I feel like this post is long overdue. My love for Chicago restaurants runs deep and after living in the city for a couple of years in my mid-twenties, and continuing to go back just for the food, it’s safe to say I am in love with the cuisine Chicago chefs continue to dish out.
Just when we think we’ve found our new favorite restaurant, we stumble upon another. The options and menus keep getting better with time, making it even more difficult to face the reality of not being able to live there anymore. Nothing compares, people!!
I’ll keep this short because let’s be real, it’s all about the food. I’m including our “cream of the crop” list. The best of the best. There are hundreds of others I have yet to try and a big handful I didn’t include, but these have been our absolute favorites. A lot of the below are located in the West Loop and Fulton Market District – our favorite areas to eat our hearts out!
- Roister: A must if you’re in Chicago (fried chicken and waffles pictured below)!
- Reno: Go here for brunch and order their wood-fire breakfast sandwiches (pictured below) or bagels. HEAVENLY!
- Longman & Eagle
- Lula Cafe
- Chicken & Farm Shop: A really great spot for lunch with amazing fried chicken and southern grub (pictured below).
- Olive Mediterranean Grill: A fast-casual with really, really good Mediterranean food.
- Hay Market: The most delicious bar food with a huge beer menu.
- Antique Taco (pictured below)
- Green Street Smoked Meats
- Hannah’s Bretzel: Sandwich shop with really fresh ingredients.
- Parlor: Such a fun place to grab pizza with friends (also great for brunch – hello brunch za!).
- Piece: I dream of their pizza it’s SO good and they have so many options.
- Pequod’s: Best deep dish in the chi.
- TWO: A staple for us and still one of our favorites five years later!
- Avec: Great place for shareable plates. It’s super small and intimate.
- Girl & the Goat: Superb, romantic date night spot.
- Duck Duck Goat: Really delicious Asian cuisine.
- etta: After eating at etta, I said “stick a fork in me, I’m done.” I can’t recommend going here enough. The food and atmosphere is something I’ve never experienced.
- Aba: If you like Mediterranean and are looking for a chic place to go, Aba is where it’s at (pictured at the top of this post).
- Summerhouse Santa Monica: One of the coolest restaurant atmospheres in the city. The food is fresh and yummy. You must order one of their freshly-baked desserts (salmon dish I ordered a couple of years ago is pictured below).
- Bar Siena
- Fulton Market Kitchen
- Formento’s: We’ve been here for date night and I’ve dined here for two bachelorette parties. It never dissapoints (their cacio e pepe is pictured below)!
- Piccolo Sogno: One of my favorite Italian restaurants in the city.
- Doughnut Vault: Amazing, giant doughnuts. Go to the River North location (pretty much a hole in the wall) and get there early because they sell out quickly.
- Stan’s Donuts: If you’re not from Chicago and are visiting, you have to try Stan’s!
- BomboBar: This little sweet corner is attached to Bar Siena and you can order donuts, coffee, milkshakes and more. It’s the best place to go at night to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner. You must order a couple bombolini (pictured below).
- Molly’s Cupcakes: The best cupcakes in the city.
- Jeni’s: Give me all of the ice cream (pictured below)!
There you have it! It’s a longer list than I wanted, but it’s so hard for me to only name a few. You can’t go wrong if you dine at any of the above. Where are you favorite places to eat in the city?