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Chicago Hit List

CHICAGO HOT SPOTS

I often get asked about the best places Chicago has to offer.

And after much deliberation, I give you a mouthwatering, lip smacking, oh-so-memorable list of some of my favorite Chicago hot spots.

Enjoy!


TOP TWELVE

  ANTIQUE TACO  - Midwest Style Tacos

ANTIQUE TACO - Midwest Style Tacos

  GREEN STREET SMOKED MEAT  - BBQ

GREEN STREET SMOKED MEAT - BBQ

  Ralph Lauren Café  - American

Ralph Lauren Café - American

  AVEC  - French Mediterranean 

AVEC - French Mediterranean 

  KAI ZAN  - Sushi

KAI ZAN - Sushi

  Small Cheval  - Burgers & Fries

Small Cheval - Burgers & Fries

  BELLEMORE  - New American Classic

BELLEMORE - New American Classic

  Lula Cafe  - New American Cafe

Lula Cafe - New American Cafe

  Swift & Sons  - Seafood & Steakhouse

Swift & Sons - Seafood & Steakhouse

  DUCK DUCK GOAT  - Chinese

DUCK DUCK GOAT - Chinese

  Mott St.  - Asian Fusion

Mott St. - Asian Fusion

  THE ALLIS  - Brunch

THE ALLIS - Brunch

RESTAURANTS

BAD HUNTER :: Veg-forward restaurant and bar

COALFIRE PIZZA :: Thin crust, coal-forged pizza

DOVES LUNCHEONETTE :: Southern Mexican diner

HAISOUS :: Vietnamese Food

JENI'S SPLENDID ICE CREAM :: Artisan ice cream

LONGMAN & EAGLE :: American fare and whiskey bar

PARACHUTE :: Korean American restaurant

PUBLICAN QUALITY MEATS :: Artisan deli


BEST KEPT SECRETS

CALUMET FISHERIES :: Bare-bones, seafood shack serving housed smoked fish

CRISP :: Korean fried chicken and bowls

EN HAKKORE :: Korean bibimbap bowls and tacos

GENE AND JUDES :: Chicago-style hot dogs and hand-cut fries

POLLO EXPRESS :: Chargrilled chicken tacos

SUN WAH BBQ :: Hong-Kong style BBQ


CAFÉS

CAFFE STREETS :: Independent coffee shop

METRIC COFFEE :: Industrial-chic coffee bar and roaster

PLEIN AIR CAFE :: Coffeehouse with French specialties

SAWADA COFFEE :: Creative and classic coffee drinks

STUMPTOWN COFFEE :: Coffee bar chain


BARS

CINDY'S ROOFTOP :: Stylish rooftop bar and eatery

HOPEWELL BREWING CO. :: Local brewery

LOST LAKE TIKI :: Tiki bar

PARSON'S CHICKEN & FISH :: Chicken and fish stop with delicious cocktails

PRARIE SCHOOL :: Frank Lloyd Wright inspired bar

SPORTSMAN'S CLUB :: Neighborhood bar

THE AVIARY :: Luxury cocktail lounge


HOTELS

ACE HOTEL :: Boutique Chicago hotel

CHICAGO ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION :: Modernized historic accommodations near Millennium Park

FREEHAND HOTEL :: Boutique hostel-style hotel

THE ROBEY :: Redesigned historic building hotel in the heart of Wicker Park

THE THOMPSON :: Downtown Chicago contemporary, luxury hotel


BOUTIQUES

BILLY REID :: Southern luxury menswear and womenswear designer

BIRDSEYE RULE :: Local clothing and gift boutique

JAYSON HOME :: Home-goods source for traditional and modern furniture

LE LABO :: Freshly blended perfumes

SCOUT :: High-end home furnishings specializing in one-of-a-kind antiques

SPROUT HOME :: Home and garden retail offering floral design services

QUIMBEY'S :: Indie bookstore


SIGHT SEEING

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT :: Home and studio tour

GARFIELD PARK CONSERVATORY :: Landscape art under glass

MILLENNIUM PARK :: Cloud Gate (AKA The Bean), Jay Pritzker Pavillion, and more. 

MOMA :: Museum of modern art

SHEDD AQUARIUM :: One of the world's largest aquariums


BRUNCH

BANG BANG PIE & BISCUITS :: Bakery

CAFE MARIE-JEANNE :: French café

HASH :: The name says it all

MORTAL & PESTLE :: Modern American breakfast