Restaurantes

Los mejores restaurantes de Chicago

¿Qué hace de la Ciudad de los Vientos un destino gastronómico? La pizza, las hamburguesas, los tacos y muuucho más.

14/5/2024
27 minutos de lectura
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* Este artículo incluye menciones de tiendas o marcas que son socias de DoorDash, y DoorDash puede recibir una comisión si eliges realizar una compra de estas tiendas o marcas.

Cuando voy a Chicago por un día, lo primero que resuelvo es mi itinerario de comidas. Hace años que escribo sobre los restaurantes de Chicago y conozco diferentes lugares de la ciudad, y mi lista de comidas y restaurantes por probar es cada vez más larga. Esta lista representa una combinación de mis establecimientos favoritos, lugares en mi lista de cosas pendientes y algunos restaurantes icónicos de Chicago que ayudaron a que la Ciudad de los Vientos apareciera en el mapa gastronómico.

Pequod’s Pizza

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Whenever an out-of-towner asks for a deep-dish recommendation in Chicago, Pequod’s is always the first place I suggest. Pequod’s does pan-style pies, with sauce underneath the toppings (unlike traditional Chicago-style deep dish, which has sauce on top). But that’s not why Pequod’s is special. What makes Pequod’s pizza a bucket list-worthy food is its caramelized crust with burnt cheese on the edges of the pie.

Au Cheval

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Since debuting in 2012, Au Cheval’s cheeseburger has ranked highly among the best burgers in Chicago — and the entire country. The legendary cheeseburger features two griddled patties topped with gooey melted American cheese, house-made pickles, onions, and a dollop of dijonnaise, all sandwiched between a squishy toasted bun. Au Cheval’s cheeseburger is also available for delivery from Small Cheval. Sure, there are other solid items on the menu at this diner-style bar and restaurant from nationally-acclaimed Hogsalt Hospitality, but the burger is what made Au Cheval famous and what you should undoubtedly order.

ROOH Chicago

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At this highly acclaimed modern Indian restaurant along Chicago’s Restaurant Row, classic Indian dishes are reimagined using modern techniques and international flavors. Think kulcha with Tillamook cheddar and shishito peppers folded into the flatbread, and sweet potato chaat alongside kale tempura and yogurt mousse. In my opinion, ROOH’s greatest creation is the paneer pasanda, featuring expertly prepared paneer in a buttery rich and smooth red pepper makhani sauce.

Giant

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This Logan Square spot serves slightly cheffy Midwestern-inspired food that’s easy to fall in love with. At Giant, rather than one or two outstanding dishes, they’re all hits. Chefs Jason Vincent and Ben Lustbader make boring food exciting (see: broccoli with smoked pepper sauce, seared flank steak, or the tagliatelle with Dungeness crab and chili butter). Whatever you do, don’t miss the corn biscuits.

Lula Cafe

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When Lula Cafe first opened its doors back in 1999, it was Chicago’s foremost farm-to-table spot. Today, this Logan Square institution has developed a city-wide following for award-winning chef and owner Jason Hammel’s ingredient-driven, vegetable-forward cooking. On the New American-esque menu, you’ll find everything from brunch essentials to dinner entrées, all showcasing uber-seasonal ingredients and sustainably sourced meats. Be sure to try the Lula ’99 turkey sandwich, which has been on the menu since day one. The classic breakfast burrito and spicy peanut noodles are also longtime hits.

Taqueria Chingon

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This Mexico City-style taqueria on the border of Bucktown and Logan Square serves up a rotating selection of flavor-packed street tacos made with handmade tortillas and housemade salsas. Tacos that make regular appearances include traditional ones like al pastor and carne asada as well as lesser-known options like a blood sausage taco and one filled with duck carnitas and chicharrons.

Smyth + The Loyalist

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Smyth + The Loyalist is a dual-concept restaurant that features a three-Michelin-starred modern tasting-menu restaurant on the first floor (Smyth) and a casual bar below it (The Loyalist). While Smyth gets most of the accolades, The Loyalist serves an outstanding cheeseburger (nicknamed the Dirty Burg). The patty is made from a blend of chuck, short rib, and ground bacon, and is topped with melted American cheese, housemade pickles, a mess of pickled and charred onions, and a saucy onion-infused mayo. It’s the only entree on the delivery menu, so it’s really what you’re coming here for. (Lucky you.)

