Delicious Food in Chicago

As you probably know, I live in a small southern Illinois town, but over the holidays, I visited a few friends in Chicago and we explored some of the city's fine restaurants. Now that's quite a challenge, not because there aren't any good restaurants, but because the city is literally FULL of top places to eat! So our problem was choice (but with a little help from my friends and a newspaper, we managed to make a fine selection).

Chicago, Illinois, is one of the busiest city in the United States. Chicago is also the place to be for gourmets and culinary enthusiasts as I've said before. Most of the top-rated restaurants in the Chicago area are expensive for some people but out there in Chicago, you still can eat well in the all budget level of yours. From USAToday.com, here is a list of restaurants that will not disappoint you. Loosen your belt, and prepare to gorge the delicious foods served there.

ALINEA

Applying science, molecular gastronomy for example, in the cooking and culinary will make nonsense to some people. But chef Grant Achatz combines it with a creative design and a wild imagination in seasonal, multi-course menus. Next, the chef’s follow up restaurant changes concept three or four times per year. Both of them sell pre-paid tickets (or dinners) well in advance. My stay in Chicago, and especially here in Alinea, will definitely be helpful for completing my Master in Organic Nutrition Master's degree.

GRACE

If Alinea is food performed with art and combined with science, Grace serves food with pure beauty and balance in a price-fixed menu format. Chef Curtis Duffy led the cook of the Grace to produce “flora” or vegetarian menus and “fauna” or carnivore menus. Here, I really loved the slow cooker chicken tacos. They're worth the trip!

KATSU

As stated by the name, Katsu has a strong relationship with Japanese foods, especially sushi. Not only rely on the fresh fish; the foods with artful presentations also served. Sit close to the chef for the best chef’s attention.

BLACKBIRD

Led by Chef Paul Kahan, the food conquest journey of Chicago starts at this West Loop restaurant. With the minimalist art gallery, all the better to show off the succulent dishes on the plates. Blackbird is hyper-seasonal, regional when it can, and always creative (think cuttlefish cut into pasta-like noodles) without over-fussing with ingredients. Check also out this post with travel tips for the frugal backpacker.

NIGHTWOOD

Lots of restaurants serve seasonal fare, but few do it with the sophistication and attention to detail as does Nightwood. Executive chef Jason Vincent recently won a best new chef designation from Food & Wine magazine, well-earned for house-made pasta, vegetable-focused dishes featuring regionally sourced produce and a sense of humor, with dishes like tater tots occasionally on the menu.

GIRL & THE GOAT

The winner of “Top Chef” season four, Chef Stephanie Izard vaulted her award to the front of her follow-up restaurant, Girl & The Goat. This restaurant serves goat’s meat as the main dish, but the dish may come with various ways of servings. But the way she treats the vegetables really distinguish this restaurant from the others. Check also this post: "My Money-Saving Meals" as not everybody will be in the position to check out this sort of restaurants.

SPIAGGIA

The name resembles an Italian name though. And, yes, this restaurant also serves Italian food with sophisticated Italian fare. With Oak Street Beach as its view, Spiaggia indeed the best restaurant to celebrate something. And for your information, President Obama celebrated his win on the 2008 election here.

HOT DOUG’S

Hot Doug’s sounds like a “hot dog”, and this restaurant really serves hot dogs. Doug Sohn, the restaurant’s chef makes this restaurant distinguished by taking the “encased meats” to a new level at Hot Doug’s. They're known for the honey they use and every weekend, the restaurant is filled with hot-dog-craving customers.

AVEC

The casual neighbor to sibling Blackbird, Avec is another hit from chef Paul Kahan, this time for small plates, charcuterie and everything from pizza to paella in the wood-fired oven. Seating is communal in a long, wood-paneled room for which patrons queue early and often. They work with locally produced honey, the urban produce, and in this restaurant, no reservation accepted.

TOPOLOBAMPO

This Mexican cuisine is popularized by Chef Rick Bayless around the Frontera Grill, and brings the refine the Topolobampo to the next level of deliciousness. Instead of tacos al carbon, you will find dishes like rabbit in achiote sauce or duck in chestnut green mole.