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The Daily Meal's Top 7 Chicago Restaurants

The Daily Meal's Top 7 Chicago Restaurants


A nationwide panel of experts chose their favorites

When we reached out to more than 176 critics, food and lifestyle writers, and bloggers to help compile our list of the 101 Best Restaurants in the country, what we received back was a wealth of knowledge and insight. Our list of 202 nominees, whittled down from 303 before being narrowed down even further into our final 101, ranked restaurants nationwide according to location, style of cuisine, and other categories including budget, classic, and serious dining. Seventeen of the 202 restaurants were located in Chicago, and of those, seven made it to the final 101.

Click Here for the Top 7 Restaurants in Chicago Slideshow

One of our most important voting criteria was the fact that panelists couldn’t vote for a restaurant unless they had eaten there. This way, someone who has never been to Chicago couldn’t decide to put in a vote for Spiaggia just because they heard it was good. This makes our list, which we’ve whittled down here to the top Chicago restaurants, dependable and reflective of the opinions of some of the region's culinary leaders. Here’s the list of the panelists who participated in the voting process.

A quick look at the list of Chicago's top seven restaurants reveals that the vast majority aren't in the "fancy" camp. Sure, there's the classic Spiaggia, run by chef Tony Mantuano, but other restaurants, including The Publican and Girl & The Goat, are anything but white tablecloth, and Grant Achatz's Next and Alinea are downright avant-garde. That certainly says a lot about the city, and the adventurous palates of its diners.

To find out which other restaurants from around the country made it into the top 101, you can find the full list here.

7) Tru
6) Next
5) Spiaggia
4) Blackbird
3) The Publican
2) Alinea
1) The Girl & The Goat


Celebrating Chicago West with this list of Kanye’s favorite Chicago restaurants

The name of the third child of Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West was announced to the public today and, love it or hate it, you’ve got to admit that it’s totally on-brand.

The Wests, who are already parents to North, 4, and Saint, 2, welcomed their daughter Chicago West into the world Monday, January 15, but Kim publicly released her third child’s name on her Instagram and Twitter and via her personal app today.

Chicago, whom the whole family has announced they will refer to as “Chi” (pronounced like “shy” not “chai”) was most likely named after the city as a nod to her father’s roots. Chi-town-native Kanye West has always been vocal about his love for the Second City in his lyrics and during interviews.

So to celebrate this pivotal pop culture moment (where were you when Kim announced the name of her third child?) we are sharing a list of Kanye’s favorite Chicago restaurants! You can’t say Chicago without conjuring uo images of deep dish, hot dogs, and some of the best restaurants the world has to offer.

We’re fans of both the city and the baby name! We’re just glad he didn’t name his daughter Pequod or Alinea.

Kanye took Kim to the classic Chicago pizza spot Giordano’s back in 2013 after a show. According to People, they ordered the “Giordano’s Stuffed Special,” which includes sausage, mushrooms, peppers, and onions.

Yeezy was spotted enjoying some fried chicken at this Chicago favorite with pal DJ Pharris back in November of 2017.

Kanye has been spotted at this popular River North steakhouse a handful of times with his entourage.

Honey’s is owned by Virgil Abloh, Kanye’s friend and Watch the Throne creative director as well as the creator of the fashion brand Off-White.


These 7 Chicago restaurants let you send food straight to frontline workers

We certainly don't need another excuse to order delivery or takeout tonight, but we found a really good one. Some of the best restaurants in Chicago are inviting their customers to send meals to the city's frontline workers&mdashand it's as easy as logging into your Netflix account.

"We were thinking of ways to best steward our resources and utilize our skills to contribute during this time," says Vicki Kim, managing partner at Mott St. and Mini Mott. "We decided to drop off meals for hospital staff to take that basic need off their plate. When we did our first meal drop and shared on social media, the response from folks to help contribute was overwhelming, so we decided to create a way for people to donate meals so they could participate in a tangible way."

If you've got a few bucks to spare next time you're ordering takeout, why not toss in lunch or dinner for Chicago healthcare workers, police officers or firefighters who are protecting our city on the daily? Read more about what Mott St., Mini Mott and five other local restaurants are doing to feed Chicago's frontline.

Happy Camper + Homeslice: These two Chicago pizza shops are almost making it too easy to give free meals to healthcare workers. On both restaurants' Grubhub pages, you'll find an $11 menu item called "Buy a meal for a healthcare worker/volunteer." Toss a few in your cart, and don't forget an order of Jalapeño Homies and take-and-bake cookie dough for yourself.

