Chicago's Most Chicago Restaurants BY: STAFF | 3.5.2014

Has it been open for generations? Does it only accept cash? From 8 finalists, we find the most Chicago restaurant in Chicago.

Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in Chicago
Check out Chicago's best spots for grilled cheese sandwiches!
The Best Chicago Restaurants With A View
Check out the best Chicago restaurants with gorgeous views.
The Best Restaurants for a Girls Night Out
This post features great restaurants in Chicago to have a Girl’s Night Out!
9 of the Best Bottomless Brunches in Chicago
There’s no shortage of great brunch spots in Chicago, but if you’re looking to celebrate with the best all-you-can-drink deals, look no further than these 9 Best Bottomless Brunches in Chicago!
The Top Chicago Brewery and Tap Rooms
Chicago's Top Brewery and Tap Rooms.
Top 10 Chicago Places for Holiday Treats & Eats
Chocolate at the Pen If you’re looking for a way to sweeten your holidays, why not experience the ultimate indulgence – a room full of chocolate decadence in The Lobby at the Peninsula Chicago. Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm to midnight, you and your lucky companions can revel in chocolate treats including petite desserts, handcrafted sweets a
The Top Juice Bars in Chicago
Raise your hand if you sat at your desk the whole week after Halloween eating Reese's peanut butter cups (the pumpkin shaped ones)! Ok, maybe that's just us but dang, we are in need of a fall detox. Chicago is a town of Italian sausages, deep dish pizza and...well lots of chunky monkey foods but as we are a town of contradiction, we got juice bars popping up left and right.
The Five Best Pizza Places in Chicago
If you love pizza as much as we do, there is really only one destination to consider. The place that made deep dish pizza world famous, spawned plenty of wannabe emulators in other cities, and daily makes pizza lovers out of the many tourists who visit. The Windy City of Chicago. With literally hundreds of pizza places to choose from in this pizza mecca, how in the world do you know where to start? Begin with the aforementioned deep dish pizza, then proceed to sample as many varieties as you can manage and you are on the way to becoming a true Chicago pizza expert.
Top 8 Places for Great Mole in Chicago
Mole is a sauce often served at Mexican restaurants all over the world.  Most believe that mole sauces must contain chocolate, however they do not.  Checkout these eight spots across Chicago and the Suburbs showcasing housemade mole of all types.
Tasting Menu: Michael Ciapciak of Bang Bang Pie Shop
For Michael Ciapciak, it’s all about Logan Square.
Bar Scene: Chicago Coffee Picks from Mikky Wright of Ugly Mug Cafe
When Mikky Wright moved from java-drenched Seattle to Chicago in the late 1990s, he felt a bit like he’d slipped into coffee purgatory.
Tasting Menu: Cleetus Friedman of Fountainhead
Cleetus Friedman, executive chef of Chicago restaurant Fountainhead (1970 W. Montrose Ave.), knows it is not easy feeding kids. This is especially true since one of his kids will eat whatever and the other won’t eat anything but grilled cheese.
Six Summertime Desserts from Around the World
From left to right: a Korean red-bean ice bar, Korean Samanco, and Japanese mochi ice cream
Tasting Menu: Chicago Restaurant Picks from Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams founder Jeni Britton Bauer runs her thriving ice-cream business from Columbus, Ohio. But she’s an Illinois native (originally from Peoria), and Chicago holds a soft spot in her heart. Her grandfather grew up in the same neighborhood as Jeni’s Lakeview scoop shop.
Turkey Poo Doesn’t Belong on Pizza, and Other Thoughts on Toppings
For four days in July, the Groupon Guide got taken over. Not by the tiny, glowing aliens that live inside our showerheads, but by summer campers from nonprofit writing and tutoring center 826CHI. Partnered with Groupon employees, the 22 budding scribes became Groupon Guide reporters for the day, scribbling down their thoughts on everything from the song of the summer to Lady Gaga’s out-there outfits.
Ginger Beer Isn’t Actually Beer
I might never be able to walk into a bar and order another dark and stormy. It just won’t be the same.
Flavorful Heirloom-Tomato Dishes Found at Four Chicago Restaurants
At Dusek's: heirloom tomato and stone-fruit salad with montenebro, crisp watermelon, baby arugula, and a brown butter-pine nut vinaigrette
Tasting Menu: Chicago Restaurant Picks from Taxim Chef David Schneider
“Sometimes the ingredient of love is missing when I eat out at restaurants,” said David Schneider, owner and chef of Chicago restaurant Taxim (1558 N. Milwaukee Ave.) in Wicker Park. People may not notice the absence of love in their dish, but Schneider does. It’s a longing that dates back to his childhood, when he spent three months each year in Greece with family who made their own dinner by catching fish and foraging for herbs and other ingredients.
