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Eclectic Eats: Indulge in the taste of Chicago

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.

Celebrity Chefs

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.

Price: Moderate.

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.

Price: Expensive.


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.

Price: Expensive.



Giordano’s Pizza

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.
Price: Moderate.

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.
Price: Expensive.

The Gage

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.

Healthy Options

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.
Price: Inexpensive.

Taza Café

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.

Price: Inexpensive.

Quick Bites

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.

Price: Moderate.

Mixed Greens

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.

Price: Inexpensive.

Hot Dogs

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)

UB Dogs

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

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