Trip Plan Details
commented on this trip
I just posted a "To Do" List for foodies on my blog: http://chieats.com/2013/05/23/chicago-to-do-list/
A lot of the recs below are included, and they are sorted by mood/occasion. Hope this helps! Enjoy!
- Xoco449 North Clark St., Chicago, IL, 60654recommended Xocomy mouth waters thinking about XOCO. worth the wait. and come with friends so you can share (attempt to share) some churros and each others dishes. there's a line - always- so don't worry, you have ... read moretime to make a decision and change it a million times. everything sounds phenomenal...and everything actually is. always order some chips & guac to start. i'm a fan of the daily special tortas myself, but many of the other dishes are fantastic as well. the flavors are just amazing...soup is fantastic if it's chilly outside! the staff is friendly, the atmosphere is fun, the food is consistent. great stop-in for lunch or a mid-afternoon meal if you want to avoid lines.Recommended for:
- Black Dog Gelato859 N Damen Ave, Chicago, Illinoisrecommended Black Dog GelatoHuge line. Cash only. Kiiiiiinda pricey. Worth ANY perceived hassle. My dad "drags" me back to Black Dog every time he's in town, hoping we'll make it to the front of the line and they'll still have ... read moretheir signature Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel flavor. It's divine!Paige Worthy
Yum yum yum.
- Baume & Brix351 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, ILrecommended Baume & BrixBaume & Brix is a unique spot in River North, great if you're looking for an approachable culinary adventure. Chefs Ben Roche and Thomas Elliott Bowman both have their own impressive pedigrees, but ... read moretogether they're unstoppable. Don't miss the "Fun Dip"-style octopus as well as the freshly baked "Cookies & Milk" for dessert.Paige Worthy
If you have ANY interest in wine, stop at Baume & Brix and visit with my boyfriend, who's the wine director there. The food is spectacular, too, after a recent menu change to reflect all the delicious spring and summer flavors.
- Chicago Food Planet Food Tours830 N Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611 recommended Chicago Food Planet Food ToursI have been on the Bucktown/Wicker Park and Chinatown food tours, and they're SUCH a fun way to check out Chicago's culinary landscape. Even as a local, I learned so much I didn't know about both ... read moreneighborhoods, and I got to try food from at least five restaurants while I was on each tour!Paige Worthy
Definitely check out this food tour while you're in Chicago — big bang for your buck!
- Second City Pizza Tour730 N Rushrecommended Second City Pizza TourThis is a great way to try all of Chicago's best pizzas and learn to make them too. It turns going out to eat into an adventure for everyone. It's a lot of fun, and the pizza is the best in town.Recommended for:
- Aviary955 West Fulton Market, Chicago, Illinois 60607, United Statesrecommended AviaryThis is how Alinea would do cocktails. The third project by Grant Achatz & Nick Kokonas, this is a "bar" without the bar. All your cocktails are prepared on a line in a kitchen the way your food would ... read morebe, and they would most likely be a molecular homage to some of the classic cocktails. The drinks are great and will be just as visually appealing as they are to drink. For those who cannot get into Next, this is where you can go for a sampling of what the food is like. The bites offered change based on Next's menu, so we had ramen when the menu was Kyoto and now they are serving things like poutine while Next's "The Hunt" menu is around.Sophia Aduana
This is a good place for drinks after Publican or Girl & the Goat. You can email for same day reservations in case you want a table reserved for you. There can be a wait for one otherwise.
- Next Restaurant953 W Fullton, Market Chicago, IL 60607recommended Next RestaurantI've been lucky enough to have dined at Next for every menu they've had since literally day one. For travel addicts in search of novelty and all things delicious, there cannot be a better restaurant ... read morein the city of Chicago to go to. This restaurant is the second project of Chef Grant Achatz (of Alinea fame), and it changes its menu every 3-4 months or so mainly through the graceful execution of Chef Dave Beran. So far we have dined through Paris 1906, toured the cuisine of Thailand, relived Childhood, progressed through the years of El Bulli, felt at home in Sicily, and experienced the subtle beauty of an autumn in Kyoto. This year's menus will be more conceptual: The Hunt, a vegan menu, and Bocuse d'Or. For newbies, you can only purchase tickets online to dine here. To do so, register an account on nextrestaurant.com. Follow Next's Facebook page to be aware of when the next menu's tickets go on sale. Sometimes, they'll release more tickets on a whim as the menu progresses. There is only one or two tables they'll sell for a same-day reservation. All of these are announced on that Facebook page, so it helps if you pay attention to it! Refer to the FAQ on their website to determine whether or not they can accommodate the dietary restrictions you may have. Good luck on tickets, and happy eating!Sophia Aduana
This is the other restaurant by Grant Achatz. Just like Alinea, they have same day reservations in case you don't get to snag a table ahead of time. Also just like Alinea, it's a tough table to get. You need to follow their Facebook page and wait for the same day reservation announcement before emailing your interest. Right now it's a vegan menu, which is supposed to be outstanding!
- Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse - Chicago1028 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611recommended Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse - ChicagoAt Gibson's go big or go home...cause everything is big and of high quality...the steaks, shrimp,blue cheese in the salad and the ginormous deserts. Great wine selection, cocktails and fantastic ... read moreservice make this steakhouse a home-run! Love steak...this place is not to miss
- Trenchermen2039 West North Avenue, Chicago, ILrecommended TrenchermenInside a gorgeous historic 20th-century building near the busy corner of Damen, North and Milwaukee Aves in Wicker Park, the subterranean Trenchermen is classy without being pretentious. The food, ... read morewith the executive sous chef having trained under Daniel Boulud and other kitchen superstars, is outstanding, with attention paid to every detail. The menu of New American innovative dishes for sharing isn't too long, but just about everything is fantastically memorable, especially the pickle tots with red onion-yogurt whip and the lamb ribs slowly braised with date molasses. On the cocktail list are vintage tastes like the Bijou and Chicago Fizz, along with this week's newbies from the mixologists behind the long bar. It's date-worthy on the restaurant side, easy-going for groups on the bar side.Sara Benson
Sounds like you're doing a similar trip to what I did last time I was in Chicago. I didn't find Girl & the Goat to be worth the expense. The best meal I had honesty was at Trenchermen in Wicker Park - great value, fun eating in the bar room and incredible service and food.
- Pops for Champagne601 N State St, Chicago, IL 60611recommended Pops for ChampagneSwanky champagne lounge! A perfect spot to enjoy a bottle of bubbly with a date or small group of friends. On Sundays, the downstairs jazz lounge Watershed is closed, but a live jazz band plays by the ... read morebar. Love the modern, mellow and classy ambiance. Service is lovely.
- NoMI Restaurant Park Hyatt Chicago, 800 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611recommended NoMI RestaurantFabulous restaurant located on the 7th floor of the Park Hyatt. The modern space is expansive with beautiful floor to ceiling views of the city. There's both New American fare as well as sushi on ... read moretheir menu. The food and service are both delightful. Perfect spot for parties as there are several private rooms. Fantastic lounge area, wine room and outdoor seating area for warm days and nights.
- Joe's Seafood Steak & Stone Crab60 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, ILrecommended Joe's Seafood Steak & Stone CrabSister restaurant to the famous Joe's Stone Crab in Miami, this is an institution in Chicago. The decor is classic steakhouse with white linens, handsome dark wood and plush leather booths. There's a ... read morefilet mignon and a stone crab lunch special that includes soup, potatoes, cole slaw and key lime pie. The meaty stone crab claws are served cold and are pre-cracked for your convenience. Great spot for power lunches and business meetings.
- HUB 5151 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654recommended HUB 51Delicious Japanese and Mexican fare can be found at this bustling hotspot. The ahi tuna burger, giant plate of pulled chicken nachos, ahi poke, filet mignon tacos and carrot cake are what they're ... read moreknown for. The space is huge but it gets packed so make reservations. Lots of yummy eye candy here too.Connie Pistilli
Lively spot for lunch, great people watching.
- Frontera Grill445 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654recommended Frontera GrillFamed Rick Bayless restaurant serving up delicious Mexican fare. While getting a reservation is tricky, you can always grab a seat at their festively decorated bar. I was looking for something light, ... read moreso I had the chipotle mushrooms with tortillas and a signature margarita for lunch. The mushrooms had an amazing flavor and spice to them. Will definitely be back to try their dinner!
- Sable505 North State Street, Chicago, ILrecommended Sable5 stars just for having over 400 whiskies at the bar. Located inside the Hotel Palomar, Top Chef Heather Terhune's restaurant draws a crowd of foodies and cocktail lovers. The buttermilk fried chicken ... read moreis amazing, and goes well with the War of the Roses cocktail (a version of a Pimm's Cup).Connie Pistilli
Have lunch here at the bar!
- The Signature Room at the 95th875 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611recommended The Signature Room at the 95thI could spend hours just taking in the breathtaking views here, which are probably second best to the views from Willis Tower. The cocktails are delicious, and not very pricey, so it's a perfect spot ... read moreto just lounge the night away. The restaurant is on the 95th and the lounge is on the 96th. You can get bites up in the lounge too. The view from the womens' restroom are incredible!Connie Pistilli
Get a table by the window - it's the best view you'll get in all of Chicago! The food is not mind-blowing, but the view is. You can also just head here for a drink.
- Girl & the Goat809 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607recommended Girl & the GoatTop Chef winner Stephanie Izard's Girl & the Goat is one of the hardest restaurants to get a table for so make reservations in advance. Totally worth the wait though - the food is amazing! Shared ... read moresmall plates here so you'll want to order a few different things to try. I especially loved the crisp braised pork shank, sugo pappardelle and grilled octopus. The roasted peppers and cauliflower dishes were also very good. Cocktails and selection of craft beers are amazing as well.
- RM Champagne Salon116 North Green Street, Chicago, IL 60607recommended RM Champagne SalonWhat a beautiful hidden gem! The place is unmarked so look for the address outside and a doorman - the entrance is in the back. The place reminds me of a place you'd find in Europe. There's a great ... read moreoutdoor courtyard with tables and the inside is sexy and dimly lit. Perfect for a date or a girly night out. Get a bottle of champagne and their seafood platter. Their seared foie gras and French macarons & PB&J truffle are also must orders.
- John Hancock Center875 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611-1779
- Sears Tower2 North State Street, Chicago, IL, United States
- Art Institute of Chicago111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603-6110
- Millennium Park201 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601-6530