Lou Malnati's: This pizza icon's charitable Kindness Rocks program has been around for ages, but during the current crisis, it's being used to feed healthcare professionals, firefighters and police officers who are keeping Chicagoans safe. For every dollar donated to Lou's Kindness Rocks Go Fund Me campaign, the company will provide twice the value in food. So if you give $10, Lou Malnati's will deliver $20 worth of food to frontline workers. They're aiming to raise $50,000 total, which would nourish more than 17,500 people, and they're more than halfway there.


The Oscar—hailing from Hollywood, LA

Waterbury Publications

Grill 1 chicken hot dog. Toast a whole-wheat baguette and spread with 1 teaspoon prepared chipotle mayonnaise. Place the hot dog in the baguette and top with a sliced up quarter of an avocado, 1/4 cup shredded fresh green cabbage, and 1 sliced scallion. Here's The #1 Way to Cook a Hot Dog, According to a Chef.


Mobster Restaurants Around the Country

While there is nothing light-hearted about real crime families, TV shows like The Sopranos and countless movies have made loveable characters out mobsters. In reality, "Fat Tony" Rabito probably wouldn't be the best dinner companion -- especially if you owe him money -- but eating at the hallowed Mafia haunt in Brooklyn where he's been banned from offers a side of excitement for thrill-seeking diners.

Recently Mark Iacono, owner of Lucali, another Brooklyn eatery with speculated ties to the mob, made headlines recently when he got into a knife fight with a known wiseguy on the street near the pizzeria. Now charged with attempted murder, his new notoriety puts the reality of the Mafia into stark relief. But just like viewers can live vicariously through the reality program Mob Wives without being married to the mob, visitors to these 13 restaurants can sop up the same spaghetti sauce without dodging bullets. We hope.

To catch some present-day gangster action, ultra-exclusive Rao's and scene-of-the-crime Sparks Steak House are the usual suspects, while Chicago's Green Mill takes you back to Al Capone's heyday. Instead of a fedora and pin-stripe suit, these days goodfellas are more likely to be juiceheads that look something like Café Martorano's owner, nephew of former South Philly mobster "Long John" Martorano, although he chose the culinary life over La Cosa Nostra.

Many of the mobster restaurants are a real slice of Americana. History buffs gravitate towards places like Campisi's in Dallas, where mob-affiliated Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's hit man, was known to hang out, and hipsters can check out a real speakeasy in Providence, R.I. -- Camille's which has seen many a famous face, whether a made man or a Hollywood leading man.

Rao's, New York City
With all the photos of mobsters lining the walls, there's no hiding the mafia connection behind this East Harlem institution. Even Martin Scorsese used Rao's as inspiration for "Goodfellas." Alongside wiseguys, you can enjoy classic Italian food with celebrity regulars such as Woody Allen. Most likely you're going to have to know someone to get a seat. If you don't, at least you can try their line of jarred pasta sauces.

Valbella, Greenwich, Conn.
The Greenwich, Conn., restaurant was mentioned in the book Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family According to agent Joaquin Garcia, the Gambino crime family had a regular table at the ritzy establishment.

Il Mulino, New York City
Opened by the Masci brothers, hailing from Abruzzo, in 1981, the Greenwich Village spot was blacklisted by the NYPD at one point for being an upscale favorite of mobsters. However, if Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have dined there, we question how notorious Il Mulino can still be.

Green Mill, Chicago
Way back in the day, Al Capone was a regular at this Chicago cocktail lounge. A secret passageway behind the bar that allowed for an easy escape is still around today, which might come in handy if you're at the Green Mill on a blind date.

Bamonte's, New York City
The more than a century-old Williamsburg, Brooklyn, haunt was a favorite of mob consigliere "Fat Tony" Rabito of the Bonanno family. The Feds the portly Rabito from returning to this eatery, among others, after his release from prison in 2009.

Campisi's Egyptian Lounge, Dallas
This Dallas, Texas, restaurant was opened by a Joe Campisi, a member of the Civello mob family. Close personal friend and regular patron, Jack Ruby, who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, was said to have eaten at Campisi's the night before the Kennedy assassination.

Sparks Steak House, New York City
Mob boss "Big Paul" Castellano and his bodyguard were gunned down at the entrance to the Midtown Manhattan steakhouse, allowing John Gotti to take his spot as head of the Gambino crime family. Rapper Cam'ron name-dropped Castellano and Sparks in "Welcome to New York City."

Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q Grill, Philadelphia
This South Philly eatery was at one time a regular hangout for mobsters. Frank Barbato Sr. bought the restaurant in 1951, and named it after an infamous pair of mob-related explosions that had occurred on the site 15 years before. Today, Frank Jr.'s attempts to downplay the mafia past has had mixed results. While his barbecue has won local praise, veal Parmesan remains the most popular item on the menu.

