Skip to Content

The Best Lunch Restaurants in Chicago

We have gathered up the best lunch restaurants in Chicago since a sit down lunch can be hard to find in some neighborhoods. Whether you want to have a relaxing lunch with friends or a more formal business lunch, you can find what you need on this list.

lunch can be hard to find. Whether you want to have a relaxing lunch with friends or a more formal business lunch, you can find what you need on this list.

There are neighborhoods where a restaurant serving lunch can be hard to find, and then there are neighborhoods like Chinatown where most restaurants are open all day.

If you want something quick, you can find Potbelly, Jimmy Johns, or Sweetgreen in most neighborhoods. We kept this list of best lunch restaurants in Chicago focused on sit down waiter service restaurants.

If you are looking for a spot for a business lunch, the best options are in the Loop, River North, and the Gold Coast.

Last updated: March 2022

The Best Lunch Restaurants in Chicago:

We have organized this list of best lunch restaurants in Chicago by neighborhood. While these restaurants are open on weekdays, many of these restaurants are closed one or two days a week. Always confirm a restaurant’s hours before going there.


American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Bakery, Vegetarian/Vegan

A bakery and byob cafe that serves breakfast and lunch daily (they are not open for dinner). The menu balances sweet and savory and offers dishes like rustic peasant quiche, a Latina omeletta, a fried egg sandwich, Japanese style soufflé hot cakes, lemon-raspberry French toast, and crepes. Starting at 11 am, sandwiches, bowls, and salads are available. Separate vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free menus are available.

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.

Lady Gregory’s Irish Bar & Restaurant
Gastropub, Irish, American, Lunch

An elegant gastropub serving farm-to-table Irish food like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, chicken pot pie, and curried veggie pot pie. American standards like burgers, mac and cheese, and fried chicken are also served. A “gluten-friendly” menus is available.

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.

Gastropub, American/Belgian, Lunch

A gastropub serving over 65 beers that is open for lunch and dinner 365 days a year. The menu is Belgian inspired and includes mussels cooked in beer, sausage, loaded pommes frites, and a pork chop served with spaetzle. Like most restaurants in Andersonville, Hopleaf has a patio.


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.

Cafe Tola #2
Mexican, Latin American, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

Cafe Tola is a colorful lunch counter known for their empanadas but the menu also includes tacos, tortas, and burritos. The food at Cafe Tola is consistently great, which might be the reason why the restaurant has four locations in Chicago.

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.

Taqueria Mazamitla
Mexican, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

A family-owned casual affordable taco joint serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The menu has tacos, sopes, burritos, and larger Mexican platters like enchiladas, flautas, and chile rellenos. Taqueria Mazamitla is known for the carne asada which is served in tacos and as a platter.


The best restaurants in Bucktown : Le Bouchon

Le Bouchon
French, Romantic, Lunch

You will feel like you have been transported to France when you dine at this charming romantic restaurant. The cuisine is classic French with a menu serving escargots, mules a la Provencal, French onion soup, seared foie gras, steak frites, and duck cassoulet. Le Bouchon serves lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.

Costa Rican, Lunch, Vegetarian

Iraq’s sunny patio is an ideal place for a meal on a summer evening. The menu includes empanadas, tacos, sandwiches, burritos, and the national dish of Costa Rica, Casado. The two most important things to know about Irazu are that it is BYOB and cash only.


The majority of the restaurants in Chinatown are open for lunch. This is a small curated selection.

Daguan Noodle
Chinese, Lunch

A BYOB Michelin Bib Gourmand award winner known for their rice noodle soups. Guests can choose a sour or spicy broth and then add in the rice noodles, vegetables, and meat. The menu also has a few types of bao. Daguan Noodle serves lunch and dinner Wednesdays through Mondays.

MingHin Cuisine
Chinese, Asian, Dim Sum, Lunch

A chic modern Chinese restaurant that has earning Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition. The restaurant offers an extensive menu with over a dozen different chicken, pork, beef, and seafood dishes. MingHin cuisine also has locations in Lakeshore East, South Loop, and Streeterville.

