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Restaurants in the Loop

A guide to the best restaurants in the Loop, Chicago’s downtown. The Loop’s restaurants cater to both locals and tourists. There are romantic places for date nights, open air restaurants beside the Chicago River, spots for a quick lunch, a Russian tea room, and a German restaurant that has been around for over a century.

A guide to the best restaurants in The Loop, Chicago's downtown. The Loop's restaurants cater to both locals and tourists. There are romantic places for date nights, open air restaurants beside the Chicago River, spots for a quick lunch, a Russian tea room, and a German restaurant that has been around for over a century.

This downtown neighborhood is filled with skyscrapers and office buildings. It’s home to the theater district, the Riverwalk, and many of Chicago’s landmarks. The Loop gets its name because several of the el trains loop around this neighborhood. Every train has stops in the Loop making this the easiest neighborhood to get to.

Last updated: May 2022

The Best Restaurants in the Loop

The list below indicates which restaurants serve breakfast/brunch and/or lunch in addition to dinner.

LH Rooftop
Global, Lunch

Located on the rooftop of the London House Hotel, this restaurant has some of the best views of the Chicago River and landmark architecture. A full menu is served and there are both indoor and outdoor spaces. The menu includes a mix of American tapas, appetizers, and entrees. This is a popular spot for cocktails after work.

Prime & Provisions
Steakhouse, American, Lunch

This classic American steakhouse specializes in dry-aged steaks and seafood. The restaurant offers both an a la carte menu and a four-course menu for $130 per person. Lunch is offered in addition to dinner. Cigars can be smoked on the patio.

Good Funk
Wine Bar

From the same owners as Beatnik, Good Funk is a natural wine bar serving a menu of snacks like pâté, cheese boards, tartare, and flatbreads.

Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

This restaurant on the rooftop of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel has an open air terrace and some of the best views of Grant Park, Millennium Park, and Lake Michigan. This is an ideal place to watch the summer fireworks on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The menu features comfort food served family-style.

Cherry Circle Room
Romantic, American, French

Also in the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, the Cherry Circle Room is an intimate dimly lit restaurant with leather banquettes. It’s the most romantic restaurant in the Loop. The space won a James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant Design. The menu blends American and French cuisine with items such as foie gras, black truffle croquettes, oysters casino, heritage pork chops, and steaks on the menu. Pre-theater dining is offered and most theaters are within easy walking distance. The game room, which is on the same floor as the Cherry Circle Room, is a beautiful place to play billiards before or after dinner.

The Dearborn
American, Lunch

The Dearborn is an elegant bar and restaurant located in the heart of the Loop serving a menu of casual American classics. The menu includes tavern style pizza, burgers, and fried chicken.

The Loop
French, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

A brasserie, cafe, and oyster bar are located with in the Pendry Hotel on Michigan Avenue. The cafe has 40 foot tall windows overlooking Michigan Avenue. The sun filled space is stunningly decorated with sage green palm murals, marble tables, and plush velvet sofas. The menu has lighter breakfast and lunch options including eggs, salads, and sandwiches. The brasserie is a separate more formal space that serves traditional French cuisine like duck liver mousse, mussels, tuna Niçoise, seven types of caviar, whole roasted duck, salmon, steak, and roasted chicken.

Mercat a la Planxa

Chef Jose Garces’s Spanish tapas restaurant on Michigan Avenue serves an a la carte menu, a traditional tasting menu, and a chef’s tasting menu. The restaurant has a lively atmosphere and it is a great place to dine with a group. In addition to tapas, four preparations of paella are offered.

The Berghoff
German, American, Lunch

One of the oldest restaurants in Chicago, The Berghoff opened in 1898 and serves traditional German and contemporary American cuisine. The large menu features Wiener schnitzel, spatzleknodel, and sausages plus a variety of sandwiches and appetizers.

The Gage
Gastropub, Lunch

An elevated pub that is open for weekday lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner. The Gage serves bar fare like burgers, steaks, and fish and chips. The pub’s location between The Art Institute and Cloud Gate make it a perfect place for lunch during a day of sightseeing.

Italian, Lunch

Located next door to sister restaurant to The Gage, Acanto is an Italian restaurant and wine bar serving handcrafted pastas, pizzas, and meat mains. Lunch is served on weekdays and dinner is served nightly.

Cuban, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Vegetarian/Vegan

This casual and affordable Cuban sandwich shop has two locations in The Loop (7 N Wells and 26 East Ida B Wells Drive). The menu features over two dozen pressed sandwiches plus several vegan specialities. In the mornings a full breakfast menu is offered.

Brightwok Kitchen
Asian, Lunch, Healthy, Fast-casual, Vegetarian/Vegan

A fast-casual restaurant serving cold salads and hot bowls that are gluten-free, dairy-free, and peanut-free. Diners can choose from a menu of hot bowls or build their own. Options include a sweet umami mushroom bowl and a kick’n panang bowl with their cashew curry. Brightwok’s Loop location serves weekday lunch only.

Beatnik on the River
Global, Mediterranean, Lunch

Vibrantly decorated with Moroccan and Indonesian furnishings, Beatnik serves weekday lunch, weekend brunch, and nightly dinner. The year-round patio overlooking the river is one of Chicago’s most stunning outdoor dining spaces. The menu emphasizes bold flavors and includes octopus tika masala noodles, chicken bao, arepa, and a burger. This is one of the trendiest and most popular restaurants in the Loop.

Russian Tea Time
Russian, Lunch, Kid-friendly

Russian Tea Time serves lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner Tuesdays through Sundays plus weekend brunch. The tea service is available all day and ranges in price from $36 to $56. The lunch and dinner menu focuses on traditional Russian cuisine and has the option of family style platters for two.

Riverwalk Restaurants

These casual outdoor restaurants located along the Chicago Riverwalk are open seasonally during the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

City Winery

City Winery at the Chicago Riverwalk has a full bar and food menu. For part of the winter, City Winery offers dining in heated igloos.

Chicago Brewhouse
Bar/Gastropub, American

A bar serving Chicago street food and sharable plates like jumbo pretzels, tacos, hot dogs, and Italian Beef.

Beat Kitchen

Beat Kitchen serves tacos, pizzas, and sandwiches.

Tiny Tapp & Cafe

The Cafe serves coffee and pastries while the Tapp serves beer, wine, cocktails, burgers, and sandwiches. In the summer, Tiny Tapp hosts a live music series.

The Northman Beer & Cider Garden
Beer Garden

A riverfront beer garden with long communal tables serving craft beer and cider, snacks, and sausages.

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