Second City? Not to us. Chicago, in particular when it comes to food, is at the top. There are plenty of steakhouses and pizza joints to visit, fine dining and dive bars – no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Chicago.
Here’s a look at our 6 favorite restaurants in the Windy City.
Spanning three floors of deliciousness, start your night at Momotaro by tasting their choice selection of sakes. You’ll want to bring a few friends, ordering by yourself can be a challenge (it’s not cheap, and you’ll want to try a bit of everything). Order plenty of dishes at the Izakaya downstairs and don’t miss on the Jidori Karaage, Smoked Kamo, and Sutadon (fried chicken, duck breast and pork belly, respectively). Then turn to the Robata Grill for some Shishito Peppers, Kohitsuji (bone-in lamb chop) and Gyutan (beef tongue).
Monteverde is the creation of James Beard award-winning Chef Sarah Grueneberg, this is our favorite place for pasta in the city. We suggest the Octopus in Umido, Cacio Whey Pepe, Tortellini in Brodo, and of course the Ragu Alla Napoletana – which comes with pork shank, cacciatore, soppressata meatballs, and wilted escarole. Hungry yet?
Before we say anything, we’d like to first off declare that that photo above is a picture of the best onion rings in the world. Case closed.
Giant, located in Logan Square, is a big hit amongst Chicago locals, some would even say it’s a giant hit. Sorry, couldn’t resist. The cool menu features buttery uni shooters in a crispy panko coating, bacon and jalapeño pasta, and a vast selection of rotating cocktails and natural wine to balance the food’s bold flavors.
Tip: Snap some photos for your Instagram. They’ve been featured in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and Bon Appetit Magazine. They were also featured right here in Travel Magazine as one of the top 10 restaurants in the USA last year.
What to order: The onion rings with Parmesan. You’re welcome.
Yes, coming to RPM Steak, you experience momentary paralysis when you see the prices on the menu. Though seemingly outrageous, the steaks here are exceedingly worth it. This ultra glam, dimly-lit, super sexy steak lair has perfected its menu to a T. Whether you choose to splurge on the 36-oz ribeye that’s been dry-aged for 90 days or go for the Hokkaido Snow Beef, an ultra-rare type of Wagyu, your palate will be thanking you. Especially if you choose the Japanese sweet potatoes and foie gras butter as add ons. You can thank us later.
Note: We recently named RPM Steak one of the 11 best steakhouses in the USA.
Chef Grant Achatz owns a few restaurants in Chicago, including Next, Roister, and Alinea. Alinea draws in a crowd due to its creative and unique dishes that are better described as detailed works of art than dinner. There are three innovative experiences to choose from, but regardless of your choice you know you’re in for a Michelin starred meal at one of the best restaurants in the world.
It was featured on our list of the best restaurants from Netflix’s Chef’s Table in the USA.
It wouldn’t be a complete list of the best places to eat in Chicago without pizza, and for our money, Lou Malnati’s is the best in the city. Founded in 1971, their deep dish has a buttery crust that’s out of this world. There are plenty of locations around the city, be sure to stop by one before you go. It tops all of the other famous Chicago pizza joints. You heard it here!