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Discover Trending Restaurants in Chicago

Chicago is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, with a dining scene to match. Already renowned for an amazingly diverse range of food, the Windy City is now full to the brim with trendy restaurants serving everything from beef tartare to fresh cavatelli. 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. Watch the seasons go by in the center of Lincoln Park on the edge of the North Pond, or indulge in some people-watching in the trendiest new hot spots. Our guide to trendy restaurants in Chicago highlights the hippest, hottest spots to eat at right now.

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The OpenTable Team
16 Restaurants
Updated February 25, 2020
Restaurants:Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House - Chicago, Shaw's Crab House & Oyster Bar - Chicago, Mon Ami Gabi
Price Range:$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Seafood, French
Neighborhoods:Gold Coast / Streeterville, River North (Chicago), Lincoln Park
A photo of Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House - Chicago restaurant

Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House - Chicago

$$$$
Seafood
Gold Coast / Streeterville
4.6
4743 reviews
Another relative of the original Gibson’s, Hugo’s is their attempt to create the finest seafood restaurant in Chicago. Open and busy since 1997, the Frog in the title isn’t just for fun. Diners can enjoy delicately sautéed frog’s legs in garlic butter as an appetizer, and according to reviews, they keep guests jumping for joy. Hugo’s isn’t one of those trendy restaurants in the conventional style, but it proves that some trends are here to stay: fine food with excellent service in a welcoming atmosphere.

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
12832 reviews
Part of the popular Lettuce Entertain You group, Shaw’s is a combination of a "jazzy sophisticated seafood restaurant and carefree, lively oyster bar." It might be a surprise to learn that Shaw’s also offer a small selection of some of the best sushi in Chicago, amongst warm and pleasant surroundings. Shaw’s avoids passing fads by keeping up its ongoing trend of high-quality seafood and excellent service. The absolute best trendy restaurant in Chicago for seafood.

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
6488 reviews
Serious diners looking for classic French cuisine head to Lincoln Park’s throwback to the 1950’s bistro scene: Mon Ami Gabi. Beautifully presented chairs and tables sit on a tiled floor surrounded by dark wood and what seems like endless bottles of wine. The small scale of the restaurant gives it a cozy, neighborhood feel, while the décor and cuisine are contrastingly upscale. Diners just adore the steak frites.

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
4470 reviews
There are many reasons to visit this restaurant on Jefferson Street; from impeccable service to the sublime quality of the food, Sepia excels in every front. In fact, diners rave about the beautiful presentation and can’t praise the chef enough. The valet parking and excellent level of accessibility are good reasons too. Ask the sommelier about pairing drinks, and be sure to try the tasting menu.

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 Brasserie - Waldorf Astoria restaurant

The Brasserie - Waldorf Astoria

$$$$
American
Gold Coast / Streeterville
4.7
348 reviews
One of famous chef Michael Mina’s restaurants, Margeaux is part of the Waldorf Astoria hotel not too far from the Gold Coast. Mina has tried to encapsulate the ambiance of 1920's French dining, with the warmth and hospitality expected of a true Chicago eatery. Servers are professional and knowledgeable, with an excellent sommelier to advise diners on wine choices. Food ranges from the popular brunch choices of the salmon croissant to filet mignon on an evening. As trendy restaurants in Chicago go, Margeaux is one of the most sophisticated.

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)
4.6
2302 reviews
The owners looked to their grandmothers for the inspiration for this place, hence its name, and the menu is an ode to traditional Italian food in all its forms. The duck ragu, shrimp risotto, and gnocchi are particularly loved by diners, who also praise the extensive wine list. Plush red seating and dark wood make this a classic, yet not too formal, setting to enjoy some of the best Italian food in Chicago. For those not in the market for a full sit-down meal, Nonnina also features a sandwich bar serving subs and soup to take away.

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 North Pond restaurant

North Pond

$$$$
American
Lincoln Park
4.9
4050 reviews
Right on the edge of the North Pond Nature Sanctuary sits a contemporary American restaurant surrounded by so much greenery, one may as well be eating outside. Even the interior has motifs of birds and plants. Combining the delights of urban parkland with Chef Bruce Sherman’s modern cuisine, this small yet superior restaurant keeps diners returning over and over. Enjoy every season's foliage, from fall leaves to spring flowers, while imbibing in trendy drinks like the vodka hibiscus or dining on stuffed fluke. One of Chicago’s not-so-hidden treasures.

