Chicago has a robust tourist market, and it should come as no surprise with all the sights and unique experiences on offer in the city that millions of visitors flock to Chicago each year. But whatever your reason for visiting might be, don’t compromise with fast food or chain restaurants when you come to Chicago! There’s so much good food in Chicago that can measure up against the best cuisine in the United States. And Chicago’s size, diverse population and relative affordability make it a great place to experience flavors from around the globe. If you find yourself visiting, or even if you're playing host, then seek out some of these one-of-a-kind food destinations in Chicago.
Places to have good food in Chicago
The best place to go for good Mexican food in all of Chicago is the southwest side. The stretch of 18th street between Halsted and Western bristles with restaurants, music halls, art galleries and impressive street art murals. Unwind after a long day with a michelada and bring your friends to enjoy an assortment of tacos served family style at La Vaca. The vibe is dressed down and casual, and after a couple rounds you’ll make fast friends with your server, feeling like you’re part of the family even if it’s your first visit.
West Loop aka Fulton Market District
People who are seeking a more adventurous gastronomic experience should check out the food along Fulton Market Street. The area immediately west of Chicago’s downtown business district is packed with renovated warehouses and converted industrial spaces that hearkens back to the city’s past as a meatpacking hub. Nowadays it’s the unofficial capital of deconstructed dishes and high concept, chef-driven cuisine in Chicago. Duck Duck Goat is one example, where celebrated Chef Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat) creates good food that’s authentically Chicago but with heavy Chinese influences. The devil’s in the details, and the crew at Izard’s latest concept don’t miss a beat. They even drop the checks in “hong bao,” little red envelopes traditionally used for gifts during the Lunar New Year festivities in Chinese culture.
Chicago’s north side is no slouch when it comes to good food destinations, too. Stop off at Argyle on the Red Line and you’ll be presented with a potent assortment of Vietnamese and Thai food options. The best pho noodles in town can be had at Tank Noodle at the corner of Argyle and Broadway. The place is usually packed, but this bustling food hall is BYOB and the noodles are on point so it’s worth the wait. Check out the plethora of bakeries and small confectionaries nearby while you wait for a table to open up.