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Chicago

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Alinea

American 96 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The experience begins at the doorstep when one enters into a post-post-modern, bare set-up, evocative of a museum of modern art. — Gayot

Rising star and culinary rocket scientist Grant Achatz (formerly of Trio and Napa's French Laundry) raises the bar on New American cooking at his techno-chic Lincoln Park restaurant. — Concierge

Grant Achatz’s famed Chicago restaurant is well known for its brave and unconventional approach to food. — The World's 50 Best Restaurants

Alinea captivates diners for nearly 20 moving, transformative courses that often require their participation and humor-"Eat with your fingers here...Use nothing here". — Michelin Guide

Conceptual experiments in fine dining. — Not For Tourists

Mindy's Hot Chocolate

American 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

On to the savories, which are handled by chef Mark Steuer, whose style can be big and muscular on one dish, delicate and restrained the next. — Chicago Tribune

Whether it's elaborate sweets, coffee or a full-scale brunch you seek, demitasse portions are the order of the day at this more stylish than cozy dessert spot and restaurant. — BlackBook

‘Come for dessert, stay for dinner’ might be the motto at this mod Bucktown restaurant helmed by renowned pastry chef Mindy Segal. — Lonely Planet

Known for her dessert savvy, chef Mindy Segal shows she can handle it all with dishes like lamb and crema casa sandwiches or arctic char with creamed greens and mint — Where

Owner Mindy Segal built her reputation as a pastry chef, so no matter what you order here, make sure you save room for dessert. — Frommer's

Avec

International 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

It's still one of the "most consistently great" choices in town. — Zagat

Avec keeps things simple: top-quality ingredients in simple preparations that take inspiration from Italian, French, and Spanish cuisines. — Frommer's

The main attraction here is the wine list, featuring 130 reasonably priced selections, 30 of which are available by the glass. — Travel + Leisure

The menu is focused around small plates rooted in European traditions, but with some Midwestern twists that incorporate seasonal ingredients. — The Infatuation

Food-wise, the menu is broken up into shareable plates that range from charred octopus to stuffed dates, and large plates like confit chicken paella and whole roasted fish. — goop

The Purple Pig

International 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This small, warm restaurant is a wine-filled oasis on the Magnificent Mile, with lusty Mediterranean dishes, mostly of Italian and Greek origin — Tasting Table

The Magnificient Mile is known for many things—stunning architecture, historical landmarks, world-class shopping—but dining isn't usually one of them. — Fodor's

As the name suggests, there's plenty of pork-centric items on the menu at this Michigan Avenue wine bar. — Gayot

The menu includes a variety of antipasti, “smears” like taramasalata ("Greek caviar") and pork-liver pâté, plus artisanal cheeses, paninis and cured meats. — Where

The fanatics of Chicago have been tweeting about the Purple Pig since the day it opened, and so far there hasn’t been a critical word among them. — Time Out

Frontera Grill

Mexican 88 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Despite the absence of celeb chef Rick Bayless' physical presence, you'll feel the force of his formidable resume in the strength of the scrum around the bar waiting for tables. — BlackBook

This is one smooth ride across Mexico'€™s culinary landscape, and it has become a mecca for food lovers in Chicago. — Gayot

Frontera is high-end Mexican yet simple at the same time. It’s simple because they serve familiar dishes of Mexican cuisine...But it’s also high-end because everything is done exceptionally well. — The Infatuation

Wildly imaginative Mexican food: Frontera Grill is crowded and boisterous; Topolobampo is more refined and pricier. — Rough Guide

Perhaps you’ve seen chef-owner Rick Bayless on TV, stirring up pepper sauces and other jump-off-the-tongue Mexican creations. — Lonely Planet

The Publican

International 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

"Try everything" say fans of Paul Kahan's "inspired" West Loop New American, where the pork-centric menu allows for a "superb pigtastic experience". — Zagat

This Fulton Market District newcomer taps into the prevailing fashion for down-home dining and restaurant patrons' hunger for blue-ribbon meat. — Concierge

The sceney Publican conjures the age-old tradition of a public house (offering a communal setting for animated conversations over a plate of food and pint of beer) to the modern gastropub age. — Michelin Guide

I was sucked in by the effortless elegance; the beerhall-like communal tables; the old-world flatware; the gingham platters; the bulbous lights; and, of course, the food. — Time Out

From its large selection of oysters, to its grand, three-tiered seafood tower and aged ham with goat butter and peasant bread, there'€™s munching of all kinds. — Gayot

Boka Restaurant

American 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Stylish option close to the Steppenwolf Theatre, serving inventive and tasty dishes from around the world on a changing weekly menu that offers small ($8–12) and large ($21–37) portions, depending on your appetite. — Rough Guide

If you're doing Steppenwolf pre-theater dinner on North Halsted Street, this upscale spot gets the foodie stamp of approval. — Fodor's

