The Best Restaurants In Chicago

Chicago may be the birthplace of deep dish pizza, but it's also home to a slew of world-renowned chefs and television's finest culinary stars, like Top Chef's Stephanie Izard, Carlos Gaytán, and Sarah Grueneberg, to name a few. With over 50 James Beard award-winning chefs in the Chicago region and countless Michelin star restaurants, Chicago has made a name for itself as a first-class dining destination.

The city may have some of the greatest pizza parlors known to man, but there are other places to consider. We recommend taking your taste buds on a world tour through Vietnam, France, Mexico, Korea, and Italy, where food is locally sourced, ingredients are topnotch, and technique is taken to a whole new level of expertise and precision. From Bucktown to Hyde Park, there are famous chefs and impressive restaurants on every corner, making this city a foodie's paradise. With so many incredible options, navigating through this palatable city might be challenging, so we've rounded up a list of some of the best restaurants in Chicago.

Girl and the Goat

If you're a fan of Top Chef, you will want to make a reservation for the Girl and the Goat in Chicago's dining destination neighborhood, the West Loop. Top Chef season four winner and award-winning chef, Stephanie Izard is the culinary genius behind the line at this Michelin star establishment, which opened in 2010. The restaurant features an outdoor patio, a comfortable lounge for walk-in diners to wait for their table, and an open-kitchen concept entertaining guests with a view of the bustling gallery.

Global flavors and seasonal ingredients inspire Izard's menu, which consists of six sections, including bread, veggies, fish, meat, goat, and dessert, with the goat category offering adventurous goat-centric dishes like goat empanadas, goat liver mousse, and goat belly. Exotic, international ingredients are sprinkled into every menu item, such as Japanese-inspired yuzu kosho, which drops a heavy flavor bomb on the asparagus, and Vietnamese-based blueberry nuoc cham on the pan-roasted halibut. Giving the nod to Chicago, the goat liver mousse is topped with golden beet giardiniera, an Italian-style oil found on pizzas and sandwiches throughout the city.

If you can't trek to Chicago to dine at Girl and the Goat, you may order Izard's specialty sauces, spices, and crunchy toppings at her online marketplace, This Little Goat.

Taqueria Chingon

A trip to Taqueria Chingon in Chicago's Bucktown is like a vacation in Mexico City, wholly wrapped up in a classic taco al pastor. This to-go taqueria (with an optional side patio) is the brainchild of two native Chicagoan chefs, Marcos Ascencio and Oliver Poilevey. Their award-winning joint earned it the best taqueria in Chicago Reader's food and drink poll of 2021, and the tacos frequently sell out daily.

The innovative menu focuses on the beauty and strength of the everlasting taco, with options ranging from traditional to sheer genius, and specials are swapped out frequently with new mouth-watering creations. There's typically a vegan or vegetarian option on the menu, and al pastor and asada are among the staple dishes that are always available. The more uncommon offerings include summer squash, tomato confit, tempura fried mahi-mahi, date with date puree, and even dijonnaise. A few appetizers are also sprinkled on the menu, like fresh ceviche made with gulf shrimp and octopus. Last but not least, the dessert course is nothing short of decadent, with changing flavors of flan, traditional tres leches, and churros with creamy house-made custard on the side.

Ghin Khao Eat Rice

Born-and-bred Chicago siblings, Chef Nova Sasi and his sister, Chef Kami Sasi, have restaurants in their blood, sweat, and tears. The duo has poured their heart into making their Chicago-based Thai restaurant a culinary experience to remember.

Located in the Latino-influenced culinary corner of Chicago known as Pilsen, Ghin Khao Eat Rice is infused with family-style love and the brazen flavors of Northern Thailand. In a nod to their family roots, the Sasi's preserve their ancestral region's uniqueness by showcasing traditional cooking methods and prominently featuring the Northern Thai mirepoix known as lime juice, chilies, garlic, and fish sauce. It's meant to replicate a street food experience, and menu highlights include snacks like the Tod Man Pla, or homemade fish cakes, green papaya salad, and deep-fried soybean curds. Entrees like Grandma's Pork Belly and Crab Fried Rice are elevated versions of cultural staples.