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
1918 reviews
For those that have never heard the term "clubstaurant," it could be time to visit Tao for a delicious education. Situated in the historic River North castle, Tao is set over multiple levels and incorporates a bar, sofas, and a statue that seems to move thanks to clever digital animation technology. The place to rub shoulders with A-Listers, Tao offers an Asian Fusion menu ranging from sizzling soy chicken to fresh oysters and snapper sashimi. Leave room for a giant fortune cookie with a surprise filling.

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 Gibsons Italia restaurant

Gibsons Italia

$$$$
Steakhouse
River North (Chicago)
4.8
2005 reviews
Curved silver booths and vibrant artwork on the walls greet diners at this River West Italian eatery. It’s the sibling restaurant of Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse, a Chicago icon and celebrity favorite. The Italia venue moves away from the old-fashioned ambience of the original and immerses itself in the contemporary, resulting in a waterfront restaurant with a bright, modern appeal. Servers know the menu inside out, and diners recommend the meatballs and the perfectly mixed margaritas.

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
15294 reviews
Joe’s on East Grand Avenue is classy from the moment diners enter the formal and elegant dining room. Dark wood and spotless tablecloths that match the walls both echo a time gone by, when food was about taking it leisurely and enjoying the experience. Stone crab is the "must-have" dish here, with Joe’s unique mustard sauce that perfectly contrasts with the melt-in-the-mouth claw meat. Don’t forget to book ahead as this place is always in demand.

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 SUSHI-SAN restaurant

SUSHI-SAN

$$$$
Japanese
Chicago
4.7
794 reviews
Diners looking for trendy restaurants need to look no further than River North’s Sushi San. Serving up the best sushi in Chicago accompanied by hip-hop music and minimalist wooden décor, Sushi-San is a fun and vibrant way to start a great night out. A quirky venture from the team that brought Chicago diners Naoki, the food here is second to none with the spicy tuna, Wagyu tartare, and crunchy avocado rolls receiving particular praise.

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 il Porcellino restaurant

il Porcellino

$$$$
Italian
River North (Chicago)
4.7
3206 reviews
River North is a trendy part of the city, home to some of the hottest club and eateries. Il Porcellino has slotted right into this enticing vibe, with the look and feel of a contemporary Italian restaurant combined with a large space and welcoming atmosphere. There’s plenty of space for large groups, and tables near the bar where diners can watch the mixologists at work. Diners love the Brick Chicken and the steamed calamari. One of the hottest trendy restaurants in Chicago right now.

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 Quartino restaurant

Quartino

$$$$
Italian
River North (Chicago)
4.7
9424 reviews
Is there anything trendier than the small plates dining revolution? River North’s Quartino has embraced this aspect of dining culture, offering a huge range of flavors that will please even the pickiest of eaters. The ambiance is that of a traditional Italian café, with fresh bread on display and a lively atmosphere. Mix shrimp with pizza, ravioli with octopus, or keep it simple with brunch and cocktails. A cool and comfortable way to experience River North dining.

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 Café Ba-Ba-Reeba restaurant

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba

$$$$
Tapas / Small Plates
Lincoln Park
4.8
7787 reviews
Tapas is a food trend that’s here to stay, and this Lincoln Park restaurant has been getting the small plates vibe right for decades. Bright, welcoming, and lively, the Spanish themes run through both food and drink, with various types of sangria on tap at all times. The menu is delightfully diverse, with favorites including dates wrapped in bacon and chicken or steak skewers. Servers are keen to help, and guests always leave happy and full.

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 Summer House Santa Monica restaurant

Summer House Santa Monica

$$$$
American
Lincoln Park
4.6
6211 reviews
When the nickname for a hometown is The Windy City, it’s great to go somewhere that brings the summer vibes all year 'round. The Summer House employs bright décor and greenery to provide a perennial feeling of warmth and happiness. Summer House is definitely a place to people-watch, or to catch the eye of a prospective date, making it one of the top trendy restaurants in Chicago. Diners love the sweet potato tots and tostadas.

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
5219 reviews
River North is full of trendy restaurants and bars, so how does one stand out? By keeping the décor simple and the menu diverse, which is exactly how HUB 51 have achieved the status of one of Chicago’s hottest eateries. Perfect for cocktails at the bar while people-watching, or for indulging in a mix of tacos, sushi, and nachos, and ideal for groups with a few picky eaters. It’s busy, often loud, and diners love it that way. Come here before a night out on the town.

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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