Modern Mexican: Mi Tocaya Antojeria
Innovation in Chicagos Mexican cooking scene has historically been confined to Rick Bayless restaurants and the occasional fast-food promotion. But Diana Davilas Mi Tocaya Antojeria in Logan Square is rooted in tradition like soulful rich moles but also punctuated by furiously creative touches.
Cheap Eat: Fatsos Last Stand
Though known for icons like deep-dish pizza and a hot dog dragged through the garden, Chicago, a city surrounded by fresh water, has a long history of fried shrimp houses. While Fatsos isnt a dedicated shrimp shack like some others in town, it serves up incredible gigantic garlic-battered butterflied and fried shrimp so good you might think you were vacationing in the Gulf. Though Fatso’s is a shack, almost everything is made in-house, including macaroni and cheese featuring al dente cavatappi dripping with cheddar. Also on offer, char dogs and juicy cheeseburgers that channel the soul of the West Coasts In-N-Out Burger, making Fatsos one of Chicagos greatest cheap-eats destinations.
Go to: Fatsos Last Stand
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Ask any Chicagoan what is the best thing about living in the Second City, and many of them will tell you, without hesitation, that the food is without compare. All over the citys streets, youll find fine dining across a range of cuisines, excellent street food that leaves you wanting more, and budget options that compare with the best. Chicago, a truly cosmopolitan city, has let that cultural mix infuse its cuisine and youll never be short of options whether you favor Italian, classic American, Chinese or any one of a number of other options. Among its best eateries, this coastal city offers excellent seafood and, below, you can find out all about the top 10 seafood restaurants in Chicago, Illinois.
If you like seafood, youll love Joes, and youll be particularly in love with its wide and varied menu. Even the members of your party who are unsure about the fruits of the ocean will find something here that is to their liking whether its a British-style Fish and Chips, glazed Chilean Sea Bass, or a filet mignon featuring gourmet Ahi Tuna. Joes is particularly famous for the delicious Stone Crab that they serve as a main dish or a sharing platter and if anyone really doesnt want fish, theres an excellent steakhouse menu to pick from.
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Summer House Santa Monica
New American, Italian | $$$ | Website | | 634-4100
Crispy chicken sandwich with snappy pickles and the Tropical Dreams cocktail
Light, airy, and wellsummer-y, is how Id describe the atmosphere at Summer House Santa Monica, which is located on N Halsted St in Lincoln Park. Considering the large atrium and ambiance of the summer-inspired dining room, this makes sense. On the wall, they even have a countdown to summer.
Most of the food is New American cuisine, with some Italian, Asian, and Mexican influences blended in. Each time Ive dined here, the food and drinks have never disappointed me. Everything on the menu is tasty, but I always get the crispy chicken sandwich. The truffle fries are also delicious!
Pro Tip: If you can, dine here in the summertime when the atrium is open. Its great!
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The Budlong Hot Chicken
This local chain of Nashville-style fried chicken almost always has a long line at Revival Food Hall, and it’s easy to see why. The exterior of the chicken is crackly and genuinely spicy, while the interior stays juicy. Even the sides are top quality, including the intricately flavored collard greens. Revival Food Hall, 125 S. Clark St., 773-999-9411, revivalfoodhall.com
Chicago-style hot dog at Maxs Take Out.
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Monteverde Restaurant And Pastificio
This Italian restaurantrun by the famous James Beard and award-winning chef Sarah Grueneberggraces Madison St in West Loop, Chicago. Considered the best spot for high-quality Italian food in the whole of Chicago, their menu includes a variety of pasta creations and other dishes.
Try popular dishes like the Cacio e Pepe, Pork Shank, or stuffed cabbage, and enjoy excellent flavors without draining the wallet. Even better is the ambiance perfect for group evenings, dates, or a romantic date on the heated patio.
Best Places To Eat In Chicago For Snacks And Brews
Walking in Chicago is one of my favorite pastimes and whenever I visit, Ill walk until my feet feel like theyll fall off. Thats why knowing a couple of the best places to eat in Chicago that can dish out a snack and a beer to break up the walk is so critical!
My Chicago friends have taken me to many of these places listed below when were walking around. Its like theyre calling us to come in and take a load off.
In my opinion, you cant come to Chicago without trying at least one local brewery and eating a Chicago hot dog. So, heres a list of the recommendations I have for beers and snacks to help you get the most out of your strolls.
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Exchequer Restaurant and Pub has been serving deep dish since 1969, in a space that used to be one of Capones favorite speakeasies. The huge restaurant is covered in countless pieces of memorabilia, from mobster wanted posters, to Bears and Bulls newspaper clippings, providing interesting bits of history to keep you busy while you wait for your pizza or a visit from the ghost of historys most notorious fedora model. The deep dish here isnt the best in the city, but the 50-year-old recipe still holds up, and provides an alternative to the crowds at Lous or Giordanos. Slightly different from a traditional Chicago-style pie, they layer cheese on top of a slightly sweet tomato sauce, all cradled in a soft, chewy crust. Theres a wide selection of toppings available, but our favorite combination is aptly named The Chicago: Italian sausage, Italian beef, onion, and giardiniera.