Its colorful, counter-service ambiance and mouth-watering and unparalleled menu have earned it a Michelin star and a lot of street credit in the surrounding taco-based restaurant row. In paying homage to "mom," these sibling chefs are the stuff of legends.


On the northwest side of Chicago lies Avondale, a small, tight-knit community home to a few award-winning restaurants, most notably Parachute. With an open kitchen, modern furnishings, and an intimate dining space, the 40-seat restaurant offers a familiar and sociable setting for small gatherings.

Behind the line at Parachute is the award-winning husband and wife duo of chefs, Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark. Not only was Kim a finalist on season nine of Top Chef, she and Clark were the recipients of the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2019. Sourcing local ingredients to create intentional Korean cuisine, Parachute also earned a Michelin star and is a featured restaurant in the Michelin Guide.

The menu was once Korean-inspired fusion but is now solely focused on Kim's Korean roots, with every dish inherently cultural as it is flavorful. Reviewers rave about the seafood pancake, the pork bossam with island creek oysters, and the fresh and cooling golbaengi-muchim or chilled noodle salad. You should make a reservation in advance to improve your chances of an unforgettable dining experience at Chicago's Parachute.


A roundup of great restaurants in Chicago would not be complete without highlighting one of the city's finest and oldest deep-dish pizza establishments, Giordano's. With multiple locations throughout the city, it's a convenient and irresistible option next time you crave a Chicago staple cuisine.

Giordano's is considered the father of stuffed deep-dish pizza in Chicago, with a history that dates back to 1974, when the restaurant was founded by two Italian immigrants and brothers, Efren and Joseph Boglio. Growing up in Torino, Italy, the brothers learned how to make the deep dish pie from their mother, who prepared the "Italian Easter Pie" on holidays and special family occasions. Giordano's is considered the best pizza in Chicago, if not the U.S., by critics and reviewers such as The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and NBC News.

The menu features an array of crust options so that diners may customize the foundation of their pie with extra thin crust to the iconic deep dish to a parmesan-crusted pan pizza. There's also a bevy of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and desserts, and customers may dine in, grab a pie to go, or even have the famous pies packed frozen, and shipped right to their door.


If you're looking for southern hospitality above the Mason-Dixon line, look no further than Virtue Restaurant and Bar in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, a little city all its own in the big city of Chi-Town. James Beard award-winning chef Erick Williams is the creative mastermind behind this fine dining soul food restaurant, which pays tribute to his southern heritage and upbringing. The restaurant is open for dinner and offers a happy hour menu during select weeknights.

Owner and executive chef, Erick Williams, is a born-and-bred Chicagoan in pursuit of leaving his mark on the culinary world by providing opportunities for others who aspire to a career in the kitchen. He hires experienced and inexperienced chefs to work alongside him, learning from his advanced skills and techniques.

The menu is every bit southern as it is innovative, with traditional dishes that keep diners coming back for more, like gizzards with dirty rice, shrimp and crawfish with grits, blackened catfish with "Carolina gold" rice, and of course, cornbread and honey butter. There are also some surprising and assertive dishes like the lamb t-bone topped with harissa, a North African red chili paste, or the duck confit salad with sweet cherries and shaved fennel. Some staples may remain, while others are rotated seasonally with Williams' farm-to-table selections.


Located in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago, Monteverde is where the old, traditional Italian style collides with new and innovative techniques. Monteverde is operated by one of the only chefs to beat Bobby Flay at his own game, chef Sarah Grueneberg, who was a Top Chef season 9 runner-up. Among her highly decorated history as a chef, Grueneberg was awarded James Beard Best Chef in the Great Lakes region in 2017, just two years after opening Monteverde.

