From deep-dish pizza to Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago is known for its iconic dishes. But there's so much more to explore when it comes to local cuisine.

In this article, I'll be sharing my top picks for the best local food in Chicago. I've tried and tested 12 different spots across the city, and I can't wait to share my favorites with you all.

So let's dig in and discover the deliciousness that Chicago has to offer!

Hermosa Restaurant

Hermosa Restaurant
🗺️ 4356 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60639
☎️ 312-588-6283
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 12–3 PM
Thursday: 12–3 PM
Friday: 12–3 PM
Saturday: Closed
Asian Fusion
Made to order
Fresh dishes
Friendly staff
Discount with student ID

First of all, let me tell you that if you're in the mood for some Asian fusion cuisine, this place is a must-visit. The menu offers a variety of options ranging from sushi rolls to noodle dishes, and each dish is made to order ensuring its freshness.

I was impressed with the quality of food being served as well as the friendly staff who were more than happy to answer any questions I had about their menu. The atmosphere was lively and comfortable which added to my overall experience.

But let's get down to what really matters - the food! I highly recommend trying out their spicy tuna roll which had just the right amount of kick without overpowering the taste of the fish. Another standout dish was their pad Thai which had perfectly cooked noodles and vegetables mixed with savory sauce.

The best part? If you're a student, they offer a discount when you show your student ID. So not only do you get delicious food but also some savings!

Overall, Hermosa Restaurant is definitely worth checking out if you're in Chicago and looking for some fresh Asian fusion cuisine.

You might also want to check out the best tamales in Aurora.

Creed On LAKE

Creed On LAKE
🗺️ 2806 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60612
☎️ 773-475-6283
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–7 PM
Monday: 11 AM–6 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 11 AM–7 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–7 PM
Friday: 11 AM–7 PM
Saturday: Closed
Delicious soul food
Courteous service
Smothered chicken
Baked Macaroni
Free Banana Pudding

As I walked in, I was greeted by the aroma of delicious soul food that made my taste buds dance. The service was impeccable, and the staff was courteous, making me feel at home.

Now let's talk about the star of the show - the food! The smothered chicken was cooked to perfection, juicy and tender with a flavorful gravy that had me licking my fingers. The baked macaroni was creamy and cheesy, just how I like it.

But wait, there's more! As if the meal wasn't already amazing enough, they serve free banana pudding for dessert. Yes, you read that right - FREE banana pudding! Creamy and rich with chunks of ripe bananas - it's hard to resist going back for seconds.

Overall, Creed On LAKE is a must-visit spot for anyone looking for authentic soul food in Chicago. With its delicious dishes and fantastic service, it definitely deserves a spot on any list of best local foods in the city.

You might also want to check out the best thai food in Schaumburg.

LaShuk Street Food

LaShuk Street Food
🗺️ 125 S Clark St, Chicago, IL 60603
☎️ 224-554-9791
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 11 AM–3 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM–3 PM
Tuesday: 4–7 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–3 PM
Wednesday: 4–7 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–3 PM
Thursday: 4–7 PM
Friday: 11 AM–3 PM
Saturday: Closed
Great Middle Eastern food
Friendly staff
Vegetarian options
Cool atmosphere
Recommended dishes

Immediately upon entering the restaurant, I was greeted by the friendly staff who made me feel right at home. The atmosphere was cool and laid-back, making it perfect for a quick lunch or a night out with friends.

Now let's talk about the star of the show: the food! LaShuk Street Food offers some of the best Middle Eastern food in Chicago. From their juicy beef shawarma to their crispy falafel, every bite packed a flavorful punch. And for all you vegetarians out there, they also offer plenty of delicious vegetarian options that will satisfy your hunger and your taste buds.

My favorite dish from LaShuk Street Food was definitely their lamb kebab plate. The meat was cooked to perfection and paired perfectly with the tangy tzatziki sauce. It's no wonder that this dish is one of their recommended dishes!

Overall, my experience at LaShuk Street Food was nothing short of amazing. Great food, friendly staff, and a cool atmosphere make this place a must-visit for anyone looking for some delicious Middle Eastern cuisine in Chicago.

You might also want to check out the best sushi in Naperville.


