustrous sauce.

Detroit-Style and Neapolitan Pizza: Paulie Gee’s

Given the longstanding rivalry with New York for civic supremacy, and the fact that we&rsquore talking about some of Chicago&rsquos most-essential spots, it might seem weird that a Brooklyn-born pizza joint would make this list. But Paulie Gee&rsquos turns out some of Chicago&rsquos best Detroit-style square pizzas, easily passing the Friday-night craving test. Which is to say, when your inhibitions are down, Gee&rsquos pies are the ones you crave. The wood-fired and blistered crusts of their Neapolitan pies feature a cross-section of airy bubbles that look more like a croissant than a pizza, and the crispy caramelized cheese-edged Detroit squares have a killer crunch.

Sandwich: Al’s Beef

BBQ: Smoque

The myths of great barbecue are legion. Some suggest great &rsquocue only exists in the south, that it must be produced by a grizzled veteran, or that a manual smoker stoked with hand-chopped hickory is the only way. The iconoclastic Smoque challenges most of those conventions while turning out some of the best smoky meats in the Midwest and beyond. Purists might scoff at the use of an automated smoker, but the product, glistening salt and pepper-rubbed brisket, toothsome ribs, featuring a lacquered sweet bark and tender pulled pork, are the real deal.

Pasta: Daisies

Daisies makes fantastic pastas, but the best pasta is, technically, not on the menu: hand-cut tajarin or tagliatelle-like noodles glazed with butter and dusted with parmesan, devised to satisfy picky kids. Those who stick to the menu will be well rewarded with toothsome options tossed with fresh produce from Chef Joe Frillman&rsquos brother&rsquos farm. Frillman&rsquos definition of pasta is wide-ranging and also includes Babcia-worthy pierogi tossed with clams and lemon-saison broth.

Biscuit Brunch: Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

The dining room is tiny and, appropriately, wedge-shaped like a slice of pie. Despite that diminutiveness, every weekend lines of folks spill out on the sidewalk biding their time, waiting for their chance to sample fluffy biscuits larded with maple-glazed ham, candied bacon or traditional sawmill gravy. Even vegetarians can get in on the action with the farmer&rsquos biscuit featuring garden delights like cherry tomatoes, cucumber and kale.

California in Chicago: Pacific Standard Time

The baseline these days for an average restaurant is making some level of commitment to using local ingredients. Top restaurants are often slavish to using inputs with low food mileage. So imagine how awful a restaurant in the Midwest named after a west coast time zone that uses a lot of produce from California must be? Turns out, not very. Pacific Standard Time is one of the very best restaurants to open in Chicago in the last few years. Chef Erling Wu-Bower blazes a trail with his wood-fired hearth, serving up leopard-print charred pita, sticky fish-sauce spiked chicken wings, and, yes, California berries mingled with snap peas and sumac over fire-roasted toast.

Modern Deli: Steingold’s

If you&rsquore looking to recapture the nostalgic bite of your bubbe&rsquos babka, look elsewhere. Owner Aaron Steingold is certainly inspired by delis past, but innovates in a way that suggests he is its future. Pastrami here is made from high-end Wagyu beef that&rsquos been slow-smoked for six hours and rubbed with a secret spice mix. It&rsquos piled high on locally baked Publican rye bread and crowned with smoked sauerkraut and a gooey lick of Russian dressing. Kimchi, a nod to Steingold&rsquos Korean sister-in-law, makes an appearance on another pastrami sandwich with anchovy mustard, and latkes are made with traditional potato, but also spiked with a touch of nutty parsnip.

Burger: Owen & Engine

Parisian Café Eats: Petit Margeaux

Even when you can&rsquot get to Paris, it gets to you. Which is to say, the craving for a shattering macaron, a golden baguette or a flaky pain au chocolate eventually overtakes most of us. Thankfully, in this case, Chicagoans have Petit Margeaux, a hushed café located just off the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria, which &mdash with its heady coffee bean perfume, jewel-toned pastries, and crusty yeasty assortment of breads &mdash fulfills all the French café clichés. But, it does so in a soulful way with a touch of modernity that staves off cheesiness. The French dip, shaved silky beef topped with a nest of golden caramelized onion, eats like a cross between Chicago&rsquos famed Italian beef and a crock of French onion soup. Eclairs are classic, ganache-licked, custard-rich choux dough, but strawberry-chevre cheesecake, a mix of funky goat cheese and farm-fresh strawberry jam glaze, is delightfully unexpected.

Fried Shrimp: Haire’s Gulf Shrimp

Chicago is nowhere near an ocean and yet, fried shrimp shacks dot the landscape almost as much as Italian beef joints or deep-dish pizza parlors. Most places serve thick under-salted flour-laden clumps. Haire&rsquos, however, purveys a light, golden crispy battered and butterflied shrimp so addictive, it can be eaten like popcorn. Though it needs no celebrity endorsement, Chance the Rapper has been spotted at this Southside gem.

