When you decided you were moving to Chicago, the amazing food scene had to have crossed your mind at least once. The fantastic food, as much as anything else, has put the Chicago on the map. When you move to a new city, it’s always good to know that you won’t starve and, with all of the great cafes, restaurants, burger joints, and, of course, pizzerias in Chicago, there is definitely no danger of that.
Once you get settled into the city and you’ve had a chance to sample the places the locals prefer as well as the top-rated touristy restaurants, some eateries will become favorites that you will visit again and again. However, it is handy to know about the best restaurants in Chicago even before you get into town. When your entire house is still packed away in boxes with some of the overflow stowed away in storage,you’ll need to know who the Chicago restaurants are that you can call for terrific takeout, or where you can go for a great meal after a hectic day of unpacking the house, searching for a job, or both.
1558 North Milwaukee Avenue
Unless you grew up in a Greek family, you might not fully appreciate actual authentic Greek food. Taxim is the restaurant that will remedy that. Specializing in regional Greek cuisine, you’ll find more than gyros on the menu. Enjoy house-made phyllo stuffed with onions, goat yogurt,fennel, dill, lemon, leeks, tomato, beef, lamb, or a selection of cheeses, or savor wood grilled octopus, lamb, pork, or shrimp in grape leaves. The authentic menu also includes duck, quail, chicken, rabbit, and fish served just like it would be if you were dining on one of the Mediterranean isles.
3800 North Pulaski
Smoque is technically a St. Louis-style BBQ house and,located two blocks south of Irving Park Road. If you're looking for the best lunch places in Chicago, add Smoque to your list. It was opened by a group of barbeque-loving friends who meticulously formulated their own cooking technique and recipes for their rubs and sauce, as well as the beans and slaw. Dedicated to offering the best BBQ not just in Chicago but anywhere, Smoque goes out of its way to select the perfect cuts of meat so, whether you order the ribs, brisket, pulled pork,chicken, or Texas sausage, the meal will certainly be memorable.
3. Edzo’s Burger Shop
1571 Sherman Avenue
You must have a go-to burger joint on your list of best places to eat in Chicago, and Edzo’s Burger Shop meets the requirements. At first glance, the menu may seem straightforward and a little simple: burgers, dogs and brats, a few grilled sandwiches, and, of course, fries. What sets Edzo’s apart from the rest of the burger crowd is that they grind the meat fresh, right on location, everyday, and hand-form all the patties. Plus, even though you might come in for the burgers, it’s Edzo’s fries that will keep you coming back. Hand-cut fresh all day long, you can have them with just sea salt and ketchup or order them any of Edzo’s nine special ways including truffle fries, garlic fries, super-spicy Angry Fries, fries doused in Buffalo sauce, or Taylor Street fries dressed with Italian beef gravy, sweet peppers, and giardiniera.
4. The Angry Crab
5665 North Lincoln Avenue
When you’re hankerin’ for a good old-fashioned crab in bag boil, the Angry Crab is your destination. Order your boil bag full of crab, shrimp, lobster, or crawfish, and select how spicy you want it, and which sauces you prefer. The Cajun-style seafood will never disappoint, though it does tend to get on you. That’s why the restaurant’s motto is, “Roll up your sleeves and get some!” Not in the mood for a boil? The menu offers other tasty delicacies including shrimp, cod, chicken, or crab Po’ Boy sandwiches, fish and fries baskets, and a few chicken selections for those who don’t do seafood.
5. Maple & Ash
8 West Maple Street
When you’re moving to Chicago, you’ll want to know where to go for an upscale meal served in a posh atmosphere, and Maple & Ash has the goods. Known as one of the best fine dining restaurants in Chicago, Maple & Ash lands on the list of the best not just because of its memorable cocktail menu or its all-star staff, but because of its Upstairs and Downstairs menus. Each is unique to the other so,when you dine at Maple & Ash, you can decide whether you simply want swanky or are in the mood for ultra-swank. Downstairs, you can start with deviled eggs, potato chips and onion dip, or salmon tartare, before you move on to prime meatballs, mussels and frites, or cavatelli and steak ragout. Upstairs you’ll enjoy choices such as oysters on the half shell, chilled Louisiana white prawns, or tenderloin steak tartare, roasted seafood, filet mignon, roasted Atlantic swordfish or dry aged bone-in ribeye. Can’t decide? The Upstairs menu even includes an option for the staff to select an exquisite choice for you.
6. Pizzeria Uno
29 East Ohio Street
Anyone living in Chicago knows that a list of the best places to eat wouldn’t be complete without mention of a pizzeria. Pizzeria Uno has been credited for the origin of the Chicago deep dish pizza. Uno has spread worldwide, but it got its start in Chicago doing what it does best: baking up deep-dish pies loaded with up to 5 pounds or more of sauce, cheese, and toppings. The crust is a delectable combination of chewy and crunchy, thanks to the buttery coating the pan gets before the pizza building begins. Order anything from Chicago Classic to cheese and tomatoes, spinoccoli, or Numero Uno, or create your own. One other thing to know about Uno’s is that they offer a full menu including pasta, chicken, seafood, steak, burgers, and even desserts, but you go to Uno’s for the best deep dish pizza in Chicago.
7. Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria
8433 South Pulaski Road
Vito & Nick’s is known for their amazing Chicago thin crust pizza. The crust is thin and crisp but somehow manages to be flaky, too, just like the best pastry. The pizza portion of the menu is small, giving you a choice of cheese, sausage, sausage and cheese, or the house special with sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions. However, you can also pick your own toppings to create your own special. Also offering pasta, ribs, chicken,shrimp, and perch, the rest of the menu at this Chicago restaurant isn’t as extensive as Uno’s but, again, you’re coming for the pizza.