Chicago, known as “The Windy City,” is the third largest city in the country, and is filled with an overwhelming number of amazing restaurants. Whether you are a long-time resident or visitor, it’s important to have some background on the best restaurants to go to. Thankfully, our team at Sixth City, has put together a list of 15 recommendations we suggest you try while in the city!
Lardon serves different meal options all day including coffee, baked goods, and pastry during the morning hours, sandwiches for lunch, and the evening course includes charcuterie and drinks.
The charcuterie boards supply two smaller meats and cheeses presented in a way that’s hard to resist a photo op. On the weekends, Lardon has a specialty selection of dinner entrees as well.
2. JT’s Genuine Sandwich Shop
The menu at JT’s Genuine Sandwich Shop, a family-owned business, consists of sandwiches, grinders, burgers, hot dogs, and even ice cream sandwiches, so we suggest you arrive hungry. By the end of your meal, see that you have enough room for a serving of chili cheese fries or a scoop of ice cream.
3. Bloom Plant Based Kitchen
Bloom Plant Based Kitchen, an entirely plant-based and gluten-free restaurant, was started from chef Rodolfo Cuadros. This vegetarian-friendly restaurant creates meals that changes the outside view of a meatless meal. Cuadros offers his customers influenced food from Latin America, pan-Asia, to modern American dishes. At this moment, alcoholic beverages are not served at the restaurant, instead they offer a list of soft drinks along with CBD sodas for customers 21+ of age.
If you’re unsure what to order, we recommend trying the TikTok famous baja tacos! These tacos are made to leave you wanting more and are made by tempura-battered banana blossom on a hemp seed tortilla with smoked chili oil.
At Monteverde, you will notice a smorgasbord, buffet-style meals of Swedish origin that fill your tables with small plates but big portions of foods that we recommend sharing. The mouthwatering burrata e ham starter is a must that comes with tigelle which is just like a warm English muffin.
Want a taste of Peru? This Peruvian restaurant has a more serious vibe than other restaurants, but that shouldn’t steer you away. Their delicious food fills the tables at Tanta with several generations of people with lots of stories to tell.
Tanta has a huge, colorful mural on display that gives off a festive vibe for customers. By the bar you will find men in suits drinking vodka on the rocks, but once you move away from that area you will find a different scene. We suggest eating and ordering off the cocktail menu, you won’t be disappointed!
Chef Carlos Gaytán’s pays tribute to his hometown Huitzuco, Mexico with his French-inspired Mexican cooking. The magic behind Gaytán’s ideas is to recreate TV dinner nostalgia with family. Gaytán’s meals at Tzuco are carefully cooked and watched over by executive chef de cuisine, Andrew Kim. To give you an example of their mastery, one of their menu items is an octopus tentacle that has been boiled for hours with aromatic vegetables and is then smeared with smoky guajillo chile rub.
7. Taqueria Chingón
Taqueria Chingón, a partnership between three men Sotero Gallegos (La Sardine), Oliver Poilevey (Le Bouchon) and Marcos Ascencio (Bar Lupo) all share the same dedication and passion to share their meals with guests.
The food offered at Taqueria Chingón is a tasty homage to the streetside eateries of Mexico City. You don’t want to miss out on the tacos al pastor with tender bits of pork in creamy avocado salsa, sweet pineapple, with flecks of cilantro.
If you’re a vegetarian, have no worry! There is a vegetable-based section of the menu that subs portobello mushrooms and celery root to create a replacement that tastes delicious.
8. Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen
The Jewish deli fare at Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen has been serving the Chicago area for over 70 years and isn’t like your typical restaurant outing. At Manny’s, you’ll want to decide what to eat before you get in line simply because the line moves too fast to decide while standing there.
Manny’s is well known for their corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, but also has plates of Jell-O and chicken salads along with a variety of sandwiches and desserts for you to choose from.
9. Sun Wah BBQ
Sun Wah BBQ, a Chinese committed restaurant, specializes in barbecued meats offering an expansive but inexpensive menu. Their menu ranges from barbecue, roast pork, to salt-baked chicken. When visiting Sun Wah BBQ it’s hard to pass up the most popular meal, the Beijing duck dinner option.
If you’re wondering what makes this place so special, the roasted meats of the ducks are hung in the window by their necks for guests to see. Pretty unique if you ask us!
Galit, a beloved Middle Eastern eatery, offers flavor-packed shareables that are just too tempting to pass up. This restaurant is owned and operated by Andrés Clavero and Zachary Engel, who is a James Beard award-winning chef. Instead of a traditional menu, guests can choose their own four-course meal making it a fun adventure for visitors.
The kitchen prepares mouthwatering plates of hummus, fire-roasted veggies and proteins, balloon-shaped pita, and tasty sides.
11. Dear Margaret
Dear Margaret, a warm and feel-good place first opened their doors in early 2021 as a takeout-only option when lockdowns led to no indoor dining options.
This restaurant is decorated with wide-paneled wooden flooring, honeyed lighting, and a smattering of homey decor befitting of its namesake. The name, Dear Margaret is named after the executive chef Ryan Brosseau’s beloved grandmother that offers solely a French-Canadian menu with fresh and acidic flavors that are always fresh.
Kasama, a modern Filipino American concept from husband and wife duo Tim Flores and Genie Kown, is a unique and compelling place that offers some of the best pastries and breakfast sandwiches you can get, often causing lines to form down the block! At night, this restaurant modifies into a 13-course dining experience that is filled with distinct and invigorating tastes.
13. Sueños X Soho Friends
Chef Stephen Sandoval launched Soho House Chicago’s restaurant’s project with Sueños, a Baja-inspired concept. This restaurant idea came from his earlier pop-up dinner series Entre Sueños, in which Sandoval served seafood-forward choices that channel street food from Tijuana to San Diego.
Now, such foods offered at Sueños X Soho Friends includes Kanpachi belly tostada, beer-battered fish tacos, and a selection of ceviche and mixta. We recommend also enjoying your meal with a Latin American-inspired cocktail!
14. Mi Tocaya Antojería
Mi Tocata Antojería, which means “my namesake” in Spanish, chef Diana Dávila offers her guests comforting range of dishes such as duck carnitas, fish mole rojo, and so much more! We suggest starting your meal with an order of the house guacamole option, this is showered in smoky chile ash and served with tortilla chips.
If looking for traditional American Mexican food, Mi Tocaya Antojería is not the place for you. Be sure to talk with your server discussing the different remarkable dishes inspired by the chef’s childhood. Dávila dishes are one of a kind and are made to taste resembling how much time and love is poured into her food.
Virtue is a perfect cozy date night option staple that expresses a love letter of the Southern experience through the cooking of Chef Erick Williams’s passed-down recipes. Williams cooks with his heart, for example one of his famous meals consists of his flavorful rémoulade tender shrimp with fried green tomatoes.
Interested in Having Your Chicago Restaurant Featured?
If interested in getting featured in our Best of Chicago series, contact our team today. We look forward to hearing from you!