Haute Chinese: Duck, Duck, Goat

Chinese food in Chicago was generally considered quick, cheap and good takeout fare. That is, until Top Chef champion and Chicago master chef Stephanie Izard, who grew up making Mandarin pancakes and moo shu pork with her mom, got involved. At Duck, Duck, Goat, Izard reinvents Szechuan chicken by getting rid of the tongue-searing heat that blows your palate in favor of grassy low-heat shishito peppers. Her char siu, or barbecue ribs, are cooked sous vide until tender, then brushed with bourbon-and-honey-infused hoisin. Noodles are hand-pulled and have a soulful chew.

Italian Deli: Tempesta Market

Take the traditional Italian market, add some rock-and-roll references plus the pursuit of quality inherent in a stalwart deli like Ann Arbor&rsquos Zingerman&rsquos and you&rsquove got Tempesta Market. Appetizers include (Sympathy for the Meatballs) Berkshire pork meatballs glazed in tomato basil sauce, and gem lettuces tossed with rosy-hued curls of roast beef, shiny curds of stracciatella and a lustrous herb vinaigrette. Sandwiches like the Southside Johnny feature sourdough stuffed with juicy rosemary broth-splashed porchetta, grilled Wisconsin cheese, verdant broccolini, and spicy garlicky chimichurri that kick the butt of your average Italian hero.

Thai: Rainbow

Great Thai places in Chicago are often revered for their secret menus and adherence to regional specialties like fermented chile-flecked Issan sausage, limey banana blossom salads and blow-your-head-off jungle curries. Fantastic versions of all of these exist at Rainbow, but ironically what sets it apart is the generally more mainstream pad see ew, which can be bland and gummy elsewehre. At Rainbow, you order it extra-crispy and get sweet fried noodles blistering with bubbles that crunch like fried chicken skin tossed with soy-lacquered beef and tufts of broccoli spears for a delicious reinvention of a classic.

New Orleans in Chicago: Ina Mae Tavern

Chef Brian Jupiter has the soul of the bayou running through his blood. Unlike any cook before him, he has somehow found a way to bring a taste of The Big Easy to Chicago at Ina Mae Tavern. Chargrilled oysters bubble with butter, while fried crawfish tails are addictive like popcorn shrimp. Roast beef and crispy shrimp &ldquosurf and turf&rdquo stuffed between crusty bread channels the best of New Orleans&rsquos stalwarts like Parkway Bakery and Domilise&rsquos.

Midwestern Middle-Eastern: Aba

Nationally, there&rsquos been a run of chef-driven Israeli and Middle-Eastern restaurants including Zahav in Philadelphia and Shaya in New Orleans. Chicago gets in the game with Aba, from C. J. Jacobson. If you&rsquore used to snack packs of commodity grocery store hummus, you will be blown away by Jacobson&rsquos velvety version made from fresh-ground chickpeas. Jacobsen offers a variety of toppings on his hummus, but none is better than the one piled high with crispy short ribs dripping in gravy. Aba also has what might arguably be the best patio dining in Chicago, a huge veranda studded with couches and all kinds of greenery that overlooks downtown&rsquos skyscrapers. If you don&rsquot arrive when Aba opens, you&rsquoll be waiting two or three deep at the bar waiting to score an outdoor spot later in the evening. The good is that a few sips of the boozy Life on Freezy Street, a frozen slushie of Sauvignon Blanc, grapefruit, passionfruit and lime juices, will help you pass the time easily.

Modern Mexican: Mi Tocaya Antojeria

Innovation in Chicago&rsquos Mexican cooking scene has historically been confined to Rick Bayless restaurants and the occasional fast-food promotion. But Diana Davila&rsquos Mi Tocaya Antojeria in Logan Square is rooted in tradition &mdash like soulful rich moles &mdash but also punctuated by furiously creative touches like pairing peanut butter with pastrami-like cured lengua, or serving frozen slushies filled with rosé and local Michigan farm strawberries.

Polish (and Korean) Sausage: Kimski Dog

Chicago has a long history of 24-hour joints serving up grilled reddish kielbasa links overflowing with sunburst-yellow mustard and golden caramelized onion, aka the Maxwell Polish. Chicago is also a melting-pot town, and it was only a matter of time before the Polish influence was mixed with a little Korean spice to produce a hot dog that someday might rival the classic dragged-through-the-garden Chicago hot dog. Behold the Kimski dog, a thick hunk of Polish sausage topped with soju-liquor-spiked mustard and fermented kimchi sauerkraut stuffed into a pillowy split-top, lobster roll-style bun. The richness of the meat is foiled by the mustard and kimchi brightness, providing a hot dog that bursts like flavor fireworks.

More Than a Steakhouse: GT Prime

Normally we&rsquod stay away from the meat-and-potatoes cliches that often define Chicago, but in the case of GT Prime, it&rsquos mandatory. That&rsquos because, though it bills itself as a steakhouse, GT Prime is really more like a fine-dining restaurant that just happens to also serve top-shelf meat. You won&rsquot find 2-pound hunks of rib eye instead, reasonable 4-ounce portions of top-class wagyu strip steak or grass-fed bison already cut for you are on offer. You&rsquoll supplement those manageable beef portions with airy arancini puffs dripping with mortadella-spiked cheese fondue and creamy risotto rice, or opt for tangles of bigoli fortified with beef, pork and veal-enriched Bolognese sauce. Prices are reasonable, relative to old-school spots, which means your stomach, wallet and clients will all be happy.

