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.  

Smyth

Named for their time spent together in the farmlands of Smyth County Virginia, where they honed their skills and found their creative voices, spouses and executive chefs John and Karen Urie Shields bring their love of the countryside to Chicago’s culinary scene. They source the majority of their ingredients from a 20-acre farm an hour outside of the city with whom they are partnered. With visually stunning plating and presentation styles, Smyth’s three distinct pre-fixe menus change daily, depending on what’s best. Our experts say that while you’ll never have the same meal twice at Smyth, you can expect consistent excellence and painstaking dedication to detail and service each time you visit. This is the perfect place to take someone special who appreciates sustainable, thoughtful food almost as much as they appreciate you. Reservations required.  

Smyth
Hot Spot
West Loop, Chicago
$$, Modern, Restaurant
16 Recommendations

Elske

Elske means “love” in Danish, and is a reference to Chef David Posey’s Danish mother, and the fact that he and his pastry chef wife and business partner Anna, were engaged in Copenhagen. This Michelin-starred, multiple award-winning, and critically acclaimed restaurant features seasonally rotating tasting menus that showcase both traditional Danish and contemporary influences and techniques. Our experts say an evening at Elske is sure to be memorable and is the embodiment of the Danish concept of Hygge: “a warm, welcoming place to gather.” Reservations required. 

Elske
Hot Spot
West Loop, Chicago
$$$, Reservations, Modern, New American
13 Recommendations

Oriole

West Loop is home to some of the best restaurants in the city of Chicago, and Michelin-starred Oriole is one of its crown jewels. With an intimate dining room that seats 28, award-winning chef and owner Noah Sandoval’s four-course pre-fixe tasting menu, while subject to seasonal change, is decidedly seafood and meat forward, with French and Asian influences. Our experts say that at Oriole you can expect a leisurely evening filled with clean, crisp flavors, that complement each other and set you up nicely for each progressive course. Service is second to none. Oriole is ideal for special occasions and celebrations of accomplishments (even if that accomplishment is that you made it all the way to the dessert course without first dying of gastronomic bliss).  

Oriole
Hot Spot
Fulton River, Chicago
$$, Modern, Full Bar, Restaurant
8 Recommendations
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