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
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.
|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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
1359 W. Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60607
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
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
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
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
1001 W. Washington St. Chicago, IL 60607 Phone: 312-850-2663
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
110 E Pearson St. Chicago, IL 60611 Phone: 312-266-3110
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