Cocktail Bar: Aviary

Tacos al Pastor via the Sea: Lena Brava

Taquerias are pretty much on every corner in Chicago, and many of them serve good tacos al pastor, aka spit-roasted pork topped with a bit of roast pineapple. Not every corner, however, has golden god of Mexican cuisine Rick Bayless modernizing regional Mexican food like he does at the corner of Randolph and Peoria. Instead of going to the old pig standby, Bayless opted for wood-fired and blackened flaky cod rubbed with chile, pineapple and achiote paste stuffed into springy, fresh housemade tortillas and topped with zingy sweet pineapple salsa. The flavor is deep and conjures a Mexican street market, but it also leaves diners feeling much lighter than after the pork version.

Scandinavian: Elske

Because of the overt influence of Noma, Danish cuisine conjures visions for many people of food wrapped in hay or edible algae. But the Danish-inspired Elske is less about crazy ingredients and techniques, and more about celebrating the spirit of hygge, or the Danish pursuit of cozy contentment. From the roaring patio fireplace to a comforting bowl of roast mushrooms swimming in pear cream, contentment is exactly what you get. Chefs David and Anna Posey push boundaries, serving up a shot of smoked fruit and vegetable tea or savory-skewing desserts like sunflower-seed parfait, but their creative efforts are always inspiring and never alienating.

Seafood: MFK

Though it&rsquos subterranean, landlocked and tiny, MFK, with its whitewashed walls and penny tiles, evokes a seaside hideaway in Barcelona. Those lucky enough to score one of the handful of tables will be rewarded with a beautiful pour of nicely acidic and crisp txakolina and a plate of boquerones, pristine anchovy fillets marinated in vinegar and topped with curls of shaved fennel and zingy piquillo peppers, all perched on smoky grilled baguettes. Tuck into the cataplana, a tomato-and-anise-flavored stew larded with flaky bits of cobia collar and fresh buttery shrimp farmed in, of all places, western Indiana. Like the stories from its namesake, celebrated food writer MFK Fisher, this restaurant will transport you to another place.

Cheap Eat: Fatso’s Last Stand

Rock-Star Pastry Chef: Meg Galus

Though savory food has soared in Chicago, desserts have waned. Many high-end restaurants let savory chefs do the sweets or rely on tired standards like flourless chocolate cake or creme brulee. Pastry Chef Meg Galus is a craftswoman whose skills and inventiveness rival savory colleagues like superchef Grant Achatz. At Swift & Sons, Galus masterfully interplays temperature, acidity, salt and sugar to create shocking and delightful contrasts with her desserts. Recent star plates include a deconstructed riff on Cracker Jack, featuring a dome of cool peanut butter mousse topped with warm house-popped caramel corn and a popcorn sherbet that tasted of fresh sweet corn plucked from the field. There&rsquos also a carrot cake that features a cream cheese mousse-stuffed cake roll dripping with whiskey-soaked ice cream and praline crunch bars.

Nepalese: Chiya Chai

Any good food city worth its salt has sushi, pizza or a good taqueria, but how many of them have world-class Nepalese? Chicago certainly didn&rsquot, until the launch of Chiya Chai from Nepalese tea importers Swadesh and Saujanya Shrestha and their wives, Rajee Aryal and Nadine Schaefer. The chai tea &mdash far from the syrup-based stuff found at coffee chains &mdash is made from freshly ground spices and top-class tea leaves. Foodwise, Chiya&rsquos chile potatoes feature a yin yang of tangy vinegar and sweet honey, plus a little pepper heat. The chicken balti pie is flaky and filled with coriander- and cumin-perfumed slices of silky chicken.


Best Chicago Restaurants from Triple D

Take a look back at Guy Fieri's favorite Chicago eats from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Related To:

Photo By: Jason Little ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jason Little Photography ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

St. Louis Ribs: Smoque BBQ

Even the baked beans are smoky at this aptly named Chicago barbecue restaurant . The meaty menu makes it hard to decide, but ribs &mdash available as baby backs or meaty St. Louis style &mdash are especially excellent, coated in a Memphis-style dry rub and glazed with a sweet, tangy barbecue sauce.

Mussels: Hopleaf Bar

This Belgian-style Andersonville bar doesn't do regular old pub food. Instead of wings and burgers, they serve incredible mussels and charcuterie, with a lengthy menu of craft beers.

Umami Burger: bopNgrill

At this food counter, Chef Will Son cooks "righetous" all-American classics with a Korean spin. The Umami Burger, topped with bacon, truffled mushroom duxelle, sun-dried tomato confit and togarashi mayo, made Guy's list of top 10 burgers and is great with a side of kimchi fries.

