Make Reservations at These 9 Chicago Restaurants

08/1/22  |  Julie Latsko

From Mediterranean tapas to delicious hot pot meals, here are a few of Chicago’s top restaurants to try for the perfect night out.

Enjoy everything from elegant French meals or fresh and simple seafood to spicy Thai cuisine and vegan menus when you live in Chicago. Every neighborhood is home to five-star restaurants with beautiful interiors, stellar views, and unforgettable dinner options that will make you fall in love with life in the city. Whether you're planning a date night, a get-together with old friends, or a solitary night on the town, consider making a reservation at these must-visit Chicago restaurants:

For steak and seafood: Penumbra (in Logan Square)

This restaurant accommodates group and couples reservations so you can enjoy Latin-inspired steak and seafood in Northern Chicago. This cozy restaurant offers everything from scallops to steak, all cooked to perfection. Couples can eat in privacy at tables with draped curtains, and the low lights and ambiance make visiting Penumbra a treat any day of the week. Local diners love the salmon entrée, calling it the best salmon they've had at a restaurant, and the steaks offer melt-in-your-mouth flavor. Start your meal with a charcuterie board and end with a mouth-watering flan. Penumbra also offers an extensive wine menu. You can reserve your table online here.

For Mediterranean tapas: The Purple Pig (around North Side)

Exercise your palette with small gourmet plates and Mediterranean tapas at The Purple Pig. Vegetarians and meat-eaters love the salt-roasted beets, and many tapas feature succulent pork cuts. If you're in the mood for a light meal or a fun date, The Purple Pig is the perfect fit: order multiple tapas, share your small plates, and enjoy a drink at the bar. Enjoy their decadent crispy pig, the delicious turkey leg confit, or a chocolate crostata that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

Whether a foodie or a wine aficionado, this restaurant has the credentials to pique your interest: it received the JBF Rising Star Chef Award in 2014 and was featured in 2019's Best By-the-Glass Wine List in the World by The World of Fine Wine. The Purple Pig is busy in the evenings, so reserve your table in advance. Even during peak evening hours, you'll never feel rushed, and the staff is always attentive.

For Latin American cuisine: Amaru (in Wicker Park)

This Wicker Park favorite is the perfect destination for date night, a business dinner, or a girl's night out. Start your meal at the bar with innovative cocktails and drinks like their signature mezcal old-fashioned. If you schedule your reservation for Monday through Thursday or Sunday, enjoy a fun happy hour before starting your meal. The menu is full of Latin American fusion, with a choice of roasted vegetable salads, entrées like charred octopus and seafood empanadas, and large plates like Malanga goat cheese ravioli or 40-day dry-aged steak. Order a Mexican chocolate tart or an espresso tres leches for an unforgettable twist on classic desserts for the perfect end to your meal at Amaru. Amaru fills up quickly with a robust schedule of happy hours and events, so book your reservation through their easy OpenTable integration.

For cocktails and Italian food with a modern twist: Rose Mary (in Fulton Market)

Rose Mary sits in the historic district of Fulton Market, so there's plenty to see and do before or after your reservation. With every meal, you can look forward to a fusion of Italian heritage, Croatian inspiration, and fresh herbs and ingredients. The interior is bright and airy, giving the perfect backdrop for a weekday date night or a dinner with friends. Browse their drinks, wines, and wine list by the glass. There's something on the menu for every palate, with delicious options like lam culatello with pickled persimmons, pork ribs, delicately cooked baby octopus, and freshly made pasta dishes. Vegetables take center stage on the menu, with flavorful options like endive salad and hearty zucchini fritters.

You can easily make a reservation online, and planning ensures you have a table to enjoy fresh and fun Adriatic dishes.

For hot pot and barbecue: The X Pot (in South Loop)

Enjoy spicy and savory soups customized to your preferences with a hot pot from The X Pot. Here, you'll receive a choice platter of meats, vegetables, and herbs that you can add to broths kept at a steady simmer in the middle of your table. Cook razor-thin cuts of beef in a rich, flavorful broth, cook noodles to your preference between al dente and soft, and have complete control over every mouthful. Hot pot is a great way to share a meal with friends and try something new with a significant other. They're open for weekend lunches and dinner every day of the week, and you'll find The X Pot just a few streets away from Grant Park. The restaurant offers Wagyu tasting, individual pots, and sharing pots, and they also serve drinks from a varied menu. Make a reservation at their Chicago location to enjoy an unforgettable meal among glimmering lights and hanging lanterns.

