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What is your favorite restaurant in Chicago?

Heading to Chicago and I'm looking for the best restaurants to try while I'm visiting. Open to all types of food! What are your top places to eat?

15 Answers

top answer by
Lauren from Chicago

Hi Katie-

Chicago is full of seriously amazing restaurants, here are a few of my favorites:

Bavette's Bar and Boeuf - great cocktails, everything on the menu is amazing. You can spend a lot if you go all out on steaks but they have some amazing menu items that are very reasonable. My favorites are the short rib stroganoff, steak frites, and do not miss the chocolate pie!

Avec - bacon wrapped dates to die for, Mediterranean-inspired dishes 

Blackbird Restaurant - beautiful, delicious food

Au Cheval - best cheeseburger in the city

Lou Malnati's PizzeriaPequod's Pizza, or Coalfire for pizza

Girl & the Goat - small, delicious plates by Stephanie Izard

Bohemian House - delicious Czech-inspired food, great brunch

Big Star - great tacos, better margaritas, best patio

The Publican - love this spot for brunch

Shake Shack - good spot for a quick meal

Eataly Chicago - an Italian food-lovers playground

Doughnut Vault - best doughnuts in the city

The Purple Pig - no reservations accepted and it can get very busy, but their small, Mediterranean-inspired dishes worth the wait

Nico Osteria - great seafood and homemade pastas

So many other great options, let me know if you're looking for a specific cuisine, price point, or neighborhood!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bavette's Bar and Boeuf (restaurant)
  2. Avec (restaurant)
  3. Blackbird Restaurant (restaurant)
  4. Au Cheval (restaurant)
  5. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria (restaurant)
  6. Pequod's Pizza (restaurant)
  7. Coalfire (restaurant)
  8. Girl & the Goat (restaurant)
  9. Bohemian House (attraction)
  10. Big Star (restaurant)
  11. The Publican (restaurant)
  12. Shake Shack (restaurant)
  13. Eataly Chicago (attraction)
  14. Doughnut Vault (restaurant)
  15. The Purple Pig (restaurant)
  16. Nico Osteria (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
Holly from Chicago

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Momotaro (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Andrew from Baltimore, Maryland

This depends on where you are in the city. In West Loop Green Street Meats is a fantastic place for barbeque. The ambiance might best be described as displaced Austin hipster, however the food is delicious. The Dawson (730 W Grand Ave) is more upscale with excellent food and cocktail menus. In Wicker Park you can find a lot of small bars and restaurants, but I recommend Small Bar on Division for food. In Lakeview I recommend Dry Hop (3155 N Broadway St) which is an excellent brew pub. 

You should also consider brunch spots. Chicago has a strong brunch game. One of my favorite places is Hutch in Lake View (3301 N Clark St). 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. West Loop (neighborhood)
  2. 730 W Grand Ave (address)
  3. Wicker Park (neighborhood)
  4. Lakeview (attraction)
  5. 3155 N Broadway St (address)
  6. 3301 N Clark St (address)
2 thanks

answered by
Kyle from Chicago

Paladar Restaurant and Rum Bar is quite possibly the best cuban food experience I have ever had and I've had the pleasure of having a lot of cuban food from cuban mothers and other spots in NYC (my hometown).

Contrary to what the previous user said, I think the burger at Au Cheval is overrated. Owen & Engine and Parts & Labor have superior burgers in my opinion. Owen and Engine also does amazing pub food and has an impressive draft menu.

A little off the grid but Sun Wah BBQ in Uptown does this whole duck dinner where they carve an entire duck at your table and prepare it 4 different ways. It's amazing and the drinks are crazy cheap.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paladar Restaurant and Rum Bar (restaurant)
  2. Au Cheval (restaurant)
  3. Owen & Engine (restaurant)
  4. Parts & Labor (restaurant)
  5. Sun Wah BBQ (restaurant)
2 thanks

answered by
Watzisname from Chicago

Vermilion-Incredible Indian-Latino fusion food ( 

Mr. Brown's Lounge for Jamaican food (

Girl & the Goat ( 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vermilion (restaurant)
  2. Mr. Brown's Lounge (attraction)
  3. Girl & the Goat (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Brian from West Des Moines

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sable Kitchen & Bar (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Shaw's Crab House (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Jessie from Chicago, Illinois

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar (restaurant)
  2. Pequod's Pizza (restaurant)
  3. Homeslice (attraction)
  4. State & Madison (attraction)
  5. Chicago Cut Steakhouse (restaurant)
  6. Café Ba-Ba-Reeba! (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Chris from San Francisco

Lula Café in Logan Square; Nightwood in Pilsen

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lula Café (restaurant)
  2. Nightwood (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Katherine from Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sultan's Market is cheap, delicious and healthy. I ate lunch here several times a week for several years when I worked in this neighborhood and I still go back whenever I can. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sultan's Market (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Peter from Springfield, Illinois

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Devon Seafood Grill (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

La Salle and North Ellies. It doesn't matter about the place, more about the neighborhood. Cuz you just walk outside where you are and walk until you find a place you like. I am fond of Vietnam cuisine so l am excited when l find Pho. Walk along Clark St. until you find what you like. Belmont and Clark is a fun area. If you like the Chicago Cubs, there are a few hundred places to eat near the Stadium. It is my quest to eat at The American Girl store there.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Clark St (attraction)
  2. Belmont (attraction)
  3. American Girl (attraction)
1 thanks

answered first by
Mike from Chicago

Wishbone.  Soul food in the west loop area.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Wishbone (restaurant)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Aly from Chicago

You HAVE to hit up Portillo's located downtown. Amazing burgers, hot dogs, & italian beefs. 

Another great burger place is Grange Hall Burger Bar It's on Randolph St in the West Loop which is a really cool part of the city. 

My favorite pizza place is Piece Pizzeria and Brewery Piece Brewery and Pizzeria located in Wicker Park

There's a really great empanada spot down the block from Piece called 5411 Empanadas . It's a new favorite. You have to try the chimichurri sauce with whatever empanada you get. It's so good! 

For tacos, you can't beat L' Patron They're steak tacos are amazing.

There's another place in Logan Square called The GeneralThey serve tacos with a southern twist ie. southern fried chicken taco. Food is good but their pie is AMAZING. I don't think a lot of people are aware that this place is a gold mine for their pie. I highly highly recommend it. 

There you go! There are so many great places to eat. Hope you enjoy your stay!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Grange Hall Burger Bar (restaurant)
  2. West Loop (neighborhood)
  3. Piece Pizzeria and Brewery (restaurant)
  4. Wicker Park (neighborhood)
  5. 5411 Empanadas (restaurant)
  6. L' Patron (restaurant)
  7. Logan Square (attraction)
  8. The General (attraction)

answered by
Pat from Wheaton, Illinois

Le Colonial Chicago - Vietnamese in Chic Gold Coast neighborhood

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Le Colonial Chicago (restaurant)

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