Tommaso, New York City
Most restaurateurs would not consider the opening of a mob hangout next door to be good for business. Tom Verdillo thought differently. Shortly after the restaurant opened in 1974, Gambino boss Joe Castellano opened up his "social club" next door. He soon became a regular at Tommaso, even supplying provisions like steaks along with a steady stream of customers. Verdillo came to think of Castellano as a brother, venturing out to Staten Island to cater at his home. However, you'll have to make the trip to the South Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights to enjoy the classic southern Italian staples such as spaghetti carbonara and grilled veal chop.

Cafe Martorano, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
This popular Fort Lauderdale restaurant is owned by Philly transplants and relatives of murdered mobster Raymond "Long John" Martorano. While apparently frequented by local mobsters, you're probably more likely to see buff bods and owner Steve (left) showing off his DJ skills.

Mosca's, New Orleans
Opened in 1946, it had been a favorite hangout for the powerful New Orleans Marcello crime family, especially former mob boss Carlos Marcello. The James Beard award winner is still owned and operated by the Mosca family, who renovated the space post-Katrina but kept the Creole-Italian menu intact.

The Flamingo, Las Vegas
Legendary mobster Bugsy Siegel was an early investor in the classic Las Vegas casino, and eventually muscled his way into taking over the project. After a number of delays, the opulent casino finally opened in late 1946, but a lack of business failed to impress his mob backers, who had Bugsy gunned down in his Beverly Hills home six months later. However, today you're not likely to run into any mobsters dining at the Jimmy Buffett-inspired restaurant Margaritaville. Still, the décor brings to mind the Rat Pack glory days.


Gyros on the Spit makes Greek dish from scratch daily

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There are dozens of Greek gyro stands in the region, but only a handful still make their impressive cones of lamb and beef from scratch each day.

Dino Sakkas has gyros in his blood. His dad ran a joint in Lakeview for nearly 30 years, so last year, when he opened version 2.0, called Gyros on the Spit, he kept the recipe the same.

"Using natural ingredients, I think is a lot better. The other gyros use a lot of soy and fillers in it I don't use any of that. Just meat and spices. But for me, it was just carrying on my dad's legacy," he said.

He starts by grinding up lamb and beef - using more lamb than beef in the ratio - then adding them to a giant mixing bowl, seasoning with salt, pepper, dried oregano and paprika, plus a few handfuls of breadcrumbs. He lets the mixture come together for about 15 minutes.

"Has to blend really well, make sure all the spices get in the meat, everything marries together, we leave it in the fridge for about a day, and then we slowly build it and stack it," said Sakkas.

Each layer is separated by a thin sheet of beef flank, then the cones are frozen overnight before being placed into their vertical broilers each day. Sakkas knows exactly when to slice them.

"You can tell by the color, doing this for so many years you just learn how to do it. But you gotta have a good knife. The knife is key, you gotta slice it real thin," he said.

You can have the gyro meat over a salad, or in a sandwich, typically served with sliced white onions, fresh tomatoes and an impressive tzatziki sauce, which is also made in-house: he grates cucumbers, adds fresh garlic, along with homemade Greek yogurt, vinegar and olive oil the resulting sauce adds creamy tartness with a bit of texture. Fries on the side? Also made from scratch, and one option is to get them "Greek" style with crumbled feta and oregano. Sakkas says the extra time it takes to make this humble plate is worth it.

"It's time-consuming but it's definitely a lot better when it's fresh," said Sakkas.


7-Day Meal Plan: High-Protein Dinners

Kiss late night snacking goodbye with this week's deliciously-satisfying high-protein dinner plan. Protein digests slowly, which helps you to feel fuller for longer after a meal.

Kiss late night snacking goodbye with this week&aposs deliciously-satisfying high-protein dinner plan. Protein digests slowly, which helps you to feel fuller for longer after a meal. The recipes in this plan include healthy protein sources, such as chicken, lean beef, seafood, tofu, beans and lentils, and deliver at least 16 grams of protein per serving. On a daily basis, women need about 46 grams of protein, whereas men need closer to 56 grams. These protein-rich recipes combined with fiber-rich whole grains and plenty of vegetables, will have you feeling satisfied all evening long.

