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Restaurants in the West Loop

An extensive guide to the restaurants in the West Loop featuring over 50 restaurants. More than any other Chicago neighborhood, the West Loop is known for its exceptional culinary scene.

A guide to the restaurants in the West Loop. More than any other Chicago neighborhood, the West Loop is known for its exceptional culinary scene.

The best thing about the West Loop is that there is always something new. The restaurant scene in this neighborhood has exploded in the past decade. The West Loop neighborhood is home to Restaurant Row and the Fulton Market District – the trendiest spots for new restaurants in Chicago.

Restaurant Row is a stretch of Randolph Street extending from Halsted Street to Ogden Avenue. The Fulton Market District is a larger area that includes West Fulton Market Street and extends south to include Restaurant Row. In general, people use the term “Fulton Market District” to refer to the restaurant dense area of the West Loop neighborhood.

The West Loop has a high concentration of fine dining restaurants. The family-friendly restaurants on the list have been given that designation. We also indicated which restaurants serve breakfast/brunch and/or lunch in addition to dinner.

Note: There are so many Japanese restaurants in the West Loop that we created a category for them at the end of the list.

Last Updated: May 2022

The Best Restaurants in the West Loop


Avec has long been considered one of the best restaurants in Chicago. Avec combines fine dining cuisine with communal dining and a casual atmosphere. They serve dinner and weekend brunch with a menu that mixes small and large plates meant for sharing. The chorizo stuffed dates with bacon in a piquillo pepper and tomato sauce is a signature small plate dish. The slow roasted pork shoulder and the rotisserie chicken shawarma are stand outs from the large plates. Avec has a second location in River North.

Fine Dining, Romantic

Sepia is a romantic fine dining restaurant serving an $85 four-course menu that lets guests choose from a small menu to design their own meal. The menu highlights seasonal ingredients and the wine list is one of Chicago’s best. Wine pairings are available with your meal.


Located next to sister restaurant Sepia, Proxi’s menu is inspired by Chef Andrew Zimmerman’s travels around the world. Guests have the option of an a la carte menu and a four-course chef’s tasting menu. The menu includes items like scallop black truffle congee, wagyu beef cheek, and braised pork belly with Burmese curry.

Au Cheval
American, Burgers, Lunch

Au Cheval is an elegant diner that serves one of the most famous burgers in the country, and people wait in line for hours to try it. In general, it is easier to get a table for lunch or during the hours between lunch and dinner. Pro tip: the single cheeseburger is really a double patty while the double is really a three patty burger. In addition to the burger, the menu includes General Jane’s honey-fried chicken, matzah ball soup, and roasted marrow bones.

Girl & the Goat

When Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard opened Girl & The Goat in 2010, it helped to transform the West Loop into the neighborhood for Chicago’s best restaurants. Girl & The Goat is known for serving creative small plates with bold flavors and unexpected ingredients. And yes, goat is one of their signature menu items, the menu has several preparations but keep in mind that goat legs must be pre-ordered.

Alla Vita
Pizza, Italian, Romantic

Is the food more beautiful, or is the restaurant space itself more beautiful? That question might be impossible to answer at this stunning Italian restaurant decorated with a wooden pergola with hanging greenery and twinkle lights. The menu has Italian staples: homemade pasta, pizza, and wood fired meats.


Roister is Alinea and Next’s trendy casual sister restaurant. It’s refreshing to enjoy top notch food in a relaxed welcoming atmosphere. Roister is known for their fried chicken which has been a menu staple. It’s impossibly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. It’s on both the brunch and dinner menus. The rest of menu changes seasonally.

St. Clair Supper Club
American, Prime Rib

Located in the basement of Roister (you enter through Roister), The St. Clair Supper Club has a small menu specializing in Prime Rib cooked medium-rare. The only other entree option is broiled whitefish. A handful of starters, sides, and desserts round out the food menu.

Fine Dining

Michelin-starred chef Curtis Duffy’s Ever serves an 8-10 course tasting menu featuring proteins from the land and sea along with seasonal vegetables.

Global, Fine Dining

Next is a fine dining restaurant whose culinary inspiration and menu completely change every four months. The restaurant has received a record twenty-one 4-star reviews from the Chicago Tribune. The winter 2022 theme is World’s Fair. The menu is prix fixe and reservations are necessary and prepaid.

Good Ambler

Good Ambler is a bakery serving elegant breakfast pastries and desserts in addition to a small menu of savory quiches and sandwiches.

Gibson’s Italia
Italian, Steakhouse, Romantic, Lunch

Gibson’s Italia is a three level Italian steakhouse on the Chicago River with two fireplaces, a roof deck, and spectacular city views. The large menu mixes upscale Italian cuisine with classic steakhouse fare.

