There are several reasons I moved to Chicago: Michigan Avenue (a girl has to shop), The Cubs (because everyone loves an underdog) and the food scene. From the my first visit to Chicago many years ago, I remember all the restaurants our high school DECA group ate at: Gino’s East, Ed Debevic’s and the Rock N’ Roll McDonalds! Over the years my tastes have evolved but one thing still holds true, it’s hard to narrow down the best places to eat in Chicago!
Maya Del Sol – so this one isn’t in the heart of Chicago but out in the burbs. Oak Park residents can’t get enough of this restaurant and if you go, you must eat outside on the patio. The mango margarita is delish! And even though you think 3 fish tacos can’t filled you, they most definitely can and will.
Frontera Grill – some people will probably tar and feather me for adding Rick Bayless’ flagship restaurant on my list but I fell in love with it the first time I ate there and I keep going back. If you like Mexican food with a flair, you’ll love this restaurant. The food is fresh and refreshing, you won’t mind the wait. Located in the River North area.
Hub 51 – the River North area has a ton of amazing restaurants. One that I’ve come to adore is Hub 51. My brussel sprout salad is one of my favorite items on their menu and surprisingly, the sushi is pretty darn good! If you’re into the club scene, in the lower level of the restaurant resides Sub 51. Just make sure to make reservations!
Carnivale – you might need sunglasses when you walk in this restaurant! Bright colors, a wild design and Latin music instantly put you in a good mood.
Bridgehouse Tavern – aside from the great food, you have a magnificent view of the city! Located in the River North area, Bridgehouse Tavern has daily specials and on Wednesdays they have 1/2 price bottles of wine! Sitting outside along the Chicago River with a 1/2 price bottle of wine? It doesn’t get much better than that.
Ann Sather – for something a little different, try this Swedish restaurant with multiple locations in the Chicago area, including Andersonville and Lakeview.
Native Foods – so this is kind of a chain, right? Well, a very small chain and considering its a Vegan restaurant, the chain thing works. The menu aims to please the palates of vegans and non-vegans.
Lou Malnati’s – you can’t have a best places to eat in Chicago list without a pizza place! Now some people love Gino’s East and other Giordano’s but I’m going with Lou’s. If you’re looking for the best Chicago style pizza then look no further. Sweet tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and spicy sausage will keep you coming back for more.
Grahamwich – if you’re looking for a simple, yet not so simple sandwich for lunch, then Grahamwich is your place. Make sure you get the truffle oil popcorn – YUM!
Big Al’s – there are other Italian beef places in town but don’t let them fool you, you want to eat at Big Al’s. Make sure to get the sweet peppers and go ahead and get your sandwich dunked, forget about the mess. With multiple locations in Chicago you can have one no matter what part of the city you’re visiting.
Want to learn about other great places to eat? Stay tuned for a master list of restaurants from Social Fabric members all across the US, Canada and even the UK!