🗺️ 2500 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
☎️ 773-697-4413
🌐 Website
Sunday: 10 AM–8 PM
Monday: 5–9 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 5–9 PM
Thursday: 5–9 PM
Friday: 5–10 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–10 PM
Fried Shrimp
Variety of Dietary Restrictions

First of all, let's talk about the biscuits. Oh my goodness, they are divine! They're so buttery and flaky that they practically melt in your mouth. And the best part? They come with honey butter! It's like a match made in heaven.

But that's not all - I also tried their fried shrimp and it was amazing. The batter was light and crispy, and the shrimp itself was perfectly cooked. I could've easily eaten a whole plate of them!

What I really appreciated about Split-Rail though, is that they cater to a variety of dietary restrictions. As someone who follows a gluten-free diet, it can be tough to find good options at restaurants. But at Split-Rail, they have multiple gluten-free dishes on the menu that still taste delicious.

Overall, I highly recommend checking out Split-Rail if you're in Chicago. The biscuits alone are worth the trip! And if you have any dietary restrictions, don't worry - they've got you covered.

You might also want to check out the best sushi in Schaumburg.

Girl & The Goat

Girl & The Goat
🗺️ 809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
☎️ 312-492-6262
🌐 Website
Sunday: 4:30–9:30 PM
Monday: 4:30–9:30 PM
Tuesday: 4:30–9:30 PM
Wednesday: 4:30–9:30 PM
Thursday: 4:30–9:30 PM
Friday: 4:30–9:30 PM
Saturday: 4:30–9:30 PM
Innovative flavors
Great service
Must-try pork shank
Tapas-style menu
Memorable experience

Firstly, let me tell you that this place is a true gem for foodies who crave innovative flavors. The restaurant offers a tapas-style menu that allows you to try a variety of dishes without committing to one entrée. From the moment I walked in, the atmosphere was buzzing and lively which added to the whole experience.

The service was impeccable! Our waiter was extremely knowledgeable about the menu and gave us great recommendations based on our preferences. And speaking of recommendations, you absolutely cannot leave Girl & The Goat without trying their must-try pork shank. It's cooked to perfection and melts in your mouth with every bite.

What I loved most about this restaurant is their ability to create memorable experiences. The flavors were so unique that it felt like an adventure for my taste buds.

In summary, if you're looking for a playful yet professional dining experience with great service and unforgettable flavors, then Girl & The Goat should be at the top of your list. Trust me, it's worth every penny.

You might also want to check out the best tacos in Elgin.


🗺️ 3334 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60651
☎️ 312-787-8529
🌐 Website
Sunday: 9 AM–7 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 7 AM–7 PM
Thursday: 7 AM–7 PM
Friday: 7 AM–7 PM
Saturday: 9 AM–7 PM
Fresh menu
Unique options
Great customer service

First off, the menu at Straightlaw Cooking & Catering is fresh and unique. They offer a variety of options that you won't find anywhere else in Chicago. I was particularly impressed with their use of bold flavors and spices. Every bite was bursting with flavor and left me wanting more.

But what really set Straightlaw apart was their excellent customer service. From the moment I walked in, I felt welcomed and valued as a customer. The staff were knowledgeable about the menu and happy to make recommendations based on my preferences.

One dish that stood out to me was the jerk chicken sandwich. It was perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of spice. The bread was fresh and had a slight crunch to it, which added a great texture to each bite.

Overall, Straightlaw Cooking & Catering is a must-try for anyone looking for an exceptional culinary experience in Chicago. Their well-seasoned dishes, fresh menu options, unique offerings, and great customer service all make for an unforgettable dining experience.

You might also want to check out the best steak in Schaumburg.

EL ideas

EL ideas
🗺️ 2419 W 14th St, Chicago, IL 60608
☎️ 312-226-8144
🌐 Website
Sunday: 5–7 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 5–8 PM
Friday: 5–8 PM
Saturday: 5–8 PM
Amazing food
Immaculate vibe
Surprising courses
Welcoming atmosphere
Chef-owner interaction

First off, I have to say the food was amazing! Each course was a delightful surprise that burst with unique flavors and textures. But it wasn't just the food that made this place stand out. The immaculate vibe of the restaurant added to the overall experience. From the modern decor to the perfectly dimmed lighting, everything about EL ideas screamed elegance.

