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The Best Places to Eat in Chicago: A Culinary Adventure

The Best Places to Eat in Chicago: A Culinary Adventure

The Windy City is a food lover’s paradise. From deep-dish pizza to Michelin-starred dining, this city has it all. But if you haven’t had the pleasure of eating there, the options might overwhelm you. And that’s where we come in.

If you find yourself wandering the streets of Chicago with an empty stomach, here’s your ultimate guide to some of the best dining spots in town.


Located in the West Loop, Monteverde is the creation of Top Chef alum Sarah Grueneberg. This Italian gem is perfect for those who love sharing plates and indulging in fresh, handmade pasta. Don’t miss the burrata e ham starter or the spaghetti al pomodoro—simple yet soul-affirming dishes that showcase Grueneberg’s culinary prowess.

Fun Fact: Monteverde is famous far and wide for its pasta made in-house, offering a window into the kitchen where you can see the chefs at work.

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For a fusion of Filipino and American cuisine, head to Kasama in East Village. This bakery and fine dining restaurant offers daytime dishes like longanisa-topped breakfast sandwiches and a full Filipino breakfast.

And during the night, you can book a spot for their 13-course tasting menu, which includes delights like A5 wagyu and truffle-sprinkled croissants.

Insider Tip: Skip the weekend line by ordering online for pickup—your meal will taste just as good at home.

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Virtue in Hyde Park is Chef Erick Williams’s ode to Southern cooking. The ambiance is cozy and perfect for a date night. Must-try dishes include the fried green tomatoes with shrimp and the collards with smoked turkey meat. Each bite here is a taste of Southern hospitality and tradition.

Did You Know? Chef Erick Williams won a James Beard Award in 2022, highlighting his exceptional contribution to Southern cuisine.

Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf

Craving a steak? Bavette’s in River North is your go-to spot. This dimly lit steakhouse offers a 1920s jazz ambiance that feels like a trip back in time. The bone-in ribeye and chocolate cream pie are must-haves, but don’t overlook the fried chicken or short rib stroganoff, which are equally mouth-watering.

Pro Tip: The basement of Bavette’s has a separate vibe, described as a “sexy Blair Witch house party with no visible exits”–perfect for a unique dining experience.

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For an unforgettable dining experience, Alinea in Lincoln Park is the place to be. With three Michelin stars, this restaurant offers an innovative tasting menu that’s as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the palate. While it’s pricey, around $400 per person, the creative dishes and unique dining experience are worth every penny.

Interesting Fact: Alinea is often ranked as one of the best restaurants in the world, making it a must-visit for any serious foodie.

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Lou Malnati’s

No trip to Chicago is complete without diving into a deep-dish pizza, and Lou Malnati’s is the quintessential spot for this. Known for its buttery crust and rich, cheesy toppings, this pizzeria offers a classic Chicago experience. Whether you prefer plain cheese or loaded with toppings, every bite is a gooey delight.

Local Insight: Lou Malnati’s is often considered the benchmark for Chicago-style deep dish, a true local favorite.

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Kuma’s Corner

For a more casual yet equally satisfying meal, check out Kuma’s Corner. This heavy-metal-themed burger joint serves up gourmet burgers with names like “Goatsnake” and “Black Sabbath.” The industrial vibes and local beers on tap make it a unique dining experience in Fulton Market.

Fun Fact: Each burger at Kuma’s is named after a heavy metal band, and the restaurant’s interior is filled with metal memorabilia.

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In Lincoln Park, Galit offers a taste of the Middle East with a modern twist. The menu features dishes like hummus with fresh pita and shakshuka, all made with high-quality ingredients. The vibrant atmosphere and creative cocktails make it a perfect spot for both casual dinners and special occasions.

Did You Know? The chefs at Galit often interact directly with diners, adding a personal touch to the dining experience.

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90 Miles Cuban Cafe

Escape the Chicago cold with a visit to 90 Miles Cuban Cafe in Logan Square. This cozy spot offers authentic Cuban cuisine, from stellar sandwiches to classic dishes of meat, rice, and beans. It’s the perfect place to warm up and enjoy a hearty meal.

Tip: The name “90 Miles” refers to the distance between Cuba and the United States, symbolizing the authentic Cuban experience offered here.

Untitled Supper Club

Step back into the Roaring 20s at Untitled Supper Club, a speakeasy-style jazz club and restaurant in downtown Chicago. Enjoy a mix of pasta, raw bar offerings, and steaks while soaking up the old-school ambiance. It’s a fun, swanky spot that promises a memorable night out.

