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Chicago Restaurants Chicago Restaurants

Food energizes, replenishes, and revitalizes the mind, body, and soul.
Here, we provide a list of famous restaurants and diners in the Chicago metro area. Use this guide to satisfy your taste buds when either visiting or living in Chicago.

Charlie Trotter's
816 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614

Restaurant Description: The one true megastar of Chicago cuisine, Charlie Trotter has the kind of gossip-column fame that few chefs ever attain. He's written dozens of books, starred in the inevitable television show, and received more praise than celebrities for each of his endeavors. As could be imagined, this is haute, very elegant cuisine. Jackets are required, as are reservations, as much as 13 weeks in advance. No cocktails are served, but the wine list is among the city's best, and Trotter's has already graduated two master sommeliers. Enjoy Chicago's finest.

Lou Mitchell's
565 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60661

Restaurant Description: There are reasons native Chicagoans and tourists alike consider Lou Mitchell's a must-visit -- from the donut holes while you wait to the double-yolk eggs that make every dish even more sinfully indulgent, Lou's knows how to do breakfast. Located in the South Loop, the restaurant has been a Chicago institution since 1923, and decades later, they're still dishing out thick French toast, enormous platters of pancakes, fresh-baked pastries, and of course, those famous skillets. The extras are just as delectable. Lou's boasts pure maple syrup, fresh-squeezed orange juice and slabs of toast served with every omelet.

Boston Blackies
164 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

Restaurant Description: Sink your teeth into juicy burgers, char-grilled hot dogs or steak sandwiches at this longtime Streeterville eatery. Boston Blackies is right off the Mag Mile, and those shopaholics as well as area residents and workers looking for something beyond the chi-chi spots will find this comforting. There's nothing special about Blackies (you'll find many vintage pictures on the walls, and the booths are Formica), but the food and service make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Staffers treat customers like longtime friends, and it's evident as some loyal diners have been coming here for decades.

Ben Pao's
52 West Illinois St.
Chicago, IL 60610

Restaurant Description: At Ben Pao (part of the Lettuce Entertain You chain of restaurants), Asian fans can experience an adventurous blend of China's four great regional cuisines: zesty, robust Mongolian; light, crispy Cantonese; simple Shanghai and bold, enticing Szechuan. Settle into the picturesque setting featuring red soaring pillars, gold sculptured walls and soothing waterfalls as light Asian-flavored jazz pumped in from above.

Ed Debevic's
640 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60610

Restaurant Description: Time stands still at Ed Debevic's, where every day feels like a scene from a 1950s movie. A replica of a legendary roadside restaurant where the owner/waitress sassed everybody who came in, this tongue-in-cheek diner is a Chicago classic. Rock 'n' roll music blasts from above, forcing conversations to roaring levels. The menu is simple, old-fashioned and fun. It includes burgers, salads, hot dogs and meatloaf as well as decadent desserts like milkshakes, sundaes and banana cream pie. The staff, dressed in '50s and '60s costumes, frequently jumps up on the counter to give a lip-sync and dance worth the wait.

Chicago Diner
3411 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60657

Restaurant Description: In 1983, the vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant Chicago Diner started growing its legion of fans with traditional, all-American cuisine. They've brought the whole vegetarian lifestyle down to earth to appeal to the masses. Order piping-hot comfort food like 'meatless' loaves (made with black-eyed peas, lentils or tofu), Shepard's pie (made with lentil tempuh-bake) or Cowboy chili (made with veggies and beans). Chow down on filling sandwiches like the Groovy Gyros, BBQ Chix Kaiser, or the Yes Dog (jumbo 'hot dog'). This is veggie food at its best, including their delicious desserts.

La Vita
1359 W. Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60607

Restaurant Description: There's no shortage of great Italian restaurants in Chicago, whether you're looking to get all dolled up and high style it at Spiaggia, or do it casual at this homey trattoria in Little Italy. La Vita is not as fancy as La Francesca, but if you go on the weekends, it's just as crowded, so reservations are highly recommended. Staffers are cool and laid back as they bring heavy portions of risotto, pastas and pizza to tables of friends and couples on romantic dates. Specializing in Northern Italian fare, La Vita's favorites include a squid-ink pasta with shrimp, sea scallops and ricotta cheese in a light tomato-cream sauce, pollo limone with capers, and baked clams.

Frontera Grill
445 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60610

Restaurant Description: The lively Mexican music. The whimsical Mexican artifacts. The smells of spicy Latin cuisine. Frontera Grill, the colorful creation of Rick Bayless, puts Mexican food on the fast track. The menu blossoms with appealing and diverse possibilities that change monthly. Flavorful starters include a crunchy jicama salad, made-to-order tortilla chips with two salsas, and sweet-fried plantains with homemade sour cream and fresh cheese. Its bar is as busy as the restaurant, and the excellent selection of margaritas and Mexican beers is a big draw for a trendy crowd.

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
439 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60610

Restaurant Description: The first Lou Malnati's restaurants opened in some of the more remote suburbs, but the franchise's arrival to hopping River North solidifies its place as one of Chicago's most popular pizza joints. Lou's unique crust puts a buttery spin on traditional deep-dish, and it sets the pizzeria apart from the slew of Italian-named, Chicago-based pizza joints striving for the title of best Chicago-style pie. Patrons swear by the sausage pizza, which is a meat-lover's must, or try the ''Lou'' -- spinach, mushrooms and sliced tomatoes covered with a blend of cheeses.

Nick's Fishmarket
21 S Clark St
Chicago, IL 60603

Restaurant Description: Nick's Fishmarket is a throwback to the way fine- dining restaurants operated in the 1960s and 1970s. The upscale seafood supper club offers guests two dining options: the more casual bar and grill on the street level and the lavish dining room on the lower level. Downstairs, lunchers can watch the bustling action above ground in the Loop; and at night, an elaborate water fountain spurts out in technicolor, adding a romantic touch to dinner. Chef Jose Bernal oversees the kitchen, where Nick's takes its seafood quite seriously. The Dover sole is boned tableside in a special butter sauce, the swordfish is prepared Osso buco style and the lobster selections are second to none. Fish lovers should order the 'Hawaiian Favorites,' which are flown to the fish market daily.

Other Great Restaurants in Chicago

Shaw's Crab House
21 E. Hubbard St. Chicago, IL 60611 Phone: 312-527-2722

1028 N. Rush St. Chicago, IL 60611 Phone: 312-266-8999

Morton's of Chicago
1050 N. State St. Chicago, IL 60611 Phone: 312-266-4820

Geja's Café
340 W. Armitage Ave. Chicago, IL 60614 Phone: 773-281-9101

440 S. La Salle St., 40th Floor Chicago, IL 60606 Phone: 312-663-8920

The Wishbone
1001 W. Washington St. Chicago, IL 60607 Phone: 312-850-2663

Spiaggia Restaurant
980 N Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60611 Phone: 312-280-2750

676 N. St. Clair St. Chicago, IL 60611 Phone: 312-202-0001

Bar Louie Wrigley
3545 N Clark St. Chicago, IL 60657 Phone: 773-296-2500

Bistro 110
110 E Pearson St. Chicago, IL 60611 Phone: 312-266-3110

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