Restaurants in Chicago

It has been estimated that there are more than 6,000 restaurants in Chicago, representing just about every cuisine across every price range imaginable. Visitors can experience eating an authentic Ethiopian meal or a true south Goan curry under the shadow of the Willis Tower.

While the city offers everything from haute cuisine to hotdogs with all the trimmings, its true specialty is the world-famous deep-dish pizza, invented at Pizzeria Uno in 1943, and now available throughout the city (though still served at its birthplace).

Chicago has been steadily earning a reputation as one of the cuisine capitals of America, with its concentration of award-winning chefs and highly acclaimed fine dining establishments. Around 25 restaurants in Chicago have earned Michelin stars, proving just how much fodder is available for discerning foodies. Top areas for dining include trendy Lincoln Park, Chinatown, Little Italy, and Pilsen, a Mexican neighbourhood.

Club Lucky $$$$$ | Italian
Located in the Wicker Park area, this authentic and retro Italian eatery reminds one of wholesome Italian fare being cooked up in the kitchen by real Italian mammas. With homemade ravioli, Veal Parmigiana, and their flagship dish, Chicken Vesuvio with roasted potatoes, peas, white wine and garlic, this cosy Chicago favourite is one of the best when it comes to Italian cuisine. Open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner. Saturday and Sunday dinner only. Reservations accepted.

Address: 1824 W. Wabansia Avenue; Telephone: (773) 227 2300

Penny's Noodle Shop $$$$$ | Asian
Established by Thai native Penny Chiamopoulous, this simple and spacious Chicago eatery serves delicious authentic Thai cuisine and other Asian fusion dishes to perfection. Sample everything from Crab Rangoon - a crispy dumpling stuffed with cream cheese and seafood - and Tom Yum soup, to Hot Pepper Noodles and Thai ravioli dumplings stuffed with shrimp and pork and served with BBQ pork, lettuce, green onions, cilantro, and peanuts. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations not accepted.

Address: 950 W. Diversey Avenue; Telephone: 773 281 8448

Arun's $$$$$ | Oriental
Arun's has been called the finest Thai restaurant in the city. Dinner is an ever-changing fixed-price menu comprising of a gourmet banquet of 12 exquisitely presented courses that puts other Thai kitchens to shame. A special menu can be designed to suit individual tastes on calling ahead. The culinary experience is complemented by traditional Thai décor and displayed artwork. Reservations are required with a credit card. Closed Monday. Dinner only.

Address: 4156 North Kedzie Avenue, Irving Park (North Side); Telephone: (773) 539 1909

Everest $$$$$ | French
Towering above the city with commanding views from the 40th floor, Everest is one of the city's premiere French dining rooms offering the world-renowned cuisine created by Alsatian chef Jean Joho. His distinctive style is a blend of noble and simple ingredients for unusual flavour combinations, such as caviar or foie gras with potatoes or cabbage, drawing inspiration from the cookery of his native Alsace. Everest includes classics like lobster and lamb, as well as a vegetarian menu and some creative desserts. Closed Sunday and Monday. Dinner only. Reservations required.

Address: 440 South LaSalle Street, 40th Floor, One Financial Plaza building (The Loop); Telephone: (312) 663 8920

Morton's of Chicago $$$$$ | American
King of the Chicago-style steakhouses, Morton's on North State upholds its reputation as the best steakhouse in the region with huge succulent steaks cooked to perfection. It is famous for its signature tableside menu presentation, where a trolley is rolled out containing main course selections that are described in detail by the server. The menu features a variety of cuts, including the house speciality, the 24-ounce (680g) porterhouse steak, as well as fresh fish, lobster, veal, and chicken. Open daily for dinner. Reservations recommended.

Address: 1050 North State Street (River North); Telephone: (312) 266 4820

Vermilion $$$$$ | Indian
High ceilings, crisp white tablecloths, and black and white photos on the walls create a sophisticated dining experience, where the Indian-Latin food is as contemporary as the restaurant. Indian tapas such as cilantro tamarind shrimp, coconut chilli mussels, and duck vindaloo arepa tantalise the tastebuds. Signature dishes include chilli-glazed blackened tamarind ribs served with amchur tortilla crisps and a sweet corn salsa, or fiery culinary delights such as the Desi goat curry in a rich Indian gravy served with naan. This restaurant lives up to its reputation as one of Chicago's finest eateries and does not disappoint. Reservations recommended on weekends. Open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner. Saturday and Sunday dinner only.

Address: 10 W. Hubbard Street; Telephone: (312) 527 4060

Blackbird $$$$$ | American
Chicago's chicest diners and celebrity clientele flock to this sought-after addition to 'Restaurant Row'. Here, the smart minimalist interior is the perfect backing to the ornate food presentation and creative renditions of French-influenced contemporary American food. The exterior of the restaurant is as stylish as the food. The seasonal menu is creative yet simple and features dishes such as wood-grilled California sturgeon with English peas, braised peanuts, crispy bacon, and bourbon caramel. Closed Sunday. No lunch Saturday. Reservations recommended.

Address: 619 West Randolph Street (West Loop); Telephone: (312) 715 0708

Mirai Sushi $$$$$ | Japanese
Top-quality sushi and sashimi dishes are found in this eatery which exudes a youthful ambience. Fresh fish is flown in daily for the sushi bar where several inventive chefs whip up a list of delicious offerings to order. Upstairs, the futuristic sake lounge is the city's most stylish place to enjoys its namesake and other cocktails. Dinner daily. Reservations recommended.

Address: 2020 West Division Street, Wicker Park; Telephone: (773) 862 8500

North Pond $$$$$ | Modern Eclectic
One of the prettiest settings in the city, North Pond is situated within the famous Lincoln Park, in a building that was originally an ice skaters warming house overlooking Chicago's skyline. In keeping with the natural setting, chef Bruce Sherman emphasises organic produce and simple but delicious seasonal cuisine. The wine list focuses on boutique vintners. Dinner Tuesday to Sunday, lunch Tuesday to Friday (June to September), brunch on Sundays. Reservations recommended. Jacket and tie recommended for dinner.

Address: 2610 North Cannon Drive, Lincoln Park; Telephone: (773) 477 5845

Pizzeria Uno Chicago $$$$$ | Italian
Pizzeria Uno is famous for its original Deep Dish Pizza, a pie-like crust stuffed with meat and fresh vegetables and cheese. This Chicago-style pizza originated at Pizzeria Uno in 1943 and both locals and out-of-towners pack into the panelled rooms for a filling meal. Other delicious dishes on the menu include Angus Beef steaks, ribs, and inventive new creations such as Chicken Milanese or Spicy Chicken Flatbread. There is often a wait, but regulars maintain it is more than worth it. Open from 11am daily.

Address: 29 East Ohio Street; Telephone: (312) 321 1000

Smoque BBQ $$$$$ | Barbecue
Voted the best barbecue in Chicago, Smoque serves traditional Midwest barbecue. Dishes like the applewood-smoked baby back and St Louis-style ribs, brisket (smoked for 15 hours), pulled pork (smoked for 12 hours), and sides like cornbread and mac and cheese. The restaurant is casual and diners stand in line to order at the counter. Smoque's location outside of downtown Chicago makes it inconvenient for some tourists, but it is located near an L station and most diners say it's worth the trip. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11am-9pm, closes 10pm on Friday and Saturday.

Address: 3800 North Pulaski Road, Irving Park; Post code: 60641; Telephone: (773) 545 7427


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