Browsing Tag


Chicago Restaurant Guide for Visitors

Foodie research and reviews from our first visit to Chicago in the Summer of 2018.  We are based in San Francisco, so our base reference for dining is fairly high.  This page has links to reviews of spots we heartily recommend, quick reviews of casual restaurants, and a list of research material we will use for future trips to the Windy City.

Our goal was to find:

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Alinea, Chicago

Alinea Chicago exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Finally a chance to dine here! Alinea is a legendary three Michelin star restaurant in Chicago. It has four times been named the Best Restaurant in America and is one of only 13 restaurants in the U.S. to earn the coveted Michelin 3-Star rating. This is Chicago’s only 3 star restaurant.

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avec, Chicago

avec Chicago Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – avec is a rustic mediterranean shared plate restaurant in Chicago. Originally conceived as a wine bar, the kitchen’s offerings quickly steered the space in another direction. Wine, however, remains at avec’s core.

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Girl & the Goat, Chicago

Girl and the Goat Chicago Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Girl & the Goat is Top Chef Winner Stephanie Izard’s top rated and very popular restaurant. It was our first time in Chicago, so had to try all the hot spots and compare them to SF! You need to book 2 months in advance to get in here. We did not have reservations and walked in right when the place opened (4:30pm) and sat at the bar. The waiter said it was harder to walk in during the winter because outdoor seating is not present.

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Smoque BBQ, Chicago

Smoque BBQ Chicago exterior

Why did we dine here? – Smoque BBQ is a highly rated BBQ restaurant in the Northern part of Chicago. We heard good things about it and decided to give it a try while on our trip to the Windy City. Many in Chicago are proud of their BBQ, so we wanted to see if it is a lot better than San Francisco’s. This restaurant is about 20 minutes from the Loop. They have a location in the Revival Food Hall in the Loop that serves a subset of this spot.

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GT Fish and Oyster, Chicago

GT Fish and Oyster Chicago exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – GT Fish and Oyster is a seafood restaurant in Chicago’s River North area. We were looking for an informal spot on our Chicago trip and their menu looked good. Bib Gourmand rating on the Michelin Guide.

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