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Diners' Choice: Contemporary American restaurants in Chicago

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Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants with the best overall Contemporary American cuisine in Chicago? You’re in the right place. Each month OpenTable analyzes more than 400,000 new diner reviews. We sort the results by category to help you discover new favorites. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of The Franklin Room restaurant
4.9
4.9 (1793)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
River North (Chicago)
About the restaurant
The Franklin Room celebrates the sense of connection one can only find in the neighborhood taverns of Chicago. Offering classic American tavern fare and no shortage of whiskey flair, our sophisticated speakeasy is your local go-to for quality meat dishes, fresh seafood, classic cocktails and the neighborhood tavern experience our city has perfected.

Our menu of delectable turn-of-the-century inspired American tavern fare starts there, then elevates the experience with a modern twist that creates a culinary experience you simply have to taste to believe. It's perfectly complimented by our beverage program, which showcases creative cocktails and a meticulous selection of spirits, wine and beer with a strong focus on independent distillers and limited-edition rare releases. Bring them together and you've got a uniquely Chicagoan experience, centuries in the making.

Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 4 days ago
Brought a friend for her first time. She loved it too.
A photo of Brasero restaurant
4.8
4.8 (173)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
West Town
About the restaurant
Brasero, a South American term for a grill's fire box, is born of Chef John Manion's love for the live-fire cooking of Brazil that captured his imagination as an eight-year-old living in San Paolo. Brasero brings bold, wood-fired Latin cooking to West Town’s bustling restaurant row. This sultry 120-seater draws inspiration from across Latin America, honed through Manion’s decades of experience. Think flame-roasted, whole young chickens slicked with garlic-chili oil, linquiça with mojo de ajo, and moqueca teeming with mussels, shrimp and coconut-scented rice—all washed down with quenching caipirinhas and locally brewed, Latin-inspired beer. The wine list leans fresh and playful, focusing on low-intervention pours from up-and-coming winemakers in South and Central America.
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 2 days ago
Service is exceptional, the wine program is exciting to explore, and the cuisine is so very delicious!
A photo of Girl & the Goat restaurant
4.8
4.8 (14293)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
West Loop
About the restaurant
Girl & the Goat opened in 2010 with the goal of serving a family style menu of tasty, bold flavored foods in a fun and lively setting. To enhance the experience we offer a selection of wines from around the world with a focus on small producers, a rotating list of craft beers, and a list of fun cocktails created by our bartenders. Reservations are encouraged for our dining room, our bar is always available for walk-ins, nomads, adventurers, and those of you who don’t like to plan. Please note: as a way to offset rising costs associated with the restaurant (food, beverage, labor, benefits, supplies), we have added a 3% surcharge to all checks. We do this in lieu of increased menu prices. You may request to have this taken off your check, should you choose.
Top review
JustinJ
Dined 2 days ago
Food was incredible. Everything we got we enjoyed. Pig face and halibut were the best of all. Highly recommend this place!
A photo of Boka restaurant
4.8
4.8 (6895)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Lincoln Park
About the restaurant
Michelin starred Boka Restaurant has been a fixture in Chicago dining since 2003. In January 2014, Chef Lee Wolen joined as Executive Chef/Partner after the restaurant underwent a major renovation. Since his time at Boka, critics have taken notice. Phil Vettel of Chicago Tribune and Eater Chicago both named Lee as “2014 Chef of the Year.” Most recently, Lee was named 2015 “Chef of the Year." Boka’s food features contemporary, American cuisine, focusing on seasonality and sourcing as many local ingredients as possible.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Boka had some stand out dishes. I recommend the oyster and caviar as well as the short rib.
A photo of Sepia restaurant
4.8
4.8 (5149)
$50 and over
Contemporary American
West Loop
About the restaurant
Seamlessly melding refined and rustic, vintage and contemporary, Sepia has the feel of an instant classic. The stylish space is warm and inviting, comfortable yet lively. The easy elegance of the room serves as the perfect backdrop for the inventive American cuisine. Chef Andrew Zimmerman's product-driven, seasonal menu showcases the purity and quality of the ingredients, letting both the ingredients and his passion for what he does shine through. Sepia celebrates tradition – with a modern twist.

