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The Most Famous Restaurants in Chicago

Famous restaurants in Chicago span a wide range of dining styles from tourist-friendly deep-dish pizza joints to neighborhood Italian spots along the North Shore. Add in the ethnically diverse eateries of the West Loop and, and for those with big budgets and a taste for the gourmet, the world-class fine-dining venues of the Magnificent Mile. But where do the savviest, most seasoned diners eat out in Chicago? This is the Tastemaker 18. We used data covering thousands of restaurants to determine the top spots among OpenTable's smartest expert diners. Anyone visiting or residing in the Windy City, who are looking for a meal that sums up the city's excellent dining scene, should check out these 18 famous restaurants.

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The OpenTable Team
10 Restaurants
Updated January 14, 2020
Restaurants:The Chew Chew, The Chocolate Sanctuary, Il Vicinato Ristorante
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Contemporary American, American, Italian
Neighborhoods:Riverside, Gurnee, Little Italy / University Village
A photo of The Chew Chew restaurant

The Chew Chew

$$$$
Contemporary American
Riverside
4.8
1565 reviews
The Chew Chew in Riverside started as a small sandwich shop in 1996. Its popularity required a move to its current two-story space, a charming venue adorned with vintage railroad décor. The restaurant is open for dinner and happy hour Tuesdays through Sundays. Its cuisine is classic American comfort food with a creative spin. Expect burgers loaded up with toppings, cheesy pasta dishes and some regional flavors like Creole jambalaya and Florida-style grilled fish. A popular entrée is the brick-roasted half-chicken with buttermilk mashed potatoes. The Chew Chew also presents nightly specials such as mussels and frites on Mondays and Sunday gravy and bucatini.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Chocolate Sanctuary restaurant

The Chocolate Sanctuary

$$$$
American
Gurnee
4.5
2149 reviews
With its intriguing concept of cocoa-inspired cuisine (and not just for dessert), The Chocolate Sanctuary is one of the most famous restaurants in Chicago. Locals and visitors seeking an unusual fine dining experience embrace the idea of appetizers and entrees featuring cocoa in creative, savory applications. Exemplary dishes include lollipop chicken wings with a port and cocoa-infused BBQ sauce, a cocoa-spice butternut squash soup and cocoa nib-crusted salmon with orange zest. There’s also chocolate sourdough in the bread basket and cocoa-candied bacon added to burgers, salads and vegetable sides. (Note that not every dish includes cocoa.) Drinks and desserts are a more straightforward vehicle for chocolate, but the restaurant demonstrates a thoughtful approach here as well. One of the most popular is a chocolate fondue to share.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Il Vicinato Ristorante restaurant

Il Vicinato Ristorante

$$$$
Italian
Little Italy / University Village
4.5
444 reviews
The family-owned Il Vicinato Ristorante has welcomed Chicagoland diners since 1983 and has changed little on its menu of Italian classics since its early days. The nostalgic neighborhood restaurant with white-tablecloth seating sticks with its straightforward presentation of Italian-American favorites. The dinner menu has ample options among appetizers, soups, salads and pasta dishes. Expect such old-school comfort fare as eggplant parmigiana, homemade ravioli and fettucine alfredo. Il Vicinato Ristorante is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Shanty Restaurant restaurant

The Shanty Restaurant

$$$$
Contemporary American
Gurnee
4.6
1641 reviews
In 2010 and again in 2018, Guy Fieri filmed episodes of his Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” at The Shanty Restaurant, bringing national attention to the Wadsworth eatery. Locals were already well-aware of its charms, as the restaurant has been in business for over 100 years. The rustic barn-wood venue has expanded significantly over the decades. It now offers balcony seating and an outdoor deck with views over a forest preserve. The cuisine is classic American with a contemporary touch, all made from scratch. Aged steaks, fresh seafood, pasta dishes and vegetarian options are all available, along with the signature whisky shrimp.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Staropolska restaurant