Avec

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Created by legendary Chicago chef Paul Kahan, Avec is a Chicago institution known for its Midwestern takes on Mediterranean classics. More than 20 years later, Avec’s focus is the same as it’s always been: simple food executed at a high level. Three menu items have remained on the menu, unedited from their original recipes, since the restaurant’s inception and are still drawing crowds all these years later. These include, of course, Avec’s famous chorizo-stuffed and bacon-wrapped dates, the deluxe focaccia stuffed with ricotta and taleggio, and the potato and salt cod brandade. These hits and more can also be found at Avec’s second location in River North.

Sochi Saigonese Kitchen

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Since opening in 2021, Sochi Saigonese Kitchen has been introducing Chicagoans to the regional flavors of Saigon (present-day Ho Chi Minh City) with a menu filled with authentic Vietnamese dishes. The egg rolls wrapped in thin rice paper are the best way to start a meal here. Locals also rave about the Saigon pho with beef bone broth that’s simmered for 10 hours.

The Chicago Diner (Milwaukee Ave.)

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“Sin carne desde el ’83” es el lema de The Chicago Diner, uno de los auténticos locales vegetarianos de la ciudad. Se ha ganado seguidores por sus versiones vegetarianas de platos clásicos de cafetería, como el sándwich Reuben relleno de seitán estilo carne en conserva, el sándwich Monte Cristo con tofu frito y el guiso de tempeh con papa. Hoy en día, el menú se ha ampliado y también incluye una variedad de artículos veganos y sin gluten. El sándwich Reuben que mencionamos antes, los gyros, el roll de canela vegano y los batidos veganos son algunos de los artículos más vendidos.

Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar

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En este favorito del vecindario de los mismos propietarios de Giant, los platos chino-estadounidenses clásicos se reproducen con técnicas modernas y el talento de un chef. El menú incluye todos los platos principales habituales, además de una selección de especialidades rotativas del chef. Al igual que sucede con Giant, no hay un plato malo en el menú, pero si ordenas los rollos de huevo rellenos de paleta de cerdo Berkshire y camarones del Golfo o los fideos dan dan picantes cortados a mano, no te vas a arrepentir.

Smoque BBQ (N. Pulaski Rd.)

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Si bien está lejos del sur, desde su apertura en 2006, Smoque BBQ siempre se ubica entre los mejores lugares para comer barbacoa del país. El menú rinde homenaje a una variedad de estilos, como Texas, Kansas City y Memphis. Si tienes que elegir una sola cosa, inclínate por el pecho de res, que se mantiene fiel al estilo tradicional de Austin. Pide un combo y también podrás elegir dos guarniciones, que se elaboran desde cero. Los macarrones con queso caseros, el pecho de res con salsa de chile, y los frijoles a la barbacoa con cebollas caramelizadas y trozos de pecho de res son excelentes.

Coda di Volpe (N. Southport Ave.)

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Ubicado en el corazón de Southport Corridor en Chicago, Coda di Volpe destaca las pizzas napolitanas tradicionales con certificación de la VPN, que incluyen ingredientes de buena calidad importados de Italia. Si los comensales prefieren una opción diferente a la pizza, deben optar por las pastas caseras, como el bucatini cacio e pepe con queso Belper Knolle y granos de pimienta negra curada con sal, y ensalada de rúcula con uvas encurtidas y asadas.

Tribecca's Sandwich Shop

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Chef Becca Grothe shows off her sandwich wizardry at this small Avondale shop. Grothe’s sandwiches are inspired by the Midwestern classics she grew up eating and are built using ingredients sourced from local farms, bakeries, and markets. The most popular sandwich here is the signature Cubano, which is loaded with ham from Twin Oaks Meats and pork from Slagel Family Farms. And the vegetarian version made with mojo-marinated Phoenix Bean tofu is just as good as the original. Both the original and vegetarian version feature a pHlour Bakery ciabatta bun and Pickled Prince pickles along with Swiss cheese, mustard butter, and chipotle aioli.

Osteria Langhe

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This Italian restaurant is helmed by chef Cameron Grant, who did a stint at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Piedmont, Italy, back in the day. Naturally, this place serves Piedmontese fare. Pastas are made in house; get the hand-pinched plin (mini agnolotti) stuffed with La Tur cheese. The prosciutto-wrapped rabbit loin and the silky-smooth vanilla panna cotta serve as further proof that Osteria Langhe is one of the best restaurants in Chicago.