Joes Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab
60 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Another great restaurant is Joes Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab. Joes Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab prides itself on its elegant dining experience. The restaurant goes so far as to have staff wear tuxedos to illustrate the fine dining experience. In 1913, the original Joe of Joes Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab set up shop. Ever since then, the restaurant is hailed as one of the best dining experiences. If you are looking for an upscale establishment for business with a top client or for a special anniversary, Joes Seafood, Prime Rib & Stone Crab.
Despite being an inland city, Chicagos ever-expanding restaurant scene includes a number of esteemed seafood restaurants. Bordered by Lake Michigan, Chicago is home to a variety of freshwater fish and its proximity to both the Atlantic and Pacific allows for fresh seafood to be flown in daily. See our picks of the best seafood restaurants in Chicago.
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New Orleans In Chicago: Ina Mae Tavern
Chef Brian Jupiter has the soul of the bayou running through his blood. Unlike any cook before him, he has somehow found a way to bring a taste of The Big Easy to Chicago at Ina Mae Tavern. Chargrilled oysters can bubble with butter, while fried crawfish tails can be as addictive like popcorn shrimp. Po’ Boy-style sandwiches stuffed between crusty bread channels the best of New Orleanss stalwarts like Parkway Bakery and Domilises.
Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings
Chinese | $$ | Website | | 799-1118
Qing Xiang Yuan is considered by many to have the best dumplings in Chicago. Whether you like your dumplings steamed, boiled, or pan-fried, this restaurant offers them in a variety of fillings . There are even vegetarian and vegan options.
If youre visiting Chinatown, Qing Xiang Yuan is the perfect stop for lunch or dinner. I recommend bringing some friends so you can choose a variety of dumplings and sample them all.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
Steakhouse | $$$$ | Website | | 266-8999
This is the original Gibsons location!
When it comes to all things steak and meat, Gibsons is the classic place to go in Chicago. Arrive hungry and ready to eat.
The meat-heavy menu includes steak done a variety of ways , as well as other local favorites like pork chops, roast chicken, ribs, and burgers. Drinks are also great. If for whatever reason you still have room for dessert at the end of your meal, snag a piece of cake, too.
As far as ambiance goes, the indoor dining room looks like a timeless steakhouse. Think warm tones with lots of wood. They even have a wall dedicated to autographed photos.
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Ultimate Guide To Lunch In Chicago’s Loop: 24 Best Spots
Never has there been a better time to flee your Loop office building and get lunch.
You never had to convince me. I mean, would you rather nibble on some sad salad in the grim yellow light of your business’s windowless break room, or walk among the sterling skyscrapers in one of the most architecturally interesting places on earth? I’ve lived in Chicago for 10 years, and I still can’t make it a block without gazing up in awe like some slack-jawed tourist.
Used to be, people had the rightful claim that the lunch options in the Loop never measured up with the scenery. That’s not true anymore. From stellar barbecue to the finest deep dish in the city, I know of no other neighborhood where such a large number of high quality lunch spots exist in such a condensed space. If you work in the area, consider yourself lucky.
We should thank Revival Food Hall, which has been the epicenter for lunch in the Loop since opening. The glimmering food hall launched a delicious arms race in 2016 when it attracted a horde of hip local eateries, instead of relying on the usual fast-food suspects. Ever since, the number of national burger joints in the Loop has decreased, while intriguing quick-service options have multiplied.
This is also no time for sit-down restaurants, where ordering requires a waiter or waitress. While fine for a business lunch, that’s another list. All of these spots prize speed, making it easy to swing by and grab a bite on a busy business day.
1. Beatrix Market
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The Original Rainbow Cone
They say lifes too short for just one flavor. The Original Rainbow Cone is a Chicago institution whose signature namesake treat is a cone stacked with orange sherbet, pistachio, Palmer House , strawberry, and chocolate ice cream. Try the ultra-photogenic treat at Rainbow Cones original Beverly location or their Navy Pier outpost.
Shaws Crab House At 21 E Hubbard St In Chicago
What started out as a small oyster bar in downtown Chicago in the mid-19080s has grown into the most loved and respected seafood restaurant in the city. According to theinfatuation.com,
Shaws is basically the seafood version of a steakhouse
In a city that loves its steakhouses, Shaws has that same kind of appeal and many of the same classic steakhouse side dishes, too.
Oysters are flown in daily from both coasts.
Chicagos first oyster bar is waiting for you.
Cant visit the bar without ordering an oyster shooter.
Ask just about anyone in Chicago who serves the best lobster rolls and youll Shaws Crab House most often.
Shaws Crab House serves a variety of freshly shucked oysters, made-to-order sushi, and more than 40 seafood dishes including their signature Alaskan King Crab Legs.