A Tamale That Shucks the Cornhusk
To most people, a tamale is one thing: a steamy bundle of corn masa wrapped in a cornhusk. But Jorge Miranda, chef at the Chicago Mexican restaurant Chilapan, knows better. “You can make a tamale out of almost anything,” he said.
Okra Is In Season at These Five Chicago Restaurants
Okra may be in season right now, but it doesn’t mean everyone wants to eat it. The veggie often gets a bad rap for its slimy coating, which emerges when it’s cooked. But according to Chef David of Taxim restaurant in Chicago's Wicker Park, the veggie is actually quite versatile—and nearly slime-less—when cooked properly. He himself cooks with it every day.
Bar Scene: Chicago Bar Picks from Letherbee Founder and Distiller Brenton Engel
The guy behind Chicago’s Letherbee Distillers spends a lot of his time tinkering with spirits, which he makes with the help of an extra-small team in a tiny space in Ravenswood. When he’s not tinkering, you can often find him drink-ering at one of these five spots around the city.
Tasting Menu: Chicago Restaurant Picks from Chez Moi Chef Dominique Tougne
Stepping aboard airplanes that soar between Chicago and France is a regular custom for Dominique Tougne, the Alsace-born chef behind Chicago French restaurant Chez Moi (2100 N. Halsted St.). If the chef had his way, he’d probably pack suitcases of French cheese and wine before each return flight, the better to stock his bistro with. Customs laws prevent him from doing so; however, no law can stop him from bringing a bit of the French dining scene back to Chicago inside his brain.
Bar Scene: Chicago Bar Picks from Goose Island Brewmaster Nick Barron
The London-trained brewmaster's recommendations for his favorite Chicago bars.
Bar Scene: Chicago Bar Picks from GT Fish & Oyster Bartender Danielle Lewis
When she’s not shaking vinegar-spiked whiskey cocktails at GT Fish & Oyster (531 N. Wells St.), bartender Danielle Lewis often heads to one of these three spots for a tipple. One is a classic Bridgeport staple, one is inside a re-established Chicago landmark, and one is a super-chic hotel bar. We think Lewis has good taste. Check out her picks below.
Tasting Menu: Chef Carol Wallack of Sola Restaurant
Though she makes her home in Chicago far from the big blue, Chef Carol Wallack can’t escape the pull of the Pacific Ocean. She keeps a second home in Maui so she can scratch her surfing itch, and even the menu at her Chicago restaurant Sola (3868 N. Lincoln Ave.) is truly an expression of her love of the islands and its cuisine.
Tasting Menu: Chicago Restaurant Picks from Chef Brian Greene of Bow & Stern
Oysters have taken over Brian Greene’s life.
Nine Things You Never Knew About Terry Hope Romero
This June, vegan chef Terry Hope Romero releases her seventh cookbook, Salad Samurai. It is a compilation of 100 whole-meal salads for every season that are hearty enough to sate even the barbecue-loving crowd. I recently spoke with Romero about her ideal salad recipe to serve dads on Father’s Day. Below, Romero shares some little-known salad-based facts about herself, including her favorite breakfast salad, and what she feeds people who hate salad (hint: it’s salad).
Edible Seaweed Would Prefer to be Called Sea Vegetables
From fictional pirate stories to real-life sunken ships, it’s common knowledge that there’s hidden treasure in the ocean. But what if, instead of silver or gold, the treasure was a brownish, mottled green?
Five Questions with an Edible-Seaweed Harvester
Not all seaweed salad has to come from Japan. Mendocino, California–based Rising Tide Sea Vegetables is one of a growing number of companies that harvest edible seaweed in US waters, making it possible to buy kombu and sea lettuce that’s as local as a farmer’s market’s kale.
Tasting Menu: Chicago Restaurant Picks from Epic Chef Matthew Pollock
Matthew Pollock, the chef behind Esquire-rated restaurant Epic (112 W. Hubbard St.), has deep ties to Chicago—he’s a South Sider by birth, and he actually enjoys the taste of Malört.
Chef Matthew Pollock of Epic on Pizza, Elk, and Malort
Matthew Pollock, the chef behind Esquire-rated restaurant Epic (112 W. Hubbard St.),  has deep ties to Chicago—he’s a South Sider by birth, and he actually enjoys the taste of Malört.
The Seven Most Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Chicago
As soon as the mercury tips 60 degrees, Chicagoans bring out their shorts. And their dogs. We rounded up the city’s seven most pup-friendly restaurants.
