Chicago is not only the capital of the Midwest, it’s also home to some of the best restaurants in the country. Chicago prides itself on having a culinary history that sets it apart from other cities in every way. It has such homegrown specialties such as the notorious Chicago deep dish pizza and Vienna beef hotdog smothered in relish and Italian style beef sandwiches that can only be found here.
Like many major cities around the country, Chicago is a melting pot of various cuisines and restaurants that are sure to both entice and satisfy you.
If you are visiting Chicago, then be sure to take advantage of Chicago’s rich culinary heritage and eat at diverse restaurants that really set this city apart. Overwhelmed by all the choices of restaurants? Check out this list of top 10 restaurants in Chicago.
Alinea Restaurant on N. Halstead St
One of the most well-know restaurants in the city and one of the most respected is Alinea Restaurant located on N. Halstead Street. This restaurant serving up contemporary American cuisine was named the best restaurant in America back in 2006. It continues to graze the top 5 list of restaurants in Chicago, and has three Michelin stars. Owner/ Chef Grant Achatz’s culinary masterpieces are legendary and he is well known for offering a to-die-for 24-course tasting menu which takes 5 hours to complete. This restaurant also features an extensive gluten-free menu.
Spiaggia on N. Michigan Avenue
If you want to taste some of the most authentic Italian cuisine outside of Italy, then Spiaggia on N. Michigan Avenue is pretty close to the real deal. This incredible restaurant spearheaded by Chef John Mantuano is the only four-star Italian restaurant in Chicago and offers a culinary experience like no other.
Charlie Trotter’s restaurant
Charlie Trotter’s restaurant by the same name is also one of Chicago’s gastronomic gems. Located on Armitage Avenue, this venue continuously gets rated both nationally and internationally. It is often viewed as one of the finest restaurants in the world and has accumulated ten James Beard Foundation awards. Chef Charlie Trotter offers three tasting menus; all made from the purest seasonal ingredients and each dish prepares you for the next. This is one restaurant you won’t want to miss.
Saigon Grill in Jefferson Park
Looking to taste some amazing Chinese/Vietnamese food while in Chicago? Then Saigon Grill located in Jefferson Park is the place to go. The owner Sonny and his staff are notoriously pleasant and accommodating. The food is made from fresh ingredients, and the portions are generous.
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
By this point, you’re probably yearning for some world-famous Chicago pizza, and the place to satisfy your craving is Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. This famous Chicago pizzeria has been around for 40 years and has fully earned its reputation as one of the city’s best. This venue serves up delicious Chicago-style deep dish pizza with the freshest of ingredients. It’s a must-try if you’re in Chicago.
Looking for another great Chicago pizza experience? Then Giordano’s is the next place you should hit. This venue has the best stuffed pizza in the world, with a multitude of toppings and options. This pizzeria also offers thin crust pizzas that are equally delicious.
Hot Doug on N. California Avenue
Chicago is famous for its hot dogs, and the place to discover them is by going to the aptly-named Hot Doug on N. California Avenue. Many Chicago locals don’t hesitate to wait 90 minutes in line to get their hot dog fix, and a 30 minute wait is considered normal. On the weekends, Hot Doug has a line before it even opens! There are many types of hot dogs with all the fixins, even a decadent foie gras hotdog. This place offers the best Chicago hot dog experience in the city, and the kids will love it.
Bari Subs and Italian Foods on W. Grand Avenue
If you want to taste one of the best Italian sandwiches around, then take a little trip to Bari on W. Grand Avenue. This great Italian place serves up great subs made with high-quality meats and freshly baked breads. It also doubles as a little grocery store. Just be ready to wait in a long line to get your Italian sub.
Want to indulge in another fine dining experience before leaving the city? Then MK restaurant is just what the doctor ordered. This fine restaurant serves up a diverse American/Italian/ French menu that is out of this world. This venue is well-known for its superior service and excellent food; the five-course tasting menu is particularly highly-rated.
Caputo Cheese Market on N 15th Avenue
Before leaving Chicago, you must also visit the Caputo Cheese Market on N 15th Avenue or E. Wisconsin Avenue. This cheese-lover’s paradise has an endless selection of imported cheeses from all over the world at reasonable prices. There are also Italian meats, canned goods, fresh pasta, olives and anything else you can imagine. There’s also a little café in the back to savor your bought goods or other deli options.