Thin Crust Pizza: The Original Vito & Nick's Pizzeria

Thin-crust pizza may be blasphemy in Chicago, but the Original Vito & Nick's thin-crust pizza has been winning over locals since 1932 with toppings like Chicago-style Italian beef or runny egg

Blueberry Bison Burger: DMK Burger Bar

DMK goes beyond the burger with clever updates to the classic. Top grass-fed patties with Reuben ingredients &mdash pastrami, sauerkraut and cheese &mdash or New Mexico's Hatch green chilies and smoked bacon. The restaurant can also swap out the beef patty for alternative fillings. Guy loved the bison burger with blueberry barbecue sauce, goat cheese and marinated onions, and the salmon burger with Thai curry mayonnaise and Asian coleslaw.

Swedish Meatballs: Tre Kronor

Guy headed to North Park to get his Scandinavian fix , with dishes like classic Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce, and fluffy Swedish pancakes.

Pulled Pork: Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe

Southern comfort at this Burbank Cafe ranges from barbecue to Tex-Mex, including ribs, po' boys and fried chicken, but the pulled pork is one of the true standouts. It cooks for 12 hours in a garlic-infused achiote paste before spending another hour in the smoker. After being shredded and getting doused in pan juice, it's ready to be served.

Chicken Flautas: Chilam Balam

This farm-to-table BYOB puts a "punk rock twist" on Mexican small plates, including grilled pork ribs with honey-pasilla sauce, and Duck Tinga. Guy's favorite was the flautas stuffed with chicken thighs in chipotle sauce.

Cuban Chicken Dinner: 90 Miles Cuban Cafe

Named for the distance between Key West and Havana, this Cuban restaurant features family recipes from owner Alberto Gonzalez, including slow-roasted pork with bacon and guava, and chicken braised in Creole sauce.

Fish & Chips: Big & Little's

Two chefs used their life savings to start this gourmet fast-food restaurant , with beer-battered burgers, fish tacos and combinations like foie gras with fries. Po' Boys include medium-rare ahi tuna, soft-shell crab and shrimp banh mi, but the fried pork belly with maple mayo is Guy's pick, described as "chicharrones meets pulled pork."

Slayer Burger: Kuma's Corner

Music is never far from mind at this bar : In addition to a rocking soundtrack, nearly all the burgers are named for bands. Try the Slayer: a bunless patty on a pile of fries, topped with chili, andouille sausage, cherry peppers, onions and cheese.

Fish Empanadas: Garifuna Flava

This Caribbean Joint is a taste of Belize in the heart of Chicago with authentic dishes like Hudut Baruru with Takini (fish soup with a side of mashed plantains) and fish empanadas. For the empanadas, a large cut of buffalo fish is cooked in a broth with vegetables, garlic, paprika and black pepper, shredded and wrapped in homemade, pressed masa and deep-fried until they're perfectly browned and crisp.

Meatball Sandwich: Panozzo's Italian Market

The pork meatballs at Panozzo's Italian Market are held together by a special blend of milk-soaked breadcrumbs and a freshly made vegetable sofrito made up of onions, celery, crushed red chili flakes, currants and salt-packed capers. The meatballs are then fried and doused in house made tomato sauce.

Chifrijo: Irazu

This Costa Rican staple starts with a layer of black bean soup, a scoop of rice, and an extra scoop of black beans. Then pork belly is cooked with garlic, deep fried and scooped over the black beans with a house made pico de gallo. The chifrijo is finished with slices of avocado and a drizzle of Lizano salsa.

Memphis Style Barbecue: Honky Tonk BBQ

What started out as a traveling rig, morphed into an award-winning barbecue restaurant helmed by self-taught pit master Willy Wagner. The secret to Honky Tonk's Memphis style 'cue is their dry rub made up of over 17 different spices including paprika, chili powder, sage, garlic and a variety of peppers.

Sicilian Schiaccata: Rex Italian Foods

"If a pizza met a sandwich and had a baby," is how co-owner Anthony Pinello describes this Sicilian staple at Rex Italian Foods House-made dough is topped with mozzarella cheese, cooked prosciutto, pepperoni and deep-fried peppers, heated in the oven and crisped on a panini press. "It's like a real-deal Italian style ham and cheese," guy says.

Shrimp-Oyster Po' Boy: Nana

The grilled shrimp for Nana's po' boy are season with Chile de árbol, garlic and parsley, while the oysters are soaked in buttermilk for two days, dredged in a Cajun rub and deep-fried. The sandwich is finished with a house-made gribiche flavored with whole grain mustard, roasted garlic, tarragon, caperberries and fresh lemon juice.


Fun fact: this national vegan chain is headquartered right here in Chicago. Swing by the Loop, Wicker Park, Hyde Park, or Lincoln Park location for a cauliflower chickpea shawarma bowl, taco salad (made with plant-based taco &ldquomeat&rdquo), and a cold-pressed green juice.

This Mediterranean-inspired spot focuses on small plates, which you can enjoy at home or on the heated patio. Treat yourself to a spread of charred eggplant with house-made yogurt drizzled with olive oil, green falafel with beet tzatziki, or salmon kebabs&mdashor all of the above! Ema&rsquos focus on small plates makes it easy (and feasible) to order multiple plates that strike your fancy.


