Restaurants

Top Choice European in Andersonville & Uptown

Hopleaf

A cozy, European-like tavern, Hopleaf draws crowds for its Montreal-style smoked brisket, cashew-butter-and-fig-jam sandwich, uber-creamy macaroni and Stilton cheese, and the house-specialty frites (fries) and ale-s…
Top Choice Spanish in South Loop & Near South Side

Mercat a la Planxa

This Barcelona-style tapas and seafood restaurant buzzes in an enormous, convivial room where light streams in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Iron Chef winner Jose Garces cooks all the specialties of Catalan …
French in Lincoln Square

Bistro Campagne

Chicago has a lot of French bistros sprinkled around, but not many perfect the balance of fine yet unfussy dining in a sophisticated but welcoming ambience the way Campagne does. The stained-glass-filled Lincoln Squ…
French in Lincoln Park & Old Town

La Fournette

The chef hails from Alsace in France and he fills his narrow, rustic-wood bakery with bright-hued macarons (purple passionfruit, green pistachio, red raspberry-chocolate), cheese-infused breads, crust-crackling bagu…
Spanish in Lake View & Wrigleyville

mfk

In mfk's teeny space it feels like you're having a romantic meal in Spain, with the sea lapping just outside the door. Dig into crunchy prawn heads, garlicky octopus and veal meatballs amid the whitewashed walls and…
Modern French in Near North & Navy Pier

Tru

Considered one of the city’s best, Tru's prix fixe menu (from seven to 13 courses) is artful and capricious, with highly seasonal offerings and brilliant desserts. As you might expect by the price, the service is ac…
Spanish in Near North & Navy Pier

Cafe Iberico

Iberico’s creative tapas burst with flavor. Among the standouts: salpicon de marisco (seafood salad with shrimp, octopus and squid), croquetas de pollo (chicken and ham puffs with garlic sauce) and vieiras a la plan…
French in Near West Side & Pilsen

Chez Joel

Whether you’re dining outside under the big oak tree or tucked in a cozy corner inside, the atmosphere and exceptional French fare make Chez Joel a romantic favorite, though an odd duck among this predominantly Ital…
Spanish in Lincoln Park & Old Town

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!

At this long-standing, delightfully ersatz tapas joint, the garlic-laced menu changes often but always includes some spicy meats, marinated fish and heaps of hot or cold small plates. For a main event, order one of …
Polish in Wicker Park, Bucktown & Ukrainian Village

Podhalanka

Since you’re in the middle of the old ‘Polish Broadway’ area, why not eat like they did in the old days? This hole-in-the-wall holdover from the era serves up massive portions of potato pancakes, pierogi, dill-fleck…