Eating doesn’t have to be just that; sometimes, it’s nice to go somewhere where you can have fun while you eat. If you’re in Chicago and a fan of enjoyable side attractions or beautiful scenery while you eat your favourite things, here are 10 of the coolest places to eat in the windy city.
Alinea is not just a restaurant, and they are very clear about this. In addition to the delicious food you’ll be treated to at Alinea, you will also enjoy top-class food presentations and an overall sensory experience. At Alinea, they aren’t just concerned with appeasing your taste buds, they also treat your eyes with beautiful scenery and your ears with melodic sounds. Alinea is also very popular because the head chef, Grant Achatz, was featured on Netflix’s Chef’s Table. This restaurant is an experience you don’t want to miss.
2. Au Cheval
This is a unique restaurant with dim lighting and dark leather booths that make people feel like they’ve been transported back in time. Au Cheval does not accept reservations; they only welcome guests on a first-come, first-serve basis, which is ideal for most people. But other than catering to the needs of people that feel like they were born 50 years too late, Au Cheval is also said to have the best burgers in Chicago. Go and see if the rumours are true.
3. Roka Akor
Roka Akor is a Japanese restaurant that cooks food over an open fire in front of its customers. These types of restaurants are always fun to go to, and it also provides an opportunity to put food content on your Instagram stories; instead of the usual boring picture from above that entertains barely anybody. Guests are encouraged to talk to the chefs here, and this produces a really unique and homey vibe.
This is the sports bar with the best atmosphere in Chicago. The spot is full of sports gear, from balls to cubs. They have a wonderful outdoor patio that encourages day drinking, and if you’re the type that loves to eat while watching your favourite team, I suggest you get the delicious meat lovers flatbread while you're at it.
5. Girl & The Goat
The main appeal of the Girl & The Goat isn’t the environment or scenery, it’s the care. It’s a family-style restaurant that makes customers feel at home from the minute they walk in the door. The food is excellent, and this unique approach to an ordinary concept has made the restaurant extremely successful.
As the name implies, Carnivale makes you feel like you’re having your meal in the middle of a carnival. There's never a dull moment at this unique restaurant, from acrobats to samba dancers dressed as peacocks. The best advice I can give to someone going to this restaurant is to truly take it all in and enjoy the moment because there aren’t many like it out there.
7. 5 Rabanitos
If you’re Mexican or you really enjoy Mexican cuisine, 5 Rabanitos is the place to be when you’re in Chicago. The food here is so good that you’ll be sad when they take your order because of everything you didn’t get. People usually come back because of the amazing food and casual vibe. Don’t forget to give them a great review when you leave.
8. The Game Room
The Game Room is more of a lounge than a restaurant, but it’s definitely a cool place to eat. The Game Room offers food, drinks and some friendly competition that will all culminate in you having an amazing time. This spot is packed with foosball, billiards, pool, checkers and many more games. Go and have a great time.
9. EL Ideas
El Ideas is an exclusive restaurant that’s hard to find, according to people that have been there. But if you manage to get a reservation, prepare for a really unique restaurant experience. They’ve removed walls and barriers between the chefs and the customers so you can literally see everything going on, and there’s total transparency. If you never go to restaurants because you don’t trust the food making process, you should go to EL Ideas.
10. Three Dots and a Dash
Three Dots and a Dash is the hottest tiki bar in Chicago. The tropical cocktails and food will have you feeling like you’re on an island. The great music, beautiful decorations, and dimmed lighting give this spot an incredible ambience that will put you in a drinking mood.