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Diners' Choice: Contemporary American restaurants in Chicago / Illinois

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants with the best overall Contemporary American cuisine in Chicago / Illinois? 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 Waterleaf Restaurant - Glen Ellyn restaurant
4.8
4.8 (296)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Glen Ellyn
About the restaurant
Welcome to our classroom! Waterleaf, located in College of DuPage’s Culinary & Hospitality Center, is a dining experience that offers real-life training to Culinary, Baking & Pastry Arts, and Hospitality students. Patrons will enjoy menus utilizing fresh regional and seasonal ingredients prepared by Culinary & Pastry students as well as attentive service from our student servers.
Limited seating is available at each event and reservations are required. Reservations may be made until an event is sold out. For parties of 6 or more, please call us directly at 630-942-2284.
Top review
CarolineM
Dined on Jun 11, 2024
the service was good except our waitress never told us her name and had no name tag on. The food presentation was excellent- loved the menu except the salad had little dressing or added ingredients except for the blue cheese cracker and watermelon pickle- the salad was mostly frisee, which was not that great. loved the amuse buche, swordfish and dessert-
A photo of The Franklin Room restaurant
4.9
4.9 (1794)
$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
JBinFWvip
Dined 4 days ago
I never give 5 stars in every category but The Franklin Room deserves it. The food was spectacular. The service equally so. If you like scallops, don’t skip on these. Amazing. My girlfriend had the Butcher Steak and she said the chimichuri was the best she’s ever had. Their signature old fashioned was also exceptional with their blend of bitters. When in Chicago, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend!!
A photo of The Chew Chew restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1739)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Riverside
About the restaurant
The Chew Chew has 27 years of providing great food & hospitality in the quaint Village of Riverside, IL. We are located just one-mile east of the Brookfield Zoo. Happy hour daily 4-6pm. Indoor seating for 100 people (multi-level), full-bar & outdoor patio May-October (weather permitting). Thank you for voting us Chicago's #1 Neighborhood Restaurant on Open Table. If you cannot find a reservation online, please call us direct 708-447-8781. We look forward to serving you soon.
Top review
JPSANAvip
Dined 7 days ago
The new menu an̈d specials were great. The share plate mini rack of lamb was the star of my meal. So we'll cooked perfectly rendered and still the meat was render and succulent. So many great favors tonight. CHEF that was awesome.
A photo of Brasero restaurant
4.8
4.8 (176)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
West Town
About the restaurant
Named by Robb Report as one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants in the country, Brasero combines South American passion with midwestern grit and brings Chef John Manion's talent for 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, locally brewed, Latin-inspired beer and 100 bottles of wine under 100 dollars.
Top review
KathrynNvip
Dined 7 days ago
Duane was excellent and made our visit a great experience! We enjoyed everything we had (and ordered a lot). I’m not a vegetarian, but the sweet potato and the asparagus salad were probably my faves if I must pick. The flavors with the quail and pork chop were *chefs kiss*. We also had the endive salad, fried rice, risotto, hamachi, roasted oysters, and a couple of the desserts (get the coconut sundae)!
A photo of Girl & the Goat restaurant
4.8
4.8 (14301)
$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
PaulS
Dined 2 days ago
This may have been the best culinary and beverage experience we have ever had! Every dish was amazing with a mix of flavors that are so different and creative. Next time we are in Chicago, this is a must visit!
A photo of Region restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2481)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Barrington
About the restaurant
A true neighborhood favorite and highly desired dining destination outside of the city of Chicago. Utilizing the diverse culinary bounty of this great nation, we aim to exceed your gastronomic expectations every visit.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
F'ing epic! I tasted colors. First time here yesterday. Got bang bang cauliflower everyone was talking about...WORTH IT! Also ordered the clothes line bacon and 500 degree rock steak and both were good. I choose the Miso glazed Chilean sea bass for my plate. First time having sea bass and it was also amazing. Little pricey when you start adding drinks. My wife and I paid around $200 with drinks and 3 apps and 2 entrees and 4 drinks. I'll go back for sure.
A photo of Boka restaurant
4.8
4.8 (6898)
$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
casceovip
Dined 1 day ago
Wonderful food nd great service from a very knowledgeable wait staff. Ordered ala-carte not from the fixed multi-course menu and it was fine. Excellent wine pairing as advised by waiter.
A photo of The Alcove- Evanston restaurant
4.8
4.8 (472)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Evanston
About the restaurant
Chef Elio Romero curates an inventive American-inspired experience at Alcove Evanston, tucked under the Metra’s Davis Street stop. Taking cues from seasonal produce availability, Alcove’s menu is always evolving to guarantee freshness—check back often to stay updated on the restaurant’s culinary offerings.

The Alcove is eager to host your group's event--contact Alcove management to discuss building your prix fixe menu!

****Please view our menu on our website for the most updated items. Menus across other platforms are not always 100% up-to-date, as our dishes change with the seasonality of their ingredients. Please also note that the Alcove has implemented a 3% credit card service charge due to an increase in point-of-sale operating costs. We apologize for this inconvenience. Thank you!****
Top review
Wendi
Dined on Jun 8, 2024
We always have great food and experience at Alcove.
A photo of Sepia restaurant
4.8
4.8 (5152)
$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
Nick
Dined 5 days ago
10/10 best dining experience I’ve ever had! The service was incredible and the food was phenomenal! Highly recommend coming here!
A photo of Farm Bar - Lakeview restaurant
4.8
4.8 (118)
$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 Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Excellent dinning experience! Creative cocktails and simple, yet delicious food. Fun atmosphere and great service!
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