Home to more than 40 James Beard Award-winning chefs and restaurants, Chicago has a thriving culinary scene that rivals that of any U.S. city. But accolades alone don’t define the best restaurants in Chicago. So while the recommendations below include plenty of award winners, I’ve also listed several restaurants visitors simply must experience to get a true taste of the Windy City.

The Best Restaurants in Chicago 

The following Chicago restaurants are an eclectic mix of fine dining, romantic, ethnic, and historic eateries that Chicagoans love dearly and dine at frequently themselves.

Everest

This romantic French restaurant on the 40th floor of the Loop’s Chicago Board of Trade Building has been one of the best restaurants in Chicago for more than 30 years, racking up multiple James Beard Awards, AAA Five Diamonds, and Michelin stars. Everest owner/chef Jean Joho is from Alsace, France, and creates edible art on every plate, from roasted Maine lobster to Caspian Sea caviar. The roast rabbit preparation is based on a recipe served to King Louis XIV. The museum-quality art collection and views of Chicago’s glittering skyline make dining at this Relais & Chateau restaurant especially memorable.