The restaurant's motto is "flour is power," and there's no denying the weight Grueneberg pulls in the kitchen regarding her homemade pasta. Cooks are busy in the kitchen preparing fresh pasta all day, every day, in various shapes, sizes, and for different recipes, like the roast chicken-stuffed ravioli or the classic cacio whey pepe. Then there are the more subtle nuances on the Monteverde menu, like the prosciutto butter that accompanies the burrata e ham appetizer or the chili garlic oil that adds a touch of heat to the spaghetti al pomodoro. Each dish is mindfully crafted using fresh, high-quality ingredients and specially-sourced components to provide the guest with a unique experience.

Luella's Southern Kitchen

Although Chicago is almost as far north as one can get in the continental U.S., the southern food craze is sneaking up on the city, and Luella's Southern Kitchen is one of the best representations of southern cuisine in the north. A fast-growing staple of Lincoln Square, Luella's Southern Kitchen is owned and manned by chef Darnell Reed, a native of Chicago who named his restaurant after his great-grandmother, Luella, who relocated the family to Chicago in 1943.

With an extensive background in culinary arts and a passport that likely has more pages filled with stamps than not, Reed has infused his family, love of food, and passion for technical cooking into each recipe on his menu. Reed is known for his southern staples like the low-country boil, buttermilk fried chicken, gumbo, skillet cornbread, collard greens, and shrimp and grits that keep customers coming back for these mouth-watering favorites. The restaurant is also BYOB, and customers are encouraged to bring their own wine, beer, or cocktails to try their hand at pairing southern food with their favorite drink of choice.


As the first-ever Mexican chef to earn a Michelin star, Carlos Gaytán is the owner and creative genius behind the line at Chicago's Tzuco restaurant. The name Tzuco is short for Huitzuco, Mexico, where Gaytán was raised in the kitchen alongside his family, namely his mother, who would spend most nights whipping up a frenzy of dishes that the family would then sell to the townspeople come morning. His flavors pay homage to his upbringing, and his restaurant is a heartfelt nod to his hometown.

Starting as a dishwasher, Gaytán climbed the ranks to head chef one rung of the ladder at a time, with an impressive run on Top Chef season 11 in New Orleans, before opening Tzuco in 2019. With happy hour, brunch, and a crave-worthy dinner menu, Tzuco has been defined as a game-changer by Food and Wine Magazine.

The menu offers a culinary journey through Gaytán's background, with an inspired and contemporary twist, like his braised lamb neck barbacoa with mint jocoque and pinto bean purée, his chili relleno with ratatouille, and two different ceviches featuring either shrimp or ahi tuna. Every dish is perfectly balanced with acid, heat, citrus, and salt, lending an exciting flavor option to Chicago's restaurant scene.


Open for nearly a decade, Momotaro in Chicago's restaurant-rampant Fulton Market district, Momotaro is a substantial three-story establishment that can seat over 250 diners. If you think that's big, you have to check out the restaurant's remarkable seven-page menu, which is fine dining at its finest.

Momotaro is owned by the Boka group, led by Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, with several chefs slicing up a piece of the Momotaro puzzle, including Japan born-and-bred, Jeff Ramsey, who is in charge of sushi operations alongside Kaze Chan, who is a Chicago legend in the sushi game. Lastly, James Beard award-winning chef Mark Hellyar is the man behind the hot line. The trio of talent is responsible for executing hot and cold appetizers, a robatayaki grill, a coal-fired grill, a traditional live hibachi, and a chef's selection of high-quality nigiri.

Momotaro is where traditional meets tongue-in-cheek and where seasonal is always in style. There's also a high level of service and a wait staff that is highly trained to help guide you through each section of the menu. If you're feeling lost, just ask for navigation, and your server will help steer you down the right path, ultimately leading you on an exclusive journey for your taste buds.


