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The Best American Restaurants in Chicago

A curated guide to the best American restaurants in Chicago. This list includes a mix of spots serving Southern classics, casual spots for burgers or fried chicken, old school diners, chic steakhouses, and trendy eateries serving New American fine dining cuisine.

A curated guide to the best American restaurants in Chicago. This list includes a mix of spots serving Southern classics, casual spots for burgers or fried chicken, chic steakhouses, and trendy eateries serving New American cuisine.

Related posts:

Best Barbecue Restaurants in Chicago
Best Burgers in Chicago
Best Steakhouses in Chicago
Best Gastropubs in Chicago

Last updated: March 2022

The Best American Restaurants in Chicago:

This list of the best American restaurants in Chicago has been organized by neighborhood.


The Best American Restaurants in Chicago

Fireside Restaurant & Lounge
American, Lunch, Kid friendly

This casual American restaurant opened in 1904! The menu has a mix of pub fare and American classics like wings, burgers, sandwiches, smoked ribs, and pizza. The large heated all weather patio is a beautiful place for a meal.

Little Bad Wolf
American, Gastropub, Lunch

A pub that serves over a hundred different beers and that is known for its burger. The menu also includes “substantial” salads, tacos, and bao.

Land & Lake

Land & Lake serves American comfort food like wings, ribs, mac and cheese, chili, tomato soup, burgers, fried chicken, and grilled cheese. Larger plates include steak frites and fettuccine Alfredo. A covered private garden area features murals by Jason Brammer depicting historic neighborhood buildings.

Big Jones
American, Southern, Lunch

One of the most well known restaurants in Andersonville, Big Jones serves traditional Southern cuisine for lunch and dinner. You can find all your soul food favorites on the menu: fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese, buttermilk biscuits, gumbo, red beans & rice, alligator tail and andouille sauce, fried shrimp po’ boys, shrimp and grits, and fried catfish.

American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

A kitschy diner serving comfort food breakfasts like pancakes, omelets, corned beef hash, biscuits and gravy, and banana bread French toast plus sandwiches and burgers. Pauline’s is open from 7 am until 3 pm daily.

First Slice Pie Cafe
Bakery, Cafe, American

Pie isn’t the only thing on the menu at this American cafe. First Slice Pie Cafe is from from 10 am until 8 pm daily (except for Sundays when they close at 6 pm) and serves a menu featuring soups, salads, quiches, sandwiches, 1970s style salads, and homestyle entrees plus cream pies, fruit pies, and cheesecakes.


Honey Butter Fried Chicken
American, Lunch

A casual counter service restaurant known for fried chicken. The menu includes fried chicken and fried chicken sandwiches with eight different dipping sauces plus sides like pimento mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. It lives up to the hype.

Kuma’s Corner
Burgers, Lunch

This is the first Kuma’s location. The restaurant is known for burgers, beer, and playing heavy metal music, so, it isn’t the place for a romantic meal. The menu offers a dozen different burgers, many of which are named after metal bands like Iron Maiden and Slayer.


The Best Restaurants in Bucktown : The Bristol

The Bristol
American, Kid-friendly

The Bristol is a modern American restaurant with Italian influences serving rustic cuisine in a welcoming space. The restaurants offers both an a la carte menu and an eight-course tasting menu.

Small Cheval
Burgers, Fast Casual

Small Cheval has two locations in Chicago and is a sister restaurant to the hugely popular Au Cheval. Au Cheval is so famous for their burger that they created Small Cheval, a fast casual restaurant serving burgers, fries, shakes, shots, and beers.

Gold Coast:

American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

Somerset is located in the Viceroy Hotel but it doesn’t feel like a hotel restaurant. The restaurant serves breakfast/brunch, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. In the summer, there is a large sidewalk patio. The menu has a balance of pastas, seafood, and meat inspired by country club culture. A four-course tasting menu is offered at dinner for $75.

The Best American Restaurants in Chicago

3 Arts Club Café
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

Within Restoration Hardware’s Chicago flagship store, you will find an elegant sunlight courtyard with a glass ceiling and exposed brick walls. It’s a formal space with a casual atmosphere and a menu serving salads, truffled grilled cheese, lobster rolls, steak, salmon, and an exceptional burger. The restaurant has started to take reservations.

Maple & Ash
American, Steakhouse

Maple & Ash is a white tablecloth restaurant serving wood-fired steaks and seafood. The restaurant has a patio serving a separate menu featuring sushi and a selection of items from the dining room menu. The menu served inside the restaurant has salads, starters, seafood, and a wide variety of steaks and side dishes.

Best Restaurants in the Gold Coast, Chicago: Blue Door Kitchen & Garden

Blue Door Kitchen & Garden
American, Southern, Romantic

Blue Door Kitchen has a charming rustic dining room and a large garden patio and one of the very best American restaurants in Chicago. While the space feels formal, the cuisine is casual. The dinner menu includes fried chicken, shrimp and grits, steak, and salmon en croute.

Tavern on Rush
American, Steakhouse, Lunch

A restaurant in the heart of the Gold Coast with a large sidewalk patio that provides the perfect viewpoint for people watching. The menu features steakhouse classics including ten different steaks and fifteen different side dishes. There are also several seafood options. Tavern on Rush serves weekday lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner every night.

Chicago q
American, Barbecue

An elegant restaurant serving traditional barbecue. The stars of the menu are the meats that are cooked low and slow, including the brisket, ribs, and pulled pork. In addition to barbecue, the menu has Southern classics like shrimp & grits, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese.

American, Steakhouse

One of Chicago’s most iconic steakhouses, Gibsons is the place to go for the classic steakhouse experience. The steaks are the centerpiece of the menu but there are plenty of seafood options as well. Save room for dessert, Gibsons serves giant slices of their indulgent (but worth very calorie) cakes and pies. Gibsons serves both lunch and dinner daily.

American, Gastropub, Lunch

A sister restaurant to Gibsons and Hugo’s, Luxbar is a bar with formal appearance, a casual atmosphere, and a large sidewalk patio. The restaurant serves elevated bar food including a selection Gibsons steaks, burgers, and pan pizza. We recommend the Lux Royale Burger and a side of truffle fries.

Hyde Park:

Virtue Restaurant
American, Southern

A rustic light filled restaurant serving Southern classics like biscuits with pimento cheese, gumbo, cornbread, mac and cheese, catfish, and shrimp and grits.

The Soul Shack
American, Southern

The Soul Shack menu features chicken and waffles, jerk chicken, and fried smothered chicken. The “soul rolls” are a Southern dinner in a egg roll and are filled with macaroni and cheese, greens, and yams.

Mesler Kitchen
American, Lunch

Located within the Sophy Hotel, Mesler Kitchen is an upscale but welcoming restaurant serving American fare ranging from a spicy fried chicken sandwich and lobster rolls to New York Steak and crab cakes.

Roux Diner
American, Southern, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

Roux Diner is an upscale southern style diner inspired by New Orleans that serves breakfast all day and beignets to-go. The breakfast menu has country ham with grits, biscuits and gravy, a fried green tomato tartine, and biscuit hash while the all day supper menu has chicken and waffles, chicken fried steak, and fried catfish.

Medici on 57th
American, Pizza, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

Medici has been in Hyde Park for 60 years. The bakery sells breads, pastries, cookies, and pies while the restaurant serves a mix of American standards like chili, roast beef on rye, Italian subs, burgers, Italian pasta dishes, and both thin curst and pan pizzas. Breakfast sandwiches are available on weekdays and a full brunch menu is served on weekends.

Valois Restaurants
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

A cash-only cafeteria style restaurant serving American comfort food that is a favorite of President Obama, who is known to order the steak and eggs. The menu also includes omelettes, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, salads, and wraps. Valois is open from 6 am until 3 pm daily and does not serve dinner.

