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Where to Find the Best Food in Chicago?

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Best restaurants in Chicago

Chicago’s best restaurants are recognized as some of the most exciting in the country. From acclaimed chefs to dining experiences memorable for their hospitality and haute cuisine alike, here is a full list of where to eat in Chichago

Southport Grocery and Cafe is perfect for a weekday breakfast. It’s great on the weekends, too, but it tends to get slammed, so take advantage of a calmer morning if you can.

Waffles and fruit with oatmeal in Southport

Everything here is made in-house, and tastes like it – we particularly like the grown-up pop tart and the bread pudding pancakes.

Chiu Quon in Chinatown is the original location of this Chinese bakery. Anything from their pastry case will be delicious, such as the pork buns, sponge cakes, sesame balls, egg custards, and much more.

Pastry in Chiu quon Bakery in Chicago
Chiu Quon Bakery ©

It’s all made fresh daily, and there are plenty of tables for you to sit down. It’s cash only, so be prepared.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken’s interior feels artsy and industrial. The full menu is listed on a blackboard behind the register, and the unmistakable aroma of freshly fried poultry is in the air.

Honey butter fried chicken
Honey Butter Fried Chicken ©

Steer clear of the tofu and the salads, and find peace with your poultry. The O.G. sandwich, a fine place to start, is swaddled with candied jalapeño mayo and crunchy slaw. But if strips between bread isn’t your thing, stick with a straightforward basket of breasts and thighs.

Huaraches Dona Chio

If you want to go someplace you won’t find advertised in the back of a taxi, consider the Edgewater location of Huaraches Dona Chio. A tiny cash-only garden-level spot on a quiet side street of the North side neighborhood.

Fries and meat

You should order the namesake huaraches, but anything here involving their housemade masa is delicious. You get to pick your toppings (with options like pastor, steak, or calabaza) plus your salsa (red or green), and there are no wrong decisions. There are only six tables here, but if you’re visiting in the summer, you can eat on their cute side patio.

5 Rabanitos in Pilsen is one of the best restaurants for showing off Chicago’s great Mexican food scene. There’s no wrong way to order here – get the tacos, anything from the huge vegetarian menu, the carne asada, or the spicy ahogada torta.

Mexican food in 5rabanitos

The menu is long, and the service is so friendly you won’t want to leave. Even when they ask you to go because they’re closing for the night.

Travelers, and suburbanites flock to Au Cheval for Brendan Sodikoff’s burger, highly publicized as one of the country’s best. A single cheeseburger actually comes with two prime beef patties, grilled to medium, topped with weepy, slowly melted cheddar, bright dijonnaise, and a housemade dill pickle.

Burger in Au Cheval in Chicago
Au Cheval ©

The soft, buttery bun is the perfect blank canvas for the intense beefy flavor. But don’t miss out on the other creative plates: The menu also includes crispy, thickly sliced bacon, umami-rich marrow with beef cheek marmalade, foie gras scrambled eggs, and a wickedly good fried bologna sandwich.

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

For a classic Chicago steakhouse experience, go to Gibsons in the Gold Coast. It’s the most iconic one, encompassing all the things people love about these institutions: great steaks, great sides, an entire section of the menu devoted to potatoes, and attentive service.

Cut stake on a plate

It feels a little dated, but in a charming way. The crowd’s a mix of regulars, tourists, and locals celebrating birthdays or anniversaries with six-pound desserts that will absolutely have to be placed in checked baggage at the airport.

A short black-tile walkway beneath a millennial pink neon sign—a modern “X marks the spot”—brings you into El Che Bar’s darkly decorated space. Dark tile, dark walls, dark furnishings: It’s all surprisingly welcoming.

Cooking stake with Beer on the side

Wanting to pay homage to Argentina’s grilling culture, chef John Manion enlisted crank-controlled grills to serve up meaty, smoky fare of all types. Splurge on steak, to be sure, along with items like East Coast oysters, empanadas, and the quail.

Best restaurants in Chicago to check out
Ultimate Chicago Food Guide

Hello! I’m Sara, a Croatian native. I’ve traveled all over the world and have knocked out some amazing cities and countries off my bucket list.

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