To book reservations of 10 or larger, please email info@sepiachicago.com!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Incredible. So great. You must go. Really affordable tasting menu. Great service. Amazing food. The chef killed it… I’m still thinking about that cloud cake. CRAZY
A photo of Farm Bar - Lakeview restaurant
4.8
4.8 (117)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Lakeview / East Lakeview
About the restaurant
Farm Bar is a neighborhood farm-to-table restaurant with locations in Ravenswood and Lakeview. We serve approachable midwestern fair with local, organic ingredients from our own Brown Dog Farm in Mineral Point Wisconsin. Stop by for dinner to indulge in our Classic Burger and famous Wisconsin Cheese Curds, or bring the whole family for lunch. Our mixologists behind the bar will happily shake up handcrafted cocktails or pour a glass of local wine to pair with brunch on the weekends as well. Join us for homestyle cooking, friendly faces and a table that feels like home. We limit our environmental footprint by using a digital menu linked to our tables with a QR code. Upon request, a paper menu with standard items can be provided along with removing our inflation fee.
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 3 days ago
Wonderful dinner, great service and food! Would definitely recommend.
A photo of Mirella’s Tavern restaurant
4.8
4.8 (8)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Bucktown / Wicker Park
About the restaurant
Mirella’s Tavern transcends the typical dining experience; it’s a community hub for families, a favorite spot for Chicago sports enthusiasts, and an intimate retreat for romantic evenings.

Fostering a welcoming, family-friendly environment resonates throughout. His commitment to the community extends beyond the kitchen, with active participation in local events and collaborations.

Come savor the best of American cuisine and be part of our story at Mirella’s Tavern, where every dish is a celebration and every visit is a cherished memory.
Top review
icarra1
Dined on May 30, 2024
Great food, excellent service, keep up the good work!
A photo of The Lobby restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1642)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Gold Coast / Streeterville
About the restaurant
Select from a memorable Contemporary American menu featuring outstanding dishes in an environment that blends the classic understated elegance of The Lobby's décor. Take a table by the soaring 20 ft high floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Terrace. Breakfast is a favorite with both early-rising Chicago residents and hotel guests alike, who swear by starting the day with one of the many breakfast options, while The Lobby's approachable, yet American contemporary inspired à la carte is ideal for power lunches and sophisticated dinners.

Afternoon Tea is available on Fridays through Sundays, with seatings at 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm. Please visit exploretock.com to book your reservation for Afternoon Tea.

NOTE: ALL AFTERNOON TEA RESERVATIONS ARE BOOKED VIA TOCK.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 4, 2024
The lobby at the peninsula is extremely beautiful. The hostess where very helpful and nice . I love come here when ever I can .
A photo of Theory Chicago restaurant
4.8
4.8 (304)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Near North
About the restaurant
Our goal is to make Theory your home away from home. Theory is a cozy, upscale sports lounge with an emphasis on comfort, good food, and great service. We can accommodate groups from 2 to 350 for dining and corporate events. Our menu features american cuisine with southern and Mexican touches. We hope to see you here soon.
Top review
Galaxyvip
Dined 4 days ago
Great energy and lots of large screens for watching all your favorite sports
A photo of Uncommon Ground-Lakeview restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1115)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Lakeview / East Lakeview
About the restaurant
Uncommon Ground is a local, sustainable, farm to table restaurant specializing in seasonal, regional comfort food. Established in 1991, this Lakeview restaurant has been leading the way in fresh, local, healthy cuisine. Uncommon Ground also features Greenstar Brewing, the first certified organic brewery in Illinois. Two cozy fireplaces in the winter and an expansive sidewalk cafe in warmer months for dining al fresco. Monthly art shows line the walls with talented local artists and the acoustic listening room features live music nightly.
Top review
CubsFanX4
Dined on Jun 5, 2024
such a nice pre game location. outdoor space is nice. Craft beers are so fun
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