Top 16 Michelin Star Restaurants In Chicago
I am an avid foodie. Whenever I visit a new city, I, first of all, explore the culinary scene there. The last time I was heading to Chicago, I did the same.
So, I have made a list of the top 16 Michelin star restaurants in Chicago to enjoy the best culinary delights of the city.
However, before I share this list, it is better to understand what a Michelin star restaurant is and how restaurants get these ratings.
Hubbard Inn River North
Many brunch spots on this list, like Beatrix, offer year-round reliable brunches with established set menus. Hubbard Inn, however, is another that offers a revolving, constantly changing the setup. Right now a Secret Garden Pop-Up has taken over Hubbard Inns second floor. A boozy brunch can now be found in the celestial leafy lounge of Blue Violet combining a stunning spring-themed setting with a bottomless, mouth-watering brunch.
The stunning floral setup, bottomless mimosas, and a selection of spring-themed cocktails mean you can really bask in the seasonal bloom while enjoying special brunch deals. Get your tickets here.
Where: 110 West Hubbard Street, Chicago
Joes Seafood Prime Steak And Stone Crab
Address: 60 E Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60611
Dry-Aged Beef: Yes
What to Order: Bone-In Ribeye
The Breakdown: Joes may have started as a seafood focused restaurant in Miami, FL, but when they opened their Chicago Location in the early 2000s the addition of tender, succulent Midwest raised beef was a match made in heaven. The Chicago location of this iconic steakhouse boasts only the finest USDA Prime steaks. Their specialty cuts include a bone-in ribeye that is the thing of meat lovers dreams.
Of course, you cant forget the stone crab that made Joes famous, or one of the other seafood accompaniments to your surf and turf meal. If you have a sweet tooth, save room for a slice of Joes iconic key lime pie. Reservations are highly recommended at this popular River North spot. And gentlemen, dont forget the jacket which is highly recommended at this white tablecloth establishment.
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Rainbow Cone At The Original Rainbow Cone
This classic Chicago food is a cake cone piled high with chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House , pistachio and orange sherbet . Its a summertime staple and Instagram-worthy dessert that has remained virtually unchanged since it was first scooped in 1926.
You can find this Chicago food at the Original Rainbow Cone’s original location in Chicagos Beverly neighborhood or their second location at Navy Pier.
Original Rainbow Cone | Multiple Locations | $
via Original Rainbow Cone
Batter & Berries Lincoln Park
Founded in 2012, Batter & Berries combines a diverse menu with an upbeat atmosphere, and almost everything is sourced locally. While the website talks of handmade sausages from locally sourced poultry, freshly shredded potatoes daily, 100% Pure Maple Syrup, and collaborations with local artisans, talk to any fan of Batter & Berries and youll likely hear about their phenomenal french toast. Coming in four different flavors, strawberry, blueberry, lemon, and caramel, the french toast is a must-try for brunch fanatics but for the real deal the French Toast Flight offers a taste of all four.
With its bright floral surroundings, hearty breakfasts, and fantastic service, Batter & Berries is unsurprisingly one of the most popular brunch options in the whole city. More information can be found here.
Where: 2748 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago
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Hot Fudge Banana Split At Margies Candies
BucktownSlide into one of Margies Candies worn leather booths and revel at the vintage decor harkening back to its debut in 1921. This century-old confectionery is known for its assortment of housemade candies, but the real show-stoppers are the ice cream concoctions, and the Hot Fudge Banana sundae, served inside an old timey tulip bowl, is the granddaddy of them all. The masterpiece spans three massive scoops of ice cream, bananas, fresh whipped cream, bright red cherries, and crisp cookies, drenched in homemade caramel and fudge, and sprinkled with chopped nuts. The cool ice cream, the warm fudge, and the crunch of the cookie is such a glorious combination that you may find yourself engaged in a spoon war with your dining companion.How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.
Stroll Around Garfield Park Conservatory
Theres a lot of city in Chicago. A lot of buildings. A lot of skyscrapers. All those tall, tall manmade structures might get to you after a while especially if youre not from a city. So if you need some space, the Garfield Park Conservatory is the place for you.
One of the last conservatories in the US often called landscape art under glass this place is bursting with greenery and tropical plants. If you love your succulents and your Instagram gallery is full of artsy pics of houseplants, we urge you to go here. Case in point: theres a Palm Room, with a zillion varieties of palm. One of our favourite hipster things to do in Chicago.
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Best Italian Beef In Chicago Als Beef
Another Chicago staple that could probably be its own food group, Italian beef is a go-to lunch in the loop. Just know how to order so you dont hold up the line. Theyll ask if you want it dry, wet, or dipped which refers to how juicy itll be and whether you want it topped with hot or sweet peppers .
