Welcome to Chicago’s “Greatest Hits” List.

Obviously you’re familiar with the concept of a “greatest hits” album, but unlike the best Jock Jams out there, this is one you actually need in your life. This is a short and carefully selected collection of places in Chicago that you should hit first if you’re new to town – restaurants that are essential to the Chicago experience, from classic pizza, hot dogs, and steakhouses, to modern staples.

Just like you wouldn’t introduce someone to Freddie Mercury and Queen without playing them “Bohemian Rhapsody,” we wouldn’t send someone unfamiliar with Chicago to a new hot spot without sending them to these restaurants first. You shouldn’t either.

If you are looking for what’s new, check out our Hit List, a guide to the brand new, recently-opened restaurants worth your time, or our guide to Chicago’s Best New Restaurants Of 2016.

RPM Italian

River North 
52 W Illinois St


Giuliana and Bill Rancic have us in a mental pretzel, mainly because they have two really good restaurants in town. There are a million good Italian spots around and everyone adamantly defends their personal favorites. But RPM bottles up the sexy new style of River North with the comforts of traditional Italian dishes, and together that makes it an all-around great place. Go hard on the pastas and you’ll have an ideal night.