Dining Chicago

Latest Blog Posts
A’s List: Great Late-Night Fare Beyond Burgers & Pizza

There was a time when dining out after hours meant your only choices were burgers, greasy slices of pizza or burritos as big as your head. But as Chicago’s culinary landscape continues to evolve, it’s extended to the late-night crowd. These offerings from trendy and classic establishments are made from scratch, creative and certain to […]

The post A’s List: Great Late-Night Fare Beyond Burgers & Pizza appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Oct 16, 2018 11:54 PM
Get into These New Fall Favorites

This season promises something exciting for all, whether you’re in the mood for a laid-back evening of cozy dining or flashy night on the town. Beef Wellington is served tableside at Mason. (Photo: Matthew Lowell) Found Hotel. The trendy River North hotel catering to younger travelers boasts two concepts: Mason steakhouse and Blind Dragon. The former pays homage […]

The post Get into These New Fall Favorites appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Sep 25, 2018 05:20 AM
Where to Feast on Fried Chicken in Chicago

The sun is shining, the temperature is heating up and cravings for summery classics like fried chicken are at an all-time high, making it an apt time to round up some of Chicago’s finest variations of this all-American specialty. From new dishes to timeworn favorites, here’s where to get your fix right now. Feed: While […]

The post Where to Feast on Fried Chicken in Chicago appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Sep 08, 2018 10:26 PM

Tourist Trap Restaurants That Actually Live Up to the Hype

Summer is the height of tourist season here in Chicago, wherein out-of-towners descend on the city’s most popular — and over-crowded — destinations like Michigan Avenue, the Bean, the Riverwalk and Navy Pier. Naturally, considering how obnoxiously crowded these places tend to get, and their stigmatized lack of quality food options, locals tend to avoid them at all costs. Which is a shame, because these tourist magnets are actually filled with and surrounded by destination-worthy dining options that have plenty of appeal for Chicagoans, no matter how mobbed the sidewalks are. From Millennium Park the the 606, here are some of the most worthwhile restaurants that make the city’s tourist traps entirely worthwhile. 

 

Latinicity
Latinicity

The Bean: Millennium Park recently surpassed Navy Pier to become the number one tourist destination in the state, thanks in large part to that photogenic Bean in the middle of it. The beautifully landscaped, art-filled park is also beloved by locals too, who regularly make it a spot to enjoy their lunch or take in a free concert or movie on the lawn throughout the summer. This might explain why the area has filled in recently with more legit dining destinations that go well beyond the tourist basics. The Gage has been a pioneer for the neighborhood since it opened a decade ago, becoming the first gastropub in the area and one of the first to set the trend for the city at large. Right next door, the same owners added their spin on Italian cuisine with Acanto, a sophisticated haven with seasonally inspired dishes, an incredible wine list and hifalutin cocktails. Other Millennium Park-adjacent hot spots include Cindy’s atop the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, Cherry Circle Room, Remington’s and Latinicity, the latter of which is a sprawling Latin-inspired food hall filled with bars, casual dining stalls and immersive decor. 

The 606: Since its debut as a conversion of a former defunct train line into an elevated park system, the 606 trail that runs from Wicker Park through Bucktown and Humboldt Park has been a smash hit. So much so that on summer days and evenings, it tends to get as crowded as the traffic-laden streets below it. However, this is the rare example of a destination that is equally beloved both by locals and tourists alike, providing something to explore beyond downtown for out-of-towers looking to get out int othe city’s neighborhoods. Fortunately, the nearly three-mile trail runs right by multiple restaurants and bars well worth a stop-off. Be sure not to miss Presidio on Damne Avenue, a bar and restaurant with equally amazing cocktails and seasonal food. The menu rotates regularly, and the cocktails often incorporate a fun theme. The ambience is also chic, refined and relaxed, providing a breath of fresh air from the crowded streets and park nearby. Right next door is HotChocolate, which is an essential destination for dessert, and elsewhere along the park you’ll find Small Cheval off Milwaukee (burgers on the patio are a summer essential) and Ipsento, which operates an all-day cafe that serves coffee, lattes and donuts by day before shifting into a sophisticated wine and cocktail bar by night. 

