Hottest Restaurants in Chicago

Say hello to sophisticated Italian fare, creative street food and a new food hall
November 9, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Chicago’s restaurant scene has been on fire all year long, and although temps are continuing to cool through fall, the restaurant scene is still keeping things hot. To keep tabs on all the action, here are the city's 10 hottest restaurants right now.

Commons Club
Eclectic · The Loop · $$$

Set in the Loop's swanky Virgin Hotels Chicago, this second-floor respite serves upscale New American fare and cocktails nightly (the bar is open during the day for coffee, tea and cocktails). The airy, modern space combines bar, lounge, restaurant and entertainment venue in one, with food issuing from an open kitchen with a chef’s table.
Forum 55
Food Court · The Loop · $

Diverse breakfast and lunch options are the draw at this modern, weekday-only Loop food hall where Mercadito, Butcher & Larder, Flo & Santos and Pork & Mindy’s are among the vendors, along with a giant salad bar and Sparrow Coffee. The industrial-chic space includes open seating and convenient order-and-pay service to shorten wait times.
Regards to Edith
American · West Loop · $$

Chef-driven takes on the classic street foods of the legendary Maxwell Street Market pair with equally elevated cocktails and a lengthy wine list at this chic West Loop spot. Chicago blues figures heavily in the soundtrack amid low-lit surroundings with purple booths and a long bar (or patrons can visit the sister bar Prairie School next door).
Gibsons Italia
Italian · West Loop · $$$

This swanky Italian spin-off of the steakhouse mainstays offers prime chops and gold-extruded pastas, along with extensive wines and classic highballs. The tri-level West Loop space includes a glass-enclosed first floor with a big bar, a second floor dining room dotted with plush booths, and a third-floor deck with a bar, fireplace and retractable roof.
Lobo Rey
Mexican · South Loop · $

This wolf-themed Mexican eatery offers creative tacos and other elevated presentations of classic fare along with specialty cocktails and Mexican beers. The rustic-chic South Loop space features two bars, an open kitchen with a massive grill and whimsical neon signage.
New American · River North · $$$

Swanky art deco environs house this all-day American from the Boka crew serving classic cooking and cocktails in the Gold Coast’s Viceroy Hotel. Brass fixtures, blue banquettes and mezzanine seating lend a retro yacht-club feel to the high-style interior, and there's seasonal outdoor seating too.
Cocktail Bar · East Village · $$$

Globally influenced New American cuisine and cocktails are presented at this exotic West Town eatery with an upscale vibe. In a nod to the beatnik era of the 1950s, the luxe, eclectic setting is filled with international art and artifacts.
The Delta
Cocktail Bar · Wicker Park · $$

Tamales and Southern comfort foods (catfish, fried green tomatoes, beignets) are the focus of this homey Wicker Park spot, which also pours house cocktails, including smashes and punch, plus some beer and wine. The rustic-modern setting combines industrial elements with mixed wood paneling and distressed brick walls lined with cotton branches and knickknacks, and there's a seasonal patio.
Streeterville · $$$

Named for the artist who gave the Museum of Contemporary Art its first piece, this chic MCA dining room showcases elevated New American fare from Lula Cafe’s Jason Hammel alongside house cocktails, with lunch, brunch and a to-go counter on the way. The modern, art-inspired space boasts a white domed ceiling, a mural by Chris Ofili (who also designed the room) and pops of primary colors throughout.
Seafood · River North · $$$

The dining complement to Leviathan lounge in River North, this chic spot on the ground floor of the Dana Hotel and Spa serves an elevated seafood and raw bar menu along with breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. The upscale setting with a nautical vibe includes a wall of windows looking onto State Street and a seasonal patio.