Morry’s Deli
American, Lunch

A deli that has been around for over 50 years and that is known of its corned beef, roast beef, and pastrami sandwiches. The menu focuses on sandwiches and had classic sandwiches, triple decker sandwiches, submarines, plus hot dogs, burgers, soups, and chili.


Restaurants in Lakeview - Smoke Daddy

The Smoke Daddy
American, Barbecue, Lunch, Kid-friendly

Smoke Daddy is one of Chicago’s best barbecue restaurants. It is known for the ribs and the burnt ends. If you feel like ordering something a little lighter, the Wrightwood salad is excellent.

American, Gastropub

Located on the second floor of the Hotel Zachary, Mordecai has views of Wrigley Field. The cuisine is new American and the menu includes entrees like burgers, roast chicken, salmon, and steak frites. Family-style pastas are served on Wednesdays.

Swift & Sons Tavern
Steakhouse, American, Kid-friendly

A modern upscale steakhouse serving steaks, chops, and a la carte sides, plus some sandwiches and salads. A free kids menu is offered daily from 4:30 pm until 6 pm!

Crosby’s Kitchen
American, Kid-friendly, Lunch

Crosby’s Kitchen has a Midwestern inspired menu with items like burgers and wood fired rotisserie. The space is casual and inviting and the food is consistently great. The weekend brunch is one of the neighborhood’s best.

Tied House

Located beside music venue and bar Schubas, the Tied House serves New American cuisine in a bright casual space with a large patio. The menu has a mix of sharable small plates, sandwiches, and a few larger entrees and includes items like a fried chicken sandwich, a smash burger, and crab spaghetti alla chitarra.

Lincoln Park:

North Pond
American, Fine Dining, Romantic

Sitting on the edge of a pond in the heart of the park, this Michelin starred restaurant serves a $110 seasonal tasting menu with the option for a wine pairing. A brunch tasting menu is served on Sundays for $49 per person. This is one of the best American restaurants in Chicago for fine dining.

Fine Dining, American, Romantic

Boka is a Michelin starred restaurant offering both an eight-course seasonal tasting menu and an a la carte menu. The entrees on the a la carte menu include roasted chicken, slow roasted short rib, and a whole dry aged duck.

Nookies Too
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Kid-friendly

A diner serving a large menu of breakfast and lunch classics. Nookies does not serve dinner. Nookie’s has another location in Old Town.

Restaurants in Lincoln Park : Parson's Chicken & Fish

Parson’s Chicken & Fish
American, Lunch, Kid-friendly

Parson’s is a casual restaurant known for negroni slushies, fried chicken sandwiches, and fried fresh fish. It’s the type of place where you can grab a quick meal, or hang out and sip drinks with friends.

The Fat Shallot
American, Lunch

A casual restaurant serving classic sandwiches, salads, and side that is open for both lunch and dinner. The menu features six perfectly executed sandwiches including a Truffle BLT piled high with bacon and a reuben with house made corned beef. The truffle fries come topped with a creamy truffle sauce and are some of the best fries ever. This restaurant started as a food truck and still operates several food trucks. This is one of the best American restaurants in Chicago for casual dining.

Blue Door Farm Stand
American, Lunch, Healthy

This light filled restaurant serves seasonal American cuisine. The Brussels & kale salad is one of the most popular salads in Chicago; it comes generously topped with Parmesan, bacon, and toasted almonds. The lunch menu also includes some brunch items and sandwiches. At dinner, a handful of larger entrees are served in addition to sharable snacks, soups, and salads. Blue Door Farm Stand serves weekend brunch, weekday lunch, and dinner nightly. This is a sister restaurant to the more formal Blue Door Kitchen & Garden in the Gold Coast.

Wieners Circle
American, Lunch, Late-night

An infamous Chicago hot dog stand where things can get a little wild and your meal comes with a side of insults from the staff. Wiener Circle stays open until 2 am on weeknights and 4 am on weekends.