Another highlight of this restaurant is its welcoming atmosphere. The staff were friendly and attentive, making sure each guest felt comfortable throughout their dining experience. What really stood out was the interaction with Chef-owner Phillip Foss himself. He made rounds at every table, chatting with guests and answering any questions they had about his creative cuisine.

But what truly sets EL ideas apart from other restaurants in Chicago is its surprising courses. Without giving too much away, let's just say you'll be in for some unexpected twists and turns during your meal. You'll never know what's coming next!

Overall, my visit to EL ideas was an unforgettable experience that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a culinary adventure in Chicago.

You might also want to check out the best sushi in Evanston.

NoodleBird at Fat Rice

NoodleBird at Fat Rice
🗺️ 2957 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
☎️ 773-754-4000
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–8 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 4–9 PM
Thursday: 4–9 PM
Friday: 4–9 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–9 PM
Quality Asian food
Homemade dumplings
Discounted happy hour
Smoked tofu fried rice

Firstly, I was impressed with the quality of the Asian food. The flavors were bold and authentic, transporting me to the streets of Asia. But what really stood out were the homemade dumplings that were so juicy and flavorful, they practically melted in my mouth.

I also appreciated their discounted happy hour prices, making it a great spot for a casual hangout with friends or coworkers after work. And if you're a vegetarian like me, you'll be delighted to hear about their smoked tofu fried rice which was definitely one of the highlights of my meal.

The atmosphere at NoodleBird was modern yet cozy, making it an enjoyable dining experience. The staff were friendly and prompt in their service. I even got some recommendations from them on what to try next time I visit!

Overall, I would highly recommend NoodleBird at Fat Rice to anyone who is looking for delicious Asian cuisine in Chicago. It's an exceptional spot that truly showcases the best local food in Chicago!

You might also want to check out the best seafood in Naperville.

Viaggio Restaurant Chicago

Viaggio Restaurant Chicago
🗺️ 1027 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607
☎️ 312-829-3333
🌐 Website
Sunday: 4–8 PM
Monday: 5–9 PM
Tuesday: 5–9 PM
Wednesday: 5–9 PM
Thursday: 5–9 PM
Friday: 5–9 PM
Saturday: 5–9 PM
Amazing service
Diverse menu
Complimentary bread
Large portions
Beautiful bar

From the moment I walked in, I was greeted with amazing service. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive throughout my entire meal. Their diverse menu offers something for everyone, from classic Italian dishes to unique twists on familiar favorites.

One of my favorite parts of the dining experience was the complimentary bread - it was warm, fluffy, and paired perfectly with their homemade olive oil dipping sauce. And let me tell you, they don't skimp on portions here! Each dish was served generously and left me feeling satisfied.

The beautiful bar adds a touch of elegance to the overall atmosphere of the restaurant. It's the perfect place to relax with a drink after work or on a weekend evening.

Overall, Viaggio Restaurant Chicago is definitely one of my top choices for local food in Chicago. The combination of great service, diverse menu options, complimentary bread, large portions, and beautiful bar make this restaurant stand out above the rest. Don't miss out on this gem!

You might also want to check out the best seafood in Schaumburg.

avec Restaurant

avec Restaurant
🗺️ 615 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661
☎️ 312-377-2002
🌐 Website
Sunday: 10 AM–2 PM
Sunday: 4–10 PM
Monday: 11 AM–2 PM
Monday: 4–10 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM–2 PM
Tuesday: 4–10 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–2 PM
Wednesday: 4–10 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–2 PM
Thursday: 4–11 PM
Friday: 11 AM–2 PM
Friday: 4 PM–12 AM
Saturday: 10 AM–2 PM
Saturday: 4 PM–12 AM
Delicious food
Bacon-wrapped dates
Great sharing options
Nice wine selection
Private, quiet second floor

First of all, let me tell you that the food was delicious! The menu had a variety of options and everything we ordered was perfect. However, I must highlight the bacon-wrapped dates which were simply divine. If you're a fan of sweet and savory flavors coming together in perfect harmony, then this dish is for you!