35 grams protein per serving

Slow-Cooker Braised Beef with Carrots & Turnips: The spice blend in this healthy beef stew recipe infuses flavor into the਌huck steak as it cooks in the slow cooker to create a mouthwateringly tender dinner main. High in protein and low in fat, the਌huck steak delivers a hefty amount of protein in this filling dinner without delivering as much saturated fat as you&aposd get from other cuts of meat. Serve the steak and vegetables over creamy polenta or buttered whole-wheat egg noodles to round out the meal.

16 grams protein per serving

Easy Vegetarian Chili: Canned tomatoes and protein-rich beans make this quick vegetarian chili recipe ready to go in just 30 minutes. Serve over brown rice or with tortilla chips for added crunch, and add extra toppings as you see fit-sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.

32 grams protein per serving

Superfood Chopped Salad with Salmon & Creamy Garlic Dressing:਌urly kale forms the base, and a multitude of chopped veggies get added, such as broccoli, cabbage and carrots, to create a superfood salad packed with nutrients. Top this salad with protein-rich salmon and a drizzle of creamy yogurt dressing to bring it all together.

33 grams protein per serving

Sheet-Pan Chicken & Vegetables with Romesco Sauce: Made with roasted peppers, nuts, garlic and olive oil, the Mediterranean romesco sauce in this recipe is a delicious accompaniment to just about everything. Here we use the creamy sauce to add flavor toꃪsy sheet-pan roasted chicken and vegetables. Delivering 33 grams of protein per serving, this healthy dinner will keep you feeling satisfied all evening long.

16 grams protein per serving

Cilantro Bean Burgers with Creamy Avocado-Lime Slaw: This healthy black-bean burger delivers plant-powered protein plus fiber-a satisfying combination that is sure to satisfy. Topped with the creamy avocado-lime slaw, these vegetarian bean burgers will quickly become a favorite in the dinner line-up.

34 grams protein per serving

Shrimp Pad Thai Salad: Shrimp is a great option for a fast cooking protein in this healthy take on traditional pad thai. We swapped in sliced cabbage in place of rice noodles, mixed up a tasty dressing, added fresh mint and peanuts as garnishes and finally topped it all of with the shrimp to create this healthy dinner salad.

31 grams protein per serving

Pork Paprikash with Cauliflower Rice: In this simple 30-minute dinner recipe, lean pork tenderloin cooks with a flavorful mixture of onions, paprika and diced tomatoes creating a delicious dish that&aposs ready in no time. Served over riced cauliflower, you get an extra serving of veggies by skipping the rice.


Are you a restaurant looking to participate in Chicago Restaurant Week? Learn more.

What is Chicago Restaurant Week?

During Chicago Restaurant Week, diners can enjoy special prix fixe menus from restaurants throughout Chicago and nearby suburbs.

These multi-course meals are $25 for brunch or lunch, and $39 and/or $55 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax, gratuity, and delivery fees).

This year, diners had the flexibility to experience Chicago Restaurant Week through indoor and outdoor dining, or at home with delivery and takeout options.

When is Chicago Restaurant Week?

Chicago Restaurant Week 2021 ran from Friday, March 19 to Sunday, April 4, 2021.

How do I know which restaurants are participating?

You can explore our list of participating restaurants to view menus and book tables once reservations are live.

Do I need a reservation?

No, but they’re highly encouraged! You can book your tables online when they become available.


Top Sandwich Recipes

Try a new, great sandwich recipe today for better brown-bagging or simple dinners.

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Photo By: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

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Photo By: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tara Donne ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Turkey-Avocado Clubs

Egg Salad Sandwich with Avocado and Watercress

Mahi Mahi Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwiches)

French Dipped Sandwiches

Roast Beef Sandwiches

Classic Club Sandwich

Egg and Broccolini Sandwiches

Open-Face Vietnamese Chicken Sandwiches

Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches

Italian Steak Sandwiches

Egg and Potato Sandwiches

Turkey French Dip Sandwiches

Tampa Cuban Sandwich

Veggie Dagwood Sandwiches

Autumn Wrapsody

Meatball Subs

Pepperoni Pizza Burger Bomba

Philly Cheese Steak

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Caesar Club Sandwich

Tuna Everything Bagel

Sloppy Joes

Ree Drummond's easy, one-pot sloppy joes are ultra-savory and flavorful, thanks to the brown sugar, dry mustard, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Serve the meat on soft, buttered kaiser rolls and you'll be transported back to childhood.


Disney World's Grilled Cheese

Courtesy of DisneyParks.com

This isn't your average grilled cheese sandwich! The grilled cheese at Toy Story Land features cheddar cheese and provolone, as well as minced garlic to really kick things up. It's worth the extra steps for this melty meal.

Get the recipe for Disney World's Grilled Cheese.