The Emerald City of America’s heartland, Chicago benefits from seasonality like few other cities in the country. Sourcing farm fresh ingredients from all over Illinois—not to mention neighboring Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin—the city’s top restaurants are recognized as some of the most exciting in the country, thanks in no small part to the talent in their kitchens. Take rising star Sarah Grueneberg, who is making a name for herself with her inventive, homey pasta at Monteverde, or industry giant Grant Achatz, who continues to ascend gastronomical heights at his temple to modern dining, Alinea. From acclaimed chefs to memorable dining experiences, we’ve lists our favorite Chicago restaurants here—so snag your reservations ASAP.
To call executive chef Joe Flamm’s cuisine elevated does it a disservice—this is dining in its highest form. The Mag Mile restaurant, a favorite of the Obamas, has sky-high windows and lofted ceilings, which create a temple-like environment to mirror the Italian fine-dining ethos. While picky eaters can opt for a là carte items, the kitchen to drives the tasting menu the experience, which includes only the best ingredients—wagyu beef carpaccio, caviar burrata, and truffle-showered gnocchi.