With a culinary culture that puts its unique spin on classic comfort food, it's no surprise that Chicago is home to some of the best restaurants in the world. From iconic steakhouses and award-winning waterfront eateries to trendy cafes and luxurious dinner spots, this city has something for everyone regarding dining out.
Whether you're looking for high-end or casual fare, there are plenty of top-notch places all over town to experience great cuisine without breaking the bank. This post will showcase eleven of Chicago's best restaurants so you can easily plan your next night out.
Best Chicago Restaurants
1. Alinea Restaurant
Alinea is an award-winning restaurant established by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas. Since its opening in 2005, this world-renowned restaurant has been praised for its inventive cuisine and avant-garde presentation style. It continues to uphold its status as one of the most sought-after dining experiences not just in Chicago but across the globe.
Alinea uses only fresh ingredients that are often sourced from local farms. Their expertly crafted menu ensures that each meal is unique and full of intricate flavors. Diners frequently comment on the masterful food preparation and presentation, with customer reviews praising everything from diligent customer service to surprisingly reasonable prices.
With a menu crafted for each season, it's no surprise that Alinea often attracts celebrities and other high-profile guests from across the globe.
2. Girl & The Goat
Girl & The Goat has become a staple of Chicago's ever-evolving food scene. Owned by Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard, the restaurant serves creative, chef-driven cuisine that perfectly blends flavors and spices worldwide. The restaurant is known for its emphasis on local ingredients, with dishes such as pumpkin agnolotti with brown butter emulsion, bacon jam, and Brussels sprouts salad with Romesco.
With an ever-changing menu focused on seasonal produce, each visit is unique. The customer reviews reveal just how popular their signature dishes have become. While reservations fill up quickly, customer reviews reveal why patrons choose Girl & the Goat for a truly unique dining experience.
3. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
This iconic restaurant has been serving award-winning steaks, fresh seafood, and decadent desserts since 1989. Located in the historic Gold Coast neighborhood and open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, this charming restaurant boasts an intimate atmosphere with exquisite detail - from the winding staircase to the ornate ceiling - sure to set the perfect mood for a special occasion.
An extensive menu offers exciting flavors crafted from only the freshest ingredients and superior service. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse is home to the famous "Signature Sizzle," where USDA Prime steaks are paired with sides made from scratch. The customer reviews rave about the impeccable customer service, outstanding food quality, and atmosphere that transports visitors from the city streets to an upscale supper club.
Whether celebrating an anniversary or looking for an exceptional dining experience, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse will make every meal one to remember.
4. Au Cheval
Located in one of Chicago's most vibrant restaurant districts, Au Cheval is a destination for a unique and unforgettable dining experience. With an atmosphere inspired by Parisian bistros, the ambiance provides an inviting feeling when guests enter. Au Cheval features an array of quality-driven cuisines ranging from burgers to steak frites, providing many options for food lovers.
For the meat connoisseur, their famous dry-aged beef burger is a must-try and will bring your taste buds to life with its flavor profile. Enjoy specialty craft cocktails and carefully curated wines that perfectly accompany any entrée selection made here.
Customers who have dined at Au Cheval acclaim the high quality of their burgers and steaks paired with perfectly seasoned fries. The customer reviews for this popular restaurant are overwhelmingly positive. From the juicy burgers to the handcrafted cocktails, diners keep returning for more.
Located in downtown Chicago, the popular Avec restaurant serves up upscale Mediterranean-style dishes in a vibrant atmosphere. With its wide selection of small plates and shareable, Avec offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking for an appetizer to accompany your evening drink or a full meal experience with friends and family, check out what Avec offers.
From classic Mediterranean favorites such as hummus and roasted eggplant salad to grilled fish tacos, grilled vegetables, pizzas, or tempura-battered green beans -- you'll be delighted by all that Avec brings to the table. Many customer reviews highly recommend their classic flatbread with fig jam, ricotta salata, olives, almonds, and honey. The friendly staff adds to the cozy atmosphere of Avec's bright dining room as guests enjoy farm-fresh cuisine expertly crafted by their chefs.