Alla Vita

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At this West Loop crowd-pleaser from chef Lee Wolen (also the chef behind Michelin-starred Boka), you’ll find all the Italian carbs you crave. Starting with the wood-fired bread topped with Taleggio, orange blossom honey, and black pepper is non-negotiable. Same goes for the ricotta dumplings in a cacio e pepe sauce. You should also direct your attention to the chicken Parm, which manages to stay crunchy while sitting in a fire-roasted tomato marinara en route to your door.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken (Elston Ave.)

En Chicago, hay mucho pollo frito realmente excelente, pero mi favorito es el de Honey Butter Fried Chicken (y el de Stephanie Izard también). Este popular lugar de Avondale ofrece excelente pollo frito con mantequilla de miel desde hace más de una década. Para los clientes nuevos, un buen comienzo es una de las canastas con varias presas de pollo, como pechuga, muslo y pata, servidas con mantequilla de miel y pan de maíz con forma de panal.

Sophia Steak

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This North Shore neighborhood steakhouse describes its dishes as “anti-steakhouse” takes on the classics. While many Chicago steakhouses are known for bedazzling diners with huge portions, Sophia takes a different approach, prioritizing responsible portions and reasonable prices. The ordering move here is the Sophia-style eight-ounce Black Angus filet with roasted mushrooms and cognac cream.

Frontera Grill

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Frontera Grill hardly needs an introduction. This world-famous Mexican restaurant from Rick Bayless has been one of Chicago’s best restaurants since it opened in 1987. Although it’s no longer the hottest new restaurant in town, Frontera Grill is constantly adding new flavors and dishes to the menu, like slow-cooked suckling pig and crispy duck carnitas, and continues to be one of the best places for creative Mexican food in the city.

Southport Grocery & Cafe

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For the past 20 years, Southport Grocery and Cafe has reigned as one of Lakeview’s best brunch spots, gaining a loyal following for its all-day breakfast and lunch menu — not to mention its city-famous cupcakes. Fans rave about the breakfast sandwich, which stacks ginger-sage sausage, local butterkäse cheese, a mustard-maple drizzle, arugula, and an over-easy egg on a house-made English muffin. Don’t sleep on the bread pudding pancakes, either.

Robert’s Pizza & Dough Company

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At this Streeterville pizzeria, native New Yorker and certified pizzaiolo Robert Garvey churns out some of the best pies in Chicago. After spending 20 years testing dough recipes to create a crust that strikes the perfect balance between crunch and chew, Garvey finally succeeded and opened Robert’s in 2016. To his artisan thin crust, Garvey adds winning topping combinations (e.g., brussels sprouts and bacon, fennel and honey) that prove greater than the sum of their parts.

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

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Arguably Chicago’s most iconic steakhouse, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse has been an institution since opening its doors in 1989. This place serves all the cuts you’d expect to find, like filet mignon and New York strip, plus more uncommon selections like the big-as-your-dinner-plate 48-ounce porterhouse. If you’re on the fence about what to get, the 22-ounce W.R. Chicago Cut is the steak that Gibsons is most famous for. This bone-in ribeye has been Gibsons’ best-selling steak since making its debut in the mid-90s. It’s named after Chicago Tribune food critic William Rice, whose idea it was for Gibsons to add this signature steak to the menu.

Gilt Bar

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Since opening in 2010, this River North gastropub from Hogsalt Hospitality (Au Cheval) has earned many a Bib Gourmand for its modern tavern fare. On the menu, you’ll find a near-exact replica of the famous Au Cheval burger as well as excellent house-made pastas like the spicy vodka rigatoni and orecchiette with spicy pork sausage. There’s only one steak on the menu — the coal-fired rib eye — but it just so happens to be one of the best steaks in the city.

Ciccio Mio

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This Italian joint from Hogsalt Hospitality (Au Cheval, Gilt Bar) has earned back-to-back Bib Gourmand awards for its delicious renditions of saucy Italian-American classics. Start with an order of the rustic fennel bread before carb loading on a house-made pasta like spicy vodka rigatoni, black truffle bucatini, or lasagna Bolognese rotolo. Save room for dessert because the chocolate pastry-cream-filled cannoncini, their flaky take on cannoli, are not to be missed.