For halal and Middle Eastern cuisine: Rumi Middle Eastern Grill (in Wicker Park)

When in Wicker Park, you can enjoy hearty meat dishes, flavorful rice, and halal meals that satisfy your cravings. For a quick bite, order one of their satisfying pita sandwiches or tasty wraps that you can enjoy at your table or eat on the go in Wicker Park. If you're looking for a unique twist on traditional Middle Eastern flavors, try Rumi's signature poutines, such as the gyro poutine with gyro, feta, tahini sauce, and more on fries. Their family platters and individual plates include hearty entrées of lamb kabob, falafel, and shawarma. The meals are served with perfectly cooked basmati rice. Rumi Middle Eastern Grill invites Chicago residents and visitors to reserve a table, order online, or walk in for a tasty lunch or dinner.

For a steakhouse with a Michelin Star: Maple & Ash (near North Side)

Enjoy exquisitely cooked steak in Chicago at Maple & Ash. Two-Michelin-star Chef Danny Grant created the menu, and the restaurant appears in Michelin's Guide. Enjoy dinner on the Maple & Ash Patio for a casual meal, where you'll find full cocktail and food menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner. On the patio, enjoy signature entrees like a prime ribeye steak sandwich or a king crab roll.

For more formal dining, reserve a table in the dining room. Start your dinner with raw or chilled seafood, and enjoy entrées like a wood-fired steak with classic potatoes and asparagus or decadent ricotta agnolotti with winter truffle. The dining room also serves brunch with fun cocktails, a champagne cart, savory brunch platters, and tasty French toast and maple-glazed bacon. You can reserve a table for either location and either meal online.

For dinner theater: Teatro ZinZanni (in the Loop)

You'll never find another restaurant like Teatro ZinZanni, where you'll enjoy a whirlwind show with circus, cabaret, and comedy elements during your meal. Teatro ZinZanni offers multi-course meals as you watch the show. Start by finding your new favorite drink from their specialty cocktail menu or enjoying a glass of wine.

Also, enjoy pleasant starters like crab cakes, tasty truffle fries, or ciabatta bread with honey chili butter. The meal begins with their signature salad, followed by main course options such as roasted chicken, rigatoni, pork shoulder, and risotto cakes. For dessert, enjoy a decadent chocolate torte. Reserve your tickets online so you can choose your preferred seating.

For afternoon tea: Pavilion at The Langham, Chicago (near North Side)

The Langham Chicago offers luxury, exquisite views of Chicago, and fine dining you won't see the equivalent anywhere else. Reserve a table at The Langham Afternoon Tea at Pavilion, where you'll enjoy elegant surroundings, proprietary teas, and small plates of five-star sweet and savory treats. Sip your tea and enjoy candied orange scones, potato leek panna cotta, and cherry blossom macarons for an afternoon full of decadence. If you book your afternoon tea for the weekend, you'll also be treated to live music. Along with elegant afternoon teas, the Pavilion hosts celebratory showers, parties, and special events.

Live in your favorite neighborhood for cuisine and entertainment —Julie Latsko can help you find your new five-star home

Chicago is home to countless restaurants that offer one-of-a-kind experiences, expertly curated menus, and lovely scenery that lets you enjoy all the enchanting parts of the city. When you live just around the corner from your favorite restaurants and shopping districts like River North, it's easier to enjoy a fun day or finish your day with a luxurious meal and a glass of wine.

Julie Latsko is an experienced Realtor in the River North and the broader Chicago area. Enjoy a curated real estate journey to find your next dream home or fall in love with one of the chic Chicago River North condos for sale in premium neighborhoods. Contact Julie Latsko today to start your home search or to learn more about the current market for River North real estate and luxury homes.