Chicago is a city well known for its variety of restaurants. This includes world-renowned fine dining, celebrity hot spots, and local favorites. Not to mention all the Michelin stars and James Beard awards the city has racked up over the years.

Here you’ll find a list of some of Chicago’s most famous restaurants from cult classics to trendsetting hot spots.


Alinea gives food much more meaning than just being food. They often include interactive performance art dishes. Image an apple-flavored balloon that actually floats, and gelatin bites that taste like a Chicago-style hot dog.

Chef Grant Achatz has led the famed Lincoln Park establishment since 2005, which has earned him the most elite accolades in the culinary world.

Gene & Georgetti Steakhouse

Chicago’s oldest steakhouse, located in the heart of River North, is a must-try restaurant. Inside, you’ll find an old school setting with red leather chairs and white table cloths. The walls are lined with photos of famous patrons.

Gene & Georgetti is beloved for their traditional Italian dishes, and of course, their wide variety of flavorful steaks.

Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse

Another Chicago steakhouse you can’t miss is Gibson’s. It is the first restaurant group in the country to have its own USDA Certified Angus beef program completely sourced from the Midwest.

Their menu includes a wide variety of cuts in addition to salads, seafood, and the famous “Sandwich King,” a hamburger topped with crispy cherry peppers, jalapeno Havarti cheese, and spicy mango.

Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen

Manny’s boasts recipes that have been passed down for generations and for good reason. Their award-winning meats are top of the line. With a full menu of deli classics, there is plenty to choose from. However, Manny’s is most known for its corned beef. Try the corned beef piled high between two slices of rye bread, tucked into eggs benedict, or served as an entree with potato pancakes.

The Signature Room at the 95th

Sitting on the 95th floor of one of Chicago’s most famous skyscrapers, the Signature Room offers sweeping panoramas of the surrounding city and lake. The menu includes upscale options, such as seafood towers, roasted racks of lamb, and twin lobster tails in addition to an extensive cocktail and wine list.


Top Chef winner Joe Flamm, executive chef at Spiaggia, has refined Italian dishes, which have earned him and Spiaggia numerous accolades including a coveted Michelin star.

While the entire menu is tempting, the Tasting Experience is a great way to try seasonal selections. Spiaggia also boasts an acclaimed wine program with more than 700 bottles.

The Walnut Room

Located on the 7th floor of Macy’s on State Street, the Walnut Room is one of the city’s longest running restaurants, and the first to ever open inside a department store. The space is covered with ornate touches, such as wood paneling imported from Russia and glittering Austrian chandeliers.

The menu remains a classic with dishes such as Mrs. Hering’s Chicken Pot Pie, which they have served since they opened in 1905. The best time to visit is during the winter holidays when the famous 45-foot-tall lavishly decorated Christmas tree is on display.

what’s next

Recent Blog

Sodium Reduction Tips

Sodium Reduction Tips

When people say life in all its forms is made up of stardust, they’re not kidding. In fact, our entire solar system is made up of elements life here uses to thrive. Sodium is one very important part of that lifecycle system. It is the catalyst that sparks the reaction...

read more
Educating the next generation of culinologists

Educating the next generation of culinologists

For more than five years, CBCI staff members have been sharing their knowledge with students in the Food Science and Nutrition program at the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) in Chicago. Vice President of Research & Development Julie Luby,...

read more


If you are interested in taking your menu, culinary offerings, or your team’s capabilities to the next level, the elite team here at The Charlie Baggs Culinary Institute is ready to help. Don’t just be a part of the food industry, start leading it.