Sushi-San (River North)

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En el menú de Sushi-San de River North, encontrarás aperitivos inspirados en izakayas y entradas de fusión asiática, pero es probable que estés aquí por el sushi, que siempre es fresco y está elaborado por expertos. Puedes ordenar maki rolls, nigiri y sashimi a la carta, pero te recomiendo ordenar uno de los San-Sets exclusivos del restaurante. Cada uno tiene una variedad diferente de sushi. Por ejemplo, el Mr. Maguro Set tiene 10 piezas de sashimi y nigiri de atún rojo, más un maki roll, y el Mega Set tiene 16 variedades de sashimi y nigiri, y dos rolls. Son para compartir y una forma asequible de probar una variedad de los mejores platos de Sushi-San.

Pleasant House Pub

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Pleasant House Pub is a restaurant and bakery that specializes in classic British-style savory pies, known here as “Royal Pies.” All pies are handmade and feature a flaky, buttery crust and hearty, wholesome fillings. Choices range from traditional British fillings, like steak and ale and chicken balti, as well as less traditional ones like a vegan squash and sweet potato pie with North African spices.

Piece Pizzeria & Brewery

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This Wicker Park pizzeria and brewery has been serving up New Haven-style pizzas and award-winning microbrews since 2001. Apart from Piece’s two specialty pizzas (Hot Doug’s Atomic Pizza and the HBFC Pizza), all of the pies here are BYO (build your own). For the best results, Piece suggests only adding up to three toppings. If you’re going true New Haven-style, try one with white sauce and clams.

Brobagel

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Ubicado al lado de Piece Brewery & Pizzeria, Brobagel proviene del propietario de Piece, Bill Jacobs, quien estuvo a cargo de Jacobs Bros. Bagels con sus tres hermanos en la década de 1980 y 1990. En Brobagel, los bagels se preparan desde cero de la misma manera que en los viejos tiempos: se hierven en agua, se sumergen a mano en semillas, se hornean en tablas de secuoya y se terminan en el horno. Hay una variedad estándar de sabores disponibles, y puedes ordenarlos con schmears caseros (prueba el de queso crema y sriracha) o en forma de sándwich.

High Five Ramen

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This Japanese-inspired ramen lair is known for serving some of the city’s best — and spiciest — bowls of ramen. High Five’s signature ramen features a traditional tonkotsu-style miso broth that’s cooked with pork bones for 18-plus hours. The broth is then spiked with Sichuan peppers and dried Japanese chiles. While spice-averse eaters can enjoy their ramen with “no spice,” those who can handle the heat can order their ramen at the ¼ spice, ½ spice, or full spice level. Those who dare can order their ramen with High Five’s “face-numbing, tear-jerking, unbearable” Kanabo spice.

Evette’s

Successfully opening a restaurant in 2020 is a big deal. Being named one of the best restaurants in America by food critics is an even bigger deal. Evette’s accomplished both. First-generation Lebanese American chef Mitchell AbouJamra, who named the restaurant after his grandmother, marries Lebanese and Mexican culinary traditions here. If you choose to order the tacos (as you should), go for the grilled halloumi and spit-roasted chicken shawarma versions.

Aba (Chicago)

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El restaurante asociado al respetado Ema de Chicago, Aba, es un restaurante con inspiración mediterránea y acento californiano. El menú consiste, principalmente, en platos para compartir, como untables (no pases por alto el hummus crujiente de costilla corta) y opciones de mezze, entre lo que se incluye papas crujientes con queso mizithra, y coles de Bruselas con dukkah de almendras y anacardos, y un toque de miel y salsa harissa.

Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House

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In 1997, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House opened its doors in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood right next to sister restaurant Gibsons. In addition to serving Gibsons’ steaks, Hugo’s menu also features a premier selection of seafood that’s flown in fresh daily from the East and West coasts. The ordering move here is the jumbo lump crab cake, which weighs in just shy of a half-pound.

Testaccio

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This Italian-inspired retreat in Logan Square offers upscale Roman comfort foods. Freshly made pastas are the star here, so be sure to try the orecchiette di cacio e pepe or the bucatini alla carbonara. Testaccio also makes good use of the wood-burning oven that was left behind by the building’s former tenant, so you’ll also want to check out the seasonally rotating selection of entrées on the menu under “Forno a Legna.”

Prime & Provisions

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This luxe steakhouse in the Loop serves some of the best steaks in the city. You’ll find only Linz Heritage USDA Prime Black Angus steaks here, which are dry-aged on-site in a Himalayan salt-lined aging room to further enhance the natural flavors of the beef. Beyond steak, you don’t want to miss the thick-cut bacon appetizer coated in a winning combination of black pepper, maple syrup, and dark chocolate.

