Best Restaurants in Downtown Chicago


Downtown Chicago has many restaurants offering a wide variety of food, so how do pick where to eat? If you find yourself in the Windy City, whether for business or for pleasure, let this be a quick guide to some of the best restaurants in Downtown Chicago.

Best Restaurants in Downtown Chicago: Alinea

Rated number one in Chicago Magazine’s Top 40 Chicago Restaurants, this labor of love by Chef Grant Achantz has gained the attention of foodies and critics around the world. In 2002, Grant Achantz was named one of the top chefs in the world and if you find yourself in downtown Chicago, then treat yourself to a meal at his restaurant, Alinea. The menu is creative, taking you on a culinary adventure tour with small plates such as steelhead roe with coconut, licorice and pineapple, and pineapple with ham and freeze-dried cherry. Each dish is an architectural masterpiece and the presentation of each plate will delight you just as much as the delicate nuances of flavor. Chef Grant Achantz utilizes flavors and textures with skill and inspiration.

Best Restaurants in Downtown Chicago: Quartino
This is one of the best restaurants in downtown Chicago if you are looking for authentic Italian meals. Quartino offers a variety of food options, from traditional Italian dishes, pizza, and small plates. There are several dishes serving house made pasta, like gnocchi and cavatelli, imported pasta dishes like Linguini with Clams and Penne alla Vodka, and house specialties like Veal Osso Bucco and Beef Short Ribs with a Salsa Verde. Is your mouth watering yet? Enjoy a fine bottle of wine with your meal, chosen from an extensive wine list. Don’t know much about wine? Don’t worry! The staff at Quartino will help you choose the best wine to go with your meal. If you are stopping in just to enjoy some vino, I highly recommend ordering a few snacks from their charcuterie menu, like sopressata, duck prosciutto, and asiago vecchio. There are over twenty different pizzas to choose from as well, making this an ideal restaurant for dining with the family or for satisfying your late-night hunger.

Best Restaurants in Downtown Chicago: Everest
With some truly amazing views and exceptional dishes created by Chef Joho, Everest deserves a spot in any best restaurants list for downtown Chicago. Travel to the 40th floor above the Chicago Stock Exchange for fine dining, superb wine, and beautiful artwork. Perhaps you can start with a small dish of Maine Peekytoe Crab with Celery Root Granny Smith Apple Remoulade before moving onto a main course of Dry Aged New York Steak with Sauce Choron and Alsace Potato Gnocchi. The dessert menu has sumptuous offerings likeCrème Caramel with a Fruit Compote and Mango Coulis and an Asian Pear poached in Riesling and Thyme with a Vahlrona Chocolate Cremeux and Lavender and Honey Glace. Each dessert is accompanied by a recommended drink pairing. Gourmet magazine has said that Everest is the “Best Chicago restaurant for business dining,” which is good to know if you are in town for work!

Best Restaurants in Downtown Chicago: Tru
For wonderful progressive French dining, one of the best restaurants in downtown Chicago is Tru. There are two menus to choose from at Tru, the first offers your pick of appetizer, main course and dessert (Prix-Fixe) and the second is a menu consisting of six to nine courses that are brought out to you in succession. Options for the Prix-Fixe menu include an appetizer of Seared Foie Gras with Caramelized Anjou Pear, Chestnut and Black Mission Fig, a main course of Herb-Crusted Lamb Loin with Lemon and Tomato Confiture and Fava Bean, and a dessert of Vanilla Risotto with Fall Fruits and Clove Ice Cream. If you choose from the set six to nine course menu there are also additional options you can choose to add on, including a sturgeon Caviar Staircase and Australian Wagyu Feef. There are over 1,800 wine selections, making this an appropriate restaurant for any wine connoisseur as well. The atmosphere at Tru is elegant and refined and if you enjoy fine dining then this may be one of the best restaurants in downtown Chicago for you.

Best Restaurants in Downtown Chicago: America’s Dog
No trip to Chicago would be complete without experiencing one of the best restaurants serving up hot dogs. The owners of America’s Dog, who are brothers, took a trip cross-country and used inspiration from different locations they visited to build their hot dog menu. Try a traditional Chicago-style hot dog with mustard, relish, onions, peppers, tomato, pickles and celery salt or try something more unique. They’re also serving up Baltimore Dogs, deep-fried with melted cheddar and grilled onions and the Milwaukee Dog, with bratwurst, brown mustard and sauerkraut. If you aren’t in the mood for a hot dog, they also offer a variety of burgers and salads.

Photo courtesy of Explore Chicago.


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