There is a wide array of nice restaurants in Chicago for diners of all tastes and gastronomic inclinations. Some of the nicest restaurants can stretch the budget pretty far, but if you’re looking for a nice meal that won’t break the bank then Chicago’s dining scene offers plenty of affordable and unique options.
Looking For Nice Restaurants in Chicago?
The restaurant that most consistently wins Chicago's title for best burger in recent memory is Au Cheval. But there’s more available on the menu, which is laden with artisanal dishes such as the roasted marrow bone and beef cheek marmalade, than just burgers. If the alarm bells are going off and you’re thinking that this eatery is taking itself too seriously, their boozy brunch menu and house drinks like the pickleback shot will temper any assumption that it’s a haughty operation. They like to have fun while serving seriously good food, which is a pretty nice mantra to follow.
1901 Restaurant at AceBounce
If you’re really looking for something fun, seek out this Loop hotspot for upscale cocktails, inventive takes on classic recipes and lots of dynamic ping pong-fueled action. A modern and urban chic design surrounds diners at 1901 Restaurant, which is housed within AceBounce. AceBounce opened in 2016 and made a splash by recruiting celebrated Chicago culinary whiz Rick Gresh to design the menu. Gresh’s melding of classics like pan roasted salmon and inventive pizza recipes, like the crispy chicken skin pizza, make for a playful juxtaposition that complement the energetic surroundings of this nearly 15,000 square foot ping pong palace.
Known more for pleasant vibes via bottles of wine and plates of charcuterie, the experience of dining at City Winery is less formal than most full-course restaurants in Chicago. But it’s an experience that’s richly fulfilling if you go to either the west Loop location or the seasonal location along the Chicago River. The west Loop venue includes a fully decked out concert space, so grab a few friends and uncork a couple of bottles to take in live music. The people-watching is the real show at the riverfront location, and there’s even a dock right outside the restaurant so you can hop off of a boat and unwind a bit over chilled rosé and shareable plates during the warmer months.