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Must Visit Restaurants In Chicago

Dive Into The Depths Of Shedd Aquarium

24 Must-Visit Chicago Restaurants from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

The Shedd Aquarium is home to approximately 32,000 animals, including sea otters, sharks, frogs, penguins and beluga whales, not to mention a multitude of different fish and coral species. The aquarium is divided into different geographical exhibits and offers a comprehensive daily schedule that includes spotlight sessions on various species, live dives and feedings, along with look-and-learn experiences. With so many activities and programming, this is easily a full-day excursion. Buying tickets in advance is strongly recommended.

Places To Eat In Chicago For Brunch:

1. M.Henry Cafe We barely tried this place last February because I wanted to celebrate National Pancake Month. I was sad that I wouldnt make it out to my favorite pancake place in NYC , so I was determined to find a good spot at home. M.Henry was a pleasant surprise. Everything we had was delicious, and their pancakes were well decorated, fluffy, and fantastic.

2. This French-inspired gem is located inside the Waldorf Astoria in the gorgeous Gold Coast area. I stayed at the Waldorf in January . Honestly, I didnt expect much when Jorge and I went down for brunch, but I was hooked when we got our food.

The french toast was AMAZING and quickly became my second #1 next to the Banana Foster french toast from New Orleans Surreys Cafe .

2021UPDATE: Margeaux closed for a while due to covid. It returned with a new chef and a new menu. The new name is Brasserie. I havent visited since the revamp, so I cannot comment on the menu, but Im hoping my favorite french toasts are still around.

3. Gather This is a restaurant we tried after gathering the top recommendations from other locals. Gather came up numerous times, so we knew we had to give it a try. Dinner here is great, and the drinks are well priced.

We recently visited for brunch and loved it even more! Jorge ordered a bloody mary and an eggs benedict, and I had delicious french toast. In the summer, they have a beautiful outdoor patio.




The Signature Room At The 95th

Nothing beats the views from the Signature Room at the 95th. Perched on, you guessed it, the 95th floor of one of Chicagos most famous skyscrapers, the Signature Room offers sweeping panoramas of the surrounding city and lake so make sure to request a table by the window. The menu includes upscale options like seafood towers, roasted rack of lamb, and twin lobster tails, plus an extensive cocktail and wine list. One floor up, youll find the Signature Lounge with a more casual menu but equally stunning views. 875 N. Michigan Ave.

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Best Brunch In Chicago The Bongo Room

White chocolate, caramel pretzel pancakes, I dream of the day Ill be reunited with you in Wicker Park. Known for their outrageous and oversized pancake, Benedict, and French Toast creations, their sweet and savory breakfast menu was designed for sharing . Snooze is Denvers cheap imitation, and nowhere near as good as those sinful syrups.

Also Try: Lula Café, The Publican, Meli Café, Ann Sather, Yolk

Short Rib Beignets At Boeufhaus

23 Hidden Gems You Must Visit In Chicago

West TownNew Orleans-style beignets in all their dreamy, doughnut-y goodness, but make it savorythat was the original impetus behind this rustic-chic Western Ave chophouses boundary-defying appetizer. And savory it became, a blanket of puffy deep-fried dough wrapped tightly around a generous wad of short rib, seasoned, seared, and braised until fork-tender. Swap the requisite powdered sugar for a ladleful of haus jus and youre in business.How to book: Order pick-up via Toast or get delivery via DoorDash.

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Stroll The Navy Pier:

Head down to the shoreline of Lake Michigan, and you will find this famous landmark. The Navy Pier is home to the Chicagos Children Museum, Pier Park, IMAX Theatre, and of course, the Ferris Wheel.

Moreover, the citys 4th of July and New Years Eve fireworks occur here every year. The Ferris Wheel can also be a great option if you wish to have one of the citys best views.

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.

Also Try: Superdawg Drive-inn, Wolfys, Devil Dawgs

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Visit The Art Institute Of Chicago:

This museum will successfully compete against the best art museums in the world. Located on Michigan Avenue, the Art Institute is the second largest museum in the US, being visited by over 1.5 million people annually.

