I am a south sider, born and raised. That might not mean anything to you, but to someone from Chicago, it’s a big deal. The city of Chicago is huge (bigger than you think) and whatever side you’re from determines your culture, your baseball team, your slang and possibly your taste in food. Lucky for you, I venture to the North and Westside’s quite often, specifically for food and drinks. With that being said, here is an unbiased list (in no particular order) of my twenty places to eat when visiting Chicago, well maybe more than twenty; like I said the city is huge.
1. Jim’s Original: 1250 S Union Ave, Chicago, IL 60607
Best Maxwell Street Polish in town, even better than the restaurants named Maxwell Street
2. Giordano’s Pizza: Multiple Locations
The Best Deep Dish and apps in the same place, plus it’s byob
3. Big Star Tacos: 1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Tacos are great and so is the atmosphere, note that the walk up window only takes cash.
4. Harold’s Chicken: 917 W. 87th St., Chicago, IL 60620
Babyyyyyyyyy I love me some Harold’s, now there are locations all around the city but the one on 87th street across from the new chipotle is the best one! Get extra mild sauce and the answer is No, you cannot get your sauce on the side.
5. Garrett’s Popcorn: Multiple Locations
Get the Chicago Mix, you can’t go wrong
6. Rainbow Cone : 9233 S Western, Ave, Chicago, IL 60643
Awesome Ice Cream for those up to the challenge: 5 flavors on 1 cone! Just note that they are closed half of the year so get yours while their still open!
7. Portillo’s: Multiple Locations
Chicago Style food to the MAX; I have yet to have anything from Portillo’s that was not good! They also have vegetarian options here which is rare for some staple Chicago restaurants
8. Chicago’s Home of Chicken and Waffles: 3947 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653
If you’re looking for soul food for the classy this is your spot! The food is so good and the ambiance is even better. If you want to go on a Sunday, just know your wait will be a while.
9. Al’s Beef: Multiple Locations
The messier it is the better it is! Must Try
10. Valois Cafeteria: 1518 E 53rd St., Chicago, IL 60615
Valois is Home of the Barack Obama Special! That’s right! The 44th President of the United States’ Chicago home is a few blocks away and he loves this place (and so do I, but you don’t care about that). They serve breakfast all day and the portions are huge! If this place is good enough for the president, it’s good enough for you!
11. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse: 1028 N Rush St, Chicago, IL, 60611
Chicago is big on Steakhouse, I mean it’s Chicago for crying out loud! And if you want a good steak or fresh fish there’s only one place to go, and that’s Gibsons baby!
12. Molly’s Cupcakes: 2536 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614
Awesome Cupcakes, the toppings are so good! Check out their decor as well they have swings for seats!
13. Lawry’s The Prime Rib: 100 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611
If you were thinking “Lawry’s? Like the Seasoning?” Yes, you are correct! So if you enjoy their seasonings imagine how much you are going to love their Prime Rib! Now Lawry’s is more on the pricey side to you know the food will be great
(if you’re Balling on a Budget Side Door is for you. It’s literally at the same address as Lawry’s Prime Rib, you enter on the side of the building. Hence the name ‘Side Door’)
14. Furious Spoon : 1571 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Some of the best authentic ramen in town! They have other locations but this is the best one!
15. Old Fashion Doughnuts : 11248 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60628
These doughnuts… These doughnuts are so good, you’ll pack your bags and move to Chicago!
16. Harry Caray’s: Multiple Locations
Named after one of Chicago’s legendary sport’s casters, Harry Caray’s has great food, great fun and definitely don’t forget to grab the homemade chips
17. Chi Tung: 9560 S Kedzie Ave, Evergreen Park, IL 60805
Only place on the list that isn’t located in Chicago but it’s work the drive! Chi Tung has Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Food with a few hibachi grills in the back to keep you entertained! It’s not one of those fusion restaurants that messes up your favorite dish- NO! Chi Tung is a Force to be reckoned with!
17. Zacatacos: Multiple Locations
HUNNNYYYYY Zacatacos will have you re-fall in love with Mexican Food! Authentic Everything! They never disappoint!
18. Carmine’s: 1043 N Rush St,Chicago, IL 60611
Italian for the Elite! Carmine’s is so delicious and delectable! Their menu changes so if you like a dish you must share that information with your waiter/waitress! It’s a little on the pricey side but it’s so worth it! True food experience
19. Carnival Restaurant: 702 W Fulton St., Chicago, IL 60661
Another food experience! It could be a special event or just a random Tuesday evening and Carnival will treat you like it’s the best day ever! The food is great, the atmosphere is on fire and the experience will have you yearning for more!
Bonus Eats and Drinks: