Once a city most known for its stick-to-your-gut deep-dish pizza and loaded hot dogs, Chicago’s gastronomic star is rapidly rising; in August, it was named the best restaurant city in the country by Bon Appétit. While it is undoubtedly deserving of that accolade, the city is also defined by its neighborhoods, each with its own unique flavor. So before you embark on a full-blown culinary pilgrimage, it’s helpful to break the city down by bite-sized hubs. Herein, a guide to Chicago’s most foodie-friendly neighborhoods, from up-and-coming Wicker Park to long-running Logan Square.

Lincoln Park:

Summerhouse Santa Monica does a nearly perfect impression of California cuisine, minus the warm weather all year round. But with a seasonal menu full of irresistible bites – from the basic (but delicious) avocado toast to the unexpected Idaho rainbow trout served with a side of mashed tots – this bright and airy restaurant, including its outdoor patio, is nearly always full – even in winter.

Summer House
What’s an affluent neighborhood without an oyster bar? Besides fresh caught, cold-water oysters, the New England-themed Oyster Bah’s specialties include an innovative take on a lobster roll stuffed with crab, mayo and shrimp, and famed Old Bay-seasoned boardwalk fries. The best part? You can nosh on all of it over a 40-oz. of rosé. It just doesn’t get any better.

 

Oyster Bah