Where to eat in Chicago?


I used to live in Chicago. I also used to cook professionally there and did more than my fair share of eating around town. Once a month someone I know is going to Chicago and asks for suggestions. Here they are, in no particular order (but I do not make a trip back to Chicago without eating at Nuevo Leon at least once):

If the weather is nice, go on the Architecture Boat Tour.

Southern european/mediterranean- started small plate trend in Chicago; very cool design; eclectic, well-chosen wine list. avec restaurant and wine bar

Fantastic mexican from a family that has been in Chicago for 50 years; homemade tortillas; lengua lampreada is perfection; BYOB. Nuevo Leon

Modern Korean that simply kicks ass (other chefs rave too) Urban Belly

If you are interested in the food of Paul Kahan (which you are) (Blackbird) check out his new place, The Publican

A buddy of mine that I cooked with at Tru opened The Bristol a few months ago. Almost all organic wine list. Great food. If you go, ask for Chris Pandel and tell him I sent you

Haven’t been yet, but if I was going to drop a pile of cash at one restaurant in Chicago right now it would be L2O

Great cocktails? No question- The Violet Hour.

On the radar is a new taco and whiskey joint. Justin Large is going to be the chef, which guarantees great food.


2 Responses to “Where to eat in Chicago?”

  1. Posted on October 12th, 2009

    I am no expert on Chicago, but I loved Al’s Italian Beef and Hot Doug’s for cheap eats…and Millenium Park is a must-see.

  2. Posted on October 12th, 2009

    Thanks for those additions, Laura. Those are both great places. Al’s is likely the best Italian beef in Chicago and Hot Dougs a must see for any fan of encased meats (and the duck fat fries on Saturdays). And, as far as tourist fare goes, the restaurant at Millenium Park is pretty good.

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