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The OpenTable team

Chicago has always been one of the country’s most celebrated culinary destinations—and with the always-getting-better classics mixing with a wave of new, boundary-breaking restaurants, the food scene is only getting better. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to the Power Diner 20. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. You’ll find cavernous sushi restaurants and neighborhood gems, glamorous Italian spots and new-age steakhouses—all vetted by the types of tastemakers who know the best spots around the city. You'll want to follow their lead.

Restaurants:Sushi San, Momotaro, Bellemore
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Japanese, American
Neighborhoods:River North (Chicago), West Loop
$$$$·Japanese·
River North (Chicago)
268 reviews
  • Hot Spot
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
Sushi San might be wacky and irreverent—they have a section of their menu labeled “nigiri bombs”—but the food is consistently some of the best Japanese in town. You’ll find excelleRead more
91% recommended
5 people mentioned the Miso Soup
$$$$·Japanese·
West Loop
1,510 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
It’s hard to have a bad time at Momotaro: the vibe is animated and lively, space is soaring, and the food—which, at a lesser place, might be an afterthought—is excellent. Don’t be Read more
92% recommended
Japanese in Chicago / Illinois
26 people mentioned the Wagyu Beef
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$$$$·American·
West Loop
429 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
What happens when the Chicago restaurant empire Boka Group teams up with chef Jimmy Papadopoulos? You get Bellemore, a spacious, luxurious new-American restaurant with food as gorgRead more
95% recommended
American in Chicago
22 people mentioned the Oyster Pie
$$$$·Global, International·
West Loop
504 reviews
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
Duck dumplings, or baby-potato carbonara? Burrata with sourdough, or Indonesian pork curry? These are the choices you’ll face at Proxi, a restaurant in the West Loop devoted to intRead more
94% recommended
12 people mentioned the Black Pepper
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$$$$·American·
Gold Coast / Streeterville
671 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
To many, the concept of “country-club cuisine” may bring to mind steam tables of overcooked vegetables and hockey-puck burgers and mediocre omelet stations. Luckily, the country-clRead more
96% recommended
American in Chicago
12 people mentioned the Squid Ink Pasta
Table for 2 tonight
$$$$·American·
West Loop
5,725 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups
  • Creative Cuisine
Since it opened in 2009, The Publican has been one of the most fun, boisterous spots in the city to eat pig, drink beer, and be merry. The food, to this day, is deliciously craveabRead more
88% recommended
192 people mentioned the Pork Rinds
$$$$·Steakhouse·
West Loop
1,640 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
We’re in the Midwest, after all, and there are few places in Chicago to get a steak as good as the ones at Swift & Sons. Chef Chris Pandel knows how to cook a piece of beef, and hiRead more
91% recommended
21 people mentioned the Wagyu Beef
$$$$·Italian·
River North (Chicago)
9,322 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
There’s no shortage of great Italian restaurants in this town, but RPM Italian shines as one of the brightest. The space is handsome and sleek; the vibe glamorous and sophisticatedRead more
96% recommended
Italian in Chicago / Illinois
281 people mentioned the Garlic Bread
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$$$$·Mediterranean·
River North (Chicago)
1,402 reviews
  • Good Vegetarian Options
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
Walking into Ema, on the ground floor of the Hyatt Place Hotel in River North, feels like a breath of fresh air: the tables and counters sparkle, the ceiling is hung with tangles oRead more
95% recommended
Mediterranean in Chicago / Illinois
39 people mentioned the Falafel
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$$$$·American·
Lincoln Park
2,811 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Great for Lunch
  • Fun
It’s always summer at Summer House Santa Monica, even when the wind is whipping off Lake Michigan, even when snow batters its windows and its glass roof. Sip on a watermelon smash Read more
90% recommended
Most Booked in Chicago / Illinois
80 people mentioned the Monica
$$$$·Contemporary American·
West Loop
4,101 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Special Occasion
Chef Paul Kahan is a Chicago legend, and Blackbird is where he first made his mark. It’s still just as relevant as it was in 1997, serving elegant, refined versions of Midwestern fRead more
93% recommended
Contemporary American in Chicago
90 people mentioned the Endive Salad
$$$$·Contemporary American·
Lincoln Park
4,095 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
Boka is the flagship restaurant of the Chicago empire Boka Restaurant Group, the place that launched no less than a dining revolution. The contemporary-American menu still feels coRead more
93% recommended
Contemporary American in Chicago / Illinois
104 people mentioned the Short Rib
Table for 2 tonight
$$$$·Chinese·
West Loop
2,079 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
What happens when Chicago icon Stephanie Izard opens an homage to American Chinatown restaurants? She nails it. Everything at Duck Duck Goat, from the wood-paneled decor to the lazRead more
92% recommended
Chinese in Chicago / Illinois
131 people mentioned the Dumplings
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$$$$·American·
West Loop
598 reviews
  • Casual
  • Healthy
  • Fit for Foodies
With its breezy vibe and unpretentious menu, Beatrix has hit on a concept that truly works—and at their third and most-recent location in Fulton Market, they’ve dialed it in even mRead more
86% recommended
11 people mentioned the Kung Pao
$$$$·American·
West Loop
3,404 reviews
  • Casual
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Comfort Food
Chef Stephanie Izard knows how to cook what people want to eat. Exhibit A: Little Goat, chef Izard’s take on a classic diner—if that classic diner had saucy Yucatan-spiced pork torRead more
93% recommended
Most Booked in Chicago / Illinois
96 people mentioned the French Toast
$$$$·Contemporary American·
Bucktown / Wicker Park
528 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
What kind of restaurant is Mott Street? It’s Korean, it’s Chinese, it’s Thai, it’s Mexican. You’ll find empenadas alongside everything-spiced wings, kimchi-stuffed cabbage next to Read more
88% recommended
25 people mentioned the Dumplings
$$$$·American·
River North (Chicago)
940 reviews
  • Healthy
  • Good Vegetarian Options
  • Organic
In a city with no shortage of gluttonous establishments, it’s important to have a reliable healthy option to turn to. Enter True Food Kitchen, the Chicago outpost of the national cRead more
96% recommended
Healthy in Chicago / Illinois
15 people mentioned the Dumplings
$$$$·Basque·
West Town
109 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Neighborhood Gem
A Basque restaurant with trippy-nightclub lighting? You’re at Bar Biscay, one of Chicago’s newest and hottest restaurants. Snack on platters of cured meats and cheeses while waitinRead more
81% recommended
3 people mentioned the Jamon Serrano
$$$$·Italian·
Gold Coast / Streeterville
1,837 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
With its elegant decor, friendly staff, and open kitchen, Nico Osteria is a truly lovely place to spend a meal—and the menu, which features seafood-forward Italian cuisine, rises tRead more
87% recommended
Most Booked 1000-Point Tables in Chicago / Illinois
48 people mentioned the Lobster Spaghetti
$$$$·Steakhouse·
River North (Chicago)
671 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for a Date
Up until the launch of GT Prime Steakhouse, we didn’t realize that the steakhouse model—the huge cuts of meats, the rainbow of sides—needed to be disrupted. But GT Prime SteakhouseRead more
86% recommended
Steakhouse in Chicago
10 people mentioned the Skirt Steak