Lincoln Square:

American, Fine Dining

Elizabeth offers a hyper-seasonal tasting menu with Midwestern roots that highlights forgotten foods and methods of preparation. Ingredients are sourced from local farmers.

Cafe Selmarie
American, Breakfast, Lunch

An American bakery and cafe in Lincoln Square that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The kitchen menu has European influences and includes spinach lasagna, chicken schnitzel, and a burger. The bakery serves croissants, cinnamon buns, eclairs, brownies, torts, cakes, and pies.

Jerry’s Sandwiches
American, Burgers, Lunch, Kid-friendly

Jerry’s specializes in sandwiches and has over three dozen on the menu, plus several burgers. The menu has it all: fried chicken sandwiches, blacked chicken sandwiches, corned beef sandwiches, skirt steak sandwiches, pork belly sandwiches, seafood sandwiches, and vegetarian sandwiches. The menu has soups, salads, and sides too.

The Warbler
American, Kid-friendly, Lunch

The Warbler serves lunch and dinner daily and the menu has flatbreads, sandwiches, pastas, and entrees like pork loin and butternut squash falafel. A family-style supper is available from 4:30 pm – 6 pm on weeknights for $27 a person and includes a selection of five dishes from the dinner menu including a salad, two appetizers, vegetable dishes or a pasta, and a flatbread. Kids under nine-years-old eat free.


A sister restaurant to The Warbler which is located next door, Gather serves modern American comfort food like pork belly, chicken liver mousse, uovo raviolo, braised pork shoulder, and a burger. Dinner is served nightly and brunch is available on Sundays.

Luella’s Southern Kitchen
American, Southern

Luella’s Southern Kitchen is committed to being traditional Southern cuisine to Chicago. The menu features shrimp and grits, gumbo, buttermilk fried chicken, and Nashville chicken and waffles. Sides include cornbread, buttermilk biscuit, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and fried green tomatoes. Brunch is served on weekends.

Logan Square:

Lula Cafe
American, Breakfast, Lunch, Vegetarian, Kid friendly

A favorite restaurant in Logan Square among locals and the chef community, Lula Cafe has been serving farm to table cuisine for over twenty years. The restaurant takes pride in serving adventurous food for vegetarians plus meat and fish from sustainable sources. In addition to dinner, Lula Cafe serves breakfast and lunch. The menu has plates like braised lamb with turnip, rosemary, green strawberry, and first spring watercress. A current vegetarian offering is winter squash agnolotti with three sisters pecans, parmesan, and tomato butter. In 2022, Lula Cafe received a James Beard Award nomination.

Longman & Eagle
American, Breakfast/Brunch

A restaurant and inn with six guest rooms on the second floor, Longman & Eagle pays homage to the time when bars, inns, and pubs were community centers. The cuisine is modern and inventive. The menu has items such as foie gras stuffed falafel, mushroom and raclette dumplings, a classic fried chicken, and a wild boar sloppy Joe.

American, Lunch

A restaurant inspired by the Midwest and specializing in fresh pasta, Daisies serves dishes like beet agnolotti with dill, smoked trout, and roe. The pierogi is made with mussels and beer. The menu is playful and manages to truly balance Italian technique with Midwest ingredients.

Restaurants in Logan Square : Gretel

American, Global, Gastropub

A chic gastropub serving top-notch globally inspired bar food, one of Chicago’s best burgers, and an indulgent macaroni and cheese. Other menu items include French onion soup, pork gyoza, pork belly nachos, ramen, and a prime rib French dip sandwich. It’s a fun mix with something for everyone. Gretel does not accept reservations.


Giant serves creative seasonal American fare like saffron tagliatelle with king crab and chili butter, foie gras and manchego mighty o’s with almond, pancetta, and tarragon, and crispy skate with butter sauce and maitake mushrooms.

