Before traveling to a new city I typically check TripAdvisor to see which restaurants are highly rated. Referred to as "the world's largest travel site", TripAdvisor makes it possible to read reviews and candid comments about traveler's first-hand experiences. Listed below are some top-rated restaurants in Chicago. You'll see a number next to each entry -- this represents the ranking out of 4,634 entries. Have you been to any of these restaurants? Which ones do you want to try when you're in the city for the NFPA Conference & Expo?
Cuisine: American, French
Address: 185 N Ashland Ave., 60622-5148
Cuisine: European, ContemporaryAmerican, French
Address: 652 W Randolph, 60601
Address: 1484 North Milwaukee Ave. (East Side), 60622
Cuisine: American, Hot Dogs
Address: 3324 North California, 60618
Cuisine: European, Contemporary
Address: 500 North Michigan Avenue, 60611
Address: 201 E Grand Ave., 60611-3311
Address: 1723 N Halstead, 60614-5501
Cuisine: Breakfast. Lunch
Address: 130 E Randolph Street, 60601-6207
Cuisine: American. Seafood, Steakhouse
Address: 21 E Hubbard Street, 60611-3512
Cuisine: American, Seafood, Steakhouse
Address: 60 E Grand Avenue, 60611-3533
Address: 721 W Grand Avenue (The Loop), 60610
Cuisine: American, Contemporary
Address: 868 N Franklin Street, 60610
Cuisine: American, BBQ
Address: 3800 N Pulaski Road, (NW side), 60641-3197
One of the things I enjoy about business travel is the opportunity to explore new places. Playtime is limited, so it requires savvy planning to highlight your business trip with a personal touch! In addition to the great sites that Jennifer mentioned in earlier posts, I’d like to highlight a couple of events occurring just before and after the Conference that I found in the Chicago Visitors' Guide.
Blues fan? Come early! Attend our pre-conference seminars and be in town for the Chicago Blues Festival (June 6-9), the largest FREE blues festival in the world according to the City of Chicago. Learn
important skills from NFPA experts by day and celebrate your favorite blues artists by night. Just don’t skip class, we’ll be watching!
On the other hand, if the Proposed Revisions to the 2014 NEC® or Changes to NFPA 25, Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems (2014 edition) interests you, then you’ll want to stay for our post-conference seminars on Friday, June 14th. After class, you can enjoy the Taste of Randolph , a multi-cultural display of food, vendors and music!
Technorati Tags: blues festival, Chicago Blues Festival, Fire Protection Systems, food festival, free events, NEC, NFPA 25, NFPA C&E, pre-conference seminars, Randolph Street, Taste of Randolph, Water-Based Fire Protection
| | | | | | |
A recent LinkedIn update included a link to this video with MarketWatch's Rex Crum reviewing results of a survey on the top-ranking cities for pizza in the U.S. Guess which city ranks #1?
Unless you’ve been living in a reality free from images of Chicago (which is unlikely, given the recent posts on this blog), the massive metal bean known as the Cloud Gate should ring a bell. It’s one of the most recognizable Chicagoan icons and sits in a position of prominence in Millennium Park. Summer moves quickly in the city, especially when working around a bustling expo, and the park offers a chance to get outside and enjoy the scenery.
The park is located right next to the Art Institute of Chicago. If art and the sight of grass aren’t enough of a draw, Millennium Park has some profoundly unique features (Cloud Gate, the Crown Fountain, The Boeing Galleries, etc.) and areas to eat (The Park Grill). Additionally, the 2013 Grant Park Music Festival will take place at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, on the Great Lawn in the middle of Millennium Park, beginning June 12.
Explore the official website for more information.
From the wreckage of the Great Chicago Fire to a massive shopping district, the Magnificent Mile is a 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue with 460 stores, 275 restaurants and copious landmarks and other attractions. During the summer, it is quite crowded but worth a visit.
The hundreds of stores along the mile are mostly high-end retailers, but the blocks surrounding it feature shops for any price range. Restaurants speckle the area, which offers an opportunity to satisfy the need for a deep dish pizza (Giordano’s) or southwestern barbeque (Bandera), or get your chocolate fix at Ghirardelli’s.
