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The Best Bars for Foodies in Chicago

From Chicago’s beginnings as a hub of transportation, manufacturing, and commerce to its current status as one of America’s most hip and modern cities, the Second City has always been at the forefront of American culture. And when it comes to its vibrant bar and restaurant scene, there are countless spots to choose from. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to our Tastemaker List. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. These Chicago establishments capture all the attitude, spirit, and charm of one of the greatest cities in the world, offering up amazing cocktails, craft beers, fine wines—and often, fantastic food, to boot. Impress your friends and family and score a spot; we wish we could join you.

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The OpenTable Team
15 Restaurants
Updated February 25, 2020
Restaurants:Gibsons Italia, TAO Asian Bistro - Chicago, SUSHI-SAN
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Steakhouse, Asian, Japanese
Neighborhoods:River North (Chicago), Chicago
A photo of Gibsons Italia restaurant

Gibsons Italia

$$$$
Steakhouse
River North (Chicago)
4.8
2061 reviews
Big and beautiful describes this large Canal Street Italian institution, part of an acclaimed chain across four different states. In Chicago, Gibsons Italia is three levels of Italian food deliciousness, specializing in both steak dishes and the fish and pasta staples so beloved with this cuisine. Stop in with a group for Kobe beef or grass-fed steak, or opt for homemade pasta or fresh shellfish. There are plenty of classic cocktails and highball drinks for those who may be imbibing, and the wine list is one of the best bar in all of Chicago.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of TAO Asian Bistro - Chicago restaurant

TAO Asian Bistro - Chicago

$$$$
Asian
River North (Chicago)
4.5
2014 reviews
One of the more jaw-dropping institutions in all of Chicago, Tao is a spectacular, two-level dining and drinking space with a unique feel. The darkly cool Tao features a massive statue that watches over an in-restaurant koi pond and a beautiful, winding staircase, providing a remarkable ambiance for the revelers and diners that fill the levels on a nightly basis. Tao offers an extensive sake list and creative, Asian-influenced cocktail selection, and the colorful dishes served up include delicious noodles, sushi, sashimi, barbecue, and tempura options. A super-hip choice for a night out in the Windy City.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of SUSHI-SAN restaurant

SUSHI-SAN

$$$$
Japanese
Chicago
4.7
794 reviews
"Fresh Fish, Fresher Beats" is the tagline for this very, very neat Grand Avenue sushi institution beloved by younger crowds. The cool features abound at Sushi San, where diners can park themselves at the long "hand roll" bar and witness the magic happen in real time. There's also a fine selection of tasty appetizers (served in soda cans), charcoal-grilled meals, sashimi, and tempura. There's plenty to imbibe at Sushi San, too. Bartenders blast Japanese lagers through a "chiller" and serve them in frosted glasses, and there are big lists of sake and fine Japanese whiskey to select from. Here's a tip: grab a sake bomb while you're there.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House - Chicago restaurant

Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House - Chicago

$$$$
Seafood
Gold Coast / Streeterville
4.7
4746 reviews
Not too many restaurants in Chicago (or anywhere else) boast of their frog prowess right there in the name, but Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House specializes in one of the rarest of dishes: frog legs. If you haven't tried them, this is the place to give them a shot. If those might not be up your alley, Hugo's is also rightfully acclaimed for its delicious fish dishes and its beautiful bar, serving up wines from around the world and local craft beers.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Brass Tack restaurant

Brass Tack

$$$$
Unspecified
Gold Coast / Streeterville
4.6
366 reviews
Capturing the exciting, ritzy vibe of 1920's Paris, Marteaux Brasserie is a legendary French bistro experience right in the middle of one of Chicago's most magnificent hotels. The Marteaux is an authentic destination experience, located on the third floor of the Waldorf Astoria; it's a lovely spot for a day or night out, with a superb wine selection, a traveling "champagne cart," a spirits collection, and excellent local and French beers. The food includes an excellent selection of French classics—give the duck l'orange wings or escargot a try.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Sepia restaurant

