20 Best Restaurant To Visit In Chicago

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20 Best Restaurant To Visit In Chicago

Are you on vacation in Chicago? Do you wish to eat the best meals the city of Chicago can offer? If yes. here are the 20 best restaurants in Chicago where you can eat all those tasty delicacies you have been longing for. These best Chicago restaurants are the places to be. Let me assure you that there is not going to be any regret after visiting any of these top 20 best restaurants in Chicago. They offer you the best meals in the world. Try them out and you will be all smiles.

Let me reiterate my earlier stance. Your holiday in Chicago would never be complete without a visit to one or two on this list of top 20best restaurants in Chicago. Moreover, the intimidating C Vs of the chefs that work in these handpicked best restaurants in Chicago is enough to convince you. This is so because they are world class chefs by all standard.


This list of best restaurants in Chicago is also about hot new spots, however. I give you an overview of the cream of the newest crop, and I will also break down these best restaurants in Chicago, in terms of the ones that made the city of Chicago the dining destination it is today. These 20 best restaurants in Chicago by all ramifications are the best places to eat right now.

Wow…. It is meal time, let explore the list of just 20 best restaurants in Chicago.

Wherewithall –  Situated in Avondale

Parachute’s highly anticipated follow-up with prix fixe flair
Chicago diners in the know have been waiting for a follow up to Parachute since 2014, and with owners Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark winning a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2019, this was the year.

Wherewithall offers a prix fixe dinner every night and has plans to be open for breakfast and lunch down the line. Dinners are $65, and the menu changes often, making it an accessible neighborhood restaurant for a nice evening and casual enough that drinks and snacks at the bar or on the patio can be a regular occurrence.

A wine pairing and cheese course are both available for an additional cost. The food is billed as Contemporary American, but global flavors and dishes are spread throughout to give Kim and Clark a chance to spread their wings.

Pizzeria Portofino –  Situated in River North

The Riverwalk’s hottest new patio, straight from the Italian Riviera
With reservations booked for peak hours through October (for two people), Pizzeria Portofino is easily one of Chicago’s hottest summer openings, and this is understandable. Lettuce Entertain You has done its Mediterranean feel to the nines with summery yellows and bright greenery throughout the space.

Open windows give it an indoor/outdoor vibe, and twinkling lights make the restaurant downright magical after the lights go down. Did we mention there’s pizza? Thin crust favorites and inventive takes like a decadent truffle pie fill the menu, and gorgonzola ice cream makes for a surprising finish. The spritzes don’t hurt, either.

Pizzeria Portofino, best restaurants in Chicago


Francois Frankie – Situated At The Loop

Chicago takes yet another note from New Orleans with a carousel bar
Chicago really knows how to take cues from New Orleans in terms of food and drink. Joining the roster with Politan Row and Ina Mae Tavern, Francois Frankie is similar to the French Quarter’s Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone. Like the New Orleans original, it features a slowly rotating circular bar as the focus of the space, with tables and banquettes flanking it. French dishes with a seafood flair from chef Mike Sheerin make up most of the food menu and are complemented by a long list of wines and cocktails.

Francois Frankie , best restaurants in chicago

Lula Café – Situated in Logan Square

Committed to locally sourced ingredients since the ’90s
This OG Logan Square favorite was embracing the farm-to-table philosophy long before it was cool, and has remained one of the North Side’s most in-demand weekend brunch destinations since opening in 1999.

The menu is subject to change depending on the seasonal availability of certain ingredients, but “The Royale” breakfast sandwich, which is currently made with turkey leg confit, Gruyere cheese, braised bacon, parsley salad, and a sunny-side egg on sourdough, is a sure bet.

Lula Café

Bellemore – Situated in West Loop

If you’ve never had duck heart, try it here
Former Bohemian House chef Jimmy Papadopoulos is back in the restaurant game and has teamed up with Boka Restaurant Group to resurrect the long-vacant Embeya space.

While BoHo showcased Papadopoulos’ penchant for Eastern European flavors and cooking techniques, the menu here proves his versatility: a savory oyster custard flirts with Osetra caviar, creme fraiche, lemon dressed apple, and dill in the inventive oyster pie, dry-aged duck is glazed with raspberry vinegar and teamed with duck heart en crepinette, and venison tartare balances earthy grilled mushrooms with pumpernickel and lime.

