How not to fall prey to questionable hot dog stands and chain coffee shops

Chicago is known for its inspiring architecture and recognizable iconography, like the John Hancock building, the Navy Pier’s famous twinkling Ferris wheel and the mirrored Cloud Gate. It’s these sights, after all, that attract the more than 50 million visitors who flock to the city every year. Though, just like  NYC, Rome, Paris and beyond, it can often be impossible to find a good bite to famous attractions.

But this is Chicago—a place that was named America’s best restaurant city, with a gastronomic reputation rivaling that of the world’s best. So before you hit up that sketchy-looking hot dog station or fall prey to a chain coffee shop, try one of these recommendations, where you can be guaranteed a good meal (and some of that famed Midwestern hospitality), instead.

Michigan Avenue

For a hearty bite to fill you up after a day of shopping, pop into M Burger, a city chain from local restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You. With juicy burgers that best even your favorite hometown joint, it’s a place you’re bound to find locals grabbing a quick lunch or after-work snack. Plus, there’s even the Impossible Burger, a plant-based patty that’s entirely vegetarian.

Chicago River

For a more elevated meal, head a block away to RPM Steak. You’ll find homemade breads, top-notch beer and crave-worthy sides, like rosemary sea salt fries and a Millionaire’s Potato baked with truffle and fontina.

Navy Pier

For a truly local bite, opt for a snack or meal in Streeterville, the neighborhood that sits right next to the bustling pier. For brunch, lunch or an afternoon snack, visit Beatrix. From melt-in-your-mouth ricotta pancakes to crispy kale salads with shaved Parmesan and a slew of homemade juices, it’s a favorite (with a few locations around the city). If you’re doughnut fan (let’s be honest, who isn’t?), don’t miss Do-Rite Donuts and Chicken, where you’ll find candied maple bacon doughnuts alongside juicy fried chicken sandwiches.

Lincoln Park

Spanning more than 1,200 acres along Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park is to Chicago as Central Park is to New York City. Once you’re done strolling the tree-lined pathways, visiting the zoo and Instagramming the incredible skyline views from the waterfront, make your way to the more residential side of LP and grab one—or 12—freshly shucked oysters at Oyster Bah. The menu is full of other New England faves like lobster and seafood rolls and sweet corn hush puppies. If seafood isn’t your jam, go right next door and grab a pizza pie instead—Stella Barra, the brainchild of L.A.-born chef Jeff Mahin, has a slice for every person, from a classic cheese to the more inventive avocado pie.