By Laura Davis
I don't know about you but, I love to eat and I love Chicago! My husband Chris and I are BIG foodies. It's actually one of the main reasons we chose to live in Streeterville. I swear all our extra money goes towards food and eating out! Not only is Chicago an amazingly beautiful city with so much to offer but, it has one of the best food scenes in the world, in my opinion. With so much to choose from, I don't think we've even scratched the surface but, these are my top go-to's that I highly recommend checking out. Bon Appetit!
This is always at the top of my list and I literally tell everyone who visits they have to go! With 2,834 reviews on Yelp, no wonder it's a hit. Located in the popular River North neighborhood, this Asian Fusion restaurant doesn't miss a beat. The food is awesome and the atmosphere is full of energy. While they have an amazing selection of sushi, the brussels sprout salad, pad Thai, and crazy rice are my all time favs!
2) RPM Italian
I'm a HUGE Italian food fan. My mom is 100% Italian so I grew up on lasagna or homemade spaghetti & meatballs every Sunday. There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If it was Sunday, it was Italian for dinner. If you live in Chicago, you've probably already heard of this place because it's just that good! It's definitely not your traditional mom and pop Italian eatery. This restaurant is sleek and modern with a touch of awesomeness. My go-to's here never change and I'm not sure they ever will. Mama Depandi's bucatini, prime beef meatballs, Giuliana's Italian salad, and the fresh homemade ricotta are a must!
3) Maple & Ash
Now this place is a showstopper. It's actually one of the first restaurants I visited when I moved to Chicago and from there....well the rest is history. Located in one of my favorite Gold Coast nooks, this steakhouse, with it's dark and sexy vibe and lit candelabras, really left an impression. Chris swears it's the best steak he has ever had. I, on the other hand, am not a big steak person and prefer the seafood tower to start (if you're feeling fancy) followed by the grilled salmon or roasted chicken with a side of the whipped mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. Yum!
I am always down for Mexican night! I mean who can say no to tacos, right? One of Rick Bayless' top restaurants, this place has everything from your classic Mexican dishes, to ceviches, to yummy margaritas! We always start with the smoked chicken taquitos and a ceviche of choice followed by the grilled chicken, rajas con crema or the crispy carnitas tacos. I also have to have an order of their sweet plantains as a side and the classic flan for a sweet ending. When I am on the go and running around to different showings, I like to grab something quick, easy but delicious and love to stop at XOCO which is right next door. Serving quick Mexican sandwiches and tacos that are to die for! My favorite....the Milanesa and the chips and guac!
5) Sushi Dokku
When I think of sushi, I think of Sushi Dokku. Located in the West Loop right off Randolph Street, this restaurant's quaint, chic, and minimalist setting always makes me feel like I'm in some small, trendy downtown sushi joint in the heart of New York City. If cool, chill vibes are what you’re looking for, this is the place. The drink options are endless; from sake to shochu, to Japanese whisky, beer, wine, and hand-crafted cocktails, there’s something to suit everyone’s palate. My personal favorites are the “Lychee Club” or “Pear Up” cocktail. Head downstairs to their bar/lounge, Booze Box, if you're looking for a fun place to just grab drinks or small bites. It's the same menu and their DJ is usually spinning live beats throughout the week. When it comes to their food, you can't really go wrong here. I like to start off with the pan seared dumplings, the savory Japanese pancake, or shishito peppers followed by the dragon roll as my main course. To finish off the night, try the tempura ice cream. 10/10 highly recommended!