Parson’s Chicken & Fish
American, Lunch

This is the original location. You can see the full description under Lincoln Park.

The Loop:

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 restaurants 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.

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.

Old Town:

Twin Anchors
American, Barbecue

A barbecue joint and old Frank Sinatra hangout that is known for their ribs. Twin Anchors opened in 1932 and is a Chicago institution.

Brunch/Breakfast, Lunch, Kid-Friendly

See full description under Lincoln Park.


Dusek’s Tavern
American, Gastropub

Located in the same building as concert venue Thalia Hall, Dusek’s Tavern serves a balance of pub food and sophisticated new American cuisine. The menu has buffalo chicken wings and oysters, beef tartare and bbq pork rinds. When it comes to entrees they have dishes like a double cheeseburger, pork schnitzel, and a dry aged rib eye. The space is upscale and inviting; it is a fitting place for a date or a pre-concert bite.

American, Gastropub

A bar, restaurant, and music venue with a chicken named Conchita that lives on the roof. The menu has lots of appetizers like fried ravioli, nachos, wings, empanadas, and fried pickles plus soups, salads, sandwiches, and pizzas.


The letters S.K.Y. spell out the initials of Chef Stephen Gillander’s wife/restaurant co-owner. The menu at S.K.Y. is contemporary American with Asian influences. The menu has black truffle croquettes, Maine lobster dumplings, hamachi sashimi, fried chicken, and foie gras bibimbap.


Lincoln Square is located within Ravenswood and is listed separately.

Cultivate by Forbidden Root
Gastropub, American

A sister restaurant to Forbidden Root in West Town, Cultivate serves bar snacks, cheese plates, salads, vegetable mains, and larger meat entrees. The atmosphere is low-key but the cuisine is more sophisticated than most brewpubs. The menu has chicken liver mousse, lamb shank cassoulet, and duck confit with dumplings.

The Bad Apple
American, Gastropub, Burgers, Kid-friendly

A relaxed gastropub known for beer and burgers. The menu has fourteen burgers plus starters like fried cheese curds, nachos, and poutine. If burgers aren’t your thing, there are some salads and sandwiches on the menu.

River North:

GT Prime
Fine Dining, Steakhouse, American, Romantic

An exceptional steakhouse fit for a special occasion, GT Prime serves seafood and a selection of prime cuts of beef. The menu doesn’t have many non-meat options but I think most vegetarians would be happy with tagliatelle with parmesan and 5 grams of truffle.

Best American Restaurants in Chicago

The Hampton Social
American, Seafood

An East-Coast themed restaurant with an Insta-gram ready decor, a “rosé all day” lounge, and a menu filled with seafood options. In addition to seafood, the menu has pizzas and some meat mains. The Hampton Social has a second location in Streeterville.

Untitled Super Club
American, Romantic

Untitled is prohibition-era Chicago supper club and bar located in a basement that has burlesque performances and live entertainment Wednesdays through Saturdays. What starts as a romantic spaces turns into a party as the night goes on. The food menu includes a seafood raw bar, several pastas, and steaks. In 2021, Untitled received Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition and is one of the best American restaurants in Chicago for classic American fare.

Edie’s All Day Cafe
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

An all day cafe & bar in the former 3 Greens Market/Cocello/Dillman’s space. Edie’s has coffee, pastries, cold pressed juice, and smoothies, plus a lunch/dinner menu featuring snacks, salads, sandwiches, and flatbread pizza. It’s a great place for a casual coffee, happy hour with friends, or co-working.

Gene & Georgetti
American, Steakhouse, Italian

Gene & Georgetti opened in 1941 and earns the title of being the oldest steakhouse in Chicago. Since this steakhouse’s founders were both Italian, the menu is an even mix of traditional Italian food and steakhouse classics.

