Whether your tastes run to European classics, contemporary American fare, or innovative Asian-fusion, Chicago’s restaurant scene is varied enough to satisfy all requirements. If you don’t care what you eat so much as where you eat, and are more impressed with 3 figure dining bills and bragging rights than a cheap bite, then you’ll have plenty to keep you happy.
Chicago is home to a few of the most expensive restaurants in the world- book a table at any of those from the below list, and you’re guaranteed to impress your dining companion (unless you land them with the bill, of course).
20. Les Nomades - $80 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 222 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611-3258
Up first on our list of the most expensive restaurants in Chicago, we have the reliably excellent Les Nomads. There may be nothing new about its take on French cuisine, but sometimes, it’s best to leave well enough alone- classic European fare being a prime example.
For $80 a head, you can expect to indulge in treats such as oysters on the half-shell, chilled torchon of Hudson Valley foie gras with apple espuma, grilled calamari accompanied by confit fennel and tomato, langoustine ravioli and tempura soft-shell crab with Mediterranean rouille, and seared Hudson Valley foie gras with strawberry balsamic reduction and caramel foam.
19. NoMi - $80 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 800 N Michigan Ave, Park Hyatt Hotel, Chicago, IL 60611-2105
Another addition to our list with an average price of $80 dollars per head is NoMi, a restaurant that according to TripAdvisor “combines effortless elegance and contemporary sophistication with an emphasis on Midwest flavors with traditional French influences”.
Serving up breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, late-night snacks and drinks from a menu that features American classics alongside Asian-fusion dishes, it’s a great place to grab some sushi and check out some of the best views in Chicago.
18. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab - $80 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 60 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611-3533
It may advertise itself as a casual steakhouse, but there’s nothing casual about Joe’s prices, or its commitment to delivering some of the best surf and turf for miles. If you’re a steak aficionado, you’ll need to check it out- its first-class ingredients, attention to detail (both front and back of house), and superlative cuts of red meat are guaranteed to make you glad you made the effort.
17. North Pond - $95 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 2610 North Cannon Dr, Chicago, Il ·
As one of Chicago’s 7 Michelin starred restaurants, North Pond offers diners the chance to experience some truly innovative creations that combine creativity with sensory heaven.
Its seasonal tasting menu offers such treats as smoked sour cream panna cotta with a russett "croissant", poached wild salmon pavé, fresh basil, tomato-bacon sorbet, sun golds, and a flax cracker, braised kanafeh with apricots, mint, cucumber, sheep's milk feta, and pistachios, and for dessert, peach-tart cherry "pie", smoked almond ice cream, cobbler crumb, blueberries, and herbs.
16. Palm Court - $100 Average Cost Per Person
Where:140 E Walton Pl, Chicago, IL 60611-1545
For a luxurious treat, the Palm Court is THE place to go. Best known for its exclusive afternoon teas, Palm Court treats its visitors to tiers of delectable bites such as cucumber sandwiches, chicken salad tartes, handmade scones, delicate macarons, and dark chocolate tarts. If you’re looking for somewhere special to treat your mother on Mother’s Day, this could well be it.
15. Girl & The Goat - $100 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 809W. Randolph St. Chicago, Illinois 60661
With its mix of classic cuisine and cutting-edge delicacies, Girl & The Goat’s extensive menu is guaranteed to have something to please everyone. Set within a stunning loft with exposed beams, an iron fireplace, and a fresh oak bar, it’s as much a treat for the eyes as it is the stomach- which considering its tempting crispy beef short ribs, goat empanadas, and signature wood oven-roasted pig face, is high praise indeed.
14. Topolobampo - $110 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 445 N. Clark St. Chicago, Illinois 60654
At Topolobampo, Chef-owner Rick Bayless has put together a first-class, seven-course tasting menu that may set you back $110, but with its emphasis on game, seasonal fruits, and cutting-edge treatments, it’s guaranteed to delight you regardless.
13. Aruns - $125 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 4156 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60618-2440
If you want to visit somewhere that’s been named as one of the “1000 places to see before you die” in a NY Times Bestseller, then book yourself a table at Aruns, quick smart. The 12-course tasting menu may set you back a hefty $125, but if the happy faces of its diners are anything to go by, it’s worth every penny.
The tasting menu varies nightly, but with its standard menu featuring such delights as pan-seared branzino fillet served with fried garlic, kabocha squash & galangal-turmeric coconut cream sauce, along with poached cold-water lobster tail, seasonal succotash, lobster wonton, turmeric curry sauce & balsamic glaze, you’re guaranteed to be in for a treat regardless.
12. Vie Restaurant - $125 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 4471 Lawn Ave, Western Springs, IL 60558
As the lucky holder of a coveted Michelin Star, Vie Restaurant serves up a range of delectable creations from celebrity chef Paul Virant.
Fusing contemporary American dishes with classic European flavors, Virant treats his guests to such delights as summer vegetable pot au feu with fermented mushroom and grilled onion broth, dijon-mushroom toast, and pickle relish, vie burger (made of CDK Angus 21-day dry-aged ground beef, cheddar cheese, vie bacon, french fries, bread & butter pickles, and dijonnaise), and pan-roasted rainbow trout in sorrel sauce à la Pierre Trois Gros.
11. The Signature Room at the 95th - $150 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 875 N Michigan Ave, 95th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611-1803
If you’re a fan of contemporary American fare and art deco interiors, don’t miss a visit to the next entry to our list. Located on the 95th floor of the former John Hancock Center, The Signature Room at the 95th offers dazzling views across the city and an elegant, 1920’s style interior.
