The Required: Chicago

The Required: Chicago

A definitive guide to Chicago's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, other food and beverage pros.

July 31, 2019
The Required: Chicago

The Required: Chicago

A definitive guide to Chicago's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of the nation's top chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, other food and beverage pros.

July 31, 2019

Chicago houses some of the best restaurants in the world, so it's overdue for an edition of The Required, our guide to the best restaurants chosen by our expert community. That's 5000+ food and beverage pros weighing in on to take you to their favorite spots.

Read on to plan your next trip—or just be sure you've checked all the best boxes on your home turf.  

The Girl & the Goat

Chicago hometown girl and Executive Chef Stephanie Izard opened her first restaurant “The Girl and the Goat,” following her Top Chef Season 4 win. Established in 2010 in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, this casually upscale neighborhood institution helped Randolph Street earn its apt nickname “Restaurant Row.” Focusing on globally inspired dishes like Marinated Lamb Skewers with Rhubarb Relish and Yuzu Vinaigrette, Goat Empanadas with Grilled Pineapple-Blueberry Pico, and the show-stopping Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face with Sunny Side Up Egg, Tamarind and Cilantro, this is where you want to join up with your other omnivorously adventurous friends and pass as many plates and glasses of wine aroudn as you can.  

Girl & the Goat
Hot Spot
West Loop, Chicago
$$$, Outdoor Seating, Modern, Full Bar, New American, Gastropub
15 Recommendations

The Purple Pig

Since opening The Purple Pig in 2009, fourth-generation restaurateur and Executive Chef Jimmy Bannos Jr. has brought creative, consistently delicious Mediterranean-inspired dishes with a decidedly pork-centric Chicago twist to the Magnificent Mile. Bannos’ menu goes “whole hog," literally, using every part of the animal to create dishes like Pheasant and Pigs’ Feet with Country Gravy, Amaro Glazed Spare Ribs, and an extensive house-cured charcuterie list featuring Blood Chorizo, Lingua, and Pancetta. Our experts say the Crispy Pig’s Ears with Fried Egg, Kale, and Pickled Cherry Peppers, are not to be missed. For those who don’t dig on swine, there are plenty of vegetarian and pescatarian options like Sweet Potato Polenta with Oranges and Burrata, and Octopus alla Plancha. Its extensive wine list curated by Certified Sommelier and Beverage Director Alan Beasey landed The Purple Pig on Wine Spectator’s 2018 Top 100 Wine Restaurants in America list.

Walk-in only, no reservations. 

The Purple Pig
Hot Spot
Near North Side, Chicago
$$$, Outdoor Seating, Full Bar, Mediterranean, Tapas
14 Recommendations

The Bristol

The Bristol’s critically acclaimed Executive Chef Todd Stein focuses his menu on simple, seasonally forward New American and Italian influenced dishes. If your group is divided amongst carnivores and vegetarians, show them The Bristol’s menu and reviews, and they can quit squabbling and start dining. Our experts say that in addition to the rotating seasonal vegetable dishes, standouts like Ricotta Raviolo with Farm Egg and Brown Butter, Steak Tartare with Miso Egg Custard, and Fennel Garlic Sausage Stuffed Porchetta with Pickled Asparagus and Black Garlic are not to be missed. The wine menu features the best of what Italy and California have to offer. 

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