Good Eats

Choose Chicago Restaurant List

NECA has worked with Choose Chicago to develop the following listing of good eats around Chicago. Note that Chicago has been called “America’s Best City for Dining” by the National Restaurant Association. Its 5500+ restaurants feature everything from prime steakhouses to the famous deep-dish pizza that bears the city’s name and every imaginable ethnic cuisine.

The below restaurants are local favorites and close to the 2014 Chicago hotels and convention center. Bon Appétit!

artic char, Blackbird photo credit: Christian Seel

photo credit: Christian Seel


Upscale American

619 West Randolph Street ‎
312.715.0708 ‎ ·

Named for the French slang term for a Merlot grape, Blackbird leads a growing cadre of independent restaurants helmed by chef/restaurateurs who have built a solid culinary reputation for Chicago. Phenomenal food, very minimalistic and modern atmosphere. Lunch (Mon-Fri) & Dinner (Sun-Thurs: 5:00-10:00p.m. F-Sat: 5:00-11:00p.m.)

312.280.0720 ‎ ·
Owned by Master Sommelier Alpana Singh, is a multi-level restaurant featuring a 450-bottle wine list & Mediterranean cuisine. Dinner(Sun and Mon: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tue- Sat: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.)

Artisanal house-made rubs, southern quality service and a modern ambiance combine to offer you the greatest BBq place in Chicago. Great BBq is a passion, not a pasttime. Before the sun rises, the chefs are smoking our signature highest quality, Kobe brisket in our wood burning smokers to get the tender, made-from-scratch deliciousness. Casual – Serving Lunch/Dinner.

Ditka’s Restaurant, located in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast between Rush & Michigan, is a Chicago Landmark. Ditka’s has a decidedly understated sports motif, white linen table clothes, hardwood floors, intimate leather booths & rich mahogany wood accents. Da’ Coach specializes in steak, pasta, seafood, and a great bar.  Reservations recommended.

Unbelievable food, efficient & fun service, & the highest quality products available, served in an exciting setting, seems like a simple equation for a great Saturday night out. The difference at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse is that this is a nightly occurrence with the same excitement & weekend energy found every day of the week. As thousands before have discovered, it only takes one trip to get you hooked. Lunch & Dinner (Closed Mon).

“Top Chef” Season 4 winner, Stephanie Izard is chef / owner of this new restaurant in the west loop. The menu will consist of 30 items, separated in the categories of vegetable, fish, and meat, with all items meant to be shared. Phenomenal food, very hard to get reservations. The best bet is to arrive at 4:30pm when it opens and eat/drink at the bar – same menu, same great service.  Chef is a Top Chef winner.

Under the direction of Executive Chef Chris Gawronski, Henri’s menu is influenced by the refining principles of classical cuisine. Innovative dishes like kampachi crudo join traditional favorites such as foie gras, steak tartare, Dover sole and ribeye au poivre. The tasting menu highlights the bounty of the season, accompanied by perfectly paired wines by sommelier Jason Wagner. The carefully curated wine list is almost exclusively biodynamic, while cocktails are both creative and classic. Reservations Required.

American with wide variety of food served and everything is excellent. The menu is loaded up with sushi, tacos, sandwiches and burgers. Great salads and appetizers like the arugula caesar and pulled chicken nachos appeal to the bar crowd, while the filet mignon steak tacos and the charred sake salmon serve notice that HUB 51 is providing both a great time and wonderful food. Reservations recommend, features brunch and gluten free menu items.

Lou Malnati’s



Upscale Steak & Seafood

520 North Dearborn Street
312.521.5100‎ ·

Mastro’s collection of sophisticated, classic Steakhouses and Ocean Club seafood locations are recognized for their combination of world-class service, highly acclaimed cuisine, and live entertainment in an elegant yet energetic atmosphere. A truly unparalleled dining experience. $$$$

Paris Club

French (Small Plates)

Located in the heart of Chicago’s River North, Paris Club brings classically-inspired French fare to a lively, vivacious neighborhood.  French Chef Jean Joho teamed with restaurateurs RJ and Jerrod Melman to bring new energy to the French bistro.


Casual Italian: Pizza/Pasta

Traditional Italian pizza and pasta featuring famous thin crust pizza that Oprah has called “her favorite” and the USA Today listed as top 10 in the Nation. Great food steeped in Italian tradition, skillfully prepared from the highest quality ingredients, and served in an inviting atmosphere in which to celebrate friendship and family.


Very Casual American

Portillo’s Hot Dogs, Inc., started in 1963 by Dick Portillo in a small trailer and soon will be operating in 45 locations. Serving the famous Chicago Dog, Portillo’s boasts the “best hot dog” in Chicago, Italian Beef, Maxwell Street Polish, Tasty Burgers, Fresh Salads and more at any of our locations. Bring the kids and ENJOY!


Casual Italian/Salumi

Quartino is a bustling downtown Chicago restaurant and wine bar noted for its distinctive Italian small- plates menu, vintage decor, and attentive, personable service staff.




Rockit Bar and Grill

Casual American Bar & Grill

Rockit Bar & Grill, located in the heart of the booming River North Neighborhood puts Executive Chef Amanda Downing’s contemporary culinary twist on the traditional bar and grill. Offering outstanding casual American cuisine, using the freshest ingredients available in a mouthwatering menu that includes salads, sandwiches, and entrees.


Rosebud on Rush

Casual Italian