The 10 Best Restaurants in Chicago

Chicago, a bustling metropolis renowned for its architectural grandeur and vibrant culture, is also a haven for food enthusiasts. The city’s eclectic dining scene is an adventure for the palate, offering everything from Michelin-starred experiences to classic Chicagoan bites.

If you’re ready to embark on a culinary journey through the Windy City, here are 10 unmissable restaurants that promise an unforgettable gastronomic exploration.

Ever

Led by the visionary Chef Curtis Duffy, this Michelin-starred jewel in Chicago’s Fulton Market District presents a menu that is ever-changing and awe-inspiring. Experience the thrill of the ordinary turned extraordinary at Ever. Simple ingredients are transformed into exceptional dishes, like smooth, peppered butter and tender Wagyu beef with fresh, crisp tatsoi.

Experience a delightful culinary journey at Ever, where each dish brings its own unique story. With smooth textures and bold flavors, this restaurant offers a dining adventure that excites the senses and leaves a lasting impression on your taste buds.

Alinea

Discover the magic of Alinea in Lincoln Park, where Chef Grant Achatz transforms dining into captivating art. Each dish defies the usual, blending flavors and visuals into a dramatic performance.

Alinea’s highlight is its painted dessert table, a delightful blend of taste and beauty. Dining here goes beyond just eating; it’s like stepping into an exquisite gallery of flavors, where every dish is a culinary work of art.

Smyth and The Loyalist

A dual-concept culinary haven, Smyth and The Loyalist offers two distinct experiences under one roof. At Smyth, indulge in a culinary spectacle with a 12-course seasonal menu that shines with a range of intricate yet welcoming flavors. Perfect for memorable evenings, each dish displays the chefs’ remarkable skill, offering a rich journey through exceptional cuisine.

Just below, The Loyalist contrasts with a relaxed ambiance, ideal for unwinding with signature cocktails and savory snacks. It’s a cozy retreat where casual charm seamlessly blends with sophisticated flavors, offering a laid-back yet equally tantalizing culinary experience.

Au Cheval

Venture into the bustling heart of Chicago’s West Loop and discover Au Cheval, a haven for burger enthusiasts. This unassuming diner serves up a legendary cheeseburger that’s the talk of the town. Juicy beef patties, melting cheese, and a silky fried egg, all nestled within a toasted, buttery bun, create a harmony of flavors that symbolizes Chicago’s rich culinary heritage.

At Au Cheval, it’s not just about the famed burger; their signature fried bologna sandwich is a culinary masterpiece in its own right. A perfect blend of savory and crispy, this dish is an unmissable prelude, setting the stage for a dining experience that captures the essence of Chicago’s diverse and vibrant food scene.

Pequod’s Pizza

Deep-dish pizza epitomizes Chicago’s culinary spirit, and Pequod’s Pizza stands as its crowning glory. Here, the magic lies in the caramelized crust—a Pequod’s signature—offering a delightful crunch that harmonizes with the luscious layers of cheese and robust tomato sauce. This isn’t just pizza; it’s a crafted homage to Chicago’s gastronomic legacy.

Pequod’s Pizza is a must-visit for deep-dish lovers and newcomers. Every pizza reflects Chicago’s vibrant food scene, offering a feast of flavors. A visit to Pequod’s is an essential Chicago experience, not to be missed.

The Duck Inn

In the heart of Bridgeport, The Duck Inn presents a unique fusion of vintage allure and modern culinary artistry. Its signature dish, the impeccably slow-roasted rotisserie duck, boasts a perfectly crispy exterior encasing succulent meat, creating a symphony of textures and flavors.

The Duck Inn transcends the typical dining experience, offering a journey through time with its classic charm and innovative cuisine. Paired with their creative cocktail selections, an evening here is a harmonious blend of nostalgic elegance and contemporary chic.

Calumet Fisheries

Nestled in South Deering, Calumet Fisheries is a culinary icon, renowned for its mastery of simplicity. Since 1948, this unassuming seafood haven has been delighting patrons with its legendary smoked shrimp. The time-honored smokiness and rich flavors epitomize the essence of Chicago’s food scene, unspoiled by the changing times.

Dining at Calumet Fisheries, with the Calumet River as your backdrop, is to savor a piece of Chicago’s history. Each bite is a journey through decades of culinary tradition, offering a taste that is as authentic and enduring as the city itself.

Avec

Nestled in Chicago’s West Loop, Avec radiates warmth and conviviality, its communal tables inviting shared experiences. This bustling spot is known for its unique culinary twist on comfort food, with a flair for transforming the familiar into the extraordinary.

The crown jewel of Avec’s menu is the chorizo-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates. This dish is a harmonious blend of spicy chorizo and sweet dates, wrapped in savory bacon, offering a burst of flavors that exemplifies Avec’s innovative approach to cuisine – a delightful fusion that tantalizes and comforts in every bite.

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse 

At the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse stands as a carnivore’s paradise. Here, the W.R.’s Chicago Cut, a majestic bone-in rib-eye, epitomizes their commitment to top-notch quality. This is a Chicago landmark, where each succulent, flavorful bite captures the city’s bold essence.

Gibsons offers more than just exquisite steaks; it’s an immersive Chicago experience. Pair your perfectly cooked rib-eye with one of their classic cocktails. As you savor the blend of rich flavors and the elegant ambiance, you’ll understand why Gibsons is a pivotal part of the Chicago dining scene.

Kasama

In Ukrainian Village, Kasama elevates breakfast to an art form. Their unique twist on the classic egg sandwich, featuring a delicately souffléd egg and rich homemade longganisa sausage, is a culinary masterpiece. This dish showcases the inventive spirit of Chicago’s food scene, turning a simple meal into an extraordinary experience.

Kasama stands as a beacon of culinary innovation in Chicago’s vibrant Ukrainian Village. Each bite of their reimagined egg sandwich, from the fluffy egg to the flavorful sausage, is a celebration of creativity. Here, a humble breakfast transforms into an adventure, epitomizing the diversity and brilliance of the city’s gastronomic offerings.

Chicago’s dining landscape is as diverse and dynamic as the city itself. Each of these restaurants offers not just a meal, but a story – a story of flavors, traditions, and innovation. As you explore the city’s streets and neighborhoods, let these culinary gems guide you through the true taste of Chicago.

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic deep-dish pizza or a modern culinary masterpiece, Chicago’s restaurants are ready to welcome you to a table filled with unforgettable flavors.