Chicago is famous for its varied cuisine and its approach to dining out. Mostly noted for pizza, hot dogs and Italian beef, this city offers unforgettable experiences for tourists, but food that keeps the locals coming back. From fast-food diners, to stylish dining rooms, to grotto-inspired steakhouses, Chicago truly has it all when it comes to food.
For over 22 years, Charlie Trotter's has been a staple in fine dining for Chicagoans. Trotter, a Chicago native, has published 14 cookbooks and hosted his own television show, "The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter" for PBS. His restaurant is ranked one of the best in the world by Restaurant Magazine every year since 2004. The food at Trotter's is prepared with the freshest ingredients and Trotter prides himself on offering the best free-range meats available. Trotter's regularly offers three types of menus: the Grand Menu for a memorable evening that pulls out all the stops, the Vegetable Menu, to highlight the best produce of the season, and the Kitchen Table Menu, for a tasty and traditional night out.
816 West Armitage
In the heart of downtown Chicago is a fast-food joint like none other. Portillo's Hot Dogs is a favorite with locals and tourists alike for encased meats, pasta, and the famous Italian Beef Sandwich. The setting is casual and old fashioned with a 1930s gangster theme, but the small town boutique diner now has 43 locations across the United States. Diners here enjoy a huge menu from including hot dogs, Polish sausages, fresh salads, burgers and the Chocolate Cake Shake.
Portillo's Hot Dogs
100 W. Ontario
Tavern on Rush
Tavern on Rush (a play on New York's Tavern on the Green) is a swanky American steakhouse with a contemporary selection. Serving a breakfast all the way through late-night bar food, Tavern is always a hit with tourists and Chicago's elite. This upscale establishment offers a wide range of choice cuts of meat for dinner and prices range from $8 for appetizers to about $40 for a main course. The service is always top-notch here and the beautiful outdoor patio has been rated the best of its kind by Chicago Scene Magazine.
Tavern on Rush
1031 N Rush
Gino's East Pizzeria
Every Chicagoan has a favorite deep-dish pizza and Gino's is consistently ranked among the best in the city. The flakey, thick crust is a secret, but guests can choose their own toppings to make their pizza specifically to their taste. Gino's uses the freshest ingredients to make their pizza the most memorable pie in Chicago and though they know have several locations in the Chicagoland area, the originally is conveniently located just off Michigan Avenue. Gino's East is so popular they can even be shipped frozen and sealed for special occasions or gifts.
Gino's East Pizzeria
633 N Wells St
Morton's Steakhouse actually began when Arnie Morton tried a hamburger made by his future partner Klaus Fritsch, soon Morton's was making its business in serving prime cuts of steak. Receiving the Best Steakhouse Award from Metromix Chicago, Morton's is a perennial favorite with celebrities and Chicagoans. The original Morton's is located in downtown Chicago at basement level between State and Rush and though reservations are not required, they are recommended.
1050 N State St
- Photo Credit downtown chicago image by Gary from Fotolia.com
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