Insider Info: Untitled Supper Club is known for its extensive whiskey collection, one of the largest in the city.

Chicago French Market

For those who can’t decide on just one cuisine, the Chicago French Market is a must-visit. This bustling indoor market features food stands offering everything from Cajun dishes to lobster rolls. It’s a great spot to explore a variety of flavors and find something for everyone.

Pro Tip: The market is a great spot for lunch, offering a quick and delicious break from shopping or sightseeing.

Beatnik On The River

For some of the best Mediterranean food and one of the prettiest restaurants in Chicago, head to Beatnik On The River. The interior looks like a palace with gorgeous decorations, and the location offers endless views of the Chicago River.

Fun Fact: The restaurant’s decor is inspired by the Beat Generation, creating a whimsical and eclectic dining environment.

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Smoque BBQ

If you love barbecue, Smoque BBQ is the place for you. This no-frills joint in Avondale serves up some of the best ribs, brisket, and pulled pork in the city. The smoky aroma and tender meat will make any barbecue enthusiast’s heart sing.

Cool Detail: Smoque BBQ’s slow smoking process and unique wood blend and meat rubs have earned them national acclaim, featuring in several prominent food shows and magazines. Their commitment to perfecting barbecue flavors showcases their passion and expertise in the art of smoking meat.


This Fulton Market district eatery’s colorful exterior and interior are hard to miss. Known for exquisite Latin-fusion fare and an extensive cocktail list, Carnivale is a go-to for celebrations.

Pro Tip: Carnivale often features live entertainment, making it a lively spot for a night out with friends.

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Getting There

If you want to take the trip to Chicago and dine fine without draining your wallet, we have just the thing for you.

Here are some of the best round-trip flight deals to Chicago (ORD) from various cities across the U.S. and Canada. These prices are exceptional, making it easier for you to focus on enjoying the food scene in the Windy City.

Domestic Flights

  • From Albuquerque (ABQ): $285
  • From Asheville (AVL): $141
  • From Atlanta (ATL): $48
  • From Austin (AUS): $237
  • From Baltimore (BWI): $138
  • From Boston (BOS): $55
  • From Charleston (CHS): $178
  • From Charlotte (CLT): $52
  • From Cincinnati (CVG): $102
  • From Cleveland (CLE): $98
  • From Dallas (DFW): $48
  • From Denver (DEN): $58
  • From Detroit (DTW): $118
  • From Fort Lauderdale (FLL): $61
  • From Hartford (BDL): $257
  • From Houston (IAH): $48
  • From Indianapolis (IND): $187
  • From Jacksonville (JAX): $198
  • From Kansas City (MCI): $197
  • From Las Vegas (LAS): $38
  • From Los Angeles (LAX): $129
  • From Louisville (SDF): $117
  • From Miami (MIA): $61
  • From Minneapolis (MSP): $98
  • From Nashville (BNA): $38
  • From New Jersey (EWR): $148
  • From New Orleans (MSY): $75
  • From New York (JFK): $137
  • From New York (LGA): $87
  • From Oklahoma City (OKC): $198
  • From Orlando (MCO): $48
  • From Omaha (OMA): $177
  • From Philadelphia (PHL): $48
  • From Phoenix (PHX): $98
  • From Pittsburgh (PIT): $98
  • From Portland (PDX): $178
  • From Raleigh (RDU): $48
  • From Richmond (RIC): $249
  • From Sacramento (SMF): $305
  • From Salt Lake City (SLC): $298
  • From San Antonio (SAT): $302
  • From San Diego (SAN): $279
  • From San Francisco (SFO): $139
  • From San Jose (SJC): $289
  • From Seattle (SEA): $149
  • From Tampa (TPA): $88
  • From Washington DC (DCA): $133
  • From Washington DC (IAD): $133

Canadian Flights

  • From Calgary (YYC): CAD 272
  • From Montreal (YUL): CAD 361
  • From Toronto (YYZ): CAD 342
  • From Vancouver (YVR): CAD 384 

Wrap Up

Well, there you have it, the best places Chicago has to offer. But hey! Before you go, make sure you snag one of those incredible flight deals to Chicago. Why not save on your airfare so you can splurge on an unforgettable meal at one of these fantastic restaurants? Check out Matt’s Flights and do just that.

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