Sepia

$$$$
Contemporary American
West Loop
4.8
4522 reviews
Sepia presents a throwback to bygone Chicago bars. Crafted out of an old print shop, this beautiful farm-to-table bar and restaurant is a jewel of a visit. Its ambiance comes from gaze-worthy pictures of old-school Chicago melded with distinctly modern architecture and style. While the feel may be a throwback, the cuisine is cutting-edge—changing by the seasons with a focus on locally sourced ingredients from nearby farmers. For those who want to stop in for a drink or grab something delicious to accompany their meal, there's a long list of exciting cocktails and fine wines.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of il Porcellino restaurant

il Porcellino

$$$$
Italian
River North (Chicago)
4.7
3285 reviews
il Porcellino exudes straight cool, with a dark, sensual feel inside the restaurant; decorated with old-school black-and-white pictures that capture an earlier time, it's positively enrapturing. It's also a great spot for people-watching. Grab a table by the window at this always-buzzing restaurant, and you can watch the River North crowds stroll by on West Hubbard Street. The menu teems with delicious, hearty Italian fare (don't skimp on the warm bread served to the table) and the cocktail and wine lists are superb.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse - Chicago restaurant

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse - Chicago

$$$$
Steak
Gold Coast / Streeterville
4.8
7064 reviews
One of the Windy City's dining institutions, Gibson's has been serving up delicious steaks and spirits since 1989. It's a hot spot for the whole city—workers, locals, young professionals, tourists, and celebrities all make it a point to dine at Gibson's. It's got a classic steakhouse feel inside that's perfect for a night out on the town in Chicago, with fine wines and beer paired with one of Gibson's legendary, carefully selected prime Angus steaks. If you can get a reservation in here, go—you'll be satisfied.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab restaurant

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

$$$$
Seafood
River North (Chicago)
4.8
15438 reviews
The Chicago outlet of the legendary Miami Beach seafood location offers is delicious, fresh creations for the Windy City. Stop in for one of the legendary stone crab dishes and pair it with a fine wine or one of the many craft beer offerings.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of HUB 51 restaurant

HUB 51

$$$$
American
River North (Chicago)
4.6
5235 reviews
If you're looking for variety in your dinner and drink selections, try Hub 51. This River North institution has an extensive, delicious menu, with everything from tacos to sushi to offer its hungry patrons. Local beers (breweries like Three Floyds and Goose Island) are on the menu to pair with your meal at the super-cool bar or dining area.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Mon Ami Gabi restaurant

Mon Ami Gabi

$$$$
French
Lincoln Park
4.8
6579 reviews
This delicious French bistro in the Lincoln Park area offers up plenty of European favorites — including escargot and filets with béarnaise sauce — and a massive selection of wine and domestic and international beer. There's a beautiful old-world bistro vibe, too.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Nonnina restaurant

Nonnina

$$$$
Italian
River North (Chicago)
4.7
2357 reviews
River North's Nonnina Italian restaurant is an upscale destination with superb food and fine wines. There's an old-school, welcoming atmosphere to Nonnina's, with a family mural by the beautiful bar and a lovely patio that's perfect for nice-weather dining and drinking.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Shaw's Crab House & Oyster Bar - Chicago restaurant

Shaw's Crab House & Oyster Bar - Chicago

$$$$
Seafood
River North (Chicago)
4.8
12924 reviews
Live music and the aromas of great seafood fill the air at Shaw's, a local favorite that's always a good time. Head to Shaw's to take in a live jazz show and dine on some of the top-notch seafood—crab, sushi, and in-season fish specials—and a specialty cocktail.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Chicago Cut Steakhouse restaurant

Chicago Cut Steakhouse

$$$$
Steakhouse
River North (Chicago)
4.7
8801 reviews
Chicago steakhouses are rightfully fabled for their atmosphere and their food, and Chicago Cut Steakhouse is one of the Windy City's best. Modern and beautiful and right next to the Merchandise Mart stop, Chicago Cut has a patio with a fantastic river view to provide a lush backdrop for big steaks, fine wine, and excellent company.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Le Colonial - Chicago restaurant

Le Colonial - Chicago

$$$$
Vietnamese
Gold Coast / Streeterville
4.8
6526 reviews
Plush and beautiful, Le Colonial brings diners on a relaxed trek to Vietnam for colorful, creative Asian cuisine. Located right on Rush Street, Le Colonial is known for their expansive wine list and excellent cocktails.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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