Inside, youll find more than 300 000 works of art that will probably take your breath away for a whole day.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

24 Must-Visit Chicago Restaurants from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

A perennial North Side favorite, Honey Butter Fried Chicken comes from a pair of talented chefs who threw underground dinner parties. These crisp and skinless pieces of meat come with the restaurants signature honey butter. But beyond the food, Christine Cikowksi and Josh Kulp are committed to improving restaurant working conditions and have championed a business model where employees receive health care benefits. That explains prices that are higher than the average counter service joint, but HBFC reports strong worker retention, which is a rarity in the industry.

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Mapo Tofu At Lao Sze Chuan

Multiple locationsNot for the faint of heart, this chili pepper-flecked pool of bubbling hot broth littered with molten globs of silky tofu and slices of crisp, bright green onions is Chinese comfort food in its purestand most deliciousform. Its no wonder this dish helped put Lao Sze Chuan on the map, launching it from a homey Chinatown operation in 1998 to a mini-empire with celebrated outposts across the Midwest.How to order: Dine-in, take-out, and delivery options vary by location.

Gayles Best Ever Grilled Cheese

Gayle’s has been a fixture for years in Chicago farmers markets, where you could grab a crispy grilled cheese sandwich made with white sourdough from Bennison’s Bakery in Evanston, Prairie Pure Butterkase cheese from Belvidere and butter from Nordic Creamery in Westby, Wis. These exceptional ingredients fuse to make one gooey, irresistible sandwich. I especially love the Southport , which adds a sweet smoked onion marmalade to the classic grilled cheese. Located in the pedway,Block 37, Level B1, 108 N. State St., 312-285-2202, gaylessandwichshopchicago.com.

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Best Restaurants In Chicago

The Emerald City of Americas heartland benefits from seasonality like few others in the country. Sourcing farm fresh ingredients from all over Illinoisnot to mention neighboring Michigan, Indiana, and WisconsinChicago’s best restaurants are recognized as some of the most exciting in the country, thanks in no small part to the talent in their kitchens. Take Abe Conlon who shares the rather niche cuisine of Macau with an always rambunctious crowd at Fat Rice, or industry giant Grant Achatz, who continues to ascend gastronomical heights at his temple to modern dining, Alinea, or David and Anna Posey who serve up hygge on a plate at Elske. From acclaimed chefs to memorable dining experiences, we’ve lists our favorite Chicago restaurants hereso snag your reservations ASAP.

Life On Marz Community Club

24 Must

The gist: The folks behind Bridgeport-based Marz Community Brewing Co. have ventured north to set up shop on the edge of Logan Square and Bucktown. Inspired by VFW halls, the aptly-titled project aims to foster community within a whimsical space festooned with bright colors and clean design. The food: While its all about Marz beers, CBD seltzers, nitro coffees, and canned booch, you can also snack on Makowskis sausages and hot dogs, housemade seven-spice nori snack mix, flavored jerky, meat sticks, and more. The cost: Snacks $5 – $11, drinks $4 – $6. How to book:Stop by for counter service.

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Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face From Girl And The Goat

West LoopVegetarians, take note: this is not just a clever nicknameThe wood oven roasted pig face is precisely as advertised. And star chef-owner Stephanie Izard has been plating it ever since her iconic restaurant debuted over a decade ago. A duo of crisped pork patties are jazzed up with tamarind, cilantro, fried potato sticks, and a maple-infused red wine vinaigrette. Its all covered in a single egg, served sunny-side up a mouth-watering visual delight.How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Not Every Great Restaurant In Chicago

Youre in Chicago for the first time ever. Youve got 72 hours and an appetite for everything. Where do you start?

Thats a question we get asked a lot, and its a hard one to answer. But were gonna try so that you dont return home having only sampled our finest mozzarella sticks from the food court at Navy Pier.

Theres no doubt youll spend time wandering up and down the Magnificent Mile and checking out the West Loop. And while theres great food there , dont confine yourself to eating all your meals in these areas youll miss some of the best restaurants in the city.

This isnt meant to be a definitive list of Chicagos best restaurants its just what wed do if we were in your shoes. Speaking of shoes hopefully you brought something comfortable. Youve got a lot of ground to cover.

