Whether you’re a self-proclaimed “foodie” or just like to eat, Chicago is your kind of town. We’re more than just hotdogs and deep dish. In fact, Chicago has close to two dozen Michelin-starred restaurants.
Don’t be overwhelmed by Chicago’s seemingly endless ways to satisfy appetites. Take a food tour and sample some of the city’s tastiest eats, refreshing drinks, and hidden gems. Get a three-course meal on Chicago Dine Around, which shuttles guests in a fashionable coach bus to enjoy Hors D’oeuvres, a main course, and dessert at three different restaurants. Test Chicago’s trademark foods with Tastebud Tours and find out if our famed Italian beef, hotdogs, and deep dish pizza are really all they’re cracked up to be. If you’re looking to wash all that food down with a frosty refreshment, you can’t miss the Chicago Beer Experience. A walking tour of Chicago’s Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods will guide you through some of the North Side’s famed establishments, some of which have been around since Prohibition.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and our city takes it seriously. How seriously? Michelin, the travel and lifestyle guide, added “breakfast” as a ranked category because of Chicago’s delicious early mealtime options.
Lou Mitchell’s is a Chicago institution with almost a century of experience in all-things eggs and pastry. Legend has it, enough fresh eggs have been cracked, made into omelettes, cooked in skillets and sold at Lou Mitchell’s to go side-by-side more than a few times around the world. For a traditional breakfast in a charming Chicago neighborhood, visit Eleven City Diner. A longstanding Chicago restaurant with a 1950s feel, Eleven City has perfected the corned beef and pastrami hash combination. If you’re looking for an early start in a convenient, downtown location, consider State and Lake Chicago Tavern. With an emphasis on local ingredients, State and Lake Chicago Tavern serves fresh short rib omelettes and red velvet pancakes.
Don’t miss an opportunity to visit some of Chicago’s cultural neighborhoods where you’ll get a sense of our city’s rich history of gourmet brilliance.
Besides being a popular tourist destination for gift stores and cultural events, Chinatown is home to some our city’s most exciting restaurants. For the best spicy dishes, check out the mouthwatering Lao Sze Chuan where even the shredded cabbage appetizer comes with a fiery dipping sauce. For authentic, Hong Kong style dim sum, visit MingHin.
If you’re looking for chunky tomato sauce and gourmet pasta, head to Little Italy where rigatoni is treated with a regard usually reserved for royalty. Tuscany on Taylor offers the authentic, fresh cuisine of a small Italian village with some of the finest wines from Lo Stivale. The Rosebud has grown into a Chicago empire of fine dining restaurants, but it all began at the original location on Taylor Street. And Mario’s Italian Lemonade is a curbside stand that’s been serving up shaved ice since they opened in the 1950s.
In Chicago’s West Loop, you’ll find Greektown. And, consequently, loads of seafood, flaming cheese and gyros. Lucky you. For an alfresco atmosphere, visit Athena where no passport is required for your authentic Mediterranean experience. Celebrating over 21-years in business is Santorini, which relies on locally grown produce and fresh seafood that is flown in daily. For a warm environment, don’t miss Artopolis Bakery, which features fresh breads, and Greek specialties.
Other neighborhood eats
From Middle Eastern fare at Taste of Lebanon to Asian delights like Jin Ju, the food options are as diverse as the residents in the charming neighborhood of Andersonville. For some of the city’s best Mexican food venture over to the Pilsen neighborhood, which features an eclectic mix of authentic south-of-the-border cuisine. For the best Indian food this side of Mumbai, make the trip to north to the Devon neighborhood.
After your food tours and exploration of Chicago neighborhoods, you’ve probably developed a serious taste for Chicago. We don’t blame you. But don’t leave our city without chowing down at our staple restaurants.
For top-grade seafood visit Shaw’s Crab House, where you’ll find everything from delicious sushi to just-shucked oysters. If you care to challenge our pizza authority, stop by Lou Malnati’s for the best sauce-dripping, cheesy slice of heaven you’ve ever had the pleasure of swallowing. The North Side spot serves hotdogs made of everything from Andouille sausage to rattlesnake. For a carnivorous fantasy, make reservations at Keefer’s, which was given the high distinction of having “best steak in Chicago” by the Food Network.
Besides having a totally awesome name, Girl and the Goat boasts some of the best meat dishes in the city. The West Loop eatery serves up everything from braised beef tongue to grilled octopus and even blends its own wine. With Top Chef Chicago winner Stephanie Izard in the kitchen, the restaurant gets its fresh ingredients from local farmers.
Located on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Everest is one of the country’s premier establishments for fine dining. You’ll have amazing food with a breathtaking view, and a wine selection that was called “Best in the USA” by Decanter.