Best American Restaurants in Chicago

Big & Littles
American, Fast-casual, Lunch

Tucked into a quiet corner on North Orleans Street, this fast casual restaurant has a very eclectic menu including everything from tacos and burgers to fried soft shell crab. They serve lunch and dinner daily.

Gilt Bar
American, Romantic

Another sister to Bavette’s located on the same block of West Kinzie Street, Gilt is a lounge with decor inspired by a vintage library. The cocktail menu highlights classic cocktails with several different old fashions and martinis. The menu has a mix of seafood, pasta, and meat entrees.

RPM Steak
Steakhouse, American

RPM Steak is a sleek upscale steakhouse that serves nearly two dozen different cuts of beef and a dozen a la carte side dishes. The menu also has oysters, chilled shellfish, and fish. The dessert menu includes a 14K chocolate cake and tableside baked Alaska service.

Bub City
American, Barbecue, Southern, Lunch

A casual restaurant serving barbecue and Southern cuisine with a country music theme and live music Wednesdays through Saturdays. The restaurant specializes in smoked bbq meats and also offers burgers, fried chicken, and several types of macaroni and cheese.

Healthy, American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

A relaxed restaurant serving American fare with plenty of healthy options. If you want something more indulgent, check out the pastry counter. Beatrix also has locations in Streeterville and West Loop. The River North and Streeterville locations are close to each other and this can cause confusion.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
American, Seafood, Steakhouse

Joe’s serves stone crabs, fish, and seafood plus prime steak and poultry. This restaurant has a large menu and is a fitting place for a special occasion.

Rogers Park:

Charmers Food & Floral Cafe
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

Charmers serves breakfast and lunch daily, and closes at 5 pm. The breakfast menu has pastries, bagels, and egg dishes while the lunch menu has a variety of soups and sandwiches.

J.B. Alberto’s Pizza
Pizza, Italian, American

An affordable pizzeria offering thin crust, pan pizza, and stuffed pizza in addition to a large menu of appetizers, ribs, steak, shrimp, pastas, burgers, and sandwiches.

Roscoe Village:

The Reveler
American, Gastropub, Lunch, Kid-friendly

A family-friendly sports bar with over 60 beers on tap and a menu of casual bar food like wings, nachos, burgers, pizza, and sandwiches. The 100-person patio has flatscreen televisions and is dog friendly.

Commonwealth Tavern
American, Gastropub, Lunch, Kid-friendly

An upscale sports bar and home base for Dallas Cowboys and Notre Dame football and Marquette basketball that serves a large menu of American fare. The menu has lots of bar snacks like wings, nachos, guacamole, cheese curds, and hummus. Beyond snacks, the menu has salads, sandwiches, tacos, and burgers. Lunch is served on weekdays, brunch is available on weekends, and dinner is served nightly. The large kid’s menu will please even the pickiest eaters.

Savannah Supper Club
American, Southern, Kid-friendly

A restaurant serving Southern style supper with a menu featuring comfort foods like prime rib, chicken pot pie, shrimp po’boys, fish & chips, meatloaf, and baby back ribs. Dinner is served Tuesday through Sunday and brunch is offered on weekends. A kid’s menu is available and it is free between 4 pm and 6 pm every night.

Kitsch’n on Roscoe
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Kid-friendly

A colorful funky spot with a 1970s vibe that is known for their brunch which is served daily. The menu has brunch items like chilaquiles, French toast, breakfast tacos, and chicken and waffles plus lunchtime fare like sandwiches and salads. Kitsch’n does not serve dinner.

Volo Restaurant Wine Bar

Volo serves seasonal new American cuisine and offers over thirty boutique wine options. The menu has charcuterie and small plates like oysters, steak tartare, and flatbreads plus larger items like mussels, beef tenderloin, and duck confit. Chicago magazine named the hidden patio the best in the city.

John’s Place
American, Kid-friendly

A kid-friendly restaurant serving comfort food like chili, shepherd’s pie, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and chicken parmesan plus burgers and tacos. A selection of family meals that serve 2-3 people are available. Brunch is served on weekends.