At the Lobby, Wolen’s star dish was a roasted chicken for two, a dish brought to Chicago from New York’s NoMad (the sister restaurant to Eleven Madison Park, where Wolen was a sous chef). — Time Out

Boka makes for a great fancy yet still cool night on the town. — The Infatuation

A Michelin-starred restaurant-lounge hybrid with a seafood-leaning menu, Boka is a pre- and post-theater stomping ground for younger Steppenwolf patrons. — Lonely Planet

Girl & The Goat

International 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Goat dishes figure prominently, of course; Izard buys her signature meat from a local farm. — Lonely Planet

Ultra popular gastropub from "Top Chef" favorite Stephanie Izard. — Not For Tourists

The flavors are bold but not too weird, including veggies mixed with fish sauce or stone fruit, calamari bruschetta, and a whole section of the menu dedicated to goat. — The Infatuation

When Stephanie Izard won season four of Top Chef, the victory was a tribute to her faultless sense of style as well as seamless cooking. Both skills pay off, handsomely, in her big, sexy... — Concierge

There are cities in this country where the modern restaurant’s purpose is to take you somewhere else: London via a gastropub, North Carolina via a smoke shack. — Time Out

GT Fish & Oyster

Seafood 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The small-plates menu is a nifty balance of the expected — required elements such as clam chowder, crab cakes, smoked salmon — and the wholly unexpected. — Chicago Tribune

Is in every respect more comfortable, affordable and delicious than Boka. — Time Out

Ask a local to suggest a great upscale spot for seafood that’s not sushi in Chicago, and this usually tops the list. — Frommer's

Chef Giuseppe Tentori (Boka) puts the focus on seafood at this buzzy spot, whose menu offers six kinds of oysters plus hot and cold dishes like tuna poke with mango and cucumber, chorizo-stuffed squid and brandade croquettes with fennel orange salad — Where

"Creative and tasty seafood small plates" are what you'll find at this River North hot spot, where chef Giuseppe Tentori "always excels" in his "inventive" interpretations of "classic dishes". — Zagat

Slurping Turtle

Japanese 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Part of the menu is called "sashimi bar," which embraces all manner of raw goodies, including salads, and a few cooked dishes, including a very nice octopus salad. — Chicago Tribune

Diners can "slurp down" a "comforting bowl of steaming ramen" or "dive into" more adventurous "noshes" at chef Takashi Yagihashi's "hip" River North izakaya. — Zagat

Michelin two-star chef Takashi Yagihashi (Takashi) goes casual with this buzzing ramen joint, which also serves up delectable plates of wings, dumplings and decadent beef tataki. — Where

Who in their right mind could say no to a colorful kid-size sundae, to softball-size cream puffs, to big, chewy macarons sandwiching caramel or red-bean paste? — Time Out

Bursting with umami, the ramen is almost a religious experience here—particularly the Shoyu ramen with egg noodle. — Fodor's

Fat Rice

Burgers 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Way, way beyond fusion (it’s Macanese) in Logan Square. — Bon Appétit

Fat Rice's menu melds Portuguese and Chinese elements, but also Goan, African and Malaysian influences. — Chicago Tribune

A rich paella-esque casserole of roast pork, chicken thighs, thick sausage slices, huge prawns, clams, hard-boiled eggs, olives, chilies and pickled peppers. — Lonely Planet

Fans line up early at this Portuguese-Macanese fusion spot. — Not For Tourists

A commingling of Portuguese fare and cuisines of its one-time colonies, the food at this Logan Square haunt from chef/owner Abraham Conlon offers a fusion experience at its best. — Gayot

Tru

French 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Considered one of the city’s best, Tru's prix fixe menu (from seven to 13 courses) is artful and capricious, with highly seasonal offerings, a renowned cheese course and brilliant desserts. — Lonely Planet

One of the city’s top fine dining destinations, this restaurant offers signature dishes like caviar presented on a miniature glass staircase and lobster bisque served in a Versace espresso cup — Where

His artful plates and spot-on flavors are striking --- not to mention indulgent. — Gayot

Serious but not stuffy and imposing but not showy, Tru is a mind-reader of a restaurant, effortlessly giving you what you want before you can even consider asking. — Michelin Guide

The caviar platter is served on a stunning coral display and the 14-course prix-fixe menu... is enough luxury to make anyone feel like royalty. — Fodor's

Sixteen

American 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This uber-classy, curvaceous dining room is adorned with a massive, twinkly Swarovski-crystal chandelier, soaring ceilings and a sweeping skyline view. — Gayot

As the signature restaurant of the Trump International Hotel & Tower, Sixteen spares no expense in creating a dramatic impression. — Michelin Guide

This fine dining restaurant combines stunning views of the skyline, river and lake with stylish contemporary fare. — Where

Can a four-star meal begin with fried smelts and end with a Butterfinger bar? My last dinner at Sixteen says yes. — Chicago Tribune

Uninterrupted views of the landmark Wrigley Building, Lake Michigan, and the Chicago River make it easy to overlook the food at Sixteen—but you shouldn't. — Fodor's