American, Fine Dining

Oriole offers a prix fixe extended tasting menu for $285 per person. The menu is always evolving.


A restaurant with a menu that explores the cuisines of Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece. This rooftop restaurant is one of Chicago’s prettiest outdoor spaces. It’s tempting to add this to the list of most romantic restaurants in Chicago, but is very lively and the ambiance is more social than romantic. The menu staples include short rib hummus, char-grilled lamb chops, and skirt steak shawarma.

Cabra Cevicheria

Another restaurant by Chef Stephanie Izard, this one is on the rooftop of the Hoxton Hotel. The menu has a few different ceviches and empanadas to try plus steak, salmon, or eggplant Saltado – a Peruvian stir fry made with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and potatoes.

The Publican

The Publican’s menu celebrates oysters, pork, and beer. The space is inspired by a European beer hall and the food is rustic. The Publican serves dinner nightly and weekend brunch. They also have a happy hour from 4 pm – 6 pm on weekdays that features snacks and a burger. The dinner menu is meat and seafood centric with the option for a multi-course family style meal for $70 a person.

Publican Quality Meats
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

PQM is a market, butcher, bakery, and cafe and casual sibling to The Publican. You can buy charcuterie, gourmet cheeses, deli meats, sausage, steaks, pork, and poultry. Or you can get sandwiches, salads, other meals to eat at the cafe or to take home. PQM is open from 10 am to 6 pm daily.


Freshly opened in at the end of January 2022, Lyra pairs contemporary Greek cuisine with a spirited atmosphere. The menu includes a pretty even mix of seafood, meat, and vegetable forward dips and sides.

Rose Mary
Croatian, Italian

This restaurant from chef/owner/Top Chef winner Joe Flamm combines Italian cuisine and Croatian flavors. The menu includes several pastas plus risotto, fish, and meat mains. As of March 2022, it’s one of the hardest reservations to get.

Little Goat Diner
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

Stephanie Izard’s diner serves up three meals a day – and breakfast is served all day. The menu has indulgent options with global inspirations like an Indian flatbread breakfast burrito, Korean chicken tacos, and a burger topped with kimchi, bacon, and a sunny side up egg. You can also find more traditional diner fare like biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and a reuben. Desserts come from sugargoat sweets next door.

Bar Siena
Italian, Lunch

Fabio Viviani’s casual Italian gastropub has a menu with a mix of pizzas, pastas, and Italian inspired bar foods. The restaurant serves lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends in addition to dinner nightly. The brunch menu is one of the most man-friendly (hearty) in the city.

Trivoli Tavern
American, Romantic

A beautiful dimly lit tavern with a decor that makes you feel like you have stepped back in time. Part of the Hogsalt restaurant group which helms some of Chicago most acclaimed eateries, Trivoli Tavern has a menu that includes seafood, pasta, steaks, and comfort foods like chicken pot pie, fried chicken, and fish & chips.

Pizza, Lunch

Bonci’s counter is filled with large rectangular pizzas. Guests just tell the staff how much they want, and the pizza is sliced and heated up. This is one of the best restaurants in the West Loop for a quick meal.

American, Healthy, Pastries, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Kid-friendly

Beatrix is a restaurant and market in the Fulton Market District. The market has grab and go options while the sit down restaurant serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays, brunch on weekends, and dinner sever days a week. The menu has a little of everything: chicken enchiladas, miso glazed salmon, meatloaf, and a mushroom quinoa burger. A gluten-free menu and a kid’s menu are available.


Chef Sarah Grueneberg’s James Beard Award winning Italian restaurant is known for their handmade pastas. The pastas on the menu are divided into two sections: atipicia and tipicia giving diners the option of ordering dishes like potato filled žlikrofi (Slovenian dumplings) or spaghetti al pomodoro. In addition to the pastas, the menu has small plates and meat dishes served family style. A gluten-free menu is available.

Duck Duck Goat
Asian, Chinese

Stephanie Izard’s restaurant gorgeous Chinese restaurant has a fun playful atmosphere and a menu offering dim sum and classic Chinese cuisine with some unique twists like duck and goat spring rolls and goat shoulder slap noodles.

American, Fine Dining

This restaurant is co-owned by married couple David Posey who serves at the Executive Chef and Anna Posey who is the Pastry Chef. Elske’s cuisine is American with a Scandinavian influence that can be seen in both the ingredients and the culinary technique. A prix fixe set menu is offered for $115 in addition to an a la carte menu.