The Magnificent Mile is the site for many seasonal exhibitions. During the summer, it puts on the free Summer Concert Series and the Gardens of the Magnificent Mile festival. Anyone window-shopping or wandering on the mile is welcome at the events.
If theater is calling your name, the Magnificent Mile district includes easy access to the Broadway Playhouse, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and The Second City. Concerts more to your taste? Check out the House of Blues or the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. There are seven museums nearby, ranging from contemporary arts to an aquarium.
For more information, visit the official site.
The Chicago Like a Local blog by Choose Chicago has a great entry on the Chicago dining scene. With their permission, we’ve reposted the November 27, 2012 blog here.
The Michelin Guide is an illuminati of dining. It's a review controlled by an unseen panel of anonymous editors who make or break a restaurant's worth one star at a time. New York, Chicago and San Francisco are the only three cities in the United States that have their culinary chops probed and rated by the prestigious publication. A single Michelin star can turn a fringe restaurant into a booming commercial success and a three star rating is the restaurant equivalent to a Pulitzer. Here's a look at the galaxy that is Chicago dining, with 23 shooting stars.
Alinea (1723 North Halsted Street): This restaurant's been an absolute game changer for Chicago as a dining destination. Since opening in 2005, it's become one of the world's most sought after restaurants and for good reason. Grant Achatz is a visionary. His food looks like fine art and tastes important. Rag ticketing reservation stystems, insufferable pictures of meals on Instagram and the pretentions inherent with a world-class dining scene all you want, but without Alinea this town wouldn't be nearly as delicious.
Graham Elliot (217 West Huron Street): Graham Elliot (the chef) has unabashedly imposed himself on Chicago dining and we should thank him. Elliot's trio of eponymous restaurants have racked up accolades as long and exalted as his online bio, with the flagship becoming one of the best restaurants in the country.
L2O (2300 North Lincoln Park West): Considering that Chicago is a three hour flight to the nearest ocean, L2O's seafood command is absolutely astounding. Last year, the restaurant's head chef Laurent Gras bolted for the Big Apple and, subsequently, the Lincoln Park mainstay lost a Michelin star. Behind new chef Matthew Kirkley, L2O is part of the most exciting resurgence in Chicago's dining scene.
Acadia (1639 South Wabash Avenue): Where taste, form, eras and design seamlessly weave like a drizzle of corn custard over Stonington Lobster. Fine dining without ego and an admirable effort directed towards the cocktails
Blackbird (619 West Randolph Street): Blackbird's dining space has been standing room only for, like, 15 years. When a restaurant is that popular for that long, it's because the people in charge know what they're doing. Oh, and it doesn't hurt to have world famous meat magician/Executive Chef Paul Kahan in the kitchen.
Boka (1729 North Halsted Street): Boka's right next door to Alinea. So if your Google Maps smart phone app is a bit off, you'll still end up in front of a decent meal. Thanks, Siri! Contemporary American for people who like their food poached and seared to perfection, which should be just about everyone.
Everest (440 South La Salle Street #4000): A fine diner's fine dining restaurant with an aristocratic air of self-assuredness and world renowned wine list to boot. It's located on the 40th floor of the Stock Exchange, so a diner's willful disconnect from reality is rather poetically incorporated into their view.
Goosefoot (2656 West Lawrence Avenue): A beacon of joy shining from the heart of Lincoln Square. This place is BYOB so if your credit limit isn't as sophisticated as your pallet, at least you save a few bucks on the wine pairing. Goosefoot features classic French technique with a forward thinking menu, and a refreshingly humble atmosphere.
Longman & Eagle (2657 North Kedzie Avenue): Many a lazy outlet has dubbed this place Chicago's quintesential hipster restaurant, mostly because it's in Logan Square and serves obscure whiskey. Played generalizations aside, for hearty fine dining at a fair price, there's not a better alternative in Chicago's diversity-rich "foodie" scene.
Mexique (1529 West Chicago Avenue): Mexique was last year's darling of the Bib Gourmand's and it's nice to see hard work pay off. At times overlooked and often underrated, it's refreshing to see Carlos Gaytan get the shine that he deserves. It makes us feel better about the world.
