Coming to Chicago for a weekend? Come Hungry! There are soo many great places to eat- from fancy upscale dining to amazing dives, to great spots that got bad reviews because someone on yelp needed to take their frustration out on someone.
Here is my current Chicago Restaurant List (which is now lacking since I am not currently living in Chicago)…
Asian/Sushi: Duck Duck Goat, Japonais, Nomi, Sushi Mon, Juno, Rickshaw Republic (Indonesian St. Food), Kameya (LOVED & we eat at frequently), Momotero, Embeya, Murai Sushi, Shine (can only rec. the sushi), Sakuras Teppanyaki, Hemma’s Kitchen (Indian)
Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch: Bongo Room, The Donut Vault (Best in the city- Get there early, or go to the LP Farmer’s market on Saturday mornings & they have a van there, or outside of RM Champagne), Stan’s Doughnuts, Feast, Jam ‘n Honey, Frances’ (Amazing challah french toast & omlets) , Kanela, North Pond, Cafe Brauer, Orange, Nookies, Native Foods, Lyfe Kitchen, Yolk (South Loop)
Burgers/Beer/Whiskey: Rocks (Lakeview & North center)- Great Food & Drinks- Awesome Atmosphere- and they have pretzal buns 🙂 ), Au Chavel (Get there right at 5:00, OR put your name in, have the salmon tar tar & drinks @ RM Champagne & they will call you when your table is ready), DMK (So good— grass fed burgers & amazing fries); Kumas/Kumas 2 (Often Crowded as well, think loaded burgers- and you probably do not want to eat here before going out), DryHop
Central/South American: 90 Miles (Cuban), Tanta (Peruvian),4 Suyos (Peruvian Logan Square/BYOB & they will make you Pisco Sours!!), Carnivale (Central/South American), Nacional 27, Las Tablas (Columbian- the Skirt Steak is Amazing), 5411 Empanadas
Dessert: Hot Chocolate, Balena, Bobtails Creamery, Goddess & the Grocer, Floriole Cafe, Sweet Mandy B’s, Molly’s Cupcakes
Drinks: Broken English, RM Champagne (great food as well), Violet Hour (PERFECT date spot), the Bedford (have drinks in the Vault), Bordel (speakeasy style), Three Dots & A Dash (get the treasure chest), Untitled (head there on a Thursday night for Burlesque night), Derby, Home Slice, Stout, Pump Room (great for a date or girls night- awesome food as well), the J Parker in Summer, Maude’s Liquor Bar
Evanston: Found, Terra Bistro; Lunch: Foodstuffs
French: Le Bouchon, Brindille, Chez Moi
Greek: Taxim, Pegasus, The Parthenon & the Greek Isles
Italian: Piccolo Sogno (Go in Summer for the patio), Anteprima (Andersonville), Basil Leaf Cafe (LP– Amazing Minestrone); Nico Osteria ; Francesca’s
Mexican: Antique Taco, Mercadito, De Cero, Big Star (Amazing Fish Tacos, Not a fan of the salsa or other tacos we ordered), Taco Burrito House (Great for after the bars), Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant (Good neighborhood Mexican Restaurant)
New American: Nellcote, Tortoise Club, Little Goat; Girl & The Goat (Reservations needed 3+mo), the Boarding House, Gemini Bistro, Guilt Bar, Range, Summer House (good summer atmosphere), Beatrix, Bread & Wine, Hub 51, Wilde, Hutch, Balana, Pump Room, The Southern, Bar Siena
Pizza: We swear by Lou Malnatis- it’s on speed dial- thin crust AND of course, deep dish and Gino’s East as the top 2 Pizzas in Chicago; Looking for NY style? Louigi’s on Clark. Also check out Mista (great for lunch) for an organic, locally made artisan pizza in the summer on their patio.
Seafood/Steak House: Joes Prime Rib & Seafood, GT Oyster Bar (LOVE!), Mercadito Fish
Tapas: Tavernita, Chilam Billam; Mercadito, Cafe Babareeba
Tasting Menu/Celebration Night: NEXT, TRU, Sixteen/The Terrace (Eat at 16/drinks at the Terrace)
Fulton Market/ Randolph/West Loop: Momotero, Embeya, RM Champagne, Avec, Green Street Smoked Meats, Girl & The Goat, Little Goat, RM Champagne (Amazing food, and great for drinks/larger parties), Next, Duck Duck Goat, Nellcote, De Cero, Bar Siena
A few other spots in Illinois that I have to comment on….
Northbrook- Prairie Grass is actually one of my favorite restaurants- I can order anything on the menu and be happy.
Highland Park- Phoenicia Mediterranian Restaurant (Let’s just say the mixed carrot soup and shawarma are to die for) & Buffos for thin Crust pizza (Technically in High Wood)
Frankfort: The Dancin Marlin