top of page

Twenty Places you HAVE to try when visiting Chicago

Twenty Places you HAVE to try when visiting Chicago December 11, 2017 | Aja West

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

Location: Multiple

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

Location: Multiple

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

Location: : Multiple

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

Location: Multiple

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

Location: Multiple

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

Location: Multiple

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:

  • Chicago has an awesome Brunch and Boozy Brunch Scene that one must check out before leaving the City of Big Shoulders:

  • Batter and Berries

  • Duffy’s Tavern and Grill

  • Whisk

  • LoKAL

  • Freemont

  • Flavor Brunch and Bar

63 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page