Best Restaurants in Chicago, Illinois

Au Cheval: (800 W Randolph Street) This may not be the place to go if you are in a hurry, as the lines can

sometimes mean up to an hour or more wait for food. Rest assured, however, that ever moment you spend waiting in line at Au Cheval is well-worth it for the classy take on diner food you receive at the end. Just a simple cheeseburger paired with a bowl of matzo ball soup is sure to satisfy any appetite, as is the selection of strong yet tasty cocktails.

Entente: (3056 N Lincoln Avenue) With a wine menu designed by award-winning sommelier Christopher Harris and a Michelin Star worthy food menu designed by executive chef Brian Fisher, this is an excellent spot to participate in casual fine dining away from the chaos of downtown. The perfectly cooked scallop dish combined with salted caramel, country ham and Brussel sprouts is one of the best things you will taste in the entire city, as is the long island duck paired with bitter melon.

The Green Door Tavern: (678 N Orleans St) Dating back since 1871, this place is one of the most historic places to eat and drink in Chicago. Built immediately after the great fire which almost devastated the city, it originally served as a store and living quarters before being converted into a tavern and restaurant. The place got its name from the observance that bars containing speakeasys during prohibition had their doors painted green! Today, they have some of the best brunch you could ever imagine, complete with a Bloody Mary bar or oversized mimosas. Pair these morning eye-openers with their signature corned beef hash skillet, or go all out and order the fried Nutella sandwich paired with strawberries.

Parachute: (3500 N Elston Avenue) This place is at once an unassuming establishment mixed with an enormous amount of popularity. Open only for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, begin your meal with a glass of wine from their extensive list or a signature whiskey sour. Be sure to take your time perusing the Korean inspired menu, which offers a number of delicious creations from former Top Chef competitor Beverly Kim and her partner John Clarke. Start the evening with the unbelievably tasty baked potato bing bread before moving onto one of the creative main courses. Seafood lovers will delight in the green curry Manila clams, while those who prefer a meatless style can indulge in the smoked shitake yuba. Have a sweet tooth? Be sure to sample the avocado coconut sorbet! Keep in mind that this place very popular, thus it is highly unlikely you will be able to walk in without a reservation.

The Purple Pig: (500 N. Michigan Ave) Located in the heart of the North Bridge shopping complex, this is unlike any mall food you have ever had before. The Mediterranean theme offers a number of fresh and healthy dishes sure to satisfy any palate, such as the perfectly seasoned hummus paired with a soft-boiled egg or the feta cheese and honey cornbread. This is an excellent option for vegetarians exploring the culinary aspects of Chicago, as they do many dishes flawlessly without any animal ingredients.  The butternut squash and shaved black truffle soup is a delicacy unto itself, as is lentil salad topped with fried cauliflower.

Smoque: (3800 N. Pulaski Road) This is a relatively informal, down to earth place that just happens to serve some absolutely incredible barbecue. Offering everything from perfectly seasoned, tender brisket and ribs along with sausage and turkey, you can design your own platter here by picking your meat and pairing it with a number of tasty sides, such as coleslaw, macaroni and cheese or BBQ beans. If you can, save room for the homemade peach cobbler coupled with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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