Chicago is full of great spots to eat, and when we sat down to make this list, we knew it could draw some controversy. In fact it did among the staff here – but we powered through and came up with these as a consortium. This is a general list of a variety of types of restaurants and is our top 10 list at the time of this writing. It may change tomorrow 😉 We have MANY top lists for restaurants on this website so peruse all our lists!
Here are our top 10 favorite Chicago eateries, from the high end to the budget to the trendy:
#1 Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
It would be a travesty to visit the Windy City without at least trying the pizza, and for my money, Lou Malnati’s is the best choice. Located at 439 N. Wells St., this restaurant is responsible for setting the high bar that Chicagoans have for deep-dish pizza.
#2 Hot Doug’s
Just as you can’t visit this city without trying the pizza, the Chicago hot dog is a thing of legend that’s not to be missed. Located at 3324 N. California Ave, Hot Doug’s also serves a variety of other sausages. Be sure to try the duck-fat fries.
Located at 702 W. Fulton Market, Carnivale draws its menu from throughout South America, all in a colorful, hip atmosphere. Skirt steak and pupusas are the things to try.
Located at 710 Wells St, Xel-Ha offers something more specific than Carnivale: its menu is built on the cuisine of the Yucatan region of Mexico. One of the menu’s major highlights of many is the shredded venison salad with lemon-orange vinaigrette.
#5 Lula Caf
Located at 2537 Kedzie Blvd., this is one of Chicago’s hippest eateries, and it serves all three meals. It offers a pleasant, informal atmosphere wherein you can get tasty treats like brioche French toast and roast leg of lamp served alongside sherry-braised black figs.
You’ll find Everest on the 40th floor at S. LaSalle St., the address of the Chicago Stock Exchange. The draw of Everest is the French cooking techniques applied to American cuisine. Though the menu changes frequently, you’ll always find the chef’s specialty: roasted lobster in Gewurztraminer-ginger butter sauce.
You’ll find this innovative restaurant at 945 West Fulton Market, and it’s the place to go when you want something different. Billed as ‘postmodernist interactive cuisine,’ you’ll be privy to such dishes as butter-poached lobster with carbonated orange. It’s a thrilling dining experience ‘ and really, how often can you say that?
TRU, which you’ll find at 676 N. St. Clair St., is a place for big spenders. The dining room is huge and features original artwork by Andy Warhol and Gerhard Richter, while the menu features items like caviar, yellowfin tuna, Texas bison, prime-beef tartars, and other opulent dishes.
#9 Indie Caf
Back to an affordable option ‘ you’ll find this tiny space at 5951 N. Broadway, and it’s made a name for itself with a menu that marries Japanese and Thai cuisine.
#10 Mr. Beef
The name is apt: they’ve got the best beef sandwich in the Windy City. Find them at 666 N. Orleans St to enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures.