25 Classic Chicago Restaurants to Try

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Chicago celebrates its birthday on March 4.
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Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Chicago’s birthday is March 4, the anniversary of the city’s incorporation. This year, the city celebrates its 184 years. The city’s food culture is an important part of its overall history, shaped by several cultures that call the neighborhoods home.

Authenticity is a tricky subject, but when people ask for a true Chicago experience, these classic restaurants come to mind. There are trendier restaurants and others that may be more important to the current state of the industry, but the following do a better job of capturing the soul of Chicago. These are great places to visit for locals and tourists alike, so treat yourself to a classic today.

As of March 2, restaurants in Chicago are allowed to serve customers indoors with a maximum capacity of 50% per room, or 50 people, whichever is less. At the same time, despite the wintry weather, a number of Chicago restaurants continue to offer outdoor seating. Either way, the state requires reservations for indoor and outdoor dining. This shouldn’t be seen as an endorsement of eating in, as there are always security issues. For up-to-date information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the City of Chicago website. COVID-19 Dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower risk of exposure outdoors, but the level of risk from patio dining depends on restaurants adhering to strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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To note: The restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

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