The Region
American, Burgers, Lunch, Kid-friendly

The Region specializes in Indiana-style griddled burgers. An Indiana style burger is a smashburger that is crispy around the edges and juicy on the inside. Each burger is formed by hand and topped with a mayo-based secret sauce. In addition to six burgers, the menu has all beef hot dogs, a few sandwiches, a variety of fries, onion rings, and fried pickles. Lunch and dinner is served Wednesdays through Mondays.

South Loop:

Grant Park Bistro
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

Located just across from the south end of Grant Park, this bistro serves casual American fare like burgers, sandwiches, steak, and pork chops. The restaurant is open all day and serves three meals a day every day. The breakfast menu is inspired by the Midwest.

Half Sour
American, Kid-friendly, Lunch

A casual restaurant serving bagels, soups, salads, sandwiches, and a few entrees. Lunch and dinner is served daily, brunch is also served on weekends. Check Half Sour’s instagram to see specials that include creative dishes like macaroni and cheese sandwiches.

The Chicago Firehouse

This firehouse turned restaurant suffered a devastating fire in 2014, was fully restored, and reopened in 2017. The restaurant has the look of a steakhouse and serves prime steaks plus fish and bar favorites like burgers, meatloaf, and short ribs. A spacious patio offers outdoor dining. There are also several spaces for private dining and events. This is one of the more formal restaurants in the South Loop.

Eleven City Diner
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Kid-friendly

Breakfast is served all day at this diner, and the menu has all the classic egg dishes and omelettes, plus pancakes, waffles, and French toast. Eleven City Diner also serves sandwiches piled high with deli meat.

American, Cajun, Seafood

A seafood boil restaurant known for serving cajun seafood in bags with seasoning. It’s a messy meal, so dress accordingly. The seafood boil meals have shrimp, snow crab, vegetables, and cornbread. Some fried dishes like shrimp, chicken, and calamari are also available.

Little Branch Cafe
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

Located near Museum Campus and Soldier Field, Little Branch Cafe serves breakfast and lunch daily, they are not open for dinner. The menu has omelets, burgers salads, and paninis.

The Spoke & Bird
American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

This cafe is open from 7 am until 7pm on weekdays and from 7 am until 5 pm on weekends. Breakfasts like overnight oats, biscuits & gravy, and French toast are served all day. The menu also has soups, salads, and sandwiches. Burger night is on Friday night.

White Palace Grill
Diner, American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

A diner open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year that was featured on Diners, Drive Ins & Dives. Comfort food is the theme of the menu with items like biscuits & gravy, chicken & waffles, burgers, meat loaf, and Philly cheese steaks on the menu. A large breakfast menu is served all day too.



Located on the 18th floor rooftop of the Northwestern Medical Campus, Woodwind is a modern American restaurant serving weekday lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner nightly. A 3-course prix fixe lunch menu and a 4-course prix fixe dinner menu are available, in addition to an all-day menu with a mix of snacks, vegetarian meals, seafood dishes, and meaty mains.

Offshore Rooftop & Bar
American, Kid-friendly

Offshore has the largest rooftop deck in the country, making it the perfect place to dine on a sunny day while enjoying panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. In addition to the outside space, there is plenty of room inside so the space can be enjoyed during all seasons. Offshore is open for dinner Friday through Sunday and small brunch menu is served on Saturday and Sunday with the option for bottomless mimosas. The rooftop has an entertainment and game area plus several fire pits. Note: Offshore is 21+ after 9 pm, but they have a kid’s menu available before then.

American, Healthy, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch

See full description under River North.

The Hampton Social

See full description under River North.

Italian, American, Lunch, Kid-friendly

Pinstripes is a restaurant with bowling and bocce. The menu has a mix of American and Italian cuisine of options including salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and pastas. Pinstripes serves brunch on weekends, lunch on weekdays, and dinner every day.

West Loop:

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.