The 15 Best Pasta Dishes In Chicago

We love all forms of pasta year round, but we seriously crave a big bowl of warm carb goodness come winter to help aid the chill in our bones. And we never force our noodle habit into just one cuisine. We love slurping up Ramen, digging into Pad Thai or the homey comforts of a good Mac & Cheese.

Below are 15 picks from our staff for our favorite ways to satisfy when the craving hits for all things pasta.


(Cappellacci at Due Lire/Melissa Wiley)

Cappellacci at Due Lire
Pasta is traditionally a primi piatti, meaning there’s a secondi soon to follow. So however much I may like my first course, I’d still rather it not displace my second. Due Lire does things right, keeping its portions in check so you can still enjoy some meat or fish afterward and then some dolci after that. The lightest of the pasta dishes here also happens to be my favorite, perhaps because my love of all things squash doesn’t end with autumn’s pumpkin trade. The cappellaci with butternut squash, almonds and pecorino ($15) acts as an ample appetite stimulant for those who plan to go the distance with a larger main course. The brown butter sauce accents the squash without overwhelming its natural sweetness, while the almonds add subtle sprigs of texture. The fact that owner Massimo Di Vuolo numbers among the kindest restaurant proprietors in the city only make this fortune-cookie shaped pasta taste that much better. —Melissa Wiley

Due Lire is located at 4520 N. Lincoln.


Breakfast Spaghetti at Little Goat Diner
Spaghetti for breakfast? No way! Little Goat Diner is Chef Stephanie Izard’s upscale greasy spoon located right across the street from her Michelin Bib Gourmand Girl & the Goat. Like it’s more sophisticated parent restaurant, Little Goat is filled with eclectic, wild flavors. Some of the most unusual menu items are located under the alluring heading, “Cereal Killers,” where you’ll find the the breakfast spaghetti n’ clams n’ crabs. In this hideous but delicious dish, the spaghetti noodles are coated in egg and pan fried, creating a crispy mass that floats in a fresh, deeply flavored clam broth. Meaty clams, bits of crab, pork guanciale, bok choy and parmesan also adorn the dish. It’s quite possible the strangest pasta dish I’ve ever had, but it actually works wonderfully. The crispiness of the pasta never disintegrates and the flavors collide but never muddle. It’s impressive and plentiful enough to fill you up. — Erika Kubick

Little Goat Diner is located at 820 W Randolph St


Mac & Cheese at Lockdown
Their specialty is burgers, but the Mac & Cheese at Lockdown ranks in as one of the other great things coming out of their kitchen. Twisty noodles with a creamy cheese sauce, you can get it as a side or as an entree and add as many toppings as you want from their extensive list of fruits, veggies and proteins. You’re right if you’re thinking this sounds a lot like Kumas, but if I was forced to choose between the two starchy dishes, I’d go with Lockdown’s simply based on cheese consistency. Both give you heaping portions that almost guarantee you’ll be taking some home, and theirs is just easier to reheat (especially when you’ve got a heavy metal hangover). — Michelle Meywes

Lockdown is located at 1024 N. Western Ave.


Pasta at Publican
Dinner at the Publican is all about family style sharing, passing your plate and digging in to rich delicious dishes that remind you of home (but probably taste better). One dish I always like to order and share with a friend is the pasta at Publican. The ingredients change around but the ingredients are always top notch, making for an incredible dish. The fresh pasta is cooked perfectly, coated with whatever delicious meaty concoction of the moment. My favorite I had was a sauce of chicken liver, so rich and smooth that me and my dining guest could barely finish the order. The current option on the menu is a tagliatelle with rabbit, jarrahdale squash and cerignola olives, a wonderful mix for the winter. Whatever is being featured is sure to be a treat. Publican truly showcases that if you have the best ingredients you can create the most deliciously simple dish. — Lisa White

The Publican is located at 837 W. Fulton Market.


Pad Thai at Penny's Noodle Shop
Whenever I’m in need of a carb boost, I’m craving the Pad Thai at Penny’s Noodle Shop. The dish comes with your choice of protein and is topped with chopped peanuts, bean sprouts, red cabbage and cilantro. Simple enough, but it’s the sweet yet hearty and savory sauce that sets theirs apart from other run of the mill Thai joints. With three locations in the city (and two suburban), your stir fried noodle dish is never far away, plus they deliver if you don’t want to brave the elements. — Michelle Meywes

Penny’s Noodle Shop has locations in Wrigleyville (3400 N. Sheffield), Lincoln Park (950 W. Diversey) and Wicker Park (1542 N. Damen).


(Chicken Ramen/Union Sush + Barbecue's Facebook)

Chicken Ramen at Union Sushi + Barbecue
Forget Grandma’s Chicken Soup. The next time I’m sick I’m going to whine until someone brings me a bowl of Chicken Ramen from Union Sushi + Barbecue. The giant bowl is filled with steaming fragrant broth, house made ramen noodles, daikon, cabbage, green onion, cilantro and big chunks of chicken. Gluten-free eaters who haven’t gotten to enjoy ramen this winter are extra lucky with the option of gluten-free noodles. Make sure to add a heaping dose of the chili paste that’s served along with the ramen. I only ate about half my bowl at the restaurant, and still had a full soup container to take home. This is definitely a sick-day staple in my house. — Jennifer A. Freeman

Union Sushi + Barbecue is located at 230 W Erie St.