Also Try: Mr. Beef, Tonys Italian Beef
Take In The Sights And Sounds Of The Navy Pier
Whats Navy Pier you ask? Well, its a 3,300-foot long pier on the shore of Lake Michigan that isnt just famous for being long its also got some heritage to it, dating back as it does to 1916. Thats over a century old . Seeing it alone doesnt constitute the best thing to do in Chicago: this pier is an experience.
It must be walked around. There are tons of attractions on the pier itself, everything from old-time-y fast food stands and shops, to exhibitions, seasonal festivals and even stunning views out across the lake. Sounds good, doesnt it? Which is probably why its one of the most popular things to do in Chicago.
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The Bongo Room Multiple Locations
The Bongo Room is another brunch classic in Chicago. The casual café serves an outstanding brunch in a relaxed setting. Breakfast burritos, croissant sandwiches both meat and meat-free are the go-to options for many here as well as a decadent Lobster Benedict that is not short of admirers.
Where: 5022 North Clark Street and 1470 North Milwaukee Avenue
Tacos Al Pastor Via The Sea: Lena Brava
Taquerias are pretty much on every corner in Chicago, and many of them serve good tacos al pastor, aka spit-roasted pork topped with a bit of roast pineapple. Not every corner, however, has golden god of Mexican cuisine Rick Bayless modernizing regional Mexican food like he does at the corner of Randolph and Peoria. Menu items may change, but expect dishes to feature a smokey, flame-licked flavor.
Go to: Lena Brava
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Spend A Day Hitting Up The Citys Donut Joints
Donut miss out on sampling Chicagos delicious donuts. It must be done especially if youre at all fond of these deep-fried rings of goodness. Dunked in coffee, old fashioned style, whatever you go for its bound to be literally delicious. We kid not.
With a recent resurgence in the popularity of donuts in the city, believe it or not, theres a few gooduns to discover if youre in the search of off the beaten track stuff to do in Chicago, like donut-hunting. Hit up Dinkels Bakery. Going strong for over 90 years . Over at Delightful Pastries, this family-owned operation has paczki jam-filled donuts of Polish origin. Unreal.
Be Amazed By The Night Sky At The Adler Planetarium
Were into it. For a more romantic thing to do in Chicago at night, the adults-only Adler After Dark happens on every third Thursday of the month . See the stars from the Doane Observatory, see a bit of live music, and grab a cocktail. Planetariums dont get better than that!
Weve tested countless day packs over the years, and now weve found our absolute favourite: the traveller-approved Osprey Daylite Plus.
Want more deetz on why we love it so damn much? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!
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Carnitas At Carnitas Don Pedro
PilsenTo claim that Don Pedros carnitasknuckle-sized chunks of luscious pork, rife with crunchy chicharrón morsels, ambrosial caramelized fat, and pulpy shredded meatstands as Chicagos most coveted taco filling would be a grave understatement. Pick up a pound of the good stuff on your way to the park and prepare to be the most popular guest at the socially-distanced picnic.How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout online.
Baby Back Ribs At Smoque Bbq
Nothing is more classic and representative of Chicago than a restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere and huge portions. Smoque is known for their family style tables and neighborhood kind of place atmosphere. The barbecue sauce is homemade so you cant go wrong with anything from their large variety of meat.
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What To Eat In Chicago: 20 Must
Chicago has earned a reputation as one of our nations top culinary capitals. And, no wonder food is an integral part of our citys rich history.
The first major influxes of immigrants came to Chicago in the mid-1800s, bringing with them not only their hopes and dreams, but their culinary traditions. Today, these diverse contributions have made Chicagos dining scene into a rich tapestry of culinary cultures.
So what should you eat while youre here? The answer is a little bit of everything. Dont miss trying a true taste of our city with these iconic bites that represent the best food in Chicago.
Jibarito At Papas Cache Sabroso
The jibarito is yet another original Chicago sandwich, created by our vibrant Puerto Rican community. Though it may look like a regular sandwich, there is one element that sets it apart:
Theres no bread!
Instead, crispy plantains hold together layers of meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato. The condiment of choice is garlic-flavored mayonnaise. Steak tends to be the typical filling, but we stan the chicken jibarito at Papas Cache Sabroso in the citys quintessential Boricua neighborhood, Humboldt Park.
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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
Neapolitan Pizza: Paulie Gees
Given the longstanding rivalry with New York for civic supremacy, and the fact that were talking about some of Chicagos most-essential spots, it might seem weird that a Brooklyn-born pizza joint would make this list. But Paulie Gees turns out some of Chicagos best Neapolitan-style pizzas, easily passing the Friday-night craving test. Which is to say, when your inhibitions are down, Gees pies are the ones you crave. The wood-fired and blistered crusts of their Neapolitan pies feature a cross-section of airy bubbles that look more like a croissant than a pizza.