Located on Michigan Avenue and situated within a historic building, the atmosphere of Spiaggia is buzzing with life and excitement. The perfect balance of Italian cuisine, modern setting, and chic decor gives guests a lingering experience they will remember. The menu has something for everyone, from traditional dishes to contemporary takes on familiar favorites.
Its guests feel welcomed and satisfied with dedicated customer service and close attention to detail. Reviews left by customers testify to this fact, with many referring to the excellent cuisine and attentive staff. It is no surprise that Spiaggia regularly attracts backers from all over the city looking for a unique and delicious meal.
Since 2019, Oriole has offered an unforgettable blend of modernist European cooking and old-world French techniques - all within an elegant yet comfortable atmosphere. Dishes such as Lobster Tail Ravioli and 48-Hour Beef Short Ribs give the nod to traditional favorites while also introducing guests to a wild array of new flavor profiles.
Top off your meal with something from Oriole's extensive wine list, and you'll soon discover why this restaurant has become so beloved by first-time visitors and longtime locals. With its modern decor and convenient location, it's easy to see why the Oriole Restaurant has become one of Chicago's top dining destinations.
8. The Publican
For a unique culinary experience in Chicago, look no further than The Publican. This Michelin-starred restaurant features classic American dishes with an upscale twist. Its menu draws heavily on the local Midwestern bounty, focusing on shareable plates such as seafood platters, savory roasted meats, and local produce like grains and root vegetables sourced from area farms.
The environment is warm and inviting, with rustic wooden furnishings and an open kitchen allowing diners to get a close-up glimpse of the chefs. From its bold flavors to its lively atmosphere, The Publican is sure to leave visitors feeling satiated and delighted by the end of their visit.
With its Italian-American cuisine and cozy atmosphere, Monteverde offers an unforgettable experience. Led by Chef Sarah Grueneberg, each dish at Monteverde is carefully crafted, featuring a variety of seasonal ingredients like housemade cookies, top-quality pasta, and wood-roasted vegetables.
Customers also enjoy the eatery's homey décor, welcoming staff, and ever-changing menu that ensures something new to try every visit. Whether looking for a romantic dinner or delicious comfort food with friends, Monteverde is guaranteed to exceed your expectations.
Founded in 2017, Tanta is an upscale Peruvian restaurant located in the heart of Chicago. As part of the city's bustling dining scene, Tanta serves an array of authentic dishes inspired by Peru's culture and culinary tradition. With its modern décor, cozy atmosphere, and ever-changing menu featuring seasonally fresh fare, it's no wonder that food enthusiasts make Tanta a top destination when visiting the Windy City.
Signature plates such as quinoa ceviche and traditional lomo saltado have made this restaurant a hot spot for food lovers worldwide. Whether you're looking for a romantic night out or just a chance to savor some delectable cuisine, Tanta is sure to leave you with an unforgettable dining experience.
11. Carnitas Uruapan
Carnitas Uruapan is a Mexican restaurant in Chicago where you can enjoy delicious, traditional cuisine. For those looking for a truly authentic experience, Carnitas Uruapan offers dishes prepared with fresh ingredients and the expertise of seasoned chefs.
Carnitas Uruapan will bring a taste of Mexico's rich culinary culture to your plate by offering both dine-in and carry-out options. This family-owned business serves a wide variety of Mexican cuisine, offering dishes like tacos, soups, burritos, and huaraches.
From modern spots to traditional institutions, these eleven amazing restaurants each provide unique perspectives on what one of the country's largest cities offers. Whether it's fine dining or a more relaxed atmosphere you desire, these eateries are sure to win over even the pickiest of palates.
You can also check them off one by one as you explore this vibrant city and all it offers. Any of these places makes for a great outing in Chicago, so don't wait—mark your calendars for an unforgettable time at one (or more) of these top-notch restaurants.