Dining Chicago

The Grill on the Alley - Chicago

The Grill on the Alley sounds like a humble joint; turns out, it’s one Chicago place where you can enjoy some of the city’s best steaks. The name “The Grill on the Alley” makes it seem like this will be a Weber set up on a backstreet, serving meat made by a Dad-type guy. Nothing could be further from the truth. This swanky restaurant, born in California, is recognized as one of the most sophisticated and high-quality steak restaurants anywhere. As noted in Crain’s Chicago Business: “Sometimes the most obvious things are most easily overlooked. The Grill on the Alley has hidden in plain sight across Delaware Street from the John Hancock Center since 2000, but we first stepped inside only recently. Everything about the place seems designed to lower one's blood pressure. With its dark woodwork, walls covered with framed original artwork, snowy table linens, warm lighting, leather banquettes, formally clad servers and unobtrusive classic jazz on the sound system, it feels like a luxurious club we didn't know we belonged to.” The flagship store of The Grill on the Alley restaurants opened in Beverly Hills, just off Rodeo Drive, over thirty years ago (and that first location actually does have an alley entrance; thus the name; in Chicago, there are street entrances). This first location emulated the legendary steak houses of San Francisco (like the vaunted Tadich Grill) and New York, and there are now several locations in California, as well as Texas, Florida and Chicago. This first restaurant has garnered significant plaudits, including recognition by Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold on his list of 101 Best Restaurants. Zagat praised The Grill on the Alley in its listing of Top 5 Best Steakhouses, and the Hollywood Reporter put it in Hollywood’s Top Five Power Lunch Restaurants. You get the idea: it took the Grill on the Alley only three decades to be an overnight success.

Address: 909 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago

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