Chicago is often called the culinary capital of the Midwest, and for good reason. The city is home to numerous award-winning restaurants, from classic steakhouses to trendy farm-to-table eateries. With such a diverse and innovative food scene, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are just a few of the best restaurants in Chicago to dive into the city’s culinary delights.
1. Alinea – Alinea is consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in the world, and it’s easy to see why. The three-Michelin-star restaurant offers a multi-course tasting menu that is a truly unique dining experience. Chef Grant Achatz’s imaginative dishes are beautifully presented and explore various textures and flavors. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience, Alinea is the place to go.
2. Girl & the Goat – This popular West Loop spot is known for its bold flavors and creative dishes. Chef Stephanie Izard’s menu features a mix of meat-centric and vegetarian options, and everything is meant to be shared. Don’t miss the Goat Empanadas or the Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face.
3. Pequod’s Pizza – Chicago is known for its deep-dish pizza, and Pequod’s is one of the best places to try it. The pizza has a caramelized crust and is loaded with cheese and toppings. If deep-dish isn’t your thing, they also offer thin-crust options.
4. The Publican – The Publican is a beer hall and restaurant that serves up hearty, meat-focused dishes. The menu features everything from oysters and charcuterie boards to pork chops and whole fish. Don’t forget to sample some of their house-made sausages and cured meats.
5. Sepia – This elegant restaurant in the West Loop is known for its contemporary American cuisine and stunning presentation. Executive Chef Andrew Zimmerman’s menu changes frequently to reflect the seasons, but you can always expect artful dishes like the Foie Gras Terrine or the Scallops with Uni Butter.
6. Topolobampo – Rick Bayless is a Chicago culinary icon, and Topolobampo is his fine-dining Mexican restaurant. The menu features regional Mexican cuisine that is expertly crafted and beautifully presented. Don’t miss the signature Mole dishes or the Cochinita Pibil, a slow-roasted pork dish.
7. The Purple Pig – The Purple Pig is a bustling Mediterranean-inspired wine bar that serves up small plates and charcuterie. The menu is meant to be shared, so grab a group and dig into delicious dishes like the Pork Neck Bone Gravy with Ricotta or the Milk Braised Pork Shoulder.
Chicago’s restaurant scene is constantly evolving, so be sure to stay tuned for new and exciting options. Whether you’re a foodie or just a curious traveler, there is something for everyone in Chicago’s culinary landscape.