Sorrylooks like you screwed up that email address

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Cemita Atmica At Cemitas Puebla

Chicagos Mexican population is one of the largest in the country and their cuisine is woven tightly into the fabric of the food scene here. Thats why we go beyond the taco to honor the cemita, a typical sandwich made up of avocado, chipotle sauce, Oaxacan cheese, and meat inside a homemade sesame seed roll.

No one does it better either than Cemitas Puebla, who put themselves on the map by creating the Cemitas Atómica. This monster sandwich blends pork loin, breaded milanesa and Krakus ham for a heart-stopping number.

Insider Tip: You can try Cemitas Puebla, Kumas killer burgers and Do-Rites artisanal doughnuts in Chicago Food Planets Gateway to the West Loop Food Tour. Not only will you get to nosh on some of Chicagos most innovative dishes but youll also learn more about the neighborhood that started the citys dining revolution.

Dont Miss Willis Tower And The Sky Deck:


Willis Tower, previously named Sears Tower, was the tallest building globally for over 25 years.

If you wish to have a unique and, at the same time, a terrifying perspective of the city, you must visit the sky deck.

The view from up there is simply stunning. The line was pretty long, but eventually, we could make it to the top right before the sunset.

Imagine admiring the panorama of the city from the 103rd floor while sitting on plain glass.

It took a year of engineering and six months of construction to create the four boxes. Also, four states are visible from that height: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

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Best Innovative Dining Experience In Chicago Next

The most forward-thinking restaurant in the country, in my opinion, Next is another ticketed experience from the team behind bucket-list worthy Alinea. Every quarter they completely reconceptualize the space and food from Paris 1906 to Thailand 2020 and even had a whimsical Childhood menu with edible finger paints. The buzz definitely justifies the hype.

Cant Believe Its Not Meat

Cant Believe Its Not Meatrecreates many of my childhood favorites like pizza puffs and Italian beef, but everythings vegan. Chef Laricia Chandler Baker enjoys creating unique meatless dishes. I have a shellfish allergy. I ordered a vegan shrimp poboy sandwich with all of the flavor and none of the consequences.

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Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream

These are a few of our favorite things: Pies from Eat Free Pizza, Kimskis fried chicken and dessert from Pretty Cool Ice Cream are now served beneath the same Bridgeport roof. Choose your own adventure: perhaps youll go for a sausage and giardiniera pizza on thin cracker crust, some chicken tenders with buffalo ranch, followed by a rainbow chip ice cream pop? But our list of favorite things doesnt end there, as youre welcome to take your food next door to the patio at Marias Packaged Goods to grab a cocktail to complement your hearty meal.

964 W 31st St. 565-4192 or pfcic.com

New Orleans In Chicago: Ina Mae Tavern

24 Must

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.

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Cleos Southern On Cottage

After opening in 2019, the Michelin Guide listed Cleos Southern on Cottageas one of Chicagos top five new restaurants to visit.

Cleos describes their food as having a Creole twist on Southern classics served with white-table ambiance. The menu changes daily, but there are staple items on the menu, such as wild-caught pan-seared Scottish salmon prepared with mango habanero. This dish sounds spicy and is the first thing I would like to try when I visit. Because the menu changes daily, I would suggest ordering one of the specialty creative dishes listed under Some Newbies.

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

To say Gibsons is popular would be an understatement this is the highest grossing independent restaurant in all of Chicago. The restaurants prime location just off the Magnificent Mile and commitment to quality has fueled its reputation as a Chicago classic since it opened in 1989. Once youre in the door, the dining rooms pressed tin ceilings amplify laughter and conversations, lending a boisterous atmosphere that suddenly makes another round feel like the only good idea. But Gibsons owes its staying power to its steaks: The restaurant is the first in the country to have its own USDA certification, Gibsons Prime Angus beef. Save room for desserts, which the menu humbly lists as carrot cake or chocolate mousse pie, but in reality are towering, multi-layer creations that rival the citys skyscrapers in height.

Dining at the restaurant: Gibsons is open for limited indoor dining and outdoor dining on the restaurants covered, heated patio.

Takeout: Takeout and delivery are available through the restaurants website, offering prepared items, family meals that feed four people, and cook-at-home steaks and chops that come with a container of the restaurants signature seasoning salt and videos to help guide diners through the cooking process.

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