Phoenix Restaurant
Chinese, Dim Sum, Lunch

One of the most well known restaurants in Chinatown, Phoenix Restaurant serve authentic Cantonese and Chinese cuisine including dim sum and Chinese BBQ. The large menu has noodle and rice meals, and lots of poultry, beef, pork, seafood dishes and even whole suckling pig. Phoenix Restaurant is open from 10 am until 9 pm daily.

Imperial (formerly called Cai Fine Dining and Banquet)
Chinese, Asian, Lunch

Located on the second floor of a building near Chinatown Square Plaza, Imperial has a large menu of seafood dishes and dim sum. Imperial serves the regular menu from 9 am until 10 pm daily and serves dim sum from 9 am until 3:30 pm.

Triple Crown
Chinese, Asian, Lunch

A restaurant serving Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine and dim sum. Several lunch specials are offered for $8.95 from 11 am until 3 pm daily and a large dim sum menu lists 60 dishes including items line congee, dumplings, egg rolls, bbq pork buns, and spare ribs. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner every day.

Strings Ramen Shop
Japanese, Ramen, Asian, Lunch, Vegetarian/Vegan

A ramen restaurant that makes fresh noodles daily. The menu includes over a dozen different ramen including a few vegan options. There are additional locations in Lakeview and Hyde Park.

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.

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.

Nico Osteria
Italian, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

A seafood focused Italian restaurant with homemade pastas and whole roasted fish. Nico Osteria serves breakfast/brunch, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.

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.

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.

Le Colonial
Vietnamese, Romantic, Lunch

Le Colonial is an upscale Vietnamese restaurant with French influences that serves lunch and dinner. The menu has an even mix of meat and seafood dishes. The restaurants signature dish is Ca Chien Saigon, crispy whole red snapped with a spicy garlic glaze. Meat dishes include chargrilled Berkshire pork ribs, roasted duck, and caramelized filet mignon.

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:

Nella Pizza e Pasta
Italian, Pizza, Lunch

A Michelin Bib Gourmand winner serving lunch and dinner plus weekend brunch. The restaurant is known for their Neapolitan style wood oven pizzas with a lightly charred crust, but the menu has plenty of other options including antipasti, salads, pasta, risotto, and meat mains. Nella’s serves elegantly prepared classic Italian cuisine made with the best ingredients.

Ascione Bistro
Italian, Lunch

An Italian bistro known for serving rustic cuisine including a selection of hand-made pastas and a mix of seafood and meat entrees. Menu highlights include tagliolini with a black truffle cream sauce, pappardelle with a wild boar and mushroom sauce, duck breast over wild mushroom risotto with blood orange sauce, and veal shank ossobuso style. Some hand-made gluten-free pasta is available.

Saucy Porka
Latin, Asian, Vegetarian/Vegan, Gluten-free, Lunch

A Latin-Asian fusion restaurant serving meals like rice bowls, bao tacos, and banh mi. The menu has sections devoted to vegan and vegetarian cuisine that includes items like a tofu banh mi, tostones, and a Puerto Rican rice bowl. Gluten-free food is available too. There is a second location in the South Loop.

Plein Air Cafe
French, Breakfast, Lunch

Located right next to the Chicago landmark Robey House, the Plein Air Cafe is a French-inspired cafe serving pastries and breakfast daily until noon, plus salads, sandwiches, baguettes, tartness, and bowls after 11 am. Plein Air Cafe closes at 8 pm on weekdays and at 6 pm on weekends.

Kikuya Japanese Restaurant
Japanese, Sushi, Asian

Kikuya serves sushi, sashimi, noodle soups, rice bowls, and larger plated meals like pork tonkatsu, salmon teriyaki, and chicken teriyaki. Lunch is served on weekdays.

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.

Jade Court
Chinese, Asian, Lunch

Jade Court offers a large menu of traditional Cantonese and Szechuan food including egg foo young, Peking duck, Szechuan chicken, chow mein, and Dungeness crab.

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.


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.

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.

Tuco and Blondie
Mexican, Kid-friendly

This family-friendly Mexican spot serves lunch, dinner, and brunch and has a menu that focuses on tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas.

