The Top 5 Absolute Must-Eat Chicago Restaurants

There are more than 5,195 restaurants in Chicago. So, as you can see, food is a primary attraction in this magnificent city of diverse culture and history. With that many restaurants, there is a culinary delight for everyone.

This list of 5 top Chicago restaurants includes both casual and extravagant dining options.

You’ll also find some restaurants awarded with Michelin stars on this list. The Michelin Guide is globally revered for its restaurant star rating system.

Without further ado, here are the five excellent places to eat in Chicago!

1. Alinea

To date, Alinea is the only restaurant in Chicago with 3 Michelin Guide stars. It also won the James Beard Award. If you don’t mind making a reservation, you’ll enjoy the best food in Chicago here.

Alinea doesn’t just serve you food. This restaurant provides you with a sensory experience. It also combines fine dining with an appealing twist.

This restaurant is famous for serving helium taffy balloons. It’s an edible and incredible dessert for ending your time at Alinea.

The meals available at Alinea will make foodies swoon. The menu is always changing, but consistently getting great reviews.

Warning: Alinea’s tasting menu costs between $195 and $395 per person.

2. Oriole

Oriole is located in the West Loop. Even though this restaurant has been awarded 2 Michelin stars, it’s still one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets.

The environment at Oriole is a bit more casual than Alinea’s. However, the official website still touts Oriole as “a fine dining restaurant.”

The tasting menu consists of upscale dishes. For instance, the caviar starter is all the rage.

You’ll never find food as decadent as the food at Oriole. That includes Beausoleil oysters served with Iberico consomme and finger lime.

Once again, you’ll have to book a reservation to experience the magic.

3. Acadia

Acadia has been awarded 2 Michelin stars. It’s located on the South Side of Chicago.

Known for its outstanding cocktails and the best burgers in Chicago, Acasia interesting dessert menu will blow you away.

Acadia’s “ten-course tasting experience” is more decadent than anything else you’ve ever tasted.

Acadia is often packed, so make a reservation if you can.

4. Purple Pig

If you’re looking for great places to eat in Chicago, you have to look beyond the Michelin “stars.” Though Purple Pig doesn’t have an official Michelin star, it appears in the guide with an esteemed rating that recognizes its friendly establishment, good food, and moderate prices.

Purple Pig is the number one restaurant recommended to people who move here from out of state.

Ham croquettes, duck sausage, and beef tendon chicharrones are only a few of the meaty delights on the menu.

This North River restaurant always has a line out of the door.

5. Pequod

Pequod, also listed in the Michelin Guide has the distinction of serving great food, carefully prepared with fresh ingredients.

Many people claim Pequod is one of the best pizza places in Chicago.

Pequod’s Pizza doesn’t serve traditional deep dish pizza. Instead, the crust is doughy, pan-type, crunchy, and caramelized.

There are Pequod locations in Lincoln Park and Morton Grove. Pequod also delivers for those nights you just want to stay in.

Get in on the Chicago Restaurant Scene

The Michelin Guide is in charge of awarding Michelin stars to restaurants. However, the Michelin Guide is only one resource reviewing Chicago restaurants.

There are hundreds of amazing places to dine in the Chicago area. If you want more insight into a Chicago restaurant, read the reviews on Yelp and other sites. It’ll tell you a lot about what kind of service to expect there.

Get into the Chicago vibe and learn more about moving to this great city. Education is the best preparation you’ll ever get.