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.  

GT Fish & Oyster

You can find a go-to seafood spot in every major city you visit, and critically acclaimed, award-winning GT Fish & Oyster is our experts’ pick for Chicago. With a frequently changing menu that is “half classic, half contemporary” you’re sure to find something for everyone in your group. Our experts recommend you order from the raw bar, featuring oysters on the half shell, snapper ceviche, and raw clams. Or get the house-smoked fish platter for your table. Lobster Bisque and Oyster Po’ Boy Sliders also get high marks. They also have a full wine and liquor bar to wash it all down with.  

Au Cheval

With its vintage tile floors, leather booths, and old-school hardwood bar, Au Cheval feels like classic Chicago. The chefs are in agreement with our experts: there are few things that can’t be made better by throwing a fried egg on top, like regional favorite Fried Bologna sandwich. But it's not JUST a burger and bologna joint, Au Cheval also offers gluten-free and vegetarian options. The cocktail program focuses on American Classics like The Hemingway Daiquiri and The Old Fashioned. This is the perfect spot to either recover from a hangover or get yourself well on the way to your next one. Be forewarned though: Au Cheval is incredibly popular and they don’t take reservations, so prepare to stand in line. Our experts say it's well worth it.  

Au Cheval
Hot Spot
West Loop, Chicago
$$, Burgers, Modern, Full Bar, Diner
25 Recommendations

Coalfire Pizza

Chicago is most famous to visitors for its Deep Dish. But locals have embraced Coalfire for its coal oven-fired thin crust pizzas that come out slightly charred and super bubbly. Our experts rave about the Black & White: Mozzarella, Goat Cheese, Black Garlic and Marinara. Other hits include the Honey & Salami, the Vodka Meatball and the Pistachio Pesto with Sausage. There is also a limited wine list and an extensive microbrew selection. 

Displaying items 16 - 18 of 20 total