Southport Grocery
Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Kid-friendly

An iconic Chicago cafe and market known for its outstanding brunch. The menu includes items like cupcake pancakes, bread pudding pancakes, and a grown up pop tart. From scratch baked goods are available too. Southport Grocery is open from 8 am to 3pm daily and is not open for dinner.

Lincoln Park:

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.

Restaurants in Lincoln Park : Summer House Santa Monica

Summer House Santa Monica
American, Healthy, Lunch, Kid-friendly

It feels like summer all year long in this sunlight restaurant with a rosé cart. The menu highlights lighter California style food with a menu that includes several salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and pastas. Summer House serves weekend brunch, weekday lunch, and dinner nightly.

Pequod’s Pizza
Pizza, Lunch, Late-night

Pequod’s serves what is arguably the best Chicago-style pizza in the city. The pizza is distinctive because of its caramelized cheese crust. In addition to deep dish, Pequod’s serves thin crust pizza, sandwiches, and pasta. This place is legendary and doesn’t take reservations so be prepared to wait for a table.

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.

RJ Grunts
American, Lunch

This is the restaurant that started the Lettuce Entertain You empire, which now includes over 100 restaurants across multiple states and a music festival. It’s also where the salad bar was invented. RJ Grunts does casual bar food wonderfully.

Lincoln Square:

Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen
German, Polish, Lunch

Lincoln Square was originally settled by German immigrants and this rooftop beer and wine garden helps to the neighborhood to its history. The menu includes polish sausage, bratwurst, schnitzel, and pierogi. The restaurant is located above a market and deli.

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.

Miku Sushi
Japanese, Sushi, Asian, Lunch

Miku Sushi serves ramen, poke bowls, and skewers in addition to sushi, sashimi, nigiri, and maki. Bento boxes are available at lunchtime.

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.

Logan Square:

Lula Cafe
American, Breakfast, Lunch, Vegetarian

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.

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.

90 Miles Cuban Cafe
Cuban, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

A family-owned Cuban restaurant with a large patio serving up empanadas, sandwiches, and traditional entrees like ropa vieja, bistec de palomilla, and lechon.

Restaurants in Logan Square : Mini Mott

Mini Mott
Burgers, Lunch

Although this is a fast casual spot and not a waiter service restaurant, we couldn’t exclude one of Chicago’s best burgers. A sister restaurant to Mott Street in Wicker Park that is devoted to their acclaimed burger. The “Original Mott Burger” is available as a single or double patty. The menu also has a few more burger options, including a jackfruit burger, some sandwiches, sides, and a few types of fries.

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 and is a great spot for a business lunch. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Old Town:

Kanela Breakfast Club
Brunch/Breakfast, Lunch, Healthy

This popular brunch spot has several locations in Chicago. The menu has a perfect mix of breakfast and lunch, sweet and savory, and healthy and indulgent menu items.


Carnitas Uruapan
Mexican, Lunch

This take-out only restaurant has been serving carnitas and chicharrones since 1975. The menu is small and pork-centric. The famed pork carnitas can be ordered by the taco or by the pound. Carnitas Uruapan does not serve dinner, they are open from 7 am until 5 pm on weekends and from 10 am until 4 pm on weekdays.

Birreria Reyes de Ocotlan
Mexican, Lunch

This spot specializes in birria tacos that are made with a cheese quesadilla shell filled with two consumé soaked tortillas, chile de arbors, guajillo chile peppers, and meat (beef or chicken). Once assembled, the taco is dipped in the consumé and fried. This restaurant is cash-only and is open from 11 am until 7 pm on Tuesdays through Fridays and from 1 pm until 7 pm on weekends.

Los Comales
Mexican, Breakfast, Lunch

Los Comales serves authentic Mexican tacos, tortas, tostadas, and burritos plus a small breakfast menu in the mornings. It’s open from 8 am until 1 am daily. Lunchtime specials are just $11.50 and include your choice of three tacos, three quesadillas, two tostadas, a torta, or a burrito with rice, beans, and a drink.

