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Chicago's Best Restaurants

Updated on June 19, 2013
Gibson's Filet!
Gibson's Filet!
Gibson's W.R. Chicago Cut!
Gibson's W.R. Chicago Cut!
Gibson's Macadamia Turle Pie!
Gibson's Macadamia Turle Pie!
Giordano's Famous Stuffed Pizza!
Giordano's Famous Stuffed Pizza!

Chicago’s Top Restaurants

When you decide to make your way to the Midwest, there are certain things that are ESSENTIAL to experience! Chicago’s culture is amazing! From the museums, to the parks, to the shopping on the legendary “Magnificent Mile”. Chi-Town has it all! When touring all of the beautiful sites you are going to get hungry. And lucky you, Chicago is known for some of the world’s best food! There are always debates on who makes the best pizza, Chicago vs. New York. Well pizza is not the only specialty this city has. Whether you prefer burgers, hotdogs, seafood, or steak, Chicago will always make your tummy smile! Here are Chicago’s Top 5 Restaurants!

Back Alley Burger’s

A burger joint that will have you craving for more and more! Back Alley Burger’s (Or BAB’s) serves “Grass-Fed Beef”, which means it’s never frozen patties. Every time you bite into a BAB’s burger, you will absolutely taste the difference. They are juicy, and seasoned to perfection. Now if that isn’t great enough, they have a menu of several original Gourmet burgers to choose from, some including the BAB’s secret sauce! Here is a list of just a few of their best products!

·Back Alley Burger
1/3 lbs. beef, bacon, ranch, tomato, onion ring, lettuce

·The Coke 'n Fries Burger
1/3 lbs. beef paddy, American Cheese, Ketchup, Mustard, Onion,Their Signature Coca Cola Sauce, Pickle Spears, topped with French fries on a soft white bun

·Good 'Ole Boys Blues Burger
½ lbs. beef, blue cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, grilled onion, white bun

·Sloppy Jack
whiskey marinated pulled pork topped with BAB slaw

·Garbage Salad
lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion rings, carrots, olives, bacon,
ranch or red wine vinaigrette

Some of their delicious sides include house cut fries, onion rings, sweet potato fries, chili cheese fries, chili cheese onion rings, spring greens side salad, back alley burger slaw, apple slices, classic chili con carne, turkey Thai chili.

These are just a few of the great products BAB’s serves. They also have Beer, Wine, Shakes, Build your own Sundae’s, Sweets, and you can even purchase your own BAB’s tee-shirts and other merchandise! Visit their site at com to learn more.

Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse

Chicago has so many steakhouses to choose from! Which of them is the best? Well in my (as well as many others) opinion, Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse is #1. They serve the most incredible Black Angus USDA Beef which is corn fed for 120 days and aged for 40 days providing maximum flavor and tenderness, cooked just the way you like! Excellence! It is located right in the heart of downtown Chicago and has served some of the top names in entertainment. There is a wall of fame showing all of the famous people who have eaten here. You never know, maybe you’ll be sitting next to your favorite pro-baller while enjoying the best steak you have ever had! Here are a few items from the menu!

·W.R.’s Chicago Cut (22 oz.)

·Filet Mignon (14 oz.)

·Sliced Sirloin Bordelaise (20 oz.) with Roasted Bone Marrow

Gibson’s not only has the most remarkable steaks, they also have a wide selection of seafood including Alaskan King Crab Claw! Another reason to stop by Gibson’s is the greatly proportioned desserts they serve including their Macadamia Turtle Pie!

Red Hot Chicago

Famous for their delightful all-beef, Chicago Style Hotdogs, Red Hot’s is a proud family establishment created in 1986. Red Hot’s will cook your dog anyway you like, whether it be boiled, fried, or grilled. It started up as a food stand on the street, and is now distributed throughout the nations Stadiums, Arenas, 1000 Chicagoland restaurants, as well as many other locations around the states! Just ask them to make it a Chicago Style Dog and here is what you’ll get!


1. Fill a steamed hot dog bun with an authentic RED HOT CHICAGO pure beef hot dog or polish sausage

2. Add a line of yellow mustard from end to end

3. Add approx. 1 teaspoon of green relish from end to end

4. Add approx. 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped onions from end to end

5. Add 2 fresh tomatoes wedges along the back of the bun

6. Add a crisp kosher-style pickle spear along front of bun

7. Top with a couple of spicy sport peppers

8. Add a couple of shakes of celery salt to complete a fully-dressed “Chicago-Style “sandwich!

The menu is endless to what you can put on your dog to make it your own!

