Chicago is one of those cities best experienced by eating your way through it. That's not the city's official mantra, but it should be. The Windy City—renowned for its culinary scene—is also one of the largest cities in the U.S., so naturally there are tons of restaurants to choose from. If that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. Have a hankering for British savory pies? We know the perfect place. Ahead, we break down the best places to visit for every craving and occasion.
From thick-cut bacon in maple syrup at Publican Anker to libations enjoyed on a rooftop overlooking Lake Michigan, these seven restaurants are worth possibly needing to upgrade your ClassPass membership. Not to mention, their dining rooms are ones that, like the dishes, are Instagram-worthy. PS: If you need a nearby coffee break, we’ve got that covered too.
The Foodie Favorite:
We mean foodie favorite literally. On his recent visit to Chicago, Jeremy Jacobowitz of Brunch Boys shared with MyDomaine that Bernie’s Lunch and Supper was one of his favorite restaurants. Follow his lead, and order the patatas bravas, which Jeremy describes as “near perfection” on his Instagram.
660 N. Orleans St., Chicago, bernieslunchandsupper.com
The Best Views of the City:
This steel-and-glass structure sits atop the four-star hotel Chicago Athletic Association. Take in the city’s skyline while dining on American fare and sipping a drink from the restaurant's extensive “elixirs and potions” menu. One concoction, We’ll Always Have Paris, is made with gin, an Italian apéritif wine, fresh strawberry, house-made pistachio milk (yes, that’s a thing), date syrup, cardamom, lemon, and rose petal.
12 Michigan Ave., Chicago, cindysrooftop.com
The Hipster Hangout:
Eat, drink, and… sleep here. The two-story space is part popular restaurant and bar, part overnight accommodations. The first floor offers cocktails, craft beers, whiskey, and wine, as well as bar bites, and a full dinner menu after 5 p.m., including roasted broccoli and cauliflower, bone marrow, and gnocchi. On the second floor—fashioned in the style of Chicago’s historic saloon/inn culture—find six trendy rooms for overnight stays starting at $95.
2657 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, longmanandeagle.com
The Reservations-Needed Spot:
Reservations at Top Chef Stephanie Izard’s first restaurant remain highly coveted—and for good reason. The small-plates menu is replete with healthy, vegan/vegetarian, seafood, and meat options. In other words, there’s something for everyone. Forgot to make a reservation? Don’t worry. Head across the street to her bakery where one isn’t required.
809 W. Randolph St, Chicago, girlandthegoat.com
The Industrial Interior:
Elske, which means “love” in Danish, had us at exposed white ducts. The minimally adorned spot serves American fare with a hint of Scandinavian influence. Think stewed white asparagus with smoked trout, buckwheat, and claytonia. Order à la carte, or opt for the $85 tasting menu.
1350 W. Randolph St., Chicago, elskerestaurant.com
The Casual Date Spot:
Inspired by saloons and breweries, this gastropub is perfect for a daytime date or casual dinner. The Wicker Park restaurant serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Choose from oatmeal pancakes, cauliflower frittata, smoked trout scramble, and more.
1576 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, publicananker.com
Share your favorite Chicago restaurants in the comment section below, and then check out our guide to the best coffee shops in the city.