Crisp

Korean 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The chicken is fresh, of good quality, and comes slathered in three different sauces: a sticky barbecue, a hot sauce–laced Buffalo and a sesame-soy glaze dubbed “Seoul Sassy.” — Time Out

Lakeview residents are discovering the joys of Korean fried chicken at this cute storefront eatery, where birds are done up with sauces like smoky BBQ and sweet Seoul Sassy. — Where

Crisp is an unassuming counter-service restaurant, possibly with an identity crisis. — On the Grid

Music blasts from the stereo and cheap, delicious Korean fusions are delivered fresh from the kitchen. — Lonely Planet

Fried Korean chicken. — Not For Tourists

Yusho

Japanese 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Yusho wants you to drink cocktails. You will have no problem with this. — Time Out

Order the delicate sea urchin, gently placed atop nori egg rolls. Soft shell crab in a shallow miso-spiked broth also shines. — Gayot

Yusho’s thing is Japanese style cooking, but they incorporate different flavors and ingredients from around the world. — The Infatuation

If one thinks of Japanese foods as exercises in subtlety, Yusho will be a rude — make that exhilarating — awakening. Merges' dishes have all the subtlety of a jackhammer. — Chicago Tribune

Charlie Trotter's veteran Matthias Merges gives diners a cheffed-up look at contemporary Japanese cuisine with this hip Avondale yakitori joint. — Fodor's

Au Cheval

Diners 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Exposed brick, leather banquettes, and mood lighting make this the ideal date spot—whether it’s of the romantic or friendly variety. — goop

Whether brunch or late-night, this West Loop favorite is always perfectly over the top. — Bon Appétit

5-star flavor pairings in a more affordable diner vibe. — Not For Tourists

A menu packed with burgers, fries, and chopped liver might sound like your classic dive, but Au Cheval is no greasy spoon. — Fodor's

Brendan Sodikoff (Gilt Bar, Maude'€™s Liquor Bar) has a hit on his hands with this small, narrow and packed to the hilt, updated diner in the West Loop neighborhood. — Gayot

MK The Restaurant

American 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Endorsed by Food & Wine, USA Today and Esquire and even frequented by President Obama, chef Michael Kornick’s Near North Side restaurant continues to be a favorite year after year. — Travel + Leisure

Imaginative American cuisine is featured at this long-standing special-occasion favorite in River North — Where

Given the "inventive", "always changing" seasonal menu, "well-prepared" dishes and "excellent" wine list, regulars insist you "won't go wrong" at Michael Kornick's Near North New American. — Zagat

Elegant fare and a clear vision have kept the Michael Kornick concept at the forefront of the food scene since 1998. — Gayot

Foodies and fashionistas flock to owner-chef Michael Kornick's ultrahip spot for its sleek look and elegant menu. — Fodor's

Le Colonial

French 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

There’s no other Vietnamese joint in the city with a room quite as pleasant, sophisticated or styled as the dining room here. — Time Out

Swank French colonial décor studded with palm trees create an enticingly chic backdrop for romance. — Travel + Leisure

Le Colonial serves solid Vietnamese food in a formal French Setting, a unique quality that makes it worth knowing. — The Infatuation

This restaurant recaptures the romance and spirit of French colonial Southeast Asia — Where

Japonais' subdued sister spotlights an updated French-Vietnamese menu populated with simple, yet innovative seafood, vegetable and chicken dishes with a mostly French wine list. — BlackBook

North Pond

American 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Chef Bruce Sherman cultivates close relationships with local farmers for fresh ingredients for his dishes, which change according to what's fresh, delicious and in season. — BlackBook

Built in 1912 as a warming house for ice skaters, this craftsman-style cottage inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright is home to North Pond. — Michelin Guide

Chef Bruce Sherman's "fabulously creative" seasonal cooking plus a "lovely", "romantic" location inside Lincoln Park and "excellent" views of North Pond. — Zagat

Earthy contemporary American. — Not For Tourists

Nestled in a stylish, Prairie-style building within the confines of Lincoln Park, this Michelin-star restaurant and special occasion favorite is a French-American culinary dynamo — Where

Big Star

Mexican 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

At this mock dive bar-meets-taqueria, Paul Kahan (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican) serves both stylized and pretty authentic takes on Mexican faves. — Gayot

Under the shadow of the L sits Chicago’s reigning king of tacos; an always-packed 1950’s style diner serving up some of the tastiest Mexican street food-inspired fare in the city. — Travel + Leisure

Unlike so many of the city’s more popular watering holes, this indoor-outdoor Tex-Mex spot is bright, airy, and massive in size. — goop

This buzzing dive bar and taqueria boasts a serious pedigree, with a menu by James Beard Award winner Paul Kahan (Blackbird, avec, The Publican) — Where

Loud music, a grungy but hip vibe, and abundant drink specials keep the lofty garage-like space filled to the rafters. — Michelin Guide

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