One thing I loved about avec Restaurant is that they have a lot of great sharing options on their menu. It's the ideal place to go with friends or family and try different dishes without breaking the bank. Plus, it's always more fun to share, right?

The wine selection was also quite impressive. They have a good variety of wines that complemented our meal perfectly. Trust me when I say, a glass (or bottle) of wine will make your meal even better.

If you're looking for a quiet place to enjoy your meal without any disturbances, avec Restaurant has got you covered. They have a private second floor where you can sit back and relax while enjoying your delicious food.

Overall, my experience at avec Restaurant was fantastic! The food, atmosphere, and service were all top-notch. If you're looking for one of the best local food experiences in Chicago with lots of sharing options and great wine selection then avec Restaurant is definitely worth checking out!

You might also want to check out the best seafood restaurants in Schaumburg.

Palace Grill Restaurant

Palace Grill Restaurant
🗺️ 1408 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607
☎️ 312-226-9529
🌐 Website
Sunday: 7 AM–2 PM
Monday: 7 AM–2 PM
Tuesday: 7 AM–2 PM
Wednesday: 7 AM–2 PM
Thursday: 7 AM–2 PM
Friday: 7 AM–2 PM
Saturday: 7 AM–2 PM
Blackhawks-themed atmosphere
Friendly and attentive service
Delicious food options
Breakfast and lunch available
Terrific owner, George

Upon entering the restaurant, I immediately noticed the Blackhawks-themed decor, which gave it a unique and fun atmosphere. The staff was incredibly welcoming and provided friendly and attentive service throughout my visit.

As for the food, I have to say that I was impressed with the delicious options available. From classic breakfast dishes like fluffy pancakes and savory omelets to hearty lunch options such as burgers and sandwiches, Palace Grill had it all! Plus, they serve breakfast all day long - a win-win situation for me!

But what really stood out during my visit was the terrific owner, George. He greeted every guest with a smile and made sure everyone was enjoying their meals. His dedication to his restaurant and customers is truly admirable.

In conclusion, if you're looking for exceptional local food in Chicago with friendly service and a Blackhawks twist, then Palace Grill Restaurant should definitely be on your list of places to visit. With so many tasty options available for breakfast or lunch, this restaurant will surely satisfy your cravings.


🗺️ 1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
🌐 Website
Sunday: 5–10 PM
Monday: 5–10 PM
Tuesday: 5–10 PM
Wednesday: 5–10 PM
Thursday: 5–10 PM
Friday: 5–10 PM
Saturday: 5–10 PM
Incredible, flavorful food
Excellent wine pairing
Perfect service and attentive staff
Accommodating dietary restrictions
Innovative, full-circle story dishes

First of all, I must emphasize that the food at Alinea is nothing short of incredible. Each dish was a symphony of flavors and textures, and every bite left me wanting more. Even the simplest dishes were elevated to new heights by the expertly curated ingredients and creative presentation.

The wine pairing was also excellent, with each glass complementing the flavors in the dishes perfectly. The staff was incredibly knowledgeable about each wine and made great recommendations for our meal.

Speaking of staff, the service at Alinea was perfect. Our waiter was attentive without being intrusive, and he accommodated all of our dietary restrictions with ease. The entire staff seemed to work together seamlessly to create an unforgettable dining experience.

One thing that stood out to me at Alinea were the innovative full-circle story dishes. Each course had a unique narrative woven into it, taking us on a culinary journey from beginning to end. It was truly a feast for both our taste buds and imaginations.

Overall, I highly recommend Alinea for anyone looking for an exceptional dining experience in Chicago. It's definitely one of the best local foods in Chicago!

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Alex Irvin

Alex enthusiastically explores her hometown of Chicago with an adventurous spirit and a pen in hand. As a freelance writer, Alex specializes in reviewing places in and around the city. From restaurants to theaters, Alex brings attention to interesting finds throughout the area. Along with her reviews, Alex writes articles on Chicago's neighborhoods, engaging events, and her own travel stories. When Alex can't be found behind a computer, you'll find her sampling the newest restaurant, attending a play or strolling around the city.