Farfalle Pollo at The Pasta Bowl
When I lived over in Lincoln Park, you could find me at The Pasta Bowl multiple nights a week, either introducing a friend to their pastas (which you can watch them prepare) or grabbing dinner to-go. My favorite dish was the Farfalle Pollo: a creamy, tomatoey sauce with chicken, mushrooms and basil served over bowtie pasta. Their menu is pretty straight forward, as their name says, just bowls of pasta with salads, apps and paninis. They’ve also got a mobile food truck that is usually parked at 325 E. Superior during the week at lunch time. Get a lunch portion with a beverage for only $4.50. If you’re dining in, though, head on over to The Other Side (the attached bar) for a drink afterwards. — Michelle Meywes

The Pasta Bowl is located at 2434 N. Clark St.


Chilled Soba Noodle at bellyQ
I don’t usually bother with Asian noodles. If I want quick, cold carbs, I’ll just whip up some Annie’s bunny-shaped mac and cheese, leave the little yellow rabbits to cool in the fridge, and then eat them out of the saucepan. Problem solved. But Bill Kim turns even anodyne buckwheat noodles into something truly wicked and possibly wrong, into slippery green veins you might slay someone for if enough sauce lands on your tongue while one falls gleefully down the hatch and there’s only one bite left. The chilled soba noodles with poached shrimp and eggplant fall under the “refreshing” part of the menu, and they are that, but they also take you conceivably darker places than a Doris Day movie. The idea is to share here, but of these I’d recommend ordering your own. —Melissa Wiley

bellyQ is located at 1400 W. Randolph


Gnocchi at Cafe Spiaggia
Gnocchi can be difficult to pull off in restaurants. Many times, dishes can come out gooey or extremely dense. Other times, the dish can be covered in so much sauce that the gnocchi seems like an afterthought. Café Spiaggia shares the same kitchen as its 4-star sister, Spiaggia (currently being renovated), and puts out the same quality dishes at a fraction of the cost. Their gnocchi is absolutely superb combining light-as-air gnocchi with a wonderful wild-boar ragu. It is truly a soul-warming dish that is much needed on these cold, winter nights. — Paul Leddy

Café Spiaggia is located at 980 N. Michigan, Level 2


Pad See Ewe at Butterfly
If there's one thing that Butterfly can be applauded for (and there are many), it's the freshness of this Thai and sushi spot's ingredients. And while Pad See Ewe is a popular noodle dish in many of Chicago's Asian restaurants, Butterfly's is my favorite. The proteins (choice of chicken, pork, tofu or shrimp) are consistently well cooked and juicy. The delicious, savory brown sauce is well-proportioned and the uncommon addition of snow peas to the dish makes for a meal that's filling but won't leave you feeling like a greasy glutton. —Katie Karpowicz

Butterfly has multiple locations.


(Gio’s Cafe & Deli’s Baked Cavatelli/Chuck Sudo)

Baked Cavatelli at Gio’s Cafe & Deli’s
This Chicagoist “One Great Dish” selection remains a favorite of mine especially on days like this where I wait for the snowplows to clear the side streets and my neighbors to shovel their walks. The cavatelli here is cooked al dente and bubbles with a homemade marinara sauce, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, all perfectly baked and served with care at your table. And the dish is huge. There was a time when I was able to eat this all (with optional meatballs) in one sitting. Now I can get leftovers from it.&mdashChuck Sudo

Gio's Café and Deli is located at 2724 S. Lowe Ave.


Kao Soy at Andy’s Thai Kitchen
While many benchmark Thai restaurants by their Pad Thai, the benchmark dish in Thailand is typically Kao Soy. Andy’s Thai Kitchen puts out an excellent rendition of the dish. Egg noodles swim in a bowl of yellow curry, along with chicken, onions, crushed peanuts and mustard greens. The pungent greens provide flavor contrast to the sweet curry. Topping the dish is a nest of crispy noodles, providing a textural contrast as well. —Benjy Lipsman

Andy’s Thai Kitchen is located at 946 West Wellington Avenue


Rigatoni Boscaiola at La Gondola
When I'm looking for some Italian comfort food, my usual go-to dish is the Rigatoni Boscaiola at La Gondola. This pasta dish strikes the right balance of richness without being heavy. Rigatoni is tossed in a cream tomato sauce, with fresh mushrooms, sauteed Italian sausage and fresh sage. This hearty dish is perfect this time of year, when you need something to warm you up after coming in from the cold. —Benjy Lipsman

La Gondola has two Lakeview locations.