Leña Brava

Leña Brava serves wood-fired meals inspired by Baja, Mexico. Try fire roasted carnitas, carne asada, slow cooked short rib, or the signature striped bass. If you want to try mezcal and agave, that menu is nine pages long. Leña Brava’s Chef Rick Bayless is known for restaurants that honor traditional Mexican cuisine – it isn’t the Tex-Mex style that is typical of Mexican restaurants in America.

Cruz Blanca
Mexican, Brewery, Lunch

A Rick Bayless brewery and taqueria serving tortas, tostadas, burritos, quesadillas, and tacos. It is the type of place where you can have beer and snacks or settle in for a full meal.

Gioia Ristorante e Pastificio

Gioia offers handmade Italian pastas in a chic modern space. The menu covers all the classics like veal tortellini, eggplant parmesan, and cacio e pepe. Adult bibs are available so you don’t have to risk getting tomato sauce on your outfit.

Italian, Kid-friendly

Formento’s was inspired by the red sauce joints of the 1950s. The menu has meaty entrees like pork chops, whole grilled branzino, and chicken parmesan. The pasta menu includes bucatini carbonara, canestri with pork neck gravy, and tortelloni with black truffle ricotta. They have a kids menu too.

Mexican, Lunch, Vegetarian

A Mexican cantina inspired by Midwest ingredients, Chikatana has a sophisticated menu with items like chorizo gnocchi, barbacoa short ribs, cabbage in mole blanco, and crispy pork belly. The lunch menu offers tacos, the dinner menu does not. On weekends, the brunch menu has brisket hash, churro French toast, and chilaquiles. All menus have plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Bar Takito

An inviting casual restaurant serving fresh margaritas, snacks, tacos, and some larger meat dishes including skirt steak, octopus a la plancha, carnitas, and sea bass.


In this case, PB & J stands for pizza, beer, and jukebox, but the menu also offers fancy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It’s a casual bar space high top tables. There are mid-week happy hour specials and buckets of drinks are available.

Green Street Smoked Meats
American, Barbecue

A fast-casual Texas barbecue restaurant with long communal tables and lots of twinkle lights. Guests have the option of ordering smoked meats by the half pound, sides, and sandwiches.

Indian, Vegetarian/Vegan

The menu at Rooh balances culinary trends with tradition. Rooh serves butter chicken, paneer pasanda, plus a chili cheese kulcha, tandoori cauliflower, and tandoor smoked pork belly.

Punch Bowl Social
American, Gastropub, Lunch

A 30,000 square foot entertainment complex with a bar and restaurant, this is the place for a fun night out. Punch Bowl Social has bowling, ping pong, karaoke, video games, bocce, and more. It’s open for weekday lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner and it stays open and serves food late. The menu has casual bar food like sharable dips, burgers, sandwiches, and tacos.

Korean, Asian, Lunch

Perilla’s menu has a mix of Korean BBQ and other Korean fare. This Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant serves dumplings, Korean pancakes, stews, rice bowls, plus grilled items. Tasting plates are available.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
American, Lunch, Kid-friendly

A casual chain out of Tennessee that serves fried chicken and sides, plus fried pickles, green tomatoes, and okra.

American, Fine Dining, Romantic

This restaurant serving rustic American fare has earned two Michelin stars. Smyth serves a $265 tasting menu that takes diners on a 2.5 hour journey.

The Loyalist
French, Romantic

Located beneath Smyth, The Loyalist is an upscale neighborhood bar inspired by French brasseries that serves one of the best burgers in Chicago. Beyond the burger, the menu features oysters, foie gras, tartare, mussels, steak Diane, Parisienne gnocchi, and an omelette with the option to add caviar.

Swift & Sons
Steakhouse, American

A classic American steakhouse serving soups, salads, seafood, prime steaks, and large format steaks with a variety of a la carte sides. As a fun bonus, the menu includes the option for a table side magic show for $70.

Mediterranean, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

Located within the Hoxton hotel, Cira has a small plate menu highlighting fresh coastal ingredients. The All Day menu has a nice mix of snacks, dips, salads, small plates, pastas, and large plates. The restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast/brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Parlor Pizza
Pizza, Lunch

Parlor is a pizzeria with a lively bar atmosphere, multiple outdoor spaces, and a menu that includes over a dozen pizzas plus the option to build your own.

La Josie
Mexican, Gastropub, Lunch

A family owned Mexican restaurant on Restaurant Row serving classic dishes from Jalisco. You can find favorites like guacamole, chips and salsa, quest fundido, ceviche, tamales, tacos, taco salads, and enchiladas on the menu plus some larger entrees. La Josie was a 2021 Michelin Bib Gourmand Award winner.

