Chicago Restaurants

Someone asked for a list. Here goes. Oh, but before that, I need to give Oishi its due. PNGF and I were debating which restaurant we would pick if we had to eat ONLY at that restaurant forever and budget wasn't an issue. Mine would be Oishi. Mmmm... Oishi... all my life... I was debating hard between a Tea Restaurant in Hong Kong and Oishi. Went with the higher NPV. haha.

I've divided the restaurants into categories - note that these are the restaurants I remember or recorded, not all that I've been to. (Feel free to add... restaurants or categories!) Without further ado:

Even Goldman Sachs won't pay for this recruiting dinner:
  • Alinea - best new restaurant in America last year, its molecular gastronomy cuisine was excellent and definitely a once in a lifetime culinary experience
  • Charlie Trotter - I didn't try... because he tried to banned foie gras and trying to ban veal
If you have to pay for it yourself, or pay for a group:
  • Takkatsu (Japanese pork cutlets are best in country), Hai Yen (Vietnamese food kicks ass, though you might want to bring your own talking menu to get the great authentic stuff), Fogo de Chao (lunch only, all you can eat Brazilian steak, don't miss the bread though!), Laschet's Inn (German friend went there twice in two days), Volare (Excellent Italian food at very reasonable prices)
Even Accenture might pay for these recruiting dinners:
  • MK, Frontera Grill, Devon Seafood, Gibson, Blue Water Grill, De la Costa, Nine, Capital Grille, Nacional 27 - all the food is very good at these restaurants; it's just the price that can sometimes become a problem.
I'm a sucker for good brunch:
  • Bongo Room, Cafe des Architectes, Yolk, Sola, Lula Cafe, West Egg, Julius Meinl, Erwin
  • Plus I regret not going to Hot Chocolate
Decent food, priced right:
  • Coco Pazzo Cafe, PJ Clark, Bandera, Maggiano, Ken Kee, Joy Yee, Lao Si Chuan
Decent food, slightly overpriced:
  • Room 21, Aria, Tango Sur, Indian Garden, The Tasting Room, Vermilion, Vivo, Marche
If someone pays you to go, maybe:
  • Marrakech, Harold's Chicken Shack, White Castle, Coast Sushi, Rock Bottom, Riva
ONLY if someone pays you:
  • Sushi restaurants in general... my biggest complain in Chicago. Sigh. Even the sushi in Peru was better.


Faisal said...

Good stuff dude - I'm going to use this list for help when the Mrs. complains that I don't take her to nice restaurants.

Josekin said...

Yeah, stay away from the top and the bottom lists and you're in good hands. haha. And you've also been to Japan... so the sushi snobifying is irreversible.

pngf said...

a few additions:

for brunch: hot chocolate is a must (get the chocolate milkshake, not on the brunch/lunch menu but you can request it), tavern on rush (really good eggs benedict and stuffed blueberry french toast), nomi (a little pricey, but includes entree and buffet), orange on harrison, and feast

people lounge in wicker park has good and cheap tapas and quite possibly the best flan i've ever tasted (9.8 on citysearch)

cafe trinidad near hyde park is worth a trip during the daytime.

cma, add these to eric's list and you've got yourself enough restaurants to keep yourself happy over the next year.

p.s. i think volare is overrated. and i wouldn't go to white castle again even if someone paid me :P

Jac said...

Hey - I'm an incoming GSB student. Thanks for this list - I've been wondering where to eat and I Like my Food. (I'm just not sure student budget can support it).

Sucks to hear that there are no good sushi restos. I usually eat Jap once a week.

How about making my own - how fresh is fish therE?

shmoo said...

I'd add Japonais to the recruiting dinner list and Nookie's to the brunch list.

And, for once, I agree with PNGF, get Volare off there. I mean, it's not bad, but this is supposed to be the best of the best.

Josekin said...

Hey now, I said good value... I didn't say really good food... even though Volare IS excellent.

pp said...

Thanks, Sir :) That's a great list to check it out! Only that I don't like Lao Si Chuan, so not typical Si Chuan food... which i am an expert :D

It's a deal: when u come to Chicago and when I am still here, i will make u my dishes

Anonymous said...

we hate charlie trotter's for the same reason. :D

BTW, KN is coming for my Bday, any recommendations on a decent dinner place? (email or MSN me) Thx!!!

Vadim said...

Hey if you like Hai Yen I'd like to tell you about this:

25% off discount on August 13th, 2008. Check it out!