Pleasant House Pub
British, Lunch

A pub serving savory vegetable and meat Royal Pies and British inspired pub food. The menu of Royal Pies includes steak & ale, chicken balti, mushroom & kale, and a vegan pie filled with vegetables in a spiced tomato sauce. The pub menu has items like a burger, bangers and mash, and a fried chicken sandwich. The weekend brunch menu has a full English breakfast, a brunch burger, and lunch fare. Lunch is served on weekdays, brunch is on the weekends, and dinner is nightly (except for Mondays when they are closed).

Bruna’s Ristorante
Italian, Lunch

Originally opened by Bella Bruna in 1933, this is the third-oldest Italian restaurant in Chicago. The menu has all the classics including lasagna, ravioli, spaghetti al pomodoro, linguine all vongole, stuffed shells, fettuccine Alfredo, eggplant parmesan, chicken saltimbocca, veal scaloppine, and chicken marsala. Bella Bruna’s original roast chicken is still served on Sundays. Lunch and dinner are served daily.


Lincoln Square is within Ravenswood and is listed separately.

Spacca Napoli
Pizza, Italian, Lunch

A pizzeria serving Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizzas. The menu has antipasti, salads, and over twenty different pizzas made with fresh gourmet ingredients. Gluten-free pizza is available. This is considered one of the best pizzerias in Chicago.

Shanghai Inn
Chinese, Asian, Lunch

Shanghai Inn has been serving Chinese comfort food since 1960. The restaurant has a large menu offering familiar favorites like crab rangoon, egg rolls, potstickers, chow mein, orange chicken, sesame chicken, curries, fried rice, and cashew beef.

River North:

RPM Steak
Steakhouse, American

If you need to impress a client, this is the place to take them. 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.

Mediterranean, Lunch

Ema combines a lighter California style of cooking and Mediterranean small plates. Signature dishes include spicy hummus and lamb Kefta kebabs and the menu features a variety of grilled seafood.

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.

Sushi, Japanese, Lunch

A casual sushi restaurant that plays old-school hip-hop music, Sushi-san offers grab n’go lunch and late night eats in addition to a sit down lunch and dinner. For a more formal dining experience, go to the ten seat Omakase Room which serves an 18-course tasting menu.

Restaurants in River North: Ramen-san

Ramen, Japanese, Lunch

Ramen-san’s original location offers an express lunch (pictured above), lunch, dinner, and late night bites seven days a week. The menu has mantou buns, chicken wings, and dumplings in addition to six varieties of ramen.

Romantic, Fine Dining, Mexican, Lunch

James Beard Award Winner Rick Bayless helms a trio of restaurants on the same block of North Clark Street. Topolobampo is the most formal and serves a multi-course tasting menu for $145 per person.

Frontera Grill
Mexican, Lunch

Frontera Grill serves regional Mexican cuisine with a focus on locally sourced sustainable ingredients. The restaurant has a large menu with Mexican specialities like Oaxacan pork loin with yellow mole and Puebla-style enchiladas plus a variety of wood-grilled meats.

Italian, Lunch

Eataly is an Italian marketplace with multiple dining options including sit down restaurants and fast-casual food counters with seating areas. La Pizza & La Pasta is a restaurant on the second floor serving Napoli-style pizza and pasta. On the first floor you can find grab and go food items, pizza by the slice, and a pasta bar.

Italian, Lunch

An Italian restaurant serving pizzas, housemade pastas, and wood-fired meats. This location has a bit more a casual vibe when compared to the more romantic Wicker Park location.

Italian, Lunch, Late Night, Kid-friendly

You can’t go wrong with Quartino. This small plates Italian restaurant has an affordable menu with something for everyone and a fun lively atmosphere. Quartino was doing small plates before everyone else and it works so well with Italian cuisine – you get to try everything you want without over ordering. When it comes to wine, Quartino has a huge wine list and sell wine by the quarter liter, half liter, liter, and bottle. Quartino is open from 11 am until 1 am every day – it tends to be busy at dinner so make a reservation. The best part: the Italian food is some of the best in Chicago.

India House
Indian, Lunch, Vegetarian

India House is considered to be one of the best Indian restaurants in Chicago. The restaurant serves traditional Indian cuisine including tandoori items, curries, vindaloos, and plenty of vegetarian dishes. A buffet is offered Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 am until 3 pm for $19.95.

