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The Most Unique Restaurants in Chicago

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!

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The OpenTable Team
8 Restaurants
Updated February 26, 2020
Restaurants:Herb, ALTHEA, Amerikas
Price Range:$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Thai, Vegetarian / Vegan, Latin American
Neighborhoods:Uptown, Downtown / Loop, Oak Park
A photo of Herb restaurant

Herb

$$$$
Thai
Uptown
4.5
440 reviews

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 wood and stone decor and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. Created by Chef Patty Neumson, who grew up in Thailand, Herb features four seasonal menus that rotate with fresh, available ingredients. Guests can choose from either the three or five-course prix-fixe dinner featuring items like fresh papaya salad, tofu and kaboocha coconut curry, soft glass noodles and more.


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


Takeout available
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A photo of ALTHEA restaurant

ALTHEA

$$$$
Vegetarian / Vegan
Downtown / Loop
4.6
753 reviews

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 and expensive vegan spot located in the men’s section of Saks Fifth Avenue on Michigan Avenue. Head up to the 7th floor and take a seat next to the mannequins for a beautiful view of the Chicago skyline and some of the best vegan cuisine you’ve ever had in your life. Try the cacio e pepe with kelp noodles and intense cashew sauce, the kimchi dumplings or the spicy udon bowl to get a feeling for what a talented chef can really do with vegan ingredients.


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 Amerikas restaurant

Amerikas

$$$$
Latin American
Oak Park
4.8
563 reviews

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 and guests can order small plates, cocktails and tasty desserts to share with a date or small group. Chef Armando Gonzales combines his Latin roots with unique flavors from all over the world to create a diverse selection of meat and seafood options on the menu. Try one of the most popular dishes on the menu, the Pato - it’s a chili-braised duck served with couscous, butternut squash and hoja santa.


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


Experiences available
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A photo of Longitud315 restaurant

Longitud315

$$$$
Latin American
Highwood
4.7
1515 reviews

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 side with his grandmother. His goal is to bring a fusion of South American flavors and exotic Venezuelan, Argentinian, Brazilian, Ecuadorean and Peruvian flavors. They offer a variety of unique dishes but the focus is on steaks and seafood, cooked in an open flame grill. There is also a tasty lineup of small plates, including Empanadas, Arepas, Ceviche, Rice, Black Beans, and other traditional 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 The Chocolate Sanctuary restaurant

The Chocolate Sanctuary

$$$$
American
Gurnee
4.4
1995 reviews

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 Gurnee neighborhood with a wide selection of beautifully plated main courses, appetizers, drinks, and desserts. In addition to the food menu, diners can also find a selection of craft cocktails and a carefully curated selection of wine and craft beer. And, to top that off, the restaurant also sells artfully packaged house-made craft chocolates, their signature chocolate bread, and gift items to take with you!


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 Three Embers restaurant

Three Embers

$$$$
American
Lincolnshire
4.8
312 reviews

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 the menu on the traditional steakhouse experience and then incorporate unique ingredients and unparalleled service. The atmosphere is classy but comfortable and diners sit around a dramatic wood-burning stove amongst a crowd of locals, hotel guests and theatergoers. Starters include broiled oysters and Burrata and they have a wide selection of entrees like Pork Shank, Trout, Ribeye and Veal Tenderloin.


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 Chrissoulas restaurant

Chrissoulas

$$$$
Greek
Mundelein / Vernon Hills / Libertyville
4.7
677 reviews

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 and modern dishes featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients. Chefs Nick and Theo Dimitriou prepare all the dishes and components in-house to deliver a truly homemade meal and experience. The dinner menu includes hot saganaki, spanakopita, souvlaki, Lamb ribeye, and other Mediterranean specialties as well as an extensive wine list.


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


Experiences available
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A photo of Libertad restaurant

Libertad

$$$$
Latin American
Skokie
4.8
2619 reviews

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 represent the diverse cuisine found all over Latin America. Local mixologists Ziyad Asrar & Robert Hanes are responsible for the tasty cocktail selections and the restaurant also features a lengthy and impressive wine list. Small plates allow you to sample a wide variety of flavors to order for your party to share. Stand out dishes include the Paella, the Calabaza with roasted acorn squash, Carne Asada skirt steak and a list of desserts.


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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