Where to eat in Chicago? Our 10 favorite restaurants

Where to eat in Chicago? Our 10 favorite restaurants

Where to eat in Chicago? Our 10 favorite restaurants

In a city that is home to 22 Michelin-starred restaurants–from experimental and artsy establishments to more discreet brasseries–Chicago has earned its stripes as a dining destination for good reason.

Located in downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, the following restaurants not only offer some of the city’s best specialties, but also feature a number of experimental elements that guarantee a feast for the senses. Here is our selection of the best restaurants in Chicago.

Acadia

Inspired by the Maine coast, Acadia is an experience worthy of a South Loop destination. Chef Ryan McCaskey’s acclaimed two-Michelin-starred restaurant offers two distinct experiences. First, Acadia’s bar offers an inventive menu with unexpected variations on traditional dishes such as lobster rolls and steak frites. Second, the 10-course tasting menu and wine pairings offer masterful flavor combinations that are simply out of this world. Reservations for the tasting menu are highly recommended.

Oriole

Chicago’s bustling West Loop is home to many fine restaurants, but few are as refined as Oriole. With two Michelin stars, chef Noah Sandoval presents a multi-course tasting menu with Japanese influences and unexpected ingredients. In collaboration with renowned mixologist Julia Momose, who offers specialty cocktails, and sommelier Aaron McManus, who offers an elegant old world wine list, Oriole is an exceptional option that deserves to be at the top of your list when visiting the city.

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Smyth

With Smyth Restaurant and The Loyalist burger and cocktail restaurant on the ground floor, John Shields and Karen Urie Shields are taking dining experiences to the next level. At Smyth, their two-star restaurant, upscale tasting menus inspired by the countryside and the table await, changing daily based on the couple’s farm excursions. With dishes at once robust and delicate, infused with Midwestern charm, this is down-to-earth cuisine at its best.

Bohemian Band

Chicago loves its breweries, so it makes sense that it produces one with a Michelin star. Tucked away in the quiet Ravenswood neighborhood, Band of Bohemia offers many delicious products, including craft beer concoctions. Since the brewpub offers a la carte and tasting menus at reasonable prices, dinner here is worth the Uber price.

Blackbird

For a taste of Midwestern cuisine at its fanciest, a visit to the Blackbird is a must. A West Loop mainstay for more than two decades, this Michelin-starred restaurant is a local favorite and a top destination for any discerning foodie. Dinner is a la carte, with a generous approach to flavors, accompanied by a solid wine list, while lighter options come in the form of a more than reasonable $28 lunch menu.

Alinea

At Chicago’s Alinea restaurant, reigning three-Michelin-starred champion and world-renowned chef Grant Achatz offers unsurpassed culinary adventures. Here you will find experimental, theatrical cuisine at its best. Prepare to be astounded by the creativity and artistry of the work. Three multi-sensory services make up the Alinea experience: the intimate and engaging Kitchen Table, the 16-18 course Gallery Menu, or the 10-12 course Salon Menu. Changing menus with the seasons, Alinea stays true to its favorite dishes, including edible balloons. As one of the most sought-after restaurants in the country, it’s worth planning your trip to Chicago based on reservations-expect a waiting list.

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Boka

A beloved Chicago institution thanks to the inimitable culinary talent of chef Lee Wolen, Boka prides itself on its culinary expertise and has a Michelin star to prove it. Modern, seasonal American dishes are his specialty, with a mix of small plates and more robust entrees. However, if you are looking for a more advanced dining experience, the eight-course tasting menu is one of the best in town and is a good investment for a first experience at Boka.

Elske

Elske is the Danish word for “love,” and that’s exactly what the husband-and-wife team behind the restaurant pours into every dish. Chefs David and Anna Posey invite you to feel like you’re eating in the home of a hip Scandinavian friend, with a friendly, intimate atmosphere, hygge-inspired decor, and an open kitchen. Choose from a stellar tasting menu or a la carte: all options offer a unique freshness of flavors in very palate-pleasing combinations.

Parachute

Beverly Kim and John Clark’s Michelin-starred restaurant Parachute is making waves on the dining scene in Chicago and beyond. It offers a completely unique approach to modern Korean-American cuisine. With its sheer innovation and culinary ingenuity, Parachute creates dishes full of eclectic flavors. To make the most of your visit, let the friendly waiters advise you and choose for you, then sit back and prepare to be amazed. Reservations are strongly recommended.

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Entente

Recently moved to its new River North location, Entente offers an informal approach to the Michelin star experience. Pushing the boundaries of modern American cuisine with a pan-Asian twist, it offers a solid seasonal menu of rotating appetizers and entrees, complemented by fine wines and cocktails. It is a must-visit in Chicago.

Where to eat in Chicago? Our 10 favorite restaurants
Where to eat in Chicago? Our 10 favorite restaurants

Where to eat in Chicago? Our 10 favorite restaurants

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