Where to Eat in Chicago Right Now
Indulge a little.
The weather outside is frightful, but indoor dining is none-too-delightful… For Chicago gourmands, that only leaves two options: Either take refuge in one of the many makeshift heated outdoor structures proliferating the sidewalks or dive head-first into the thriving take-out and delivery scene. From tongue-in-cheek sandwich creations to Scandanavian beers, a pioneering purveyor of Peranakan cuisine, and Japanese cocktails fit for a king, here are the city’s hands-down hottest restaurants.
The gist: Ex-Blackbird chef Ryan Pfeiffer is dishing up unconventional sandwiches alongside Mason Hereford (NOLA’s Turkey & the Wolf) in an anything-goes pop-up space steeped in neon-hued ‘90s nostalgia.
The food: Quirky pop culture nods like the vegan Crunchwrap oozing with pickles, jalapenos, and vegan mozzarella tickle the imagination alongside monsters like the Space Torpedo (turkey, pastrami, cheese, pasta salad, shredded lettuce, tangy onions), curious creations like fried spaghetti-stuffed egg rolls, and a full bill of retro sodas, cocktails, and even a 40-ouncer or two for kicks.
The cost: Snacks $4.50 - $7.50, sandwiches $14.50 - $15.50, drinks $2.50 - $30.
How to order: Available for pick-up and delivery only via Upserve, Uber Eats, GrubHub, and DoorDash.
The gist: Michelin-starred chef Andrew Zimmerman’s clever takes on global fare in a space that feels just as special: a 5,900-square-foot former printing house outfitted in rich velvets, hand-glazed tiles, and butter-smooth leather.
The food: Japanese, Thai, Indian, Middle-Eastern, and American flavors collide here in seriously synced ways, from tempura-fried elotes and mung bean dumplings to seared scallops with caramelized peanut nahm jim and sumac-dusted grilled lamb kebab with housemade labne. The drinks list, hand-curated by expert Wine Director Jenni Wagoner, is equally pronounced.
The cost: Starters $9 - $12, mains $16 - $45, drinks $13 - $15.
How to order: Head to Tock to reserve your spot at an upcoming virtual wine dinner or snag a holiday take-out package.
The food: Modern-day interpretations of American classics and age-old family recipes alike, from blackened catfish with BBQ carrots to chicken gumbo with andouille sausage (and, of course, cornbread with honey butter).
The cost: Starters $11, mains $26, sides $7, desserts $9, cocktails $12.
How to order: The full menu, including cocktail kits and wine by the bottle, is available for take-out and delivery via Toast.
Pizza Friendly Pizza
The gist: Fine dining rubs shoulders with rock-and-roll vibes thanks to chefs Noah Sandoval (Oriole) and Ruben Villalobos, who spin out high-caliber pies in the back alley of indie music haven The Empty Bottle.
The food: Sicilian-style pan pizzas available by the slice or the whole, with combinations like Ezzo’s cup and char pepperoni, burrata, and fresh basil or rapini, chévre, lemon, and garlic. Try them alongside the The Pizzaberry Tonic, a spirit-free concoction of fennel, black peppercorns, and Tasmanian pepperberries from acclaimed bartender Julia Momose (Kumiko).
The cost: Slices $4.50, whole pies $33, sandwiches $12, and salads $10.
How to order: Available for takeout via the walk-up window, Upserve, and Tock and delivery via GrubHub.
The gist: Fun French-American pastries and contemporary Filipino food from Genie Kwon and Tim Flores—two Chicago chefs with an impressive culinary CV (i.e., Oriole’s opening pastry chef and chef de cuisine, respectively).
The food: Expect big flavors in every direction, from a house-made Filipino sausage with garlic rice, fried egg, and pickled papaya to off-the-cob corn with asparagus, charred scallion mayo, and wasabi tobiko. Top it off with one of Kwon’s pastries—namely the ube and huckleberry Basque cake, or the apple butter and raclette fondue croissant.
The cost: Pastries $3 $ -7, mains $15 - $25, wines $5 by the can, or $20 - $27 for retail bottles.
How to order: Drop by the Augusta Ave storefront for carry-out, grab take-out from Toast, or get your delivery fix via Tock and DoorDash.
Jeff & Judes - A Jewish Deli
The gist: A self-proclaimed “Jew-ish” deli, chef Ursula Siker’s inspired all-day menu of modernized, housemade comforts isn’t exactly your Bubby’s appetizing store—it’s way better.