Navy Pier: While tourists have always been crazy about, the Pier has long been a bit of a headache to Chicagoans who avoid it like the plague, especially during the frenzied summer months. But all of that has been changing lately, as the pier has implemented a series of impressive upgrades, like a new theater lawn, outdoor movies, a new Ferris wheel and in-the-works upgrades on the eastern end of the pier, which will include the construction of a new hotel. The pier has also been seriously upgrading its food options as well. Visit Big City Chicken for a top-notch chicken sandwich with a side of green chili cheese fries and an orange float. Or you can opt for summery dessert at Original Rainbow Cone, the South Side ice cream shop that opened an outpost here. DMK Restaurant Group has also played an integral role in the pier’s revival, adding outposts of both Fish Bar and DMK Burger Bar, along with a new hot dog concept. 

Michigan Avenue: One of the most iconic shopping areas in the nation, the Magnificent Mile is famed primarily for its high-end retail, while restaurants are often overlooked. Except of course for the constantly crowded Purple Pig, which routinely draws hordes of both locals and tourists for its revered, award-winning Mediterranean plates and wines. Popular staples include the salt-roasted beets with whipped goat cheese and pistachio vinaigrette, Spanish octopus terrine, pork neck bone gravy with ricotta, and milk-braised pork shoulder with mashed potatoes. In other Mag Mile dining news, hit pause from your shopping spree to enjoy a meal a pizza-filled meal at Labriola Ristorante & Cafe or some seriously impressive cocktails at Baptiste & Bottle near the top of the Conrad Chicago hotel.

The Riverwalk: Tiny Lounge, a popular neighborhood fixture in North Center, has almost single-handedly upped the ante on the cocktail scene in downtown’s most touristy enclaves. The folks behind the longstanding bar also run a similarly named outpost on the perpetually crowded Riverwalk, which runs along the Chicago River from Lake Michigan all the way to Lake Street. Along with other Riverwalk staples like Island Party Hut, City Winery and O’Brien’s, the hottest attraction on the Riverwalk for drinkers is Tiny Hatt, which features craft cocktails and hearty plates like pulled pork nachos and roasted chicken sandwiches.  

Neighborhoods: LakeviewLakeviewWicker ParkBucktownStreetervilleLoopWicker ParkLoopWicker ParkStreeterville

Michael Kornick and David Morton's eco-friendly eatery features a number of chef-driven burgers made with grass-fed beef, naturally raised turkey and veggie patties promising to actually taste good.

Dmk_food5 Dmk_food Dmk_food4 Dmk_food2

The guys behind MK and DMK Burger Bar have opened a seafood-only venue adjacent to DMK. The market-price Maine lobster roll and oyster po' boy sandwich are the stars of...

Fish_bar_(1) Fish_bar_(2) Fish_bar_(3) Fish_bar

An urban café and dessert experience featuring Mindy Segal's personal renditions of classic American food and the sweets that inspired Chicago magazine to name her "The Best Pastry Chef in...


A spin-off of their original Western Avenue location, Ipsento expands upon its usual coffee and espresso portfolio for their second location by the 606 Trail in Bucktown. With more space...


Chicagoland's esteemed Labriola empire expands to the city with a Magnificent Mile location that serves as casual cafe and bakery as well as full-service restaurant and bar.


Located on the third floor of Block 37 and featuring 12 unique eateries, you'll find a cultural experience in the heart of Chicago. Brought to you by world-renowned chef Richard...

11751400_704618653000991_3820072615676089259_n 11902534_724731204323069_8177193630762886499_n 11903783_724731144323075_4765053533206390819_n

Remington’s is Chicago’s Classic American Grill, welcoming guests to enjoy warm hospitality and unparalleled service just across the street from Chicago's famed Millennium Park. Chef Todd Stein's inventive romp through...

10410180_818192531563065_2907901799436090377_n 10955678_794728337242818_1999802860671426036_o 11027511_823148151067503_8909168059649147076_n 11102938_816492741733044_4216928083782085575_n

A casual, fast-paced burger shop in Bucktown. Guests can order a burger, cheeseburger or fries with the option to add bacon, lettuce, tomato.The beverage list features shakes, draft cocktails, beers...

11902268_1619398548339590_5352829077114304263_n 11800245_1610629745883137_780394527727766807_n 11169484_1608476599431785_2336574330527650587_n

The Purple Pig is a Mediterranean wine bar helmed by chef/partner Jimmy Bannos Jr. The restaurant offers cheese, swine, and wine, among other standout dishes, showcasing the flavors of Italy,...

Purple_pig_for_brady_eats Purple_pig_banner Purplepig Purple-pig_milk-braised-pork-shoulder-with-mashed-potatoes



Copyright © 2018 Chicago's Restaurant Guide. All Rights Reserved.