Chicago is one of the world’s most amazing cities, bubbling over with cultures from every corner of the globe. Their food is just as eclectic and awaits your first (and second… and third…) bite. Here are five dinner spaces in Chicago that you should visit on your next trip.
Experience global flavors at Girl & The Goat
Established in 2010, this restaurant aims to bring international cuisine into one hub and showcase all the bold flavor profiles from every corner of the Earth.
You can taste wines from around the world sourced directly from small producers for the most authentic experience. There’s also a rotating craft beer menu and exciting cocktails sourced from local breweries and made from Girl & The Goat’s bartenders, respectively.
This was one of the Randolph Restaurant Corridor’s first-ever restaurants. So, it holds a special place in Chicagoans’ hearts (and bellies!). The kitchen’s now led by Executive Chef Stephanie Izard, a Chicago native.
Thanks to her extensive professional culinary training and deep affection for Chicago, Girl & The Goat has earned several distinctions and will continue to wow the minds and palates of locals and international visitors.
Eat Michelin-standard dishes at The Purple Pig Restaurant
Jimmy Bannos Jr., a James Beard Rising Star Chef (2014) and fourth-generation restauranteur, was mentored by his father, Jimmy Bannos, the Chef and Owner of Heaven on Seven. In 2009, Bannos opened The Purple Pig and has exceeded all expectations in his craft since then.
The Purple Pig has received several awards and distinctions, including its listing on Bon Appétit magazine’s 10 Best New Restaurants in America in 2010 and receipt of the 2011 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand.
If you’re not a believer yet, The Purple Pig has received Michelin recognition for all the following years:
Bannos’s enamor with Mediterranean cuisine is immediately apparent in The Purple Pig’s food. Each dish, served in a homey, rustic atmosphere, reimagines these traditional meals in exciting and innovative ways, creating all-new experiences of ancient culture.
Whether you’ve got a taste for Italian, Grecian, or Spanish food, you can get your fix here at The Purple Pig.
Celebrate with your taste buds at Carnivale
Last year, Carnivale earned the honor of being listed as one of TripAdvisor’s 2020 Travelers’ Choice locations. It stood out in the top 10% of all restaurants worldwide, a reflection of its delectable menu and fantastic service.
Carnivale was opened in 2005 and quickly rose to fame as one of Chicago’s beloved dining spaces in the West Loop.
The spirit and dishes are invigorating, influenced, of course, by the multicultural celebration of Carnivale, observed by the peoples of Mexico, South America, Central America, and more.
The chefs infuse these cultures into their meals, cocktails, and desserts, providing an incomparably immersive experience with every bite and sip. To top it all off, Carnivale offers live entertainment with your meal to keep the festive atmosphere alive in every moment.
Enjoy the fusion of art and dining at Marisol
Marisol is the perfect dining space for those who want to enjoy a classy evening out. It’s located at the Museum of Contemporary Art and displays the museum’s distinguished feel in all of its dishes.
The restaurant’s namesake is drawn from a French pop art sculptor. Their work made up the museum’s initial acquisitions, solidifying Marisol’s place in the institution’s history.
Here, you’ll enjoy fresh new dishes all year-round since the kitchen produces innovative dishes based on the season’s flavors. Everything is sourced locally, ensuring that the tastes of Chicago shine through with every bite.
Michelin’s Guide suggests that you try the burrata, a rich, sweet plate accented by blood oranges, almond crumble, and vanilla oil. Taste the steak and buttermilk rye cake, too, while you’re at it!
Whether you’re there to have a long sit-down dining experience or just stopping by the restaurant for quick café-style foods, the Marisol offers high-quality dining that is unmatched by any other Chicago restaurant.
Kick back and shuck it up at the Quality Crab & Oyster Bah
Critics from some of the most respected dining platforms, such as Food Network and Dining Chicago Restaurants, hold Quality Crab & Oyster Bah in high regard. It’s a New England-style seafood restaurant that features a raw bar with daily happy hours.
The eatery is an excellent spot for families looking for fresh coastal flavors, thanks to the bonus that allows kids under 12 years old to eat for free. (Plus, during the happy hour, adults can enjoy yummy oysters for half the usual price.)
Keep in mind that the Quality Crab & Oyster Bah isn’t an independent establishment. It’s an extension of Shaw’s Crab House, where guests can come and savor each other’s company more loudly and openly than they would in, say the Crab Cellar, which is designed for more intimate dining.
Oysters aren’t the only things you’ll be chowing down on here. The Bah offers fresh lobster rolls, fish, mussels, and grilled fish tacos, too.
If you don’t have a taste for seafood, don’t worry. There are plenty of options for you, too, including fried chicken, burgers, and various vegetarian dishes.
Taste Chicago’s endless flavors at these distinguished dining spaces
Despite the rough-and-tumble, high-energy character trope that Chicagoans have earned over the years, the city’s food strikes a healthy balance between delicately flavorful and explosively tasty.
Visit these outstanding eateries to experience Chicago’s heart and soul for yourself, or find another Chicago dining space for your next trip to the Windy City.