The food: Hearty meats—all cured, butchered, and/or brined in-house, mind you—give way to plump freshly baked breads, savory knishes, chewy bagels, overstuffed sandwiches (three words: matzo fried chicken), soups, prepped and a la carte salads, and decadent sweets like a black and white cookie worthy of Seinfeld’s societal musings.
The cost: Bulk deli items $5 - $13.50, baked goods $1.50 - $13, breakfast mains $5 - $15, lunch mains $5 - $18, sides $4 - $12, drinks $1.50 - $5.50
How to order: Call 773-661-1227, drop by the Western Avenue storefront, or head to Toast for carry-out.
Robert Et Fils
The gist: An homage to chef-owner Rob Shaner’s teen years in Paris, the North Center newcomer features modern French cuisine set to prix-fixe menus (when dine-in service commences).
The food: Family-style takeout menus rotate frequently, with options like roasted chicken with preserved lemon stuffing and picholine olives and tarragon puff pastry filled with seasonal fruits and buttermilk crѐme anglaise.
The cost: Dinner kits from $45 per person, a la carte snacks and sweets from $4, cocktail kits, wine, and digestifs $10 - $52.
How to order: Take-out available via Tock and delivery via GrubHub.
The gist: After making three-Michelin star waves with Grace, chef Curtis Duffy and business partner Michael Muser are at it again with Ever, where a whimsical prix-fixe reflects Duffy’s refined, seasonally driven approach.
The food: During normal times, the 10-course tasting menu features colorful, playful compositions like Miyazaki beef with crispy sunchoke and sesame pudding and Osetra caviar with poached Alaskan king crab and citrus lace. These days it’s all about take-out friendly adaptations like heat-at-home chicken puttanesca, slow-roasted pork belly, and unctuous duck leg confit plus Zoom-led wine tastings.
The cost: $285 per person.
How to order: Get in on the delivery and take-out action via Tock.
The gist: Husband-and-wife team John Shields and Karen Urie Shields peddle two different dining experiences out of their multi-level West Loop locale, each serving a winning combination of generous hospitality and high-quality ingredients sourced directly from nearby farms.
The food: The Loyalist features casual French fare (with a drool-worthy burger and impressive sundae, complete with kombu ice cream and caramel). Big sister Smyth is the spot for upscale eats, offering intricate tasting menus spanning multiple refined courses loaded with local gems.
The cost: “Smyth at Home” packages from $125 per person. The Loyalist a la carte sides and appetizers from $5, entrees from $16, cocktails from $15.
How to order: Pick-up and delivery available via Tock and Caviar.
Mi Tocaya Antojería
The gist: Chef Diana Davila’s neighborhood restaurant is a nod to her upbringing and travels through Mexico via a progression of lesser known, regional specialties.
The food: Journey through the menu with small, medium, and large plates, such as braised beef tongue with peanut salsa, Yucatan-style slow roasted pork in banana leaves, and fish con mole verde, featuring a frequently rotating selection of fish.
The cost: Antojitos $5-16, Antojos $13-20, Familiares $19-48, cocktails $12.
How to order: Get your take-out and delivery on via the restaurant’s online ordering portal and Caviar.
The gist: Chef-owner Bobby Schaffer’s beloved Andersonville bakery goes big with a Wicker Park expansion outfitted in svelte Danish design, further cementing it as one of the city’s most sought-after pastry empires.
The food: Gooey cinnamon rolls, fragrant cardamom buns, buttery croissants piled with roasted mushrooms, cheddar, and soft poached eggs, open-face sandwiches layered with Smoking Goose City ham, havarti cheese, and lingonberry jam, richly spiced loaves of Swedish Limpia hot from the oven—seriously, what more could a person want?
The cost: Baked goods and sweets $3.75 - $9, lunch items $9 - $12, beverages $3 - $6, wines by the bottle $16 - $55.
How to order: Stop into either location for counter service or snag take-out and delivery via the online portal.
The gist: "Top Chef" champ and all-around Chicago sweetheart Stephanie Izard’s rooftop escape is once again beckoning brunch- and dinner-goers with a pared down menu of Peruvian-inflected favorites supported by refreshing cocktails and choice wine.