Best American Restaurants in Chicago


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. Without a doubt, this is one of the best American restaurants in Chicago – go if you get the chance.

American, Fine Dining

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

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.

The best American restaurants in Chicago

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.

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.

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.

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

See full description under River North.

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.

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.

West Town/Ukrainian Village:


Split-Rail is a hair outside West Town, but we decided to include it on this list. The restaurant serves American comfort food like crab gravy with crispy Carolina gold rice, steak tips, wings, hush puppies, and steak frites. Some say their fried chicken is the best in the city.

Fry the Coop
American, Lunch, Kid-friendly

The menu here keeps it simple: you have the choice of four different fried chicken sandwiches or chicken tenders. Six heat levels range from no heat to lil’ insanity. Sides include three types of fries that are double fried, plus mac and cheese, potato salad, and coleslaw.

American, Lunch

Piccolo Sogno’s sister restaurant is a casual spot known for burgers – the menu has seven. There are tacos, burritos, a sloppy Joe, and a fried chicken sandwich too. Plus, boozy milkshakes.

The Dawson

An industrial chic restaurant serving wood fired oysters, burgers, tacos, steaks, and chops plus some comfort food entrees like chicken pot pie and rigatoni. Upstairs at The Dawson has live music on Wednesdays. The large garden patio with an outdoor fireplace feels like an escape from the city.

Three House
American, Brunch, Lunch

A counter service restaurant that has one of the best burgers in the city. Brunch is served all day and the lunch menu starts at 11 am. Three House is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 am – 4 pm and is not open for dinner. Note: there is also an unaffiliated restaurant called Tree House in Chicago.

Parson’s Chicken & Fish

See full description under Lincoln Park.

All Together Now
American, Lunch

This cafe with bistro fare serves several sandwiches, snacks, and bites, plus larger plates like meatballs and farina, crispy chicken confit, and ricotta tortellini. On weekends, the restaurant serves brunch and house made bagels.

American, Fine Dining

A contemporary American restaurant with a Michelin Star, with just twenty seats that serves a ten-course tasting menu. Some ingredients are sourced from the restaurants hydroponic garden.

Southern, American

Soulé serves Creole inspired soul food. The menu includes jerk shrimp, fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, catfish po’boy, and shrimp and grits.

Homestead on the Roof

A rooftop restaurant serving farm to table American cuisine made with ingredients from the on-site garden. Homestead on the Roof is open seasonally during the warmer months, enter through Roots Pizza.


Want to order a chicken stuffed alligator, a whole pig, or a wild boar? Frontier is the place. In addition to offering a whole animal experience (which must be pre-ordered in advance), a full menu of Southern staples like char grilled oysters, fried chicken, and smoked beef ribs is available.

Wicker Park:

The Perch
American, Kid-Friendly

The Perch is a large brewery/restaurant with a menu with a nice mix of salads, sandwiches, and meaty mains. The burger, the beer braised short rib, and the rotisserie chicken have won us over. The restaurant has a kid’s menu that is free every day from 4 pm -6 pm. Their weekend brunch starts at 9 am, which is much earlier than most restaurants in the area, and their cheesy hash brown casserole is incredible.

The Smoke Daddy
American, Barbecue, Kid friendly

See full description under Lakeview.

Chop Shop
American, Lunch

Chop Shop is a bar/restaurant/butcher shop/concert venue. As you might expect, the menu is focused on steaks and burgers. Lunch is served daily and brunch is served on weekends.

The Angry Crab
American, Seafood

A casual seafood restaurant that serves bags full of crawfish, shrimp, mussels, scallops, crab, and lobster with your choice of seasonings and sides.

American, Fine Dining

Schwa is an exceptional Michelin star restaurant that pairs fine cuisine with a casual atmosphere. They serve a multi course fixed price menu. Surprisingly, it’s BYOB. This is the spot to go to mark a special occasion. Reservations required in advance via Tock.