Forno Rosso
Pizza, Lunch

Forno Rossa serves Neapolitan-style pizzas cooked in a wood-burning oven. The menu has over 20 pizzas plus antipasti, salads, and calzones. Forno Rosso is open for lunch and dinner daily.

J.P. Graziano Grocery & Sub Shop
Italian, American, Lunch

This is the place to get a sandwich in the West Loop. J.P. Graziano has been making sandwiches in the West Loop since 1937. Their sandwiches are hearty and made with top-notch ingredients such as hot sopresatta, prosciutto di parma, grilled marinated eggplant, roman style artichokes, and Genoa salami. Note: they are not open for dinner.

Italian, Lunch

A sister restaurant to Formento’s, Nonna’s is a sandwich shop known for serving meatball subs, chicken parm subs, and pizza by the slice. The menu includes several salads, cold sandwiches, hot sandwiches, and desserts. Nonna’s is open for both lunch and dinner daily.

Time Out Market
Food Hall

This is Chicago’s largest food hall and it’s an excellent place for dinner and drinks – especially if you don’t want to commit to one restaurant. Fifteen food stalls represent a wide variety of cuisines with something for everyone.

Japanese Restaurants in the West Loop

These restaurants serve sushi, ramen, and/or other Japanese cuisine. Several serve an omakase menu, which is a sushi focused tasting menu.

Japanese, Sushi, Asian

Momotaro has an extensive nigiri, sashimi, and sushi menu plus cooked robatayaki items. This restaurant can easily please even those who don’t eat raw fish. In 2018, the restaurant was named the best Japanese in Chicago by Michelin.

Sushi Dokku
Japanese, Sushi

Sushi Dokku focuses on sushi and sashimi but the menu also includes some meat dishes plus udon and ramen. Booze Box, a sake and whiskey lounge, is located below the restaurant.

Ramen-san Whiskey Bar
Japanese, Asian, Lunch

Owned by Lettuce Entertain You, Ramen-san has three locations and a menu featuring six varieties of ramen plus mantou buns, chicken wings, and dumplings. The West Loop location is open for lunch, dinner, and late-night dining every day.

Japanese, Asian

From the same owners as Oriole, Kumiko is a “dining bar” where food and drink are treated with equal importance. An omakase cocktail tasting is available. The food menu is carefully curated and includes oysters, braised short rib, iberico pork, and a wagyu beef sandwich. Kumiko is an 18+ establishment.

High Five Ramen
Ramen, Japanese, Asian

With just 16 seats, it isn’t easy to get a seat at this restaurant in the basement of Green Street Smoked Meats. The menu has just four types of ramen plus the option to add extras like mushrooms, an egg, box choy or pork belly.

Sushi, Asian, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch

Located within the Nobu hotel, this restaurant in the heart of the Fulton Market District serves three meals a day and has a vast menu that includes sushi, nigiri, and sashimi plus a variety of hot dishes, tempura, and A5 wagyu. At dinner, an omakase menu is offered in addition to the a la carte menu. Nobu has a smart casual dress code so plan accordingly.

Ramen Takeya
Ramen, Japanese, Asian

Ramen Takeya specializes in chicken patina ramen which is distinctive for its lighter broth. In addition to six types of ramen, the menu has buns, rice bowls, and small plates.

Omakase Takeya
Sushi, Japanese, Asian

A sister restaurant to Ramen Takeya that serves a 15 course 75 minute Chef’s omakase experience for $99 a person.

Omakase Yume
Sushi, Japanese, Asian

This restaurant serves a 16 course omakase menu that changes daily for $185 per person. There are three seatings per evening with just 6 seats per seating. The restaurant received a Michelin star in 2021.


Mako offers are 15 course omakase tasting menu for $175 with the option of a wine pairing for $95. In 2020, the restaurant received a Michelin star.

Japanese, Asian, Lunch

Giajin specializes in Osaka-style Okonomiyaki (Japanese savory cabbage pancakes) and Kakigōri (a shaved ice dessert). The restaurant offers both an a la carte menu and a $39 four-course tasting menu. Gaijin is open from 11 am until 10 pm seven days a week.

Japanese, Latin, Sushi

A restaurant from Chef Macku Chan, who also runs Macku Sushi in Lincoln Park, that serves an omakase menu, a tasting menu with a mix of sushi and cooked food, and an a la carte menu.

Jinsei Motto
Japanese, Sushi

An a la carte sushi restaurant located inside the CH Distillery that focuses on serving the highest quality fish.

TenGoku Aburiya

A Japanese gastro-pub serving a mix of sushi, meat skewers, and rice and noodle dishes.

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