In addition, the restaurant also offers a six-course tasting menu for those who want to take the guesswork out of their meal.


Pequod’s Pizza – Situated in Lincoln Park

You might actually end up eating the crust first
While classic deep dish is undeniably “Chicago,” it’s worth noting that some of the best pies in the city don’t necessarily conform to expectations. Case in point: the dreamy pan pizza with signature caramelized cheese crust at this Clybourn Ave mainstay, which scored a place on our Chicago Bucket List for good reason.

boka, best restaurants in chicago

Hash Chicago – Situated in Humboldt Park

Gimmick-free yet highly Instagrammable breakfast hash
With its hippie spirit and namesake hash lineup, this whimsical diner is one of West Town’s coolest hidden gems. Pull up a seat at one of the mosaic-topped tables and revel in the porcine magic that is the bacon fat hash with pork shoulder, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts laden with rich mustard cream sauce.


Smoque BBQ – Situated in Irving Park

The dry-rubbed smoked meats King of the North
This Texas-style barbecue joint has been slingin’ its signature brisket and ribs for the better part of a decade, and remains steadfast as the North Side’s top dog for smoked meats. It’s BYOB, so arrive hungry and with a frosty six-pack of your favorite local brew in tow to fend off the inevitable meat sweats.

Smoque BBQ, Chicago best restaurants

Doughnut Vault – Situated in River North

The only donuts in town worth fighting lines and crowds
Brendan Sodikoff’s award-winning donut shop sets the bar unattainably high with its supremely dense, moist old-fashioned-style donuts. The crave-worthy dough rings come in flavors like toasted almond, classic buttermilk glazed, and lemon-poppy seed, and in limited production daily, which means, once they sell out, they’re gone ’til the next morning. Pro tip: If you’re lucky, you can also score them at some of Sodikoff’s other concepts, including 3 Arts Club Cafe, Sawada Coffee, and C. C. Ferns.

doughnut vault

Calumet Fisheries – Situated At Calumet Heights

A legendary fish shack on the South Side
Get all the smoked seafood you can handle at this legendary fish shack. The small but mighty institution has been in the biz for over half a century, and is one of very few Illinois smokehouses still in operation. Stop in to score smoked black cod, catfish, sturgeon, and more by the pound.

calumet fisheries

Owen & Engine – Situated in Logan Square

Go for the burger, stay for the late-night pub fare
This British gastropub makes a mean fish & chips, but it’s the Slagel Farm beef burger that keeps people coming back for more. The elite burger boasts a monstrous patty blended with locally sourced ground brisket, short rib, and chuck, a pile of subtly sweet caramelized onions, and a house-made potato bap, and is best washed down with a selection or two from the exhaustive beer list.

owen and engine

Acadia – Situated in South Loop

South Loop’s gift to Chicago’s fine dining culture
With two hard-earned Michelin stars in tow, this contemporary American spot helmed by Chef Ryan McCaskey effortlessly toes the line been upscale and approachable cuisine. Guests may choose between five- and 10-course seasonally driven tasting menus or an a la carte bar menu flush with elevated bites like fried Jidori chicken, a Maine lobster roll, and a burger loaded with bacon jam and taleggio mornay.


Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse – Situated Near North Side

The steaks are big, and the desserts require mountain climbing gear
With nearly three decades under its belt, this old-school steak giant is a Chicago bucket list must for locals, tourists, and everyone in between. In addition to a bevy of steaks certified under the restaurant’s house USDA Angus Beef program, the Viagra Triangle destination is also known for mammoth desserts, like macadamia turtle pie and carrot cake, that will handily leave a family of four in its wake of sugar coma-inducing destruction. Pro tip: Gibsons is also a favorite among celebs and high rollers; if you’re lucky, you just might rub elbows with someone famous.


