Fathom Favorites : Chicago Restaurants

1. Chicago's Dog House

Chicago's Dog House

The hot dog spot is always buzzing, partly due to all the hungry DePaul kids streaming in from across the street, but also because the impressive list of dogs are a city staple. But the "frips," a.k.a. fried potato chips, steal the show.

816 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614

2. MingHin


The best dim sum in Chicago has been tapped by UChicago crowd. All the usual suspects are done well: the shumai, cha siu bao, and egg tarts never disappoint. For somehting special, get the Macau-style crispy pork belly.

2168 S. Archer Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616

3. Kimski


Sharing the space with the popular Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar, Korean and Polish food come together deliciously at the counter-only spot. Go for the Ko-Po beef or the veggie potskis with kapusta filling.

954-960 W. 31st St.
Chicago, IL 60608

4. Snaggletooth


The tiny counter joint with the cutest interiors — ever-ready for that Instagram close-up — serves hearty bagels, cured fish, and breakfast tea.

2819 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657

5. Au Cheval

Au Cheval

Forget the three-hour evening/weekend wait times and try for an early weekday lunch. The double cheeseburger was named America's best, and the hardworking bartenders keep you occupied while you wait.


800 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607

6. 3 Greens Market

3 Greens Market

All of restuarateur Brendan Sodikoff's favorite things are in one large space: Small Cheval budgers, Dillman's pastrami, Doughnut Vault pastries. You could spend all day in the comfy, oversized leather couches or at the ping pong tables.

354 W. Hubbard St.
Chicago, IL 60654

7. High Five Ramen

High Five Ramen

Down a tiny alley just off crowded Randolph Row is a painted handprint on a non-descript door. Follow the steps down for the spiciest ramen in town. The daring should order the kanabo spice tonkotsu (and maybe a cocktail slushie to help numb the pain). 

112 N. Green St.
Chicago, IL 60607

8. The Purple Pig

The Purple Pig

Waits are heavy, and with good reason: the food is incredible, though not for the faint-bellied. Standouts include pork-fried almonds, salt-roasted beets with whipped goat cheese, crispy pig's ear, and pork sweetbreads a la plancha.

500 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

9. Lula Café

Lula Café

The restaurant responsible for bringing farm-to-table to Chicago. After a recent renovation, the space retains its homey vibe and the food has been taken up several notches — and it was great to begin with. The menu changes daily and emphasizes seasonal and local. Brunch is equally exceptional, especially breakfast burrito and semolina griddle cakes.


2537 N. Kedzie Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60647

10. Hoosier Mama

Hoosier Mama

Save dessert for the morning. Specifically, cherry scones and sugar cream pie. Grab a window seat (there are only three tables), order a Metropolis coffee and your pastry of choice, and savor the goodness of pure butter and farm-fresh produce.


1618 1/2 Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

11. Maude's Liquor Bar

Maude's Liquor Bar

A dimly-lit, Parisian-style haunt woos you with cocktails, then wins you over with velvety steak tartare, platters piled with fresh oysters and shrimp cocktail, mussels, rich cassoulet, and the best crème brulee you'll ever eat.

840 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60622

12. The Publican

The Publican

Chef Paul Kahan’s West Loop runs the gamut from The Publican, a loud, meat-heavy, beer-hawking brasserie, to Publican Quality Meats, the Jewish deli dreams are made of, with sandwiches as big as your head and a full grocery stocked with chefs' picks, to Avec, the tiny, wooden, small-plates restaurant that serves chorizo-stuffed dates, light-as-air brandade, taleggio flatbread, and wines from around the world.


837 W. Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

13. Girl & the Goat

Girl & the Goat

You've heard of it because chef Stephanie Izard won "Top Chef." It's jam-packed with adventurous food-lovers who want to make dinner a destination. It's impossible to get in, but worth making a reservation months in advance. Alternatively, drop by the more laidback Little Goat Diner across the street.

809 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607

14. Alinea


The home restaurant of powerhouse American chef and molecular cuisine pioneer Grant Achatz, the man who made edible printer paper famous and survived tongue cancer. Every dish he serves is a meditation, a thought-provoking “how’d they do this” experience. In other words, a meal of a lifetime. If you want to try the $210 and $265 tasting menus, you'll have to get a ticket.

1723 N. Halsted
Chicago, IL 60614