The food: Weekenders gravitate to global delights like veggie and trout roe omelettes with squash leche de tigre, savory goat empanadas, and fluffy French toast drizzled with panca maple syrup while night owls dig into Latin comforts like salmon ceviche, steak saltado, and arroz con pollo doused in a sea of lime huacatay sauce plus tropical and spirit-forward cocktails, beer and wine.
The cost: Dinner dishes $10 - $36, brunch dishes $10 - $22, drinks by the glass $5 - $19, bottled wine $48 - $77.
How to order: Reserve a spot on the patio through OpenTable or get your pick-up and delivery on via Cabra’s online portal.
The gist: Farm-to-table fare is at its best at this bright, perennially hip Logan Square fixture, where chef Jason Hammel and team adhere to daily changing plates, as acutely dictated by the season.
The food: Always fresh and always changing, with some recent interpretations like tomato and lobster salad (with red quinoa and Thai basil), Rushing Waters trout (with Genesis Farm cucumbers, black garlic, and poppy seed), and challah French toast (with butterscotch, Klug Farm peaches, and creme fraiche).
The cost: Brunch and lunch starters $14, mains $20, and cocktails $12. Or, spring for the three-course farm dinner, $34.
How to order: Amble up to the walk-up window for daily pastries and coffee or pick your delivery and take-out poison with help from Tock, Upserve, and Caviar.
The gist: The former Stumptown cafe inside hipster haven Ace Hotel has been transformed into an all-day take-out emporium pushing light eats, fresh juice, and enticing adult beverages helmed by executive chef Matt Danko and pastry chef Felicia Mayden. Evening guests are welcome to enjoy their treats beside the hotel’s stately outdoor firepits.
The food: Espresso-spiked standards pave the way for cheeky pastries like housemade Pop-Tarts and sausage rolls, satisfying midday fare like avocado and tomato sandwiches plus savvy cocktails, craft beer, and wine, as well as bread by the loaf with an option to purchase an addition round for Chicagoans experiencing food insecurity.
The cost: Coffee and tea $2.75 - $4.75, baked goods $3 - $20, lunch items $8 - $12, juices and cocktails $6 - $13, beer and wine $11 - $80
How to order: Pop into the Ace Hotel’s sleek lobby for all your fireside snacking needs or hit up ChowNow for delivery and carry-out.
The gist: The Scandinavian theme runs deep inside this stylish Humboldt Park brewpub—the neighborhood's very first—fueled by a pair of enterprising ex-Lagunitas brewers and stashed within the effortlessly cool Kimball Arts Center hybrid creative hub.
The food: Nordic-inspired brews highlight old world ingredients (i.e. gooseberries, yarrow, signet marigold, Norwegian kveik yeasts, plenty of smoked specialty malts) while hefty open-faced sandwiches dubbed smørrebrøds, breakfast spreads, and communal snacks keep the hopheads honest and a robust collection of original cocktails and thought-provoking wines cater to the non-beer crowd.
The cost: Breakfast $7 - $14, smørrebrød $8 - $9, shareables and large plates $6 - $19, dessert $6, beer $3 - $10, bottled wine $20 - $30, cocktails $18 - $20, soft drinks $2 - $3.50
How to order: Stop by the Bloomingdale entrance for carry-out or head to Toast and DoorDash for take-out and delivery.
Dr. Murphy's Food Hall
The gist: The latest to join Chicago’s food hall lineup, this 10,000-square-foot space features eats from 11 vendors, largely spotlighting minority and women-owned businesses.
The food: Taste the world in one sitting here, thanks to Mississippi red hot tamales from Lil’ Delta, Nepalese dumplings from Kathmandu, samosas from Maharani, and chicken banh mi sandwiches from Viet Nom Nom.
The cost: Starters $7 - $9, mains: $9 - $11, cocktails $12.
How to order: Get your take-out through Dr. Murphy’s online portal or snag delivery via DoorDash and Caviar.
The gist: After finessing the Italian and steak spheres, the RPM team strikes again—and this time, they’ve positioned seafood front and center. Couple on-point fare with upscale environs and sweeping Chicago River views and consider this the ultimate Saturday night hang.
The food: Start with the tuna tartare, topped with avocado and yuzu, then meander into heartier portions of Baja fish tacos, spicy miso black cod, or grilled king crab, complete with curry aioli.
The cost: Starters $21 - $26, mains $27 - $41, cocktails $15.
How to order: Head to Tock for carry-out or to reserve heated riverfront greenhouse and outdoor tent seating or opt for delivery via Postmates, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Caviar, and GrubHub.