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

Seafood must be done right to be enjoyed properly, and Pappadeaux produces everything on their menus to perfection! Some of the best seafood you will ever have. Whether you enjoy a large, juicy lobster or if your favorite is a great piece of Tilapia, they have it all. Not to mention, the atmosphere will make you feel like a celebrity. This place is always packed to capacity with seafood lovers! While you wait for your table, they will seat you at the bar to enjoy a drink with your party. Here are a few of my favorites from Pappadeaux!

·Live Maine Lobster- Steamed lobster by the pound, with melted butter & linguine with tomato & basil

·Seafood Platter- Fried tilapia or catfish fillet, shrimp, blue crab cake, stuffed shrimp & stuffed crab

·Jumbo Shrimp Brochette- Char-grilled bacon wrapped shrimp filled with Monterey Jack cheese & a sliver of jalapeño with dirty rice

Pappadeaux also has a great selection of cold appetizers, hot appetizers, New Orleans Specialties, Chicken, Steak, as well as some amazing side dishes! Although Pappadeaux can be found in several states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico, Ohio, and Texas, I still consider it to be a personal favorite of mine in Chicago!

Giordano’s- Famous Stuffed Pizza

Giordano’s was established in 1974, serving their Famous Stuffed Pizza! The pizza has been 200 years in the making, as stated by Giordano owners. The recipe comes from their great, great, great, great, great-grandmother! So, it has gone through the necessary evolution to become flawless! It takes about 35 min for them to bake it to perfection, but it is definitely worth the wait! Giordano’s has a great variety of meats and vegetables that can be put in with the cheese filled pizza! Here is a view of the menu items that will make your mouth water!

·Cheese- with their famous pizza sauce

·Super Veggie- Mushrooms, Green peppers, Onions, Broccoli, Black olives, and Tomatoes.

·Tropic Delight- Cheese, Canadian Bacon, Pineapple

·List of the Ingredient Choices- Sausage, *Spinach, Pepperoni, Mushroom, *Shrimp, Ground Beef, Green Peppers, Fresh Tomatoes, Jalapeno Peppers, Onions, Black Olives, Fresh Garlic, Broccoli, Green Olives, Anchovies, Pineapple, Canadian Bacon

Giordano’s also offers many appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pastas, and even thin crust pizza! However, anyone who is trying Giordano’s for the first time, I highly recommend Stuffed Pizza! If you were a thin crust fan before, this will be a great change!

When traveling to “The Windy City”, you will be faced with an array of attractions and eateries! I hope these restaurants will make it to your list of “must-sees” and “must-tries”! Enjoy your stay in Chicago!


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    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Hey Ktrapp! It's nice to meet a fellow chicagoan! Im actually originally from NY, and I have tried Lou Malnati's, and honestly they are pretty good too! However I'm a bigger fan of Giordano's Deep Dish :) My favorite from all of the places I mentioned here is Back Alley Burger, I actually just ate there today haha . Let me know if you like it!

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 5 years ago from Illinois

      Hi Nora. This Hub caught my attention because I live just north of Chicago and like to go into the city when I can. The first Chicago stuffed pizza I ever had (I'm originally from CT) was from Lou Malnati's in Buffalo Grove. It was definitely different from any pizza I had eaten before. Every now and then I enjoy pizza from Giordano's since there is one just down the street from me. I will have to check out a few of the other places you mentioned.

    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Oh how nice Doodlehead! We go out to Wisconsin alot to visit family so I am very familiar with it ! Next time you're in Chi you should give these places a try and let me know what you think :)

    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 5 years ago from Northern California

      These pics look so yummy! I used to live in southern Wisconsin and Chicago does have the best food of any city I've ever been to.

    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      IntegrityYes- thank you so much for the kind words and votes! You have to try these places and let me know which was your favorite!!

    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Billy- Chicago is definitely worth checking out! Not only is the food great but the sites are amazing as well. Especially the view from the "Willis Tower". Thank you for your support !!

    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 5 years ago

      I will visit Chicago sometime next year. HAH-HAH! I will go to those places. I definitely voted up. OOH,Nora! HAH-HAH!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You know what's amazing about this hub? I've never really been to Chicago except to drive by on the freeway, and yet I have heard of three of these places. The power of advertising, or tv, or media, or whatever, but I find that pretty cool.

      Thanks for the advice; if I'm ever in the Windy City I'll remember these.


    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Thanks Christy! You definitely need to add Chicago to your list of places to visit! It's so beautiful and so many fun things to do! And as you can see the food is great too!!!!! Thanks for the votes :)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I have not been to Chicago but these sound like great places! A good article for anyone who will be travelling there; I vote up and useful.

    • Nora411 profile image

      Nora411 5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Thanks! And I will!

    • profile image

      5 years ago

      Great article!!! Keep them coming!