April 18, 2024
Ryan Bluestone

Ryan Bluestone Explores Chicago’s Most Sought-After Restaurants

Are you ready to embark on a gastronomic journey through Chicago’s best Michelin-starred restaurants and hardest reservations to get? From Obelix and Indienne to Kasama, you must plan to experience the finest culinary offerings from Croatia and Italy right in the heart of the city. And, while you’re here, don’t forget to check out the iconic restaurants Alinea and Oriole! Whether you choose to make a reservation or walk in, you can be guaranteed a world class meal and an unforgettable experience. Let’s explore Chicago’s hottest restaurants together!

The Best New Restaurants in Chicago

Chicago is a top US destination for foodies seeking the best dining experiences. With Michelin-starred restaurants like Obelix, Indienne, Kasama, Alinea, and more, even the most discerning of palates will find something to enjoy. Let’s explore 10 of Chicago’s best new restaurants, and how to score their hard-to-get tables.

  1. Obelix, recognized as one of the Best New Restaurants of 2020 by Bon Appetit magazine, is serving up exceptional French-inspired dishes, showcasing a blend of traditional and contemporary flavors. The menu at Obelix features a tantalizing array of gourmet offerings, including delectable classics like Coq au Vin, Escargots de Bourgogne, and Duck à l’Orange, all meticulously prepared by their skilled chefs.While reservations may be challenging to obtain, brunch reservations on weekends and Mondays are easier to secure. Keep an eye out 90 days in advance!
  2. Indienne, this culinary gem is nestled in Chicago, and is renowned for its distinctive Indian cuisine and captivating dining experience. What sets Indienne apart is its dedication to showcasing the diverse flavors and rich traditions of Indian cooking. The menu at Indienne offers a delightful assortment of dishes representing various regions of India, such as fragrant curries, tandoori-grilled meats, flavorful biryanis, and freshly baked naan bread. The restaurant’s ambiance is a harmonious blend of contemporary elegance and Indian cultural elements, creating an immersive and inviting space for guests. It’s worth booking 60 days in advance! The bar area offers a la carte menu items for walk-ins without reservations.
  3. Known for its authentic flavors and culinary artistry, Ciccio Mio brings a taste of Italy to the heart of the city. The menu at Ciccio Mio showcases a delightful array of traditional Italian dishes, from handmade pasta and wood-fired pizzas to savory seafood and succulent meats, all crafted with the finest ingredients and a passion for Italian gastronomy. It is necessary to reserve weeks in advance at this Italian restaurant and extensive wine bar if you’re looking for a special dining experience in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
  4. With its innovative take on Mediterranean cuisine, Rose Mary has quickly become a favorite among food enthusiasts. The menu at Rose Mary showcases an exquisite selection of dishes inspired by the flavors and ingredients of the Mediterranean region, including tantalizing options such as grilled octopus, lamb tagine, and sumac-infused roasted vegetables. What sets Rose Mary apart is their commitment to culinary excellence, as each dish is expertly crafted with attention to detail and an emphasis on bold flavors. The restaurant’s fame stems from its ability to seamlessly blend traditional Mediterranean elements with contemporary twists, providing a unique and unforgettable dining experience. Reservations are released 21 days in advance, so plan ahead to secure a table. There is also limited seating available for walk-ins.
  5. Au Cheval is an iconic restaurant that has achieved legendary status for its exceptional burgers and unforgettable dining experience. The menu at Au Cheval boasts a mouthwatering selection of indulgent dishes, with their signature cheeseburger taking center stage. The perfectly cooked patties, adorned with gooey melted cheese and topped with a perfectly fried egg, are a heavenly delight for burger enthusiasts. In addition to their renowned burgers, the menu also features delectable options like crispy fries, decadent sandwiches, and classic diner fare. Au Cheval prepares each meal with meticulous attention to detail and the highest quality ingredients. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, a trip to Au Cheval is a must for a top of the line burger adventure. This restaurant is strictly no-reservations, so get there early or get ready to wait for a few hours!
  6. Armitage Alehouse offers an experience on par to its sister restaurants Trivoli Tavern and Gilt Bar, but with the added bonus of incredible brunch offerings! Nestled in the beloved Armitage neighborhood, this gastropub has earned its reputation due to its delectable menu and great beers. The menu at Armitage Alehouse offers a diverse range of options to satisfy every palate. From mouthwatering burgers and savory sandwiches to flavorful salads and tempting appetizers, there is something for everyone. They use fresh, locally sourced ingredients, resulting in dishes bursting with flavor. The restaurant is also known for its craft beers, with a rotating tap list that showcases both local and international brews, appealing to even the most discerning beer connoisseurs. Reservations open 14 days ahead of time, and they take walk-ins (5pm) as well.
  7. If you’re in the mood for steak, head to Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf, where you’ll find some of the best steaks in Chicago. This acclaimed steakhouse is a favorite for its exceptional cuisine and timeless ambiance. The menu at Bavette’s showcases prime cuts of steak cooked to perfection. From ribeye and filet mignon to mouthwatering bone-in ribeye, carnivores will find themselves in steak paradise. In addition to their steak selection, Bavette’s also offers other enticing dishes like fresh seafood, rich and flavorful side dishes, and decadent desserts. What sets Bavette’s apart is its attention to detail, impeccable service, and the old-world charm that permeates the restaurant. Reservations open online 21 days prior at 9 am CST.
  8. Monteverde offers some of the city’s finest Italian fare and an incredibly inviting, modern atmosphere. Their Buratta E Ham, Cacio e Pepe, and Ragu alla Napoletana stew are just a few of the favorites and their expert sommelier does not disappoint. Ryan Bluestone has found that the chances of securing a table go up exponentially if you aim for lunchtime on a Friday or stop by just as they open to attempt a coveted walk-in table. Reservations open online at 9 am CST 30 days prior to the dining date.
  9. Alinea is an extraordinary dining experience that has earned global acclaim for its innovative cuisine and avant-garde approach to fine dining. Helmed by renowned chef Grant Achatz, Alinea pushes the boundaries of culinary artistry, creating a symphony of flavors and presentations that satisfy the senses. The menu at Alinea is a beautifully curated culinary journey, featuring a progression of thoughtfully crafted dishes with a combination of molecular gastronomy, modern techniques, and the finest ingredients. Each dish is a work of art, expertly plated and designed to surprise and delight diners. Alinea’s inventive approach to dining, and its relentless pushing of boundaries has earned them restaurant immortality. Make sure to book early, as reservations are very limited, opening two months in advance of the dining date.
  10. Oriole in Fulton Market offers a 12-course tasting menu for $285 that gets booked up within moments of being released 90 days before the desired reservation date. If 12 courses sounds over the top to you, you’ll find several other more moderate options. The food, the service, the dining space, the wine pairings – are all impeccable. For those looking for something more casual, consider trying out their “Night Cap” option, which includes cocktails, bar snacks, and one overnight ham sandwich, all at a lower cost than the tasting menu.

In Short

Chicago is home to some of the finest restaurants in the world, many of which are named on the list above. Whether you are looking to experience a chef’s tasting menu or a more laid back dinner, all of these restaurants have one thing in common; you must make a reservation well in advance! Take action now by making your reservations today and start planning your next gastronomic journey through Chicago!