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The Most Unique Restaurants in Chicago

The OpenTable Team

Chicago has always been popular when it comes to travel destinations in the U.S. It's a big city with a small-town feel and a day here can mean a swim in Lake Michigan, an evening at Wrigley Field, visiting some of the country's greatest museums and more, all without breaking your budget. The Windy City is also known for its culinary treasures. It gets a lot of hype for hot dogs, deep dish pizza and Italian beef sandwiches, but Chicago also has plenty of truly eclectic food options to sample. We've asked the savviest foodies in the nation where they're eating these days, so we could put together this list of where to find the most unique restaurants in Chicago. Grab a table and enjoy!

Restaurants:Herb, Temporis, Bibliophile
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Thai, Contemporary American, Gastro Pub
Neighborhoods:Uptown, West Town, Hyde Park
For 2 people today
Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM

Herb

$$$$·Thai·
Uptown
298 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
Herb is one of Chicago’s most upscale Thai restaurants. Located in the north suburbs, they have a focus on fine-dining in an elegant atmosphere. The setting incorporates lovely wooRead more
100% recommended
Fit for Foodies in Chicago
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Temporis

$$$$·Contemporary American·
West Town
242 reviews
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Special Occasion
  • Tasting Menu
Temporis is an intimate, contemporary American restaurant in the heart of West Town that definitely qualifies as one of the most unique restaurants in Chicago. They focus on a singRead more
100% recommended
Best Service in Chicago / Illinois
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Bibliophile

$$$$·Gastro Pub·
Hyde Park
76 reviews
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Romantic
This Hyde Park restaurant is a favorite of book-lovers and features floor to ceiling bookshelves loaded with hardcovers and paperbacks that are available for purchase - just pluck Read more
93% recommended
Gastro Pub in Chicago / Illinois
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Oriole

$$$$·Contemporary American·
West Loop
1,011 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Tasting Menu
If you are looking for a fine-dining experience that will wow your date, head to Oriole in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Executive Chef and Owner Noah Sandoval runs the show heRead more
98% recommended
Best Overall in Chicago / Illinois
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ALTHEA

$$$$·Vegetarian / Vegan·
Downtown / Loop
199 reviews
  • Vegan
  • Healthy
  • Good Vegetarian Options
Most vegan eateries are on the smaller side or tend to be pretty casual and under-the-radar, which is why Althea is one of the most unique restaurants in Chicago. It is an elegant Read more
90% recommended
Healthy in Chicago / Illinois

Oceanique

$$$$·Seafood·
Evanston
1,187 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for Anniversaries
Oceanique provides a fine dining experience that focuses on uniquely prepared fresh fish. It is a family owned and operated restaurant that locals adore for its elegantly crafted gRead more
93% recommended
Seafood in Chicago / Illinois

Amerikas

$$$$·Latin American·
Oak Park
328 reviews
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
Amerikas is a casual dining restaurant tucked away in an intimate, candlelit setting in Oak Park, a suburb west of Chicago. It’s a cozy place with a small dining room and tiny bar Read more
92% recommended
Best Food in Near West

Longitud315

$$$$·Latin American·
Highwood
1,215 reviews
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Authentic
  • Good for a Date
Longitud315 is a casual Venezuelan restaurant opened by Chef Tony Castillo. The eatery is a creation of Chef Tony Castillo, who based the menu on his memories of cooking side to siRead more
96% recommended
Best Overall in North Suburbs

New Rebozo Oak Park

$$$$·Mexican·
Oak Park
370 reviews
  • Authentic
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
If you’re looking for one of the most unique restaurants in Chicago that also has a vibrant, bustling energy, check out New Rebozo. Opened by local legend Dudley Nieto, it’s one ofRead more
95% recommended
Mexican in Chicago / Illinois

The Chocolate Sanctuary

$$$$·American·
Gurnee
1,397 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Special Occasion
The Chocolate Sanctuary has been open since 2015, serving up meals, desserts and other chocolate delights in a fun and casual atmosphere. It’s a super unique restaurant in the GurnRead more
91% recommended
Romantic in North Suburbs

King Shabu Shabu

$$$$·Shabu-shabu·
Riverwoods
72 reviews
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fun
  • Good for a Date
If you are looking for a dining destination that also offers up a little adventure, head to King Shabu Shabu. This is definitely one of the most unique restaurants in Chicago in thRead more
100% recommended
Best Overall in Chicago / Illinois

Three Embers

$$$$·American·
Lincolnshire
215 reviews
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
Three Embers is an upscale dining spot located in Lincolnshire, a northern suburb of the city. This is the place to go for a fresh take on Midwestern steak and seafood. They base tRead more
85% recommended

Nirvana Wine & Grillerie

$$$$·Wine Bar·
Mundelein / Vernon Hills / Libertyville
316 reviews
  • Notable Wine List
  • Good for a Date
  • Bar Seating
Nirvana is all about providing an all-around experience rather than just a quick meal. They have a focus on small-batch wines and menu ingredients sourced from natural, sustainableRead more
100% recommended
Best Service in North Suburbs

Hearth

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Evanston
699 reviews
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Quiet Conversation
Hearth is a warm and rustic restaurant that is easily one of the most romantic places to dine in the city. Head to Evanston, a North Suburb, to find a welcoming break from the sea Read more
91% recommended
Contemporary American in North Suburbs
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Barton G. The Restaurant - Chicago

$$$$·Contemporary American·
River North (Chicago)
424 reviews
  • Good for Birthdays
  • Special Occasion
  • Fun
Barton G. The is one of the most unique restaurants in Chicago and it will appeal to anyone craving new experiences and quality food. Their mission here is to shock and awe your seRead more
83% recommended

Onward

$$$$·American·
Edgewater
169 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
Onward offers a fun and playful take on new American food in the Edgewater neighborhood, close to Loyola. Opened by the former owner of Grace, it is a comfy, upscale space with a fRead more
95% recommended
American in Chicago / Illinois

Chrissoulas

$$$$·Greek·
Mundelein / Vernon Hills / Libertyville
195 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
  • Special Occasion
Head to Chrissoulas to relax in a casual, comfortable environment in Libertyville in the north suburbs of Chicago. The focus here is on Greek and Mediterranean food with both new aRead more
85% recommended

Yugen

$$$$·Japanese Speciality·
West Loop
70 reviews
  • Tasting Menu
  • Notable Wine List
  • Special Occasion
Executive Chef Mari Katsumara leads both the savory and pastry kitchens at Yugen and instills every dish with a blend of Japanese heritage and classic French training. It is one ofRead more
100% recommended
Best Overall in Chicago / Illinois

Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar

$$$$·Eastern European·
Ukrainian Village
203 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Fun
Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar is an all-day restaurant with breakfast items like kolachki, eggs, smoked pork shoulder, and kimchee. In the evenings, the place turns into a fulRead more
88% recommended
Fit for Foodies in Chicago / Illinois

Libertad

$$$$·Latin American·
Skokie
2,236 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Special Occasion
For delicious Latin American food, head to Libertad in downtown Skokie, headed up by Chef Marino Gil. The menu is full of bold and exciting flavors and seasonal dishes that represeRead more
97% recommended
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