Hottest Restaurants in Chicago

From Mississippi-style tamales to an artful museum spot
October 9, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Chicago’s restaurant scene has been on fire all year long, and although temps are cooling for fall, the dining landscape keeps heating up. To keep tabs on all the action, here are the city's 10 hottest restaurants right now. 

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.
Gastropub · 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.
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.
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.
Bonci Pizzeria
Pizza · West Loop · $

Imported from Rome, this quaint pizzeria in the West Loop is known for its scissor-cut slices sold by weight on a sliding scale depending on the toppings. Single-serve beers, wines and canned cocktails are also on offer, along with a handful of sandwiches and snacks, in a take-a-number setup with limited seats.
City Mouse Chicago
Bar · West Loop · $$

Jason Vincent (Giant, ex-Nightwood) is heading the kitchen at this high-style, architectural eatery in the West Loop’s Ace Hotel offering New American brunch every day, lunch, dinner and a lounge menu along with house craft cocktails. Modern and rustic elements decorate the sprawling space, with a seasonal patio offering al fresco dining and a fire pit.
Margeaux Brasserie
Brasserie · Gold Coast · $$$

Traditional French cuisine is showcased in a 1920s-inspired setting at Michael Mina’s upscale Gold Coast destination in the Waldorf-Astoria, serving breakfast, dinner and weekend brunch, as well as a sophisticated bar program highlighted by classic French cocktails and a champagne cart. The high-style brasserie decor features a pewter bar and a tiled floor, as well leather booths and a bay of windows.
Sushi · River North · $$$

An L.A. import settled in River North, this upscale robata and sushi spot combines imported Japanese fish, grilled fare (including a 48-ounce Tomahawk steak), some tableside preparations and an omakase tasting menu to pair with elaborate modern cocktails. Layers of architectural grids form the walls of the chic, high-ceilinged dining room with scattered booths, high-tops, communal tables and a softly lit sushi bar.
West Loop · $$

A sequel to sibling Sepia, this stylish West Loop spot serves upscale takes on international street food (much of it wood-roasted or grilled) alongside equally globe-trotting cocktails. The casually swank space has a modern brasserie vibe, with a dining room and lounge divided by a central bar, while a chef’s table overlooks the kitchen.