If you ask anyone for tips on what to do in Chicago, at least 50 per cent of the "activities" they recommend will involve eating, which is largely down to the fact that Chicago's restaurants are some of the best in the world. The multi-cultural city boasts a food scene that New York and London can be envious of and the wide selection of choices is both exciting and overwhelming for a first time visitor. We were fortunate to pick up some amazing local advice and made reservations for a few places ahead of our weekend trip to the city - be sure to put them on your list!
This lively tapas restaurant is famous for offering "cheese, wine and swine" and its imaginative menu is masterfully executed in an open kitchen which sets the tone for the slightly crazy atmosphere of the whole restaurant. It's a great place to come and grab a few bites at lunchtime or for dinner. Be warned however that they don't take reservations and at peak times the wait can be quite long. Opt for a late evening snack and avoid the rush.
Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, Beatrix is a coffee house as well as a meeting place and fabulous, friendly restaurant. Brunch is a laid back affair with a menu to suit all tastes, including gluten free options for those that way inclined. DO NOT miss the lemon and blueberry pancakes. They are life changing. Seriously.
Popular for dinner, Sunda is Chicago's asian fusion answer to STK. Great music, vibe, cocktails, staff and food, the menu has a mix of traditional sushi items as well as more progressive sharing plates. It's open late and on weekend's 11pm reservations are not unusual as the lively bar entertains crowds of beautiful people before they head out to the surrounding bars and clubs. A great place to kick off your Saturday night.
A stunning rooftop restaurant with an open-air terrace overlooking Millennium Park, Cindy's is the perfect place to relax over a lazy brunch or grab a cocktail and enjoy the incredible view from the patio. The service isn't the speediest but you don't want to rush your Cindy's experience anyway so set aside a morning or afternoon and come and enjoy.
Deli come bar come restaurant, Eataly is a 2 storey market place with multiple counters where you can pull up a stool and dine on pretty much any type of Italian food you can think of! From focaccia and pasta to meats, cheeses and sweets. There's a dedicated Bellini bar and a Nutella station! Come hungry and leave very happy :)
You can't come to Chicago and not try some deep dish pizza and arguably the most iconic place to have it is at Giordano's. Be warned though, the pizza is made to order and takes 45 minutes!
This speak-easy style Steakhouse will transport you back to the 1920's with dim lighting and sumptuous booths. Fine cuts of beef are delivered to tables by funky waiters while jazz music plays softly in the background. Wine is BYO and you won't be charged corkage as long as you're sharing a glass with a neighbouring table - it's a rule and I'm a big fan!
What are your favourite places to eat out in Chicago?