A Chicago Craft Beer Week Itinerary for Each of the Five Types of Human
Chicago Craft Beer Week can be confusing. For starters, it’s not even a week. And with countless events between May 15 and May 25, it’s tough to choose which to attend. Whether you’re in the city or the suburbs, whether you live off food or knowledge, one of these itineraries will ensure you get the most fun out of this 10-day week. image04
Chicago Restaurant Picks from Spiaggia's Chef Tony Mantuano
There's a good chance you can run into Chef Tony Mantuano outside of the kitchens at Michelin-starred Spiaggia (980 N. Michigan Ave.). When we interviewed the chef, he shared some of his favorite Chicago restaurants outside of his own:
Chicago Restaurant Picks from Food Network's Amy Thielen
When we talked to Chef Amy Thielen, host of Food Network's Heartland Table, she shared with us some of her favorite Chicago restaurants.
Polish Food Wants to Get a Few Things Clear
For years, Chicago boasted having the world’s second largest Polish population, behind the Polish capital of Warsaw. And while Chicago may no longer bear that statistical title, its cultural effects can still be seen, particularly on plates and grills across the city.
Food Cravings, Diagnosed
Food cravings are one of the stomach’s biggest mysteries. Just what is it that triggers fantasies of chocolate cake or makes your mouth water at the mere thought of a pickle? We asked three nutrition experts to weigh in on the psychological and biological causes behind common food cravings.
Last-Minute Lifehack: DIY Slotted Spoon
Easter-egg dyeing only happens once a year—so it’s no surprise if you find yourself short a few necessary tools. Here’s how we improvised an impromptu slotted spoon to dip eggs in spring colors without leaving a mark. (That’s what happens to us whenever we use tongs alone.)
Eat the Easter Bunny
Rabbits are having a moment. Last year, Modern Farmer praised them as a low-impact, sustainable source of protein, able to reproduce quickly and survive on low-energy alfalfa. (The article was titled “Are Rabbits the New Super Meat?”, which raises the question: what was the last super meat?) In 2014, restaurants across the US have been hopping on the bunny bandwagon.
How to Chiffonade Basil: A Video Guide
Slice basil for bruschetta fast with this timesaving knife technique.
Recipe Roundup: Rhubarb
It’s not quite rhubarb season yet here in the Midwest, but there’s no reason not to plan ahead. These recipes take the stalk beyond conventional strawberry combinations to explore possibilities that range from sweet to savory to lip-smackingly tart.
Alice Waters on the Art of Simple Food—and Even Simpler Persuasion
It’s the 1970s. Chef Alice Waters boards a small plane in Santa Fe carrying sackfuls of fresh strawberries for her Berkeley restaurant, Chez Panisse. These are no ordinary fruits. Grown at Rancho Santa Fe’s famous Chino Farms, they exude the complex and enticing scents of locally grown organic produce—scents that have been missing from Americans’ kitchens for years. One by one, the other passengers’ heads turn. Their noses sniff. Then, one by one, they ask Waters if they can have a taste.
Half Acre Expands from a Microbrewery to a Big Microbrewery
They grow up so fast. From Orange County to Baltimore, craft breweries are outgrowing their spaces. Some of them had more orders for beer than they could handle. Others wanted to move out of garages, acquire space for barrel-aging beers, or put in taprooms.
Recipes for All Seasons
Recipe Roundup: Asparagus
There are many ways to celebrate the beginning of asparagus season. Here in the Midwest, we crown an asparagus queen. In Schrobenhausen, Germany, you can visit an Asparagus Museum. But here at the Groupon Guide, we believe that the best way to honor any vegetable is to eat it.
Wine from Asti Spumante to Zinfandel
Beer, Be It Bottled, Growler’d, or Canned
Breaking Down Boulevard's Best-Selling Beer
There are almost 3,000 craft breweries in the United States. In this edition of Beer Stalker, we investigate Missouri-grown wheat, goofy comedies, and why Boulevard Brewing Co.s Unfiltered Wheat Beer remains the brewery’s most popular beer.
Follow This Mantra to Make a Bold, Boozy Punch
Strong, weak, bitter, sour, sweet.
Three Salads That Look Good In Jars
I love packing my lunch in mason jars. Sure, they clank around and feel heavy in my bag on my way to the train. But later in the day, they turn a rushed, fluorescent-lit office lunch into a pleasant aesthetic experience. That’s especially important when expensive paninis and gooey slices of pizza are tempting me from across the Groupon cafeteria. The three salads below, I’ve found, look sweet enough in jars to keep my hungry eyes from wandering every time.
Four Ways to Make Olive-Oil Cake That Is Moist, Dense, and Delicious
About 75% olive-oil cake. That’s a guess for my score on a body-composition test right now. Last week, I made my first olive-oil cake, and I have been devouring it in big chunks every day since.