Staropolska

$$$$
Eastern European
Logan Square
4.8
143 reviews
Chicago locals with a taste for Polish cuisine – or for great cuisine in general – love Staropolska for its hearty Eastern European classics. The Logan Square venue is a bright space reminiscent of an old-school American diner. Its lengthy menu is meat-centric and made for big appetites, although not entirely absent of vegetarian items. Familiar options include pierogies in sweet and savory incarnations, stuffed cabbage, beet soup and all manner of veal and Polish sausage preparations. Look for an exemplary dish of potato pancake with pork and peppers braised in a sweet paprika-spiked tomato sauce.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Froggy's restaurant

Froggy's

$$$$
French
Highwood
4.4
853 reviews
A North Shore institution since 1980, Froggy’s French Café is a neighborhood bistro with a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, plus some top-notch French cuisine. The venue includes the Greenhouse Bar with its centerpiece fireplace, an ideal spot to enjoy a selection from Froggy’s award-winning, 300-label wine list. Lunch and dinner menus, which change to showcase seasonal ingredients, include numerous seafood options. Examples include a carpaccio of sea scallops appetizer and an entrée of sautéed shrimp with linguine in a lobster sauce. Among the entrees are some uncommon items like sautéed sweetbread grenobloise, tripes a la mode de Caen and a wild game plate.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Mirabella Italian Cuisine restaurant

Mirabella Italian Cuisine

$$$$
Italian
Avondale / Irving Park
4.7
517 reviews
Mirabella Italian Cuisine in Avondale is an upscale Italian steakhouse with a warm ambiance. The white-tablecloth dining room with romantic lighting sets the scene for indulgent pasta dishes. These include classics like fettucine primavera, four cheese tortollini and country-style rigatoni with pork fennel sausage. Also note some unexpected touches like the brown butter and pistachios over a cheese ravioli, and the sweet peas and spicy pimentos that join prosciutto and fettucini in an alfredo sauce. The comprehensive menu also features lengthy sections dedicated to top-quality steaks, veal, chicken and fish/seafood selections.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Hemmingway's Bistro restaurant

Hemmingway's Bistro

$$$$
Contemporary American
Oak Park
4.6
959 reviews
Hemmingway’s Bistro, inside the historic White Inn hotel, takes inspiration from Paris in the 1930s for both its décor and cuisine. The food – breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a lavish jazz and champagne brunch on Sundays – sticks with traditional French bistro fare. However the ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible. Chef Christopher Ala hand-selects produce from local markets. The chicken is Amish free-range and seafood is flown in daily from the East Coast. The bistro features a raw bar with towers of fresh shellfish. Other highlights include a five-spice duck breast, a mixed grill of wild game and a wilted spinach salad prepared table-side. There’s a daily rotation of specials, all authentic French favorites such as coq au vin and bouillabaisse.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Libertad restaurant

Libertad

$$$$
Latin American
Skokie
4.8
2827 reviews
Chef Armando Gonzalez’s contemporary Latin American cuisine draws diners from all over Chicagoland to Libertad in Skokie. His dinner menu of mix-and-matchable small plates, divided into equally sized vegetarian, fish and meat sections, encourages sharing. Groups might easily compile arrays of complementary dishes to share. Highlights include tempura poblano peppers with chevre and habanero jack, a sesame-crusted tuna with purple yam and zoodles, and chile de arbol-braised short ribs with ricotta cavatelli and wild mushrooms. The restaurant also offers an a la carte brunch on weekends. In 2012, Chicago Magazine named Libertad one of the top 20 newest restaurants in Chicago.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Cafe Touche restaurant

Cafe Touche

$$$$
Bistro
Edison Park
4.7
1020 reviews
The Edison Park neighborhood bistro Café Touche serves generous portions of authentic French cuisine in a light, bright space. Its lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menus cover the classics – expect bouillaibaise, three versions of steak frites, escargots en cocotte and a ratatouille tartin. A few departures from France venture toward New Orleans, such as an etouffee with crawfish, shrimp and andouille, and a Louisiana egg roll appetizer. The restaurant also offers diverse daily specials such as jerk chicken and frites on Wednesdays and Memphis-style baby-back ribs on Thursdays. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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