Longman & Eagle

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Since opening in 2010, this popular Logan Square gastropub has been lauded for its nose-to-tail, farm-to-table cooking. Chef Brian Motyka prioritizes sourcing ingredients from local farmers and food producers and places a huge focus on seasonality, so the menu changes often. But you can expect items like the wild boar sloppy joes and vegan cashew “sour cream” and onion dip to make regular appearances.

Big Star (Wicker Park)

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Este moderno lugar especializado en tacos mexicanos de One Off Hospitality (Avec, The Publican) es un ícono de Chicago. Tanto la sucursal original en Wicker Park como la sucursal más nueva de Wrigleyville se han convertido en los favoritos para disfrutar de un excelente guacamole, margaritas refrescantes y tacos hechos con tortillas prensadas a mano. Los platos favoritos son los crujientes tacos de panceta de cerdo con salsa de tomate y guajillo, y los tacos de pescado rebozados con cerveza, con mayonesa de chipotle y ensalada de col.

Doma

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​​This casual Croatian cafe in River North serves a short menu of healthy-ish breakfast and lunch dishes. For breakfast, Doma’s ćevapi, a sandwich of beef sausages and flatbread served with salted clotted cream and roasted pepper-eggplant spread, is the hangover cure you’ve been looking for. For lunch, omnivores should opt for Brato’s Turkey Sando, with turkey from Slagel Family Farms, bacon, house-made tahini slaw, dijonaise, and butterkäse cheese. The vegan Kata’s Klub, with roasted butternut squash, avocado, and house-made tahini slaw, is another stand-out.

Demera Ethiopian Restaurant

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This authentic Ethiopian restaurant in Uptown from chef and owner Tigist Reda has been winning over diners since opening in 2007. To experience the best of what Demera has to offer, you’ll want to order one of the messob options, ashared platter of meat and vegetable dishes. Another good move: Order the sambussa sampler, featuring a combo of all five of Demera’s sambussa offerings (beef, chicken, cheese, lentil, and spinach) served with a sweet and spicy awaze sauce.

MingHin Cuisine

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MingHin Cuisine is one of Chicago’s best Chinese restaurants. It is most loved for serving an all-day menu of classic and contemporary dim sum, with around 100 different dim sum dishes to choose from. Some of their signature dishes include the crackling Macau-style roasted pork belly, shrimp dumplings with green chives, pork and shrimp siu mai, and steamed BBQ pork buns.

Ghareeb Nawaz

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The original location of this Indian-Pakistani spot has been a favorite on Chicago’s Devon Avenue (aka Little India) since it first opened in the early ’90s. Today, Ghareeb Nawaz has multiple locations in the Chicagoland area that all serve up hearty portions of authentic Indian specialties, like butter chicken, biryani, and daal, for low prices; even after raising prices due to inflation, most menu items still ring up around $10.

Urbanbelly

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Born in Seoul and raised in Chicago, chef Bill Kim is a classically trained fine-dining chef known for his boldly flavored, borderless approach to Korean fare. Some of his most popular creations at Urbanbelly include the coconut curry pho, togarashi fries, and spicy chicken katsu ramen. If you can’t decide what to get, Kim makes ordering easier on indecisive diners with his “Phat Style” bowls that come loaded with three different proteins (lemongrass chicken, pork belly, and shrimp).

GG’s Chicken Shop

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This casual counter-service spot in Chicago’s Southport Corridor comes from chef Lee Wolen of Michelin-starred Boka and Alla Vita. Over the years, Wolen has become somewhat of a legend when it comes to poultry (his roasted chicken at Boka and his chicken parm at Alla Vita are renowned city-wide). Wolen debuted GG’s Chicken Shop in 2020, running it as a virtual restaurant from Boka’s kitchen during the pandemic. In 2023, GG’s found its permanent home where diners can order Wolen’s celebrated chicken sandwiches, whole rotisserie chicken dinners, and more.

Gemini

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This reliable Lincoln Park neighborhood restaurant first opened back in 2009 as Gemini Bistro and was the first restaurant from Ballyhoo Hospitality (Coda di Volpe, Sophia Steak). In 2017, Gemini underwent renovations and dropped “Bistro” from the name. But some things didn’t change, including the faithful and familiar menu of American bistro-type dishes showcasing Midwest seasonality. Well-executed favorites include roasted salmon served with fregola sarda (a type of Sardinian pasta akin to couscous) as well as the steak frites.