Chicago may be famous for its deep dish pizza and stacked hot dogs, but gourmet options are right around the corner in one of the Midwest’s best cities for foodies. Choose a restaurant near McCormick Place or venture up to Millennium Park — there are plenty of great dining options all over the city.
Blue Door Kitchen & Garden
52 W. Elm St. • 312-573-4000
A farm-to-table oasis in the heart of Chicago, Blue Door Kitchen & Garden is rooted in the philosophy of letting seasons dictate the menu. Fun fact: Chef Art Smith was once Oprah Winfrey’s personal, day-to-day chef.
Girl and the Goat
809 W. Randolph St. • 312-492-6262
Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard serves up a family-style menu of tasty, bold food with a global influence in a fun and lively setting that makes guests feel at home. The James Beard Foundation nominated Girl and the Goat for Best New Restaurant in 2011. Sip wine, craft beer and cocktails at this hard-to-beat eatery.
445 N. Clark St. • 312-661-1434
Topolobampo’s menu is not divided into appetizers and entrees, but into categories like “soulful,” “vibrant” and “luxurious.” This Mexican restaurant has been described as the “quiet, sleek, classy sister” to Frontera, another one of award-winning chef Rick Bayless’ restaurants.
730 N. Rush St. (multiple locations) • 312-951-0747
Famous for its stuffed crust, Giordano’s pizza pie is claimed by some as the “best” stuffed pizza in the city.
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
805 S. State Street (multiple locations) • 312-786-1000
Lou Malnati’s pizza is known for its flaky, buttery crust and “exclusive sausage blend that are unmatched in flavor in taste.” The tomato sauce is so crucial to the recipe that each year representatives from the restaurant travel to California and personally meet with tomato growers. Price: Moderate.
The Original Gino’s East of Chicago
162 E. Superior St. (multiple locations) • 312-266-3337
Be sure to leave some graffiti on the wall in this world-famous pizza eatery.
The original Gino’s East not only features deep dish pizza on its new menu but several other options for the health conscious, allergic and non-pizza lovers. Price: Moderate.
Burgers, Seafood and Steakhouses
Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf
218 W. Kinzie St. • 312-624-8154
Bavette’s French flair offers guests a stylish departure from a traditional steakhouse. The gilded space with glowing chandeliers has a vast menu of flavorful ribeyes, seafood towers and a well-curated international wine list. Order a timeless steak while listening to lively jazz.
24 S. Michigan Ave. • 312-372-4243
Just steps from Millennium Park and the Art Institute, The Gage serves rustic American fare. The menu features elk, bone-in ribeye and market-fresh fish. Indulge in the award-winning desert program and cap the evening off with an innovative libation. Price: Expensive.
Native Foods Café
218 S. Clark St. (multiple locations) • 312-332-6332
Native Foods Café’s location in the Loop — one of three in Chicago and several nationwide — serves made-from-scratch vegan dishes for discriminating diners. The plant-based menu of this fast-casual restaurant is designed to please both vegans and meat-eaters alike.
176 N. Franklin St. • 312-201-9885
Visitors salute Taza for offering “the tastiest and healthiest fare in in the NW loop” and “the best Mediterranean food downtown, period.” The falafels and lentil soup are especially popular.
Goddess and the Baker
33 S. Wabash Ave. • 312-877-5176
Grab a cup of coffee or made-to-order sandwich in this all-day café designed for busy Chicagoans. With a “fanatical focus on sweets,” Goddess and the Baker serves dessert all day. Pop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
223 W. Lake St. • 312-422-0701
308 W. Erie St. • 312-888-3044
This self-described “salad joint” says “it’s time to get your green on,” which you can do with one of the signature salads or by building your own from a long list of ingredients. Diners can also enjoy soups and paninis. The Lake Street location is open for lunch only.
Still hungry? Grab a famous Chicago hot dog. Served on a poppy seed bun, the “Chicago Dog” is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, neon-green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato wedges, hot peppers and a dash of celery salt. Assemble one yourself at a baseball game or head to one of these spots:
100 W. Ontario (multiple locations) • 312-587-8910
Red Hot Ranch
2072 N. Western Ave. • 773-772-6020
(hot dog stand)
185 N. Franklin St. • 312-251-7009
For more to see and do during your stay in Chicago, visit the DDW® Choose Chicago website at