My Favorite Chicago Restaurants [Adults Only]

Tao Chicago

Call me biased, but I think Chicago is one of the coolest cities to live in. There are so many great things that I love about living here. One of the best things is the restaurants. Chicago is known for amazing restaurants and chefs. I love to eat out and try new restaurants. This inspired me to share my favorite Chicago restaurants for adults only. It’s nice to take the kids out but let’s face it, it’s even nicer to have an adult, uninterrupted conversation over a glass of wine, beer or whatever wets your whistle.

Chicago’s Dining Scene

Chicago is such a diverse city. We have people from all over the world either living here or visiting. It’s no wonder we are home to some of the world’s most famous chefs and restaurants. Alinea has been on the world’s top restaurant list for years. Morton Steakhouse started in Chicago with locations in major cities. There are also extremely successful restauranteurs such as Boka Group and Hogsalt Hospitality that owe Chicago for where it all began.

This list was quite difficult to prepare. I love to eat out and I love to take Clark and Stone to restaurants to eat. However, life is so much better at a restaurant without an iPad or a game of Ispy (life without screen time). Am I right?

I’ll admit, I have taken them to some of the restaurants on the list. They love them too. But, mama loves them just a little more with a glass of wine and adult, uninterrupted conversation. An adult conversation that has a thought in under 5 minutes. I mean maybe it’s just my kids but one story can take half an hour to finish. It’s like watching paint dry for them to complete a sentence sometimes. Therefore, I’m giving you my favorites for now. There are many more and so maybe I will revisit this. Please keep in mind, I wrote this list in no particular order. I love them all!

Favorite Chicago Restaurants for Adults Only

  1. Tao – There is nothing but a good time to be had in this New York outpost that recently opened. The grand opening party was nothing short of spectacular. It was almost downright sensory overload but the food speaks for itself. The dining room is absolutely gorgeous. The food is dangerously delicious. The miso roasted black cod is out of this world. The crunchy quinoa crab roll is my favorite specialty roll. You just gotta go and see for yourself.
  2. Gibsons Italia– The new restaurant of the Gibson Group by far is the most beautiful by design. The three-level location that has a retractable rooftop offers some of the best Chicago Skyline views. The risotto and the Chilean Sea Bass are what dreams are made of. The lunch menu is equally impressive so try it out.
  3. Somerset– This place is one of my favorites. I am so impressed with their allergy accommodating menu. They even offer gluten-free bread service at dinner. I have more allergies than I care to mention but they are always so accommodating. Because its attached to a hotel, they also offer breakfast. I have plenty drop off mama dates. The smoked beet tartare is so good. Yes, that’s beet and not beets. It has cumin yogurt, goat gouda and sunflower seeds. If you are with a party of 4, I strongly suggest ordering the chicken for two as one of your options. I probably never order chicken at dinner because it’s heavy. However, per the server’s recommendation, we tried the chicken and it’s insane.
  4. San Soo– I love Korean food. San Soo is so good. The bulgogi is marinated ribeye and I like to eat it over rice. The stir-fried squid with onion, carrots and cabbage is gluten-free. Plus, the short ribs for good measure. It’s so much fun to go with a group of friends for Korean barbecue because it’s so good to talk about all of the different food. Sometimes we leave after a full stomach and head to karaoke to keep the party going. Lincoln Karaoke is my favorite because they have private rooms. Although, there are a ton that have popped up around the city.
  5. Bavette’s– Chicago is known for its steakhouses. This one exceeds expectations of many local steakhouses. Plus, the atmosphere is so grown and sexy. Bavette’s is a steakhouse that is heavily influenced by French cuisine. You see it the minute you step into the darkly lit dining room with the gorgeous chandeliers. The steak frites with roasted bone marrow and the lyonnaise salad are my favorites.
  6. RPM Steak– I know what you’re thinking—it’s another steakhouse. But, is it? The coal roasted crab and the thick cut bacon speaks for itself. Mushrooms are my favorite and they offer four different kinds plus a mushroom mac and cheese. Of course, the steaks are amazing. The food is divine but it’s more than the food. Its the dining room and its design. The design is equally as delicious as the food.  You’ve gotta see for yourself.
  7. Barrio– The Mexican cuisine at this restaurant definitely lives up to its hype. The menu offers paleo and gluten-free options. I’ve gone several times and it gets better and better. The grilled octopus, steamed pei mussels in a dashi broth and the forest mushroom tacos are a must when you go. The drinks are so good. The jalapeño cucumber is insane.
  8. Radio Anago– This sushi tavern from the Hogsalt family is by far my new fave spot. The warm miso scallop roll, the matcha fried chicken and the soft serve matcha ice cream are some of my favorites. The Nikka gimlet made with vodka,  yuzu sake, and lime is so good. This hot spot also has a dance revolution machine in the back. I gave it a whirl and it was so much fun.

Feel free to drop me a comment and let me know what you think about my list.  Should I create a new list in a couple of months? Should I create them by cities? I didn’t get a chance to list all of my favorites so let me know who I should add to the list.




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