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.

Rogers Park:

South of the Border Restaurant & Bar
Latin American, Lunch

A restaurant that serves lunch and dinner and stays open late into the night serving arepas, enchiladas, Cuban sandwiches, tacos, burritos, and chile relleno.

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.

Honeybear Cafe
Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Kid-friendly

A diner serving breakfast and lunch (not dinner) every day from 8 am until 2:30 pm. A large breakfast menu offers scrambles, skillets, pancakes, benedicts, waffles, French toast, and several indulgent types of pancakes. The lunch menu has burgers, salads, and sandwiches. Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal.

Roscoe Village:

Sinya Mediterranean
Mediterranean, Vegan/Vegetarian, Lunch

Sinya serves Mediterranean classics like hummus, falafel, baba ghanoush, grape leaves, shawarma, gyros, and kabobs. The restaurant is open daily from 11 am until 9 pm.

Roscoe Village:

Joy Yee Noodle
Asian, Lunch

A restaurant serving a wide variety of Asian cuisine including Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, and Chinese favorites plus Taiwanese bubble teas. Joy Yee Noodle serves lunch and dinner daily and has additional locations in Chinatown and Evanston.

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.

Turquoise Cafe and Restaurant
Turkish, Mediterranean, Lunch

A cafe serving Mediterranean classics like hummus, falafel, and feta salads plus a wide variety of kebabs. Turquoise Cafe and Restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily.

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.

Thai Spoon and Sushi
Thai, Sushi, Japanese, Asian, Lunch

Thai Spoon and Sushi serves a large menu that includes both Thai and Japanese food. Thai dishes include curries, fried rice, and noodle dishes like pad Thai and pad see ew. Sushi, maki, nigiri, and sashimi are all on the Japanese menu. A variety of vegetarian sushi is offered.

Taco Maya
Mexican, Lunch, Vegetarian, Kid-friendly

A restaurants serving tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, tortas, and margaritas in a casual environment. The menu includes a good number of vegetarian options.

Aurelio’s Pizza
Pizza, Italian, Lunch, Kid-friendly

Aurelio’s has several Illinois locations and has been serving pizza and other Italian classics since 1959. Both thin crust and stuffed pizzas are available with the option to order from the menu or create your own.

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.

Flo & Santos
Italian, Polish, Lunch, Kid-friendly

Flo & Santos serves a mix of classic Italian and Polish cuisine and American pub food. This spot is known for being the place to get pizza and pierogi. A large patio is open during the warm months.

Japanese, Sushi, Lunch

This rustic welcoming Japanese restaurant has a huge menu of sushi, nigiri, sashimi, and cooked dishes like udon, ramen, and rice dishes.

Il Culaccino
Italian, Lunch

An Italian restaurant with a menu featuring over a dozen different pastas and classic entrees like chicken marsala, veal limone, and chicken Milanese. A variety of sandwiches are available at lunchtime.

Siam Rice
Thai, Lunch

Siam Rice serves traditional Thai food including pad plik, nard na, pad see eew, pad Thai, and panang curry in a modern casual space.

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 & Drives. 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.


The Purple Pig
Mediterranean, Lunch

A James Beard Award winning restaurant serving small plate Mediterranean cuisine. The menu celebrates cheese, swine, and wine. In addition to grilled meats, seafood, and vegetables, the menu features house made pastas. Reservations are recommended since this is one of the most popular restaurants in Streeterville.

American, Healthy, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch

See full description under River North.

Grand Lux Cafe
American, Lunch

This restaurant is owned by the Cheesecake Factory, and like the Cheesecake Factory it offers a large menu that includes a wide variety of cuisine.

Kanela Breakfast Club
Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Healthy

See full description under Old Town.

Egg Harbor Cafe
Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Kid-friendly

This suburban favorite has its only Chicago location in the heart of Streeterville. Egg Harbor Cafe has a large menu with Benedicts, pancakes, French toasts, and omelettes plus lunch fare like soups, salads, and sandwiches. They offer full gluten-free menus and kids menus too.

