13 Best Restaurants in Chicago, IL

13 Best Restaurants in Chicago, IL

  • A KlopasStratton blog by: Bridget Chambers, Life Coach, Writer
  • 06/17/24

Chicago, IL, is a melting pot of culinary excellence. For those contemplating a move to the Windy City, the dining scene offers an array of flavors that cater to every palate. Whether you are dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant or enjoying a slice of deep-dish pizza, Chicago's culinary offerings are sure to impress. Here, we explore some of the top restaurants in Chicago, IL, which are must-visit destinations for food lovers and culinary adventurers alike.

1. Alinea

Not just a restaurant but a culinary experience, Alinea stands out in Chicago's dining scene for its innovative approach to modernist cuisine. Helmed by Chef Grant Achatz, this three-Michelin-starred restaurant offers a multi-sensory journey through its meticulously crafted tasting menus. Dining at Alinea is not merely eating; it's an event that challenges the boundaries of traditional dining and offers an unforgettable experience.

2. Oriole

A hidden gem nestled in the West Loop, Oriole offers an intimate dining experience with its refined tasting menu that emphasizes fresh ingredients and beautiful presentation. The attention to detail in every dish and the warm, welcoming service make Oriole a standout among the culinary elites of the city. This two-Michelin-starred restaurant is a testament to Chicago's thriving gourmet scene.

3. Sepia

Located in a historic print shop, Sepia has beautifully melded the old-world charm with contemporary design. The menu features seasonal dishes inspired by global flavors, crafted with locally sourced ingredients. Sepia's commitment to providing a dynamic dining experience has earned it a Michelin star and made it a favorite among those seeking a sophisticated yet comfortable atmosphere.

4. Boka

A staple in Chicago for over a decade, Boka restaurant offers a seasonal American menu in a chic setting. With a focus on artistic presentation and bold flavors, Chef Lee Wolen's creations have consistently earned the restaurant a Michelin star year after year. The lush, designer interiors and attentive service make Boka a perfect setting for a memorable evening out.

5. Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio

At Monteverde, Chef Sarah Grueneberg blends Italian culinary traditions with influences from around the world. The restaurant's in-house pastificio (pasta shop) means guests can enjoy freshly made pasta that brings a taste of Italy straight to Chicago. This spot is ideal for those who cherish inventive pasta dishes served in a lively and inviting environment.

6. The Purple Pig Restaurant

Located on Michigan Avenue, The Purple Pig offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu that emphasizes charcuterie, cheeses, and an eclectic array of small plates. The no-reservations policy might mean a wait, but the food is well worth it. It’s a great place to unwind with friends over shared dishes and a glass of wine from their extensive list.

7. avec Restaurant

Avec's concept revolves around communal dining, with a menu that features Mediterranean and Midwestern influences. The wood-fired oven is the heart of the kitchen, producing rustic yet refined dishes that are perfect for sharing. The warm, minimalist wooden decor of avec makes it a welcoming spot for a casual yet stylish dining experience.

8. Au Cheval

For those craving a luxurious take on classic diner fare, Au Cheval is the go-to spot. The restaurant is famed for its burger, often hailed as one of the best in America. Paired with a craft cocktail or a selection from their broad beer list, a meal here will satisfy those looking for comfort food in a chic, bustling setting.

9. The Village

One of Chicago's oldest Italian restaurants, The Village offers a traditional dining experience complete with red-and-white checkered tablecloths and classic Italian dishes. Located in the iconic Italian Village building, this restaurant provides a nostalgic charm that complements its hearty, flavorful cuisine.

10. Quartino Ristorante

Quartino Ristorante brings a slice of Italy to the heart of Chicago with its small plates and vibrant atmosphere. The restaurant’s focus on sharing makes it ideal for groups looking to sample a variety of dishes. The house-made pasta, pizzas, and wines served in quartinos (small carafes) make Quartino a favorite for an informal yet lively meal.

11. The Gage

Situated on Michigan Avenue, The Gage offers a refined take on gastropub fare, with a menu that includes everything from hearty burgers to sophisticated seafood dishes. Its lively atmosphere and prime location make it a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike.

12. Ever Restaurant

Ever, the latest venture from acclaimed Chef Curtis Duffy focuses on an immersive tasting menu experience that features the finest ingredients and sophisticated techniques. The minimalist, modern design of the restaurant complements the artistry of the dishes served, making it a must-visit for culinary aficionados. Ever gained further recognition after being featured on season 2 of the popular TV show "The Bear," highlighting its status as a top dining destination in Chicago.

13. Giordano's and Lou Malnati's

No list of restaurants in Chicago, IL, would be complete without mentioning Giordano's and Lou Malnati's, the stalwarts of Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. Both establishments offer a taste of Chicago's rich culinary tradition, with their own takes on the thick, cheesy, and tomato-rich deep dish that has become synonymous with the city.

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