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The OpenTable team

You’re in Chicago for 48 hours, and you’re hungry. What’s the plan? We’ve rounded up the best spots to hit on your first trip to town: the breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and everything-in-between that will give you a definitive sampling of what the city has to offer. Let’s get to it.

Restaurants:Lula Cafe, Frontera Grill, Giant
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Contemporary American, Mexican, American
Neighborhoods:Logan Square, River North (Chicago)
$$$$·Contemporary American·
Logan Square
566 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
Lula Cafe has been a Logan Square mainstay for seventeen years, serving up what is maybe the best brunch in the city. There isn’t a wrong turn on the menu, and the space itself—briRead more
97% recommended
11 people mentioned the Beet Bruschetta
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$$$$·Mexican·
River North (Chicago)
5 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Hot Spot
  • Neighborhood Gem
Chef Rick Bayless is a Chicago legend, and Frontera Grill is the spot that put him on the map. The tortilla soup is a must, as is the guacamole, smoked-chicken taquitos, and any ofRead more
100% recommended
1 people mentioned the Black Beans
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$$$$·American·
Logan Square
Giant might not be giant—the space only has 44 seats—but if you can snag one of them, you’re in for a treat. This is the American food of your wildest dreams: crab salad with wafflRead more
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$$$$·Korean·
Avondale / Irving Park
920 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
Parachute is one of Chicago’s most-talked-about restaurants, and it’s not hard to see why. Chefs Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark’s take on Korean-American food is singular and unique,Read more
88% recommended
28 people mentioned the Baked Potato
$$$$·American·
Lincoln Park
Chicago is known for its fine-dining restaurants, and Alinea is the crown jewel. Yes, it’s fancy, but it’s also a rocking good time; nothing about place—not its exceptional food, nRead more
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$$$$·Contemporary American·
West Loop
8,934 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Special Occasion
Chef Stephanie Izard isn’t just the first female Top Chef winner—she’s also the lady behind one of Chicago’s most celebrated restaurants. Cuisine-wise, Girl and the Goat is probablRead more
97% recommended
Best Overall in Chicago / Illinois
447 people mentioned the Green Bean
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$$$$·Brewery·
Ravenswood
586 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
A Michelin-starred brewpub? That’s right. Band of Bohemia is serving some of the most interesting food—and beer—in the country, and they happen to have a fantastic brunch. Sip on pRead more
93% recommended
9 people mentioned the Smoked Sturgeon
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$$$$·Italian·
Lincoln Park
You’re in Chicago, so deep-dish pizza is a must—and the spot to get it is Pequod’s. The place is unassuming—it’s functionally a sports bar—but the pizza, with its caramelized crustRead more
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$$$$·Contemporary American·
Bucktown / Wicker Park
945 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
One thing’s for sure: James Beard Award–winning pastry chef Mindy Segal makes a mean hot chocolate. You’re here for a mug or two, plus a bunch of other sweet stuff: cakes, cream puRead more
94% recommended
389 people mentioned the Hot Chocolate
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$$$$·Contemporary American·
West Loop
441 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Hot Spot
Chef Paul Kahan has some of the best restaurants in Chicago, and Avec is a shining example. You’re here for the chorizo-stuffed dates, the cheese-stuffed “deluxe” focaccia, and anyRead more
94% recommended
32 people mentioned the Paella
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$$$$·Asian·
Logan Square
194 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Hot Spot
Technically, Fat Rice is a Macanese restaurant—but what chefs Adrienne Lo and Abraham Conlon are doing is beyond any sort of definition. This is fusion food at its best, a mix of CRead more
95% recommended
7 people mentioned the Dumplings
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$$$$·Steak·
Gold Coast / Streeterville
4,983 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
We’re in the Midwest, after all—and if you’re eating steak in this town, you want to be eating it at Gibson’s. They even have a USDA grade named for them: USDA Gibsons Prime AngusRead more
94% recommended
Steak in Chicago
64 people mentioned the Filet Mignon
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$$$$·American·
West Loop
What do you get when you combine an inventive, forward-thinking fine-dining restaurant with a great burger and beers? You get Smyth and The Loyalist, two distinct restaurants underRead more
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$$$$·American·
West Loop
5,725 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups
  • Creative Cuisine
Since it opened in 2009, The Publican has been one of the most fun, boisterous spots in the city to eat pig, drink beer, and be merry. The food, to this day, is deliciously craveabRead more
88% recommended
192 people mentioned the Pork Rinds
$$$$·Contemporary American·
South Loop
928 reviews
  • Tasting Menu
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Romantic
Acadia is a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in the South Loop, where chef Ryan McCaskey creates seven-course tasting menus inspired by his childhood summers in Maine. The space is Read more
90% recommended
Notable Wine List in Chicago
13 people mentioned the Amuse Bouche