Grab a table at the best downtown Chicago restaurants for memorable bites and great service
In a sprawling metropolis like Chicago, it’s no surprise that some of the most established restaurants are concentrated in the city’s heart. The best downtown Chicago restaurants are diverse in their offerings, from a pair of excellent food halls to a top-rated barbecue joint to Michelin-starred dining experiences. No matter what brings you this way (perhaps a Broadway musical or an architecture tour?), downtown Chicago is teeming with stellar culinary experiences if you know where to look. Follow our guide to find a foodie’s paradise in the city’s epicenter.
Editor’s note: “Downtown Chicago” understandably means different things to different people. This guide covers the Loop, the West Loop, River North and Streeterville.
Best downtown Chicago restaurants
For years, Everest has lived up to its name for those looking for a lavish experience, and in the process it has become the pinnacle of high-end French dining in Chicago. Atop the Chicago Stock Exchange, it is still the height of elegance, with views of the rooftops that made the city famous. Chef Jean Joho’s dinner menu will set you back $185 and includes indulgences like foie gras, Maine lobster, wild sea bass and chocolate soufflé.
The sister restaurant to Ēma in River North, Aba is a collaboration between chef CJ Jacobson and Lettuce Entertain You. Like Ēma, Aba offers Mediterranean-inspired bites like red beet tzatziki, yellowtail dolmas and a Jerusalem bagel. But the menu here offers something different, too: Diners will notice a larger focus on steaks and seafood, with dishes like skirt steak shawarma, char-grilled lamb chops and toasted sesame shrimp.