Besides those crab legs, Shaws has a raspberry pie that must be ordered when you visit.
Maybe youd prefer the pie made famous in a part of the country where much of Shaws fresh seafood is sourced, Florida.
Look at this slice of their Key Lime pie.
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The 15 Best Places For Seafood In Chicago
John Sylwestrak: Try the Steamed Maine Lobster Maine lobster, what else do you need to say. Awesome.
George Marks: Amazing lobster tail!! Best steak and lobster I ever had!!
Hanan Mal: The lobster bisque is perfect. But the Alaskan king crab legs are a MUST!! Our waitress Danielle was the perfect host even treated us to complimentary slice of key lime pie Will be back definitely
Micki Maynard: Oysters are perfectly shucked. A nice chowder.
Hardik Chaudhari: The Oyster Po-Boy sliders are awesome. For dessert, the waffle and salted caramel are dope
Myra Rubin: One of my favorite in the city! Love fish? The Seabass is a must!!!
Chicago magazine: There are charms to be had in the wonderful stone crab claws, the excellent grilled mahi-mahi with chimichurri and jicama slaw, and the luscious Key lime pie. Read more.
Oliver: Different kind of oysters all of them with excellent flavour. Alaskan king crab delicious
Nick Cervantes: Get the scallops and braised goat.. Amazing!
Sarah Primus: Wow! The scallops are amazing and so is the white fish! Actuallyeverything is good, you cant go wrong!
Heather Dumford: Justin is the best bartender in Chicagotry the halibut with almond purée and dont leave without eating the sugo
C: Shrimp & Kalbi tacos are super tasty ! Got to have the dumplings & kimchi fries on the side too ! So yummy.
Pat Hakey: Sesame shrimp tacos a must. Delicious
Brittany Webb: Omg the Shrimp taco and Kalbi fries ..Amazing!
Brown Bag Seafood Company
340 E Randolph St, Chicago
The Brown Bag Seafood Company is an informal seafood eatery that specializes in grilled, boiled, fried and blackened seafood menu items. You have a choice of getting your order served straight or in sub sandwiches or tacos. Its a plain restaurant but the food is delicious. The Brown Bag offers quick food for lunches or dinners or you can place an order online.
The top rated Seafood Restaurants in Chicago are:
- Lukes Lobster City Hall bringing traceable, sustainable seafood to customers
- GT Fish & Oyster helping to redefine the American seafood restaurant
- Joes Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab operating since 1913
- Half Shell fun, family environment in a small, corner-street restaurant
- Shaws Crab House a jazzy, sophisticated, seafood restaurant
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Tokyo Lunch Boxes And Catering
For the quickest and best lunch box fix, head on to Tokyo Lunch Boxes and Catering in downtown Chicago. Tokyo Lunch Boxes aims to provide only the freshest and high-quality offerings. What makes them the perfect choice for a quick, cheap but best lunch option is they provide ready-to-go food containers for diners who are in a rush.
The selection at Tokyo Lunch Boxes simply equates to quality and quantity, thus giving the best lunch box offering for both first-time and repeat customers. Their Maki Lunch Box has 12 pieces of a variety of maki options for only $.6.99. The Vegetable Maki Box and Avocado Maki are priced at $5.99 and $4.99, respectively.
Best Places To Eat In Chicago For Brunch
Chicago does brunch just right.
Im a true-blue, native New Yorker and my love of my hometown will forbid me from admitting publicly that Chicagos brunch scene could ever rival New Yorks. That being said, I think most people can agree that Chicago knows how to kick brunchs ass.
Whenever I come to the Third Coast to visit my friends, we always try to get our eat on. Heres a list of some of our favorite places to eat in Chicago for brunch:
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Ramen Takeya & Omakase Takeya
Arguably one of the most crowded restaurants in Downtown Chicago, the signature ramen dishes at Ramen Takeya are made with chicken and an adjustable spice level. The dining room offers ample space, plus a bar for those waiting.
It also happens to house one of the most famous sushi bars in the area in the basement. Keep in mind that Omakase Takeya is an Omakase-only sushi bar. They offer an interesting and oft-changing menu, but they have a small seating area for a maximum of 7 people, so its best to reserve a seat if you intend to visit.
Italian Deli: Tempesta Market
Take the traditional Italian market, add some rock-and-roll references plus the pursuit of quality inherent in a stalwart deli like Ann Arbors Zingermans and youve got Tempesta Market. Appetizers may include Berkshire pork meatballs glazed in tomato basil sauce, and gem lettuces tossed with rosy-hued curls of roast beef, shiny curds of stracciatella and a lustrous herb vinaigrette. Sandwiches can include the likes of the Southside Johnny featuring sourdough stuffed with juicy rosemary broth-splashed porchetta, grilled Wisconsin cheese, verdant broccolini, and spicy garlicky chimichurri that kick the butt of your average Italian hero.
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