Risotto at Pizzeria da Nella
Nella Grassano makes some of the best pizzas in Chicago but that isn’t the only thing to eat at her Lincoln Park restaurant. The risottos here are some of the best I’ve ever eaten with recipes handed down from Grassano’s family over generations. Choose from four cheese, contadina or my favorite, the pescatora. This mix of mussels, clams, shrimp, calamari and cherry tomatoes is so rich you’ll ask yourself if the Mediterranean has any aquatic life left in it. The flavors are perfectly balanced, the risotto among the creamiest and rich you’ll ever experience.&mdashChuck Sudo

Pizzeria da Nella is located at 1443 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago and 598 E. North Ave. in Carol Stream.


Spaghetti at Bar Ombra
I love when a standard dish gets turned on its head and that’s what happens at this Andersonville restaurant. Wendesday is not Prince spaghetti day here and the noodles don’t come to your table drenched in red sauce. Instead, they’re dressed in olive oil, garlic, parsley and chilis and topped with crispy breadcrumbs, making for a slightly lighter dish that doesn’t lack for flavor yet won’t leave you weighted down should you want to head out and burn some calories. &mdashChuck Sudo


Some of the best restaurants in Chicago for an incredible dining experience

1. Alinea – For once in a lifetime culinary experience

Location: 1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Treat yourself to the divine dishes of American and global cuisines at one of best restaurants in Chicago. With a varied menu and vegan and gluten-free counterparts, Alinea has three different sections namely the Gallery, Salon and Kitchen Table. The Gallery is located at the first floor and provides a multi-sensory 16-18 course menu, whereas, the Salon is at the second floor and offers 10-14 course menu. The Kitchen Table is a private dining option and offers outstanding experience in terms of fusion food and its presentations.

Be it liquid nitrogen on orange juice, square shaped frozen egg or shrimps in an ice bowl, dining at Alinea is no less than a thrilling culinary adventure. The state-of-the-art approach towards contemporary dishes has helped to earn aplenty prestigious awards and recognitions to Alinea like Michelin 3-Star rating and 13th rank in World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Must try: Pork Belly in Mango Gravy, Black Truffle Potato and Orange Juice with Dry Ice
Opening hours: 5 pm to 10 pm. Only on Mondays and Tuesdays, the restaurant closes at 9:30 pm
Average cost for two: INR 10,000 – 66,667

2. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse – Featuring authentic taste and classic decor

Location: 1028 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse probably serves the best steaks and seafood platters in Chicago and has earned lots of admirers due to its authentic recipes, classic décor and warm hospitality. You can enjoy sumptuous steaks, pork, beef, fish and crab dishes along with special desserts like carrot cake and turtle pie. The bar is well stocked and spacious and live band plays there every evening. The list of best restaurants in Chicago has Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in it.

Must try: WR.’s Chicago Cut, Filet Mignon and Roasted Prime Rib
Opening hours: 11 am to 2 pm
Average cost for two: INR 5333-7500

3. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab – For some irresistible steaks and seafood

Location: 60 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

One among the top-rated Chicago restaurants is Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab. It is a part of the popular chain of restaurants that opened their Chicago branch in 2000. At this luxury dining place, one can enjoy delectable steaks and seafood platters like Dover sole, lobster tail, shrimp cocktail and of course their speciality ‘stone crabs’. The freshly cooked Alaskan king crab served with asparagus and grilled tomatoes are surely sheer bliss for all foodies, especially seafood freaks. And if you skip the awesome desserts like lime pie and banana cream pie, you are surely going to miss a lot!

Must try: Crab Cakes, Oyster Rockefellers, Dover Sole and Alaskan King Crab
Opening hours: 11:30 am to 11 pm. The restaurant is open till midnight on Saturdays and closes at 10:30 pm on Sundays
Average cost for two: INR 2733-5333

4. Cherry Circle Room – Enjoy the mesmerising dining experience

Location: 2 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Perched on the second floor of Chicago Athletic Association hotel: Cherry Circle Room is another exemplary fine dining restaurant in Chicago. Showcasing various types of flavoursome cuisines like potato parsnip soup, scotch eggs, French onion soup and hamburgers and a huge bar with best of French wine and draft beer Cherry Circle Room delights each and every foody who visits here.

Must try: Grilled Spanish Octopus, Chateaubriand and Steamed Mussels
Opening hours: 7: 30 am to 2: 30 pm and 5 pm to 11 pm
Average cost for two: INR 2011-8850

5. The Chicago Diner – A delight for vegan people

Location: 2333 N. Milwaukee Ave.Chicago, IL 60647

If you are hunting for delectable vegetarian and vegan dishes, come to Chicago Diner. Popular for varieties of vegan and gluten-free menu, this is probably one of the most popular places to eat in Chicago for vegetarians and vegans. The black bean burgers, hash browns and lentil loaf served here can easily give tough competition to any non-vegetarian dish.

Must try: Taco Salad, Black Bean Burger and Cinnamon Rolls
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 11 am to 10 pm. Friday: 11 am- 11 pm. Saturday: 10 am- 11 pm and Sunday: 10 am- 10 pm.
Average cost for two: INR 2500-3000

6. Girl and the Goat – Innovative dishes, fun cocktails and lot more

Location: 809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

As funny and fancy as the name, this is one of the most iconic Chicago restaurants that specialises in tasty and bold flavoured foods with funky and lively ambience. Opened in 2010, this place is managed by chef Stephanie Izard, who prepares mouth-watering dishes and gives them a unique and exquisite final touch. If you are a real foodie and crave for some daring dishes, try their duck tongue, goat carpaccio, milk stout tiramisu, malt balls and goat belly.

