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Navigating the Chicago Food Scene

Posted  8 months ago  in  Trending, Eat & Drink, Food and Drinks

3 MIN READ – There is no doubt that Chicago is one of the best food cities in the country. In fact, in 2023, travel magazine Travel + Leisure ranked Chicago third in their list of The Best Food Cities in the U.S. And the hype around FX's recent hit TV Series, The Bearis certainly helping the Chicago food scene get the recognition it rightfully deserves. Let's dig into some of the places that make this city a renowned food destination.

First and foremost, we must start with our home-base, the Chicago Loop, which has one of the most dynamic food scenes in the nation. Whether you're in the mood for a fine-dining, award-winning experience or down for something more casual but equally as delicious, the Loop is the place to be. 

dining in the loop

Let's take a moment to shoutout the two James Beard award-winning restaurants in the Loop. In 2016, Cherry Circle Room, located inside the historic Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, was recognized with the Outstanding Restaurant Design award. So if you're looking for a swanky place to enjoy a nice meal and a finely-crafted drink, make your reservation at Cherry Circle Room here

If you're looking to dine-in at a timeless Chicago establishment, let us introduce you to The Berghoff. This classic Chicago restaurant has been serving German cuisine with an American twist for an impressive 125 years, and in 1999 was awarded with the James Beard America's Classics Award. Don't miss your chance to secure a reservation at The Berghoff when you're in the Loop.  

In 2023, Willis Tower added new restaurant, Kindling, to their roster of food establishments inside of the iconic Chicago building. James Beard award-winning chef, Jonathan Sawyer, was selected to lead Kindling's kitchen, so you know the food here is the real deal. Don't pass up the opportunity to dine at this new gem in the Loop.

Accolades aside, there's so much more to enjoy and discover about the Chicago Loop's dynamic food scene. In the Loop, you'll find historic Chicago classics like the nearly century-old Italian Village serving up amazing Italian dishes, and the Ukrainian-owned Russian Tea Time where you can find some of the best Eastern-European food in the game. On the other hand, there are plenty of modern American-fare restaurants that make for a perfect date night such as Ocean Prime, The Dearborn Tavern, and Grant Park Bistro

Chicago Riverwalk

Let's not forget to mention the places where you can get tasty bites and drinks, while simultaneously taking in the breathtaking views Chicago has to showoff. One of the best places to do so is on the Chicago Riverwalk. Enjoy a glass of wine at City Winery, a nice cold beer at the Northman Beer Garden, or even a morning coffee or late-night cocktail from Tiny Tapp, where you can relax by the Chicago River and appreciate the city's architecture.


Home to some of the best rooftops in the city, the Loop is a prime destination for sweeping birds eye views and delectable bites. If you're looking for the best rooftop views, you can never go wrong with ROOF on theWit, Cindy's, and Raised Bar. Be sure to peruse though the Loop Eat & Drink Guide  and the Chicago Loop Happy Hour Guide for more inspiration for your next Loop foodie adventure, and let your cravings roam free. 

Beyond the Loop

For those ready to venture outside of the Loop and looking to chow down in other Chicago neighborhoods, we got you covered. If you're feeling fancy and are looking for an extra elevated dining experience, Eater Chicago has a great guide of Chicago's twenty-one Michelin-star rated restaurants. If you're wanting to experience the vast diversity of flavors and cultures that make up Chicago's local food scene at a lower price-point, check out Infatuation Chicago's website. They'll give you the inside scoop on where to find the best of the best, broken down by neighborhood and by cuisine. 

All in all, when you're out eating at a local Chicago establishment, you can never go wrong. The Chicago food scene will surely have you and your taste buds coming back for more. We just got it like that! 

Exclusive Loop deals, recommendations, and news direct from Chicago Loop Alliance.