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From the famous Chicago-style hotdogs, dry-aged steaks, melt-in-your-mouth ribs, and the genius invention of deep-dish pizzas, it’s safe to say that Chicago is where all our diet routines come to die.

Creative, stylish, imaginative, memorable— are only some of the million ways to describe Chicago’s iconic gastronomy. Some would say that finding out where to eat can be a bit overwhelming so we have created the top 10 bucket list of restaurants to visit in Chicago to make life easier for you.

  1. Smoque BBQ

Lip-smackin’ traditional barbecue flavors of brisket and ribs have been perfected in Smoque BBQ’s kitchen for over a decade now. Its smoky irresistible ribs have been known to make people forget their names momentarily as they get transported to BBQ heaven.

Located at the Northwest Side neighborhood of Irving Park, restaurant have been in all best restaurants list which only means that you may have to queue from time to time especially during peak hours. Try their brisket or their pulled pork and be sure to pack a beer or two with you if you like your meat paired with booze.

  1. Lula Café

A gem located near the Logan Square, this all-time favorite restaurant has long since been serving farm-to-table food even before all the hype for organic food started. Menu changes depending on seasonal availability which makes their menu exciting although expect mainstays like The Royale to be there when you need your sandwich fix. Food comes in generous servings with impeccable service, which is what you should expect especially when you have to queue for 30 minutes or so especially during weekends.

  1. Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

Award-winning chef, Mindy Segal, has done a great deal of magic with her decadent sweets and hot chocolates in this dessert haven. Sample their pumpkin hot chocolate or a Mexican hot chocolate with a strawberry and rhubarb dessert or a dark chocolate pavé and we’re certain that you’ll keep coming back for more.

From sweet to savory, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate is also perfect for brunch and dinners. Try their exceptional menu of burgers, pork belly or ribeye steak.

We suggest hoarding pastries on a late Sunday night too since they are all half off.

  1. Fat Rice

This Asian fusion restaurant has been making the best restaurant rounds list on the internet and it’s not hard to believe why. The Macanese cuisine (Portuguese, Chinese, Indian and Southeast Asian influence cuisine from Macau) may not be as popular as Italian or Chinese food but it sure can blow one’s hat off especially if you consider ordering the piri piri chicken. Try sampling their shareable dish arroz gordo “fat rice” or enjoy their new attached bakeshop or cocktail lounge.

  1. Aloha Poke Co.

Located at Chicago’s French Market, this small food stall is the craze of 2016. Customize your own bowl or order one of their three signature creations (or if you want to have an idea, order the ahi tuna bowl or a Kahuna crunchy bowl with marinated tuna) to make sure you won’t go wrong.

Aloha Poke Co. has a fairly simple menu with a simple concept that will blow you away. It’s safe to say, the world needs more restaurants where you can have a taste of paradise anytime.

  1. Acadia 

Carrying two Michelin stars under its belt, prepared to be swept away by Acadia’s exceptional dining magic. This contemporary American restaurant by Chef Ryan McCaskey offers the best burgers in town, with a decadent tasting menu that is sure to make you feel like you’re in a dream.

Expect to get the best service in town from this must-visit restaurant in Chicago and be sure to try their 10-course tasting menu!

  1. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

No best restaurant in Chicago list is complete without the swanky, iconic Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse. This old-school steak join has been blowing people’s minds for almost three decades now, including Johnny Depp and many more celebrities. Their crabmeat avocado is worth sampling together with their signature 22 oz. bone-in ribeye or their bone-in filet mignon. It’s simply a sin coming to Chicago and not dining in here at least once.

  1. GT Prime

This new restaurant by Giuseppe Tentori presents prime beef, game meat and other kinds of meat that break the mold of steaks all around the world. Reinventing the wheel of the typical steakhouse by creating shareable selection of steaks. More steaks to sample for everyone on the table!

This quintessential Chicago restaurant offers a lively common room, and a dark back room with a private-dining space with a bird’s eye view of the kitchen.

  1. Oriole

This two-Michelin starred restaurant in Chicago is hidden by a large unnoticeable elevator door in an unremarkable neighborhood and can literally be called one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets. It has now gained a respectable reputation in the fine-dining league.

Safe to say, here is where foodies come to celebrate life and live the dream. Their 16-course opening menu is heavy on seafood with some spiced beef tendon, Iberico ham and some cheese. But expect the menu to be switched up regularly.

  1. Copa Di Volpe

You didn’t think we’d finish this list without an Italian restaurant, did you? This Southern Italian restaurant focuses on the lesser known flavors of the South of Italy. From its handmade pastas in Sicilian style sauces, cured meat to its wood fired pizzas, this cozy restaurant presents a delectable selection of food that are sure to satisfy any pizza or meat craving you may have.

Try the Diavola Neapolitan pizza or margherita di bufala pizza and douse a little of Calabrian chile oil for the most unforgettable flavor and thank us later.

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