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Best Bagel In Chicago New York Bagel
This may sound random, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a good bagel in a predominantly Christian, red state. To give you an idea of how bad the demand is, the one non-Einsteins within Denver proper just opened to 45-minute waits . This Jew girl needs her schmear, and preferably with lox.
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Fried Chicken With Mild Sauce From Harolds Chicken Shack
Multiple locationsIt might make up the bulk of the meal, but this storied regional chains beautifully scalded fried chicken takes a backseat to its prized mild sauce, a tomato-tinged, tartly sweet, smoky, and ever-so-slightly spicy potion that lurks quietly in the back of every Chicagoans childhood food memories. Well take ours with a side of wings and fries, please and thank you.How to book: Dine-in, take-out, and delivery options vary by location.
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Get Up Close And Personal With The Crown Fountain
Probably one of the more unusual fountains in the world, the Crown Fountain for a start is a pair 50-foot tall cuboid block of glass bricks with a shallow reflection pool between them. That alone makes it a striking piece of public art. We say striking, but back before it was unveiled in 2004 it was downright controversial.
But the best part about the fountain isnt the architecture. Its the LED projections of over a thousand Chicago locals from different backgrounds and walks of life, making it look like theyre spewing water at you from their mouths sort of like a modern-day gargoyle. Seeing it is the one of the coolest things to do in Chicago.
Best Deep Dish Pizza In Chicago Giordanos
The best deep dish in Chicago is a hotly debated topic, but it really comes down to whether you prefer your za saucier or cheesier. Personally, Im a coat that pie in as much tomato sauce as possible kind of girl. If youre all about that cheese life, Lou Malnatis will be more your style. If you want the OG though, give UNOs or Ginos East a try. Others also swear by Pequods for their caramelized crust, but personally, its too crispy for me.
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Get Your Grand Designs On At Farnsworth House
Chicago has no shortage of amazing buildings, but most of them are either skyscrapers or old-time-y structures. Thankfully there is one particular building, namely the Farnsworth House, which is definitely worth your time. And if youre into design, youre going to freak out at this place.
Designed in 1951 by Mies van der Rohe the founder of the Modernist movement in Europe who spent 30 years living and working in Chicago this thing is super cool. This guy basically pioneered glass and steel architecture and you can see it in his house. Visiting it should be a mustif youre on the look-out for hip things to do in Chicago. Instagram fodder if we ever saw it.
Best Hot Dogs In Chicago Portillos
Just say yes to sport peppers and celery salt and hard pass on the ketchup, which is a cardinal sin around these parts. Chicago dogs arent hard to come by in Denver, but that trifecta of beefy goodness, cheese fries, and gluttonous chocolate cake is and my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Someone please open a franchise out West help a girl out.
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Bavettes Bar And Boeuf
Address: 218 W. Kinzie St Chicago, IL 60654
Dry-Aged Beef: Yes
What to Order: Bone-In Filet Mignon
The Breakdown: It takes a lot to be called the best of the best on a Chicago Steak Company list. This River North newcomer to the Chicago steakhouse scene more than delivers. Offering a French twist on the classic steak restaurant, Bavettes is all at once elegant and relaxed. Pull up a seat at the plush red leather booths and enjoy a classic cocktail and seafood appetizer while listening to the sultry sounds of live jazz music.
When it comes to the beef, only the highest grade will do. Bavettes serves up USDA Prime meat in a variety of staple cuts. If youre looking for something different, try on the bone-in filet a tender, juicy and flavorful rarity among steakhouse fare. Oh, and dont forget the bone marrow, a house specialty.
Smyth And The Loyalist
New American | $$$$ | Website | | 913-3773
Smyth and The Loyalist is a dual-concept restaurant located in the West Loop. The first floor, Smyth, is a tasting menu restaurant with an open kitchen and dining room concept. Just below Smyth is the restaurants bar and lounge, The Loyalist, which has a cozy, intimate atmosphere.
The burger is a fan favorite at The Loyalist, but both floors shine a light on seafood and farm-to-table cuisine. This is a great restaurant to book for special occasions.
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Milwaukee Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Catch a short flight to Milwaukee, where you can join an exciting and fun scavenger hunt adventure! One of the best ways to explore the city, youll use your surroundings to solve clues and complete challenges.
You can stop and go as you please, and take as much time as you need, admiring and learning about the attractions as you go along. Its a really laid-back trip, and a great experience for couples, friends, and families.
You use your smartphone to play the game and navigate the historic streets of Milwaukee, enjoying its modern and unique culture.
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