If you can drag your eyes away from the cityscape and onto the menu, you’ll find such morsels as fried chicken and waffles served with bourbon bacon jam, whipped apple butter and maple syrup; seasonal vegetable Gemelli; and braised short ribs served with lemongrass-infused parsnip puree and spring onion pesto.
10. Everest - $165 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 425 S Financial Pl, Chicago, IL 60605
Everest’s tasting menu may set you back $165, but there’s a good chance you’ll be too busy feasting on Minute of Maine Lobster Salad with Celery Remoulade, Sautéed New York State Foie Gras with a Compote of Michigan Sour Cherries and Crispy Poppy Seed Crêpes, or New Black Forest Composition Michigan Cherries to care.
9. Graham Elliot Bistro - $163 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 841 W Randolph St, Chicago IL 6060
Renowned Chef Graham Elliot is the man behind the next entry to our list, and has clearly given the restaurant his all (including his name).
With accolades like three stars from the Chicago Tribune, two stars in the 2013 Michelin Guide, and a nomination for the James Beard Award under his belt, you can bet your bottom dollar you’re in for an amazing culinary experience at the Graham Elliot Bistro- and with an average meal costing $163 per person, you may have to.
8. Brindille - $175 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 534 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654-7116
Treat yourself to the eight-course tasting menu at Brindille and you’ll get to experience some of the most exquisite food in Chicago.
At the pass is Chef Carrie Nahabedian, a chef whose love for French cuisine and passion for the finest quality ingredients is evident in every dish, whether that’s the sea scallops scented with vanilla bean, citrus and spices, the Olga Bay sockeye salmon served with golden chanterelles, toasted couscous, bone marrow and red wine matelote sauce, or the lacquered aged Moulard duck breast with a Pavé Tarte of “July Prince” peaches, roasted fennel, anise and apple mint.
7. Next - $175 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 953 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
Founded by chef Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas, Next has won an unrivaled nineteen 4-star reviews from the Chicago Tribune along with the James Beard Award as Best New Restaurant in America.
With accolades such as this, you’ll not be surprised to learn it doesn’t come cheap (expect to pay around $175 per person), but with its seasonal menu comprising of some of the most innovative and delectable delicacies you’ll likely experience in a long time, it’s worth every cent.
6. Blackbird - $175 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 619 W Randolph St Chicago, IL 60661
If you want to taste some of the award-winning chef Paul Kahan’s specialties, then get yourself down to this celebrity hotspot on West Loop. Its seasonal menu is ever-changing, but expect to see such delectable morsels as beef tartrate served with kusshi oysters, cornichons and grilled brioche; dry-aged Slagel striploin with farm beets, boquerones and brown butter, and sturgeon grilled in banana leaf and accompanied with coconut milk, kimchi, and mustard greens.
5. Oriole - :$178 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 661 W. Walnut St., Chicago, IL 60661
If you can’t resist the siren call of a Michelin star, then head down to Oriole, one of the finest dining establishments in Illinois. The extended tasting menu from executive chef & owner Noah Sandoval and pastry chef & partner Genie Kwon may set you back around $178 per person but seeing as it’s the kind of gastronomic treat we should all get to experience at least once in a lifetime, we’re sure you‘ll find some way of justifying it to your other half.
4. Cherry Circle Room - $180 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 12 S Michigan Ave, Between Madison Street & Monroe Street, The Loop, Chicago, IL 60603-3300
Up next is the Cherry Circle Room, an exquisite fine dining establishment that gives you the perfect excuse to don your dressiest attire and get fancy for the night. The venue itself is a hymn to opulence, while the menu is a masterclass in how to give classic dishes a contemporary twist.
If you’re a fan of seafood, don’t miss out on the Seafood Tower, an epic pile of Mexican blue shrimp, king crab, Maine lobster tail and oysters that’ll set you back around $145. If you’re more of a meat-lover then a fish-fan, the 40oz Prime Axe Handle Rib Steak at $110 comes highly recommend.
3. El Ideas - $195 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 2419 West 14th Street Chicago, IL 60608
It may look like nothing special from the outside but a quick glance at El Ideas exquisite menu will tell you everything you need to know about why it’s one of the hottest spots in Chicago.
If you have an empty stomach and around $195 at your disposal, why not treat yourself to a front-row seat at Chef Phillip Foss tasting menu? With delicacies such as Thai style crab, miso sweetbreads, and crème Fraiche huckleberry, it’s a culinary experience you’ll want to try at least once in your life.
2. LH Rooftop - $200 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 85 E Wacker Dr 22nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60601-3703
If you’ve got $200 going spare, why not spend it at one of the most distinctive dining establishments in Chicago? Offering the first-class cuisine on an outdoor terrace, guests of the LH Rooftop will get to experience some of the best views in Chicago as they dine of a menu of innovative bites and classic cocktails.
1. Alinea - $355 Average Cost Per Person
Where: 1723 N. Halsted St. Chicago, Illinois 60614
Not many restaurants demand a ticket to get in, but then again, there’re not many restaurants like Alinea. If you’re feeling flush and have 4-5 hours to spare, then treat yourself to The Gallery Menu, it’s 18-course tasting menu. It may cost up to $355 per person (prices can fluctuate depending on the day and the week), but as a showcase to chef Grant Achatz's stunningly innovative take on gastronomy, it’s worth every penny.
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Written by Dana Hanson
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