Monteverde – Situated At West Loop

Pasta is the name of the game
Spearheaded by Spiaggia alum chef Sarah Grueneberg and outfitted with a pastificio, it’s hardly a stretch to assume that this noodle-centric concept would focus on classic Italian preparations. While the menu isn’t without hand-rolled gnocchetti sardi with fresh-grated tomato, oven-dried cherry tomatoes, basil, and ricotta, there’s so much more to it than that. Surprising highlights including skate wing schnitzel with caper salsa verde, grilled summer squash, local greens, cherry tomatoes, and parsley new potatoes, wok fried strangozze with head-on gulf shrimp, tomato, garlic, and hot pepper oil, and prosciutto butter toast.


Smyth & The Loyalist – Situated At West Loop

A twofer with a kickass burger downstairs and a fanciful tasting menu upstairs
Husband-and-wife team John Shields and Karen Urie Shields have successfully bridged the gap between casual bar fare and cheffy tasting menu with their separate-but-synergistic duo. The Loyalist leans casual and approachable, with a burger that handily upstages the neighborhood’s long-reigning champ, bar seating and cozy booths, and a sophisticated lemongrass sundae topped with molasses and blueberries, while Smyth leans upscale with a seasonally driven tasting menu packed with locally sourced ingredients.

smyth & the loyalist

GT Prime – Situated in River North

A new school steakhouse with amazing non-steak offerings
Boka Restaurant Group’s fresh take on the steakhouse experience is exactly what Chicago has been waiting for: hulking cuts replaced with a shareable selection of prime beef, game meat, and more, a moody atmosphere inspired by a cabin-in-the-woods fairytale, and a variety of small plates and desserts, like mortadella arancini, veal cheek with lemon grits, escarole, and miso, and coffee and stout donuts with creme anglaise and brown sugar streusel, that share the stage with the meat.

gt prime

Arami – Situated in West Town

Exceptional sushi best enjoyed omakase-style
Reopening after a fire temporarily shuttered its doors, Arami is back and newly remodeled. What this cozy, no-frills Japanese concept lacks in ambiance and aesthetic it makes up for with elegantly composed dishes and simple yet sophisticated maki and nigiri. The one-bite toro tartare is a harmonious blend of minced fatty bluefin tuna, Asian pear, chive, caviar, and house soy sauce, Hotate-Su featuring Hokkaido scallops balanced with Hawaiian hot pepper water, coconut-lime sauce, hearts of palm, Thai basil, and passionfruit,, and sushi offerings range from maguro spicy sake maki with jalapeño, cilantro, avocado, ikura, fried shallots, and yuzu to yellowtail with mushroom and aromatic truffle oil.


EL Ideas – At University Village

Geek-out-worthy molecular gastronomy for the adventurous
This progressive fine-dining destination flies a bit under the radar given its location in Douglas Park, but it should be on every self-respecting food enthusiast’s bucket list, if for no other reason than the always-on-menu “French fries and ice cream.” One of over a dozen courses, the nostalgic dish evokes the sweet-meets-savory magic of fries dunked in a Wendy’s Frosty, featuring potato-leek soup topped with liquid nitrogen-chilled vanilla ice cream. An expansive open kitchen and pretension-free atmosphere punctuated with graffiti-style art complete the unique experience.

el ideas

Entente – Situated in River North

Beautifully plated dishes that taste even better than they look
This charming spot offers artfully plated fare and a no-frills, minimalistic atmosphere. Explore Executive Chef Brian Fisher’s inventive approach to cooking by way of an extraordinarily photogenic wedge salad topped with Benton’s bacon, cambozola, tomato, and house Green Goddess and the Slagel Farms shortrib with bulgogi and one marrow butterscotch.


Temporis – Situated in West Town

Minimalist design with fancy AF eats
With a mere 20 seats and a sleek, modern aesthetic, this fine-dining hideaway promises an intimate meal with creative flavor pairings. The $145 tasting menu changes often, but always includes hyper-local ingredients grown in the restaurant’s hydroponic garden. Courses range from king crab with saffron, satsuma, and steelhead roe to foie gras with passion fruit and sauternes, black sesame, and a canele.


I hope you have gone through this description list of the 30 best restaurants in Chicago. It is now time to make your choice based on the delicacy you want at the moment, particularly, if you are on vacation in Chicago. These are the best restaurants in Chicago, you will never find any better than these ones on this list.

Adeogun Adewunmi
Adeogun Adewunmi
passionate about travel and all dots surrounding the planning and implementing a great experience.

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