Check out the newest restaurants and venues in Chicago. And discover even more reasons to host your next meeting or event in the Best Big City in the U.S.
Thattu was included on The New York Times annual Restaurant List of the Best New Restaurants in the U.S. And Eater named it one of the Best New Restaurants in America for 2023. The intimate, industrial-chic Avondale restaurant features wood-beamed ceilings and brick walls dotted with colorful artwork. Thattu offers 45 seats, so reservations are a must for group dining. Guests will savor dishes flavored with spices from Kerala in Coastal South West India. Dinner might include fried yucca balls with tamarind chutney, a spicy-sweet shortbread biscuit, and chicken baked with basmati rice, raita, and lime pickle. Authentic drinks include South Indian coffee and the Malabar Ginger Cooler, spiked with cardamom and fresh fruit.
The Gold Coast welcomes an elegant new resident, The Bellevue Chicago, in a newly renovated building that previously housed longtime staple Tavern on Rush. The clubby two-story restaurant offers seating in its sleek main dining room, lounge, and on a 100-seat streetside patio along bustling Rush Street. Classic American dishes include shrimp de jonghe, fire-roasted prime skirt steak, and roasted Amish chicken. Private dining options are available.
Exuding a cool, modern vibe, you’ll want to add UMMO to your list of exciting new restaurants for private dining. Choose from the 100-seat dining room (available for buyouts), the upstairs Loft that features a skylit atrium and vibrant art (accommodating up to 200 guests), and an intimate dining space for 20. UMMO’s contemporary Italian cuisine includes homemade pasta, a selection of antipasti, and seasonal dishes like the wood-fired Mediterranean branzino.
In a refined setting in the West Loop, Nisos Prime offers exceptional Mediterranean-influenced fare, including a seafood bar, caviar service, a tableside prosciutto cart, and delectable desserts. Meeting planners can choose from a range of spaces: The Prime Bar on the first floor, with a 40-seat seasonal patio; Nisos Prime, a Mediterranean steakhouse on the second floor with room for 200 seated guests and 250 reception style; The Lounge, a speakeasy-style bar hidden behind a bookshelf; and The Grotto, a semi-private chef’s table area seating 14 off the main dining room. Dishes include house-made pasta and risotto, steaks that include bone-in strip and hanger steak with frites, and salt-crusted sea bass.
Yardbird Chicago in River North offers classic Southern comfort fare in a chic, soaring space accented with black and silver. Work with Yardbird’s event planning staff to create a memorable experience. Menu choices include deviled eggs, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and sweet tea-braised short ribs. If you have a small group of eight or less, arrange a gathering in the dramatic Bourbon Room, surrounded by glass walls and shelves of bourbon, overlooking the main dining area.
Plan a lively Wrigleyville event at Tin Roof. The bar and restaurant offer two stages of entertainment, ranging from daily live music to DJs, karaoke, and dance parties. Hosting group events and parties is a Tin Roof specialty. Food, drinks, and entertainment are customizable to fit your needs. Event menus can be as simple as appetizers, brunch, or buffets for breakfast or evening meals. The food is casual, featuring fried chicken, burgers, hot dogs, a selection of loaded cheese fries, and funnel cake for dessert.
Plan an event that includes sampling craft beer at Turner Häus Brewery in the Bronzeville neighborhood. Arrange for a tour or reserve space to host your guests in the afternoon or evening in the storefront taproom. The Black, family-owned microbrewery takes pride in its heritage. Beers are named after women in the family, including Hazel, Helen, Lola, Lillie, and Marlene. Sip unique brews that have been created in collaboration with other Black-owned breweries and distilleries in Chicago and Tennessee.
Hold an event or meeting surrounded by mind-boggling sights and sounds at the Museum of Illusions Chicago. The attraction recently reopened after expanding its space by 30% and adding 20 new exhibits, bringing the total to 80. Buy out the entire museum for 140 guests, or book smaller areas that can accommodate up to 30 people for classroom- or banquet-style events. Attendees can roam the museum, exploring fascinating illusion rooms and installations that puzzle your perceptions, like the Vortex Tunnel.
It’s an unprecedented feat — Chicago was named Best Big City in the U.S. for a record seven years in a row by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. Reasons for choosing Chicago included our 77 diverse neighborhoods, impressive architecture, world-class museums, award-winning chefs, and growing brewery scene. Condé Nast Traveler’s editors encouraged visitors to make repeat visits to fully appreciate all of the city’s must-do experiences.
Cvent ranked Chicago No. 5 on its list of the Top 10 Meeting Destinations in North America. The city was lauded for working diligently in promoting its destination and helping to revive the industry following the pandemic. The honor comes after Cvent evaluated over 12,500 cities worldwide in 2022.
Two Chicago hotels ranked in the Top 10 of The Best Hotels in the World: 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards by Condé Nast Traveler. The Peninsula Chicago earned the No. 9 spot, and LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton, came in at No. 10.
Discover the latest local news for meeting and event planners with the Chicago Meetings Industry Update.