Robert’s Pizza and Dough Company
Pizza, Lunch

Chef-owner Robert is a New Yorker who takes pizza seriously and who spent decades perfecting his crust and pizza recipes. This pizzeria prides itself on dough that balances crispness and chewiness. The Menu is centered on pizza but also includes soups, salads, sandwiches, and pasta. In addition to serving dinner every day, Robert’s serves lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ramen-san Whiskey Bar
Japanese, Asian, Lunch

See the full description under River North.

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.

West Town/Ukrainian Village:

Yuzu Sushi and Robata Grill
Japanese, Sushi, Lunch

Yuzu serves Japanese grilled skewers in addition to sushi. This restaurant is known for their jumbo rolls which come with intricately decorated sauces. The restaurant recently launched a cocktail menu.

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.

Forbidden Root
Gastropub, American, Lunch

A botanical brewpub that serves beers like strawberry basil hefeweizen, sparkling rosé ale, and a double IPA called snoochie boochies. The food menu has bar snacks, cheese plates, small plates and larger mains like a pork schnitzel sandwich, duck and dumplings, a reuben, and a mushroom pot pie.

Piccolo Sogno
Italian, Gluten-free

Piccolo Sogno means “little dream” and this restaurant’s large garden is one of the dreamiest spots in Chicago. The menu is seasonal rustic Italian with an emphasis on pastas, pizzas, and hearty meat dishes. Dinner is served nightly and lunch is served Monday through Thursday. Much of the menu is gluten-free.

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.

J.J. Thai Street Food
Thai, Lunch, Asian

This is a casual restaurant serving food made with love and it’s best Thai street food restaurant in Chicago. While this is street food, it is beautifully presented. The menu has several appetizers, noodle soups, and grilled meats.

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.

Lao Peng You
Chinese, Asian, Lunch

A Chinese restaurant that hand makes their noodles and dumplings daily. The menu focuses on noodle and dumpling soups but also includes some Roa Jia Mo (often referred to as a Chinese hamburger) and small plates. The beef noodle soup is one of their most popular menu items.

Southwestern, Lunch

Flo brings the cuisine of the New Mexico to Chicago. The all day menu has green chile chicken enchiladas, a smothered pork and black bean burrito, carnitas tacos, and Baja fish tacos. Flo also serves brunch on weekends.

Noble Thai
Thai, Lunch

Noble Thai has a casual modern space and serves traditional Thai food. The menu is very affordable (most dishes are $11.95 or less) and includes soups, noodles, curries, fried rice and entrees. You can find fresh spring rolls, chicken satay, pad Thai, and panang curry here.

Wicker Park:

Dove’s Luncheonette
Tex-Mex, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

A Tex-Mex diner with a menu that includes items like masa pancakes, fried chicken, pozole rojo, and burnt ends hash. The seats of this diner don’t move, and seating is limited, so it’s best to go as a two-some. Currently, Dove’s focuses on breakfast/brunch and lunch but is open on Mondays for dinner.

Big Star
Mexican, Lunch

A casual taco joint known for its large sunlit patio and strong margaritas. The Panza (pork belly) taco is exceptional and has been on the menu since the start. Big Star is serves lunch and dinner every day. In addition to the restaurant, there is a takeout window next door with picnic tables.

Little Wok
Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Lunch

A freshly opened restaurant in a modern but welcoming space serving a mix of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai cuisine – and they do it all well. It’s a great option for groups.

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.

Kanela Breakfast Club
Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch

See full description under Old Town.

Bongo Room

While Bongo Room serves both sweet and savory breakfast foods, the pancakes are perhaps the most memorable with options like White Chocolate and Caramel Pretzel Pancakes and Pumpkin Chai Pancakes. Bongo Room serves breakfast and lunch Monday and Friday. On weekends they serve breakfast and brunch. (The restaurant is closed Tuesday – Thursday).

Via Carducci La Sorella
Italian, Lunch

This Italian restaurant serving rustic Southern Italian cuisine inspired by the owners hometown in Calabria. The large menu has a mix of pizzas, pastas, and meat dishes including linguini all Congolese, linguini fruitti di mare, homemade gnocchi, veal scaloppine, and chicken vesuvio. There is another location in Lincoln Park.