Chicago is a foodie lover’s dream, validated by none other than Bon Appétit when it named Chicago its 2017 Restaurant City of the Year. Chicago is home to some of the finest cuisine and most cutting-edge chefs in the world. And fortunately, many of them offer private dining in equally impressive spaces. Take a look at some of the best private dining rooms in Chicago geared to both big and small groups.
Dining for big groups
Aster Hall, the chic food hall inside 900 North Michigan Shops, can accommodate up to 400 guests. The upstairs Bar & Study perfectly lends itself for private events — you’ll find fun retro interior details, pops of plush colorful furnishings, and floor to ceiling windows with views of the lake and Michigan Avenue. The private event packages feature food and drink options ranging from Chicago classics such as the Small Cheval burger or Green Street Smoked Meats barbecue to new concepts like Boardwalk Seafood Co. and Lost Lily’s Stir Fry and Dumplings.
An upscale churrascaria, ZED451 is a modern Brazilian steakhouse known for its show of sizzling meats sliced tableside by chefs. Voted Best Private Dining Venue in Chicago by Illinois Meetings + Events magazine, ZED451 offers 18,000 square feet of private and semi-private dining space that can accommodate up to 800 guests. The restaurant also features an intimate semi-private lounge and rooftop bar offering dazzling city views. Groups can choose from plated, family-style, or tableside service of the restaurant’s acclaimed fire-grilled fare that includes hand-carved rotisserie and seafood, along with seasonal salads and cheeses.
This lively, global Latin-fusion restaurant was recently named one of OpenTable’s Top 100 Hot Spots in America. Bold splashes of color, dynamic artwork, and festive Latin music are the perfect backdrop for the cuisine that culls the flavors of Central and South America, Cuba, Spain, and the Caribbean. Standouts include Peruvian chicken and salmon in a Mexican achiote marinade with black pearl rice. Meals can be served plated, family-style, or as a buffet. Carnivale has seven private dining rooms, with fun names like the Lambada Lounge and Samba Room, that can accommodate groups of various sizes, ranging from 40 – 500. Or do a buyout of the entire restaurant and entertain up to 1,000 guests.
This acclaimed eatery in the Thompson Chicago boutique hotel brings fine Italian food to the Gold Coast neighborhood. Brick walls, rich leathers and plush velvets create a sumptuous setting overlooking the city. Specialty pastas include the stuffed pappardelle with milk-braised pork and black truffles. The second-floor event space is comprised of three private dining rooms with floating walls that can be combined to accommodate up to 100 guests for a seated dinner or 150 reception-style. The stunning gallery-style Reserve Bar overlooks Salone Nico and its living green wall, and can host up to 50 guests for a reception with parlor seating.
At Harry Caray’s, you’ll find private rooms that combine sophistication, charm, and sports history, serving up award-winning food. Options include six restaurant locations in and around Chicago, as well as the Chicago Sports Museum, located above the Magnificent Mile. The Museum features 23,000-square-feet of event space, combining interactive entertainment, state-of-the-art audio/visual capabilities and upscale design. The entire venue can be rented for receptions of up to 1200 guests or for seated events of up to 300 guests. Smaller spaces are also available for private events. Harry Caray’s River North location can accommodate events of up to 250 guests, with smaller spaces for up to 100 guests.
This River North hot spot pairs New Asian fare with craft cocktails in chic environs accented with red travertine marble and black bamboo. Family-style dining takes advantage of Sunda’s dishes that are perfect for group sharing, such as dim sum (like oxtail pot stickers) and signature sushi, with three- or four-course options offered. A variety of both semi-private and private dining spaces are available, along with non-private communal tables in the main dining room for groups of 14-40. And don’t forget cocktails — Sunda features an extensive selection of sake, with flights available for tasting.
On the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Everest offers luxurious private dining that can accommodate a variety of group sizes. Their selection of intimate spaces include four private dining rooms that can accommodate 12 to 15 seated guests or 20 guests reception style; the River Room for 24 seated or 30 reception style; and the The View for 12 seated or 20 reception style. Every space offers stunning city views, tasting menus composed of world-renowned French food, and an elevated private dining experience for any occasion.
Prime & Provisions
This two-story steakhouse at the corner of La Salle Street and Wacker Drive in the Loop captures the essence of a 1920s supper club. Of course, steaks are the specialty here (notable is the dry-aged New York strip steak), but the Chicken Vesuvio Circa 1930 also gets rave reviews. Groups of 20 – 30 can get cozy in the semi-private Prime Nook, featuring bolstered leather banquette seating, chandeliers and full bar access. In warm-weather months, book the Outdoor Terrace overlooking the Chicago River for a sunset cocktail party or private dinner accommodating 50 – 75 guests. The second-floor Private Dining Room boasts skyline views, with flexible floor plans and seating for 75+.
Inspired by classic red sauce joints of the 1950s, Formento’s is a nod to the owner’s Italian grandmother, Nonna Formento. Located on Restaurant Row in the hot West Loop district, Formento’s dishes up traditional family recipes (like Nonna’s meatballs), in addition to modern takes on classics, such as the ravioli stuffed with ricotta, summer squash, and dried orange. The restaurant features two private dining rooms in its upstairs brick-walled loft space overlooking bustling Randolph Street below, accommodating groups as small as 20. Each room has its own private bar and sound system. Consider adding selections from Formento’s impressive 600-label wine list, named Best Medium-Size Wine List in the World by the internationally acclaimed British publication, The World of Fine Wine.
Margeaux Brasserie / Petit Margeaux
Helmed by celebrity chef Michael Mina, Margeaux Brasserie is a celebration of French cuisine made with Midwestern ingredients. In traditional brasserie style, guests can enjoy a drink at the bar, small bites in the lounge, or a full meal in the dining room. Entertain your guests in Margeaux Brasserie’s private dining room for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner as well as cocktail receptions. Seated capacity is 40 while a standing reception can accommodate 60 people. The patisserie, Petit Margeaux, has a seasonal patio which can be reserved for private receptions of up to 40 people. The cafe itself is open year-round and can host up to 50 people. Full restaurant buyouts are also available.
Mercat a la Planxa
Mercat a la Planxa can accommodate intimate gatherings for as little as 10 guests. The Spanish spot on Michigan Avenue features three different private dining rooms and three semi-private event spaces that can accommodate group of all sizes.
Baptiste & Bottle
Dazzle guests with floor to ceiling windows, sweeping views of Michigan Avenue, and a meal curated by world-renowned chef Richard Sandoval at Baptiste & Bottle‘s private dining room. Located on the 20th floor of the Conrad Chicago Hotel, this stunning room is styled to feel like Whiskey Row, with whiskey-inspired artwork and warm tones. Your party will be separated from the main restaurant with glass doors and a ‘design-forward’ chain curtain. The food reflects the same style as the restaurant — elevated American cuisine, highlighting seasonal flavors. Don’t miss their diverse selection of beverages; especially, of course, the whiskey and bourbon options. The private dining room can fit 12 people for a seated dinner and up to 20 people for a standing reception. For larger groups, semi-private space is available in the restaurant.