Founded by a Vietnamese refugee, HaiSous is where Chicago Michelin star restaurants meet deeply-rooted Vietnamese flavors and heritage. The youngest of nine children, Thai Dang's parents decided to flee Vietnam for the Philippines when Dang was only five years old, after which the family trekked to the U.S. in search of better opportunities for their children. Chef Thai Dang has a storied history in kitchens, having started in his own kitchen helping his mother prepare soups for the family after her nine-to-five day job in southern Illinois. From there, Dang studied at the L'Academie de Cuisine, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and traveled around France, visiting every world-renowned restaurant he possibly could to inspire his expanding palate.

In 2017, Dang opened HaiSous alongside his wife, Danielle, in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, amid nightclubs, art museums, and a slew of other resounding restaurants. The menu features traditional Vietnamese favorites like a whole fried fluke fish, a superior selection of housemade noodles, and a grilled seafood menu that spotlights octopus, oysters, and clams. The bold and profoundly Vietnamese flavors of fish sauce, chili, lemongrass, and garlic are sprinkled throughout each section on the menu, giving diners an unforgettable taste of southern Vietnam.

Tortas Frontera

Chef Rick Bayless is a famed restaurateur, cookbook author, and "One Plate at a Time" host on PBS, and he's now making his name as an airport destination with his restaurant chain, Tortas Frontera in Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Don't let the word airport fool you. The menu is anything but prepackaged and poorly prepared. Rather, ingredients are sustainably, locally sourced, and centered around the beloved torta — a Mexican-style sandwich served on a soft roll with meat, cheese, and select sauces. Transparency is also key to operations, and each location displays a list of meat, cheese, and produce suppliers within the Great Lakes region, like the Pasture raised pork from Gunthorp Farms in Lagrange, Illinois, and the Eggs, which come from Yuppie Hill in Burlington, Wisconsin, to name a few.

Several locations are spread out in different terminals within the international airport, and people are booking layovers just to get a taste of Chef Bayless' world-renowned on-the-go food. If you don't have time to sit down and enjoy a cocktail with your guacamole and crispy chicken torta, there's also an option to order online, so you don't have to choose between missing your flight or missing this award-winning restaurant.


A list of the best restaurants in Chicago would not be complete without a French-style brasserie. So we give you Obélix, a recently launched endeavor in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. Owned and operated by brothers and chefs Oliver and Nicolas Poilevey, Obélix is described by reviewers as "very French" thanks to its menu offerings like steak tartare, tête de cochon or crispy pig head, and escargot. There's also an award-winning chef de cuisine, Nathan Kim, to thank for the traditionally French yet respectfully modern menu.

The Poilevey brothers are no strangers to French cuisine, as their parents founded Le Bouchon in Chicago — one of the city's finest and most highly regarded French restaurants since the '90s. The brothers split their in-house responsibilities with Oliver serving as the executive chef and Nicolas bringing home the title of director of wine. Serving brunch and dinner alongside an array of fine wines and French champagnes, Obélix offers Chicagoans a taste of French fine dining without breaking the bank.


With so many restaurants closing shortly after opening its doors in Chicago, Sepia is standing the test of time with a decade and a half under its belts. Under the direction of executive chef Andrew Zimmerman and his chef de cuisine, Kyle Cottle, the restaurant menu offers an inventive, elegant, and timeless take on American cuisine.

An impressive four-course pre-fixe menu allows diners to choose from each course offering, or you can build your own dinner a la carte. The menu seems to pay homage to America's diverse melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, with French-style dishes like the steak tartare, Hawaiian-inspired crispy skin kanpachi, Italian-infused cavatelli, and a characteristically West Coast king crab chowder.

Nothing says fine dining like an award-winning sommelier, and Sepia is fortunate to have one of the finest curated wine lists in the city, as selected by their in-house wine director, Alex Ring, who's creatively-crafted wine list is almost as good as a trip to Napa Valley.