Moto (945 West Fulton Market): As a prevailing leader of the molecular gastronomy movement, Moto is what fine dining will look like in the future: gracefully minimalist, imaginatively deconstructed, and served in a smoking test tube. The Fulton Market district is a hinge point of sorts for Chicago's recent cultural renaissance and this place keeps the area's sustenance moving forward.
NAHA (500 North Clark Street): Never open a restaurant with your cousin, unless you're Carrie Nahabedian, then go bananas. Consistent and driven, Nahabedian is one of only ten female chefs in the country with a Michelin starred restaurant.
Schwa (1466 North Ashland): This place is BYOB and the restaurant bumps Notorious B.I.G. tracks while you dine. The experience at Schwa is absolutely unique, unlike any other on this list. If you have preconceived notions about fine dining as a stuffy, fruitless way to blow $250, then you've never tried a meal prepared by Michael Carlson.
Sepia (123 N. Jefferson Street): Classic Chicago from its cast iron and brick accents to the rustic cuisine. Executive chef Andrew Zimmerman (not to be confused with the eponymous Bizarre Foods host) is fresh off of winning Food Network's Iron Chef, the third Chicago-based contestant to wear the reality TV show's crown.
Sixteen (401 North Wabash Avenue): Sixteen, located on the 16th floor of the Trump International Hotel and Tower, is charmingly positioned in line with the Wrigley Building Clock Tower. Unless Executive Chef Thomas Lents lives in the building's penthouse and regularly prepares his own meals, there's not a better food and view combination in the country.
Spiaggia (980 North Michigan Avenue): Since the mid '80s, Spiaggia has been Chicago's gold standard for Italian cuisine. The restaurant's Chef/Partner, Tony Mantuano, piles up accolades like a mound of artisinaly prepared spaghetti noodles over Spanish red prawns, including a James Beard Award (2005) and Food & Wine's nod for "Best New Chef" in 1986.
Takashi (1952 North Damen): Takashi Yagihashi's flagship restaurant is celebrating its third consecutive year with a Michelin star. The recent Top Chef: Masters contestant is famous for his creative take on contemporary fine dining, which often includes French and Asian influences.
Topolobampo (445 North Clark Street): Rick Bayless' enthusiastic rebuttal to those who think Mexican food is just tacos and quesadillas. It's artfully plated, boldly flavored refinement from south of the border. Topolo (as those in the know call it) has been a renowned Chicago establishment for decades, touted by Esquire as one of "America's Top New Restaurants" in '91 and recognized for its outstanding service in '01 by the James Beard Foundation.
Tru (676 North St. Clair Street): Partner/Chef Anthony Martin's contribution to a new wave in progressive fine dining, where the cuisine and experience are equal parts innovation and novelty. Each course is a culinary performance, complete with a caviar dish that levitates in the air before landing gracefully on a serving pedestal.
What differentiates deep dish pizza from other versions of the dish is, as logic would suggest, the deeper pan in which it is cooked. The depth of the pie necessitated other changes to the pizza’s structure. There is a longer bake time required to thoroughly cook the ingredients. Those ingredients, however, would burn if they were assembled in a traditional pattern. So, the pizza is arranged “upside-down,” starting with the cheese, followed by meat, other toppings, and finally coated in a liberal layer of tomato sauce.
History aside, deep dish pizza can be found anywhere in Chicago, with a few pizza joints that are guaranteed to provide a delicious pie. Pizzeria Uno, Gino’s East and Giordano’s have the best known and generally excellent quality deep dish. If you have a spare three hours and a burning need to hit up a diverse array of pizzas, Chicago Pizza Tours will take small groups to neighborhoods around Chicago to enjoy local spins on the classic.
Chicago is one of the world's culinary epicenters thanks to its award-winning fine dining establishments, family friendly options, and international cuisines from its ethnically diverse neighborhoods.
Credit: © Choose Chicago
Follow the C&E blog for a future post about "A Guide to Chicago's 2013 Michelin Guide".