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With more than 30 Michelin-starred restaurants in city limits, it’s not hard to find a good meal in Chicago. Where to begin? With these 18 must-try spots, from high-end Michelin faves to comfort food classics.

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Chocolate Cake at Portillo’s

Fresh-baked every morning; no wonder it’s so moist.

Multiple locations;


Pan Pizza at Pequod’s Pizza

The only deep dish with a crispy, caramelized crust.

Multiple locations;


Tasting Menu at Alinea

The highly creative plates (think cold nasturtium soup…whatever that is…) feed your belly and your mind.

1723 N. Halsted St.; 312-867-0110 or

Cheesecake at Eli’s

Creamy, buttery and a little bit salty—there’s a reason you can find this stuff at grocery stores and sporting events across the city.

6701 Forest Dr.; 773-308-7015 or


Seoul Sassy Chicken Wings at Crisp

If we could, we’d put the ginger-soy dressing on everything. Based on the lines out the door, we’re not alone.

2940 N. Broadway St.; 773-697-7610 or

girl and the goat

Green Beans at Girl & the Goat

Fish sauce for umami, cashews for crunch. And thus, our green bean love affair was born.

809 W. Randolph St.; 312-492-6262 or

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Turtle Sundae at Margie’s

Nuts, whipped cream, caramel, hot fudge and a wafer cookie on top—because why stop at just a cherry?

Multiple locations;

au cheval1

Cheeseburger at Au Cheval

It’s been named best in the country, and we’re pretty sure it has something to do with that fried egg on top.

800 W. Randolph St.; 312-929-4580 or

hot chocolate

Hot Chocolate at Hot Chocolate

You can’t improve on this recipe made with hot fudge and homemade marshmallow...unless of course you add one of the specialty cookies on the side. 

1747 N. Damen Ave.; 773-489-1747 or

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Taco at Taqueria El Milagro

Stuffed with perfectly grilled steak, but only $3.50 a pop. This is the true value meal.

Multiple locations;

sun wah

Peking Duck at Sun Wah

Call ahead for this off-menu item. The spread of duck bao, fried rice and soup are totally worth the effort.

5039 N. Broadway St.; 773-769-1254 or

Ice Cream at Original Rainbow Cone

The answer to your indecisive, can’t-pick-a-flavor days. 

9233 S. Western Ave.; 773-238-7075 or


Bacon-Wrapped Dates at Avec

This variation comes stuffed with chorizo and drizzled with piquillo pepper tomato sauce. No wonder it has such a cult following. 

615 W. Randolph St.; 312-377-2002 or


Chicago Dog at Superdawg

Yeah, you can get a hot dog (no ketchup!) at plenty of stands, but this old-school drive-in is the only spot where it’s served with a side of kitsch.

6363 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-763-0660 or

Garrett Mix at Garrett’s Popcorn

You can smell it wafting from blocks away: The crunchy, nutty goodness is irresistible.

Multiple locations;

chicago cut

Steak at Chicago Cut

Whatever cut you choose, it’s been dry-aged 35 days before hitting your plate. Oh, and the riverside views do not fail to impress. 

300 N. LaSalle Dr.; 312-329-1800 or

al s italian beef

Italian Beef Sandwich at Al’s

Whether you choose wet or dry, the original Italian beef sandwich gets served up on a Gonnella roll and topped with giardiniera. 

Multiple locations;

ann sather

Cinnamon Roll at Ann Sather

Buttery, gooey and as big as your fist—only in Chicago could this be considered a side.

Multiple locations;

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