Dining Out In Chicago

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Chicagoans like to eat. It’s no secret — we are a hungry people. Hungry for great restaurants, top chefs, and unparalleled atmosphere. Luckily, this city truly delivers when it comes to dining out.

When most people think of Chicago and food, their thoughts probably gravitate to overloaded hot dogs and pizza stuffed to the point of explosion. What many people don’t know is that this town’s dining scene has a lot more to offer than odd condiments and extra cheese.

Chicago’s dining scene doesn’t have the pomp that you may encounter in other culinary capitals. We Chicagoans simply like good food, matched with even better drinks, served in an awesome atmosphere. And no, that’s not too much to ask.

Thanks to Chicago’s status as a true melting pot of ethnicity and culture, there are countless specialty and ethnic restaurants to be explored — Italian, French, Polish, Mexican, Latin American, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Greek… well, you get the point. Some of the best spots for ethnic cuisine are tucked away in hidden nooks in the city, where only the real foodies can find them. Others are part of a network (or neighborhood) of similar tastes. Sure, we’ve got a pretty awesome Chinatown and Little Italy, the obvious staples, but one thing Chicago has that many other cities don’t is a fabulous Greektown. Yup, that’s right. For those craving baklava, saganaki, or anything lamb, this food-focused neighborhood in the West Loop doesn’t disappoint. With tons of Greek restaurants, ranging from northern to southern, traditional to modern, upscale to gyro counters, the place is overflowing with good eats.

Looking for something a little more mainstream, or perhaps more modern? Some of the tastiest new spots in the city, as well some of our favorite longtime staples, are located in the River North neighborhood. You could eat only in River North for the rest of the year and not get bored — always enjoying delicious food, whether it is a classic, simple dish or a molecular gastronomy infused meal. The West and South Loop are also home to more and more popular dining spots, ones that like to challenge our taste buds with unique combinations and flavors. With some wonderfully talented chefs choosing these areas for their restaurants, Chicago is always moving forward in the culinary world. There are even several restaurant empires in the city, bringing a slew of quality restaurants to residents and visitors.

Can’t decide on a restaurant, much less a neighborhood? There’s a solution for that. Let Chicago Dine-Around — Progressive Dining Tour be your chauffeur for the night. They’ll take you to some of these top restaurants in the city’s trendiest and most traditional neighborhoods for a guaranteed fantastic dining out experience. This progressive dining tour brings it all together for the Chicago resident and visitor by virtue of their concept, where you get to visit three outstanding restaurants in one evening. You’ll start out at one restaurant for hors d’œuvres, move on to a second for your main course, and finish at a third great spot for dessert. You’ll experience the best of Chicago dining, while getting a unique tour of the city and meeting great new people.

Learn more about the tours here.

If you only remember three things about dining out in Chicago, have them be these: always have an open mind, a hungry belly, and an elastic waistband.

Bon appetit!

This article is sponsored by Chicago Dine-Around — Progressive Dining Tour. Thanks to their contribution and knowledge when it comes to dining in this city, we’re able to keep pumping out awesome content daily. For more info on Chicago Dine-Around tours, visit their website here. For our full editorial policy, click here.

About UPchicago Team

Urban Philosophy is a way of thinking that you develop when you’re a true city person. Whether you’ve spent your whole life living in Manhattan, or you just moved from small-town Iowa to the city of Chicago, the longer you stay, the more you come to understand what it means to live in a city. Our Urban Philosophy is that no matter who you are, where you are from, and what your likes and dislikes may be, there’s something for everyone in city life.

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