Moreover, the lively bar with beer sourced from local breweries and exclusively named cocktails like banana in cabana and ring of fire and it’s always sunny in Oaxaca, make the place all the more exciting and tempting.

Must try: Pig Face, Calamari Bruschetta, Goat Empanadas
Opening hours: 4:30 pm to 11 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, the restaurant is open till midnight.
Average cost for two: INR 1000-2000

7. Foodease – An inimitable restaurant where you pay as per food weight

Location: 835 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Cherish a comfortable casual dining experience at one of the best restaurants in Chicago Foodease. Located inside Water Tower Palace mall, this super cool place is famous for varied sushi, salads, sandwiches and wine. You can also get packed meals and groceries here. But the most unique and exciting feature of this restaurant is its stock of fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts and pay by weight system. Basically, you pick your combination of veggies, fruits and toppings, get it cooked and pay as per the weight of the food. Unique! Isn’t it?

Must try: Chocolate Closet, Double Stuffed Potatoes, Maple Glazed Salmon and Mexican Torta Sandwich
Opening hours: 10: 30 am to 8 pm. The restaurant is open till 7 pm on Sundays.
Average cost for two: INR 603-1072

8. Batter & Berries – A favourite place for breakfast brunch

Location: 2748 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Funky décor, sunshine yellow walls and cordial staff await you at Batter & Berries. Enjoy your laid back mornings with their amazing all day breakfast and brunch options like chicken infused sweet potato waffle, cheesy hash browns and different flavours of Belgique. To enhance your gastronomic experience, ask for maple butter and 100% pure maple syrup.

Must try: Signature French Toast with flavours like strawberry, lemon, caramel and blueberry
Opening hours: 8 am to 3 pm
Average cost for two: INR 750-2011

9. Sabri Nihari – When desi food is your BAE

Location: 1970, 2502 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60659

When mouth-watering food, great ambience and light on pocket rates is all you need head to Sabri Nihari- one of the most prestigious Indian restaurants in Chicago. Since 1996, Sabri Nihari is a popular food joint, serving authentic and delicious Indian and Pakistani dishes. From nihari masala, butter chicken kebabs to biriyani- the restaurant has something for every food lover.

Must try: Frontier Chicken, Brain Masala and Mango Lassi
Opening hours: 12 noon to 11 pm
Average cost for two: INR 600-1500

10. Nookies – A popular and budget-friendly option

Location: 1746 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60614-5807

Nookies first started in 1973 as a snack kiosk and has emerged and established itself over the years as one of the most popular pocket-friendly restaurants in Chicago. Set in the heart of Chicago Old Town, Nookies offers unmatched hospitality along with mouth-watering dishes that please every palate. Pamper your taste buds with hot turkey sandwich, Monte Cristo or a wide range of tossed salads. The menu has vegan and gluten-free varieties as well, so people looking for such options in Chicago, now know where to come.

Must try: Croissant French Toast Napoleon and Paris Benedict
Opening hours: 6:30 am to 10 pm. Only on Sundays, the restaurant is open till 9 pm.
Average cost for two: INR 250-800

Keep this list of best Chicago restaurants handy during your visit to the US. Relish varieties of cuisines and enjoy exotic culinary delight. And if you’re still thinking of booking a trip to USA, we can help you create a an awesome package.

A book lover and fun-loving, overtly emotional mom with a wanderlust soul, Sukanya has completed her Master Degree in Geography and currently perusing her passion for writing as a profession. Nothing detoxes her more than trying new recipes and travelling to offbeat places is ultimate Therapy for her.


The 12 Best Restaurants in Chicago

Narrowing down Chicago’s best restaurants is no easy feat — this is a foodie town after all. For this herculean task, we’ve picked several indelible nosh zones in diverse categories — new and timeworn, casual and upscale — so that you can decide where to go for your next romantic date, kid-friendly brunch , entertainment hot spot, or pizza splurge.

Packed with history dating back to Chicago’s Jazz Age, Booth One, a reinvention of the iconic Pump Room, has a special Frank Sinatra private booth and other surprises. Black and white photographs of celebrity visitors dot the walls throughout this classic Chicago social hub, located inside the Ambassador Chicago, in the heart of the Gold Coast. American fare with fresh seasonal ingredients and cocktails that are created as nods to timeless favorites are served up in a well-lit dining space, creating a romantic and relaxing atmosphere.

For a truly indelible dining experience, with one of the best Chicago addresses, dine at Everest. Indulge in a seven course menu of French cuisine, with expertly paired wines, created by chef Jean Joho. Tables are decorated with unique bronze sculptures and walls are adorned with paintings created by local Chicago artist, Adam Siegel. Situated on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Everest offers diners a dazzling view of the city.


Watch the video: Βόλτα στο Σικάγο (October 2021).