Discover Hidden Gem Eateries in Chicago for Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week Chicago: A Culinary Delight

Every year, food enthusiasts and culinary connoisseurs eagerly await the arrival of Restaurant Week Chicago. This highly anticipated event showcases the vibrant and diverse dining scene of the Windy City, offering a unique opportunity to indulge in exceptional cuisine at incredible prices. From Michelin-starred establishments to hidden gems tucked away in neighborhood corners, Chicago’s restaurant week is a gastronomic adventure like no other.

During this week-long celebration, participating restaurants curate special prix-fixe menus that showcase their culinary prowess. It’s a chance for chefs to flex their creative muscles and for diners to savor a wide array of flavors and culinary styles. Whether you’re a fan of classic American fare, exotic international cuisines, or innovative fusion dishes, Restaurant Week Chicago has something to satisfy every palate.

So mark your calendars and prepare your taste buds for an unforgettable dining experience. Join us as we explore the culinary landscape of Chicago during this much-anticipated event. From the familiar favorites to the exciting new additions, Restaurant Week Chicago promises to be a feast for the senses.

A History of Restaurant Week Chicago

Chicago’s vibrant culinary scene has a rich history that has been celebrated annually with the much-anticipated Restaurant Week. Since its inception, this event has been a haven for food enthusiasts, offering them a chance to indulge in exceptional cuisine at discounted prices.

The idea for Restaurant Week Chicago was first introduced in 2008 by Choose Chicago, the city’s official tourism organization. Inspired by the success of similar events in New York City and other major cities, they saw an opportunity to showcase the city’s diverse dining scene and attract both locals and tourists.

From its humble beginnings, Restaurant Week Chicago has grown into a major culinary extravaganza. The event’s popularity has soared over the years, and it has become a highlight on the city’s cultural calendar. Michelin-starred establishments, as well as hidden gems, eagerly participate, enticing diners with their creative prix-fixe menus.

One of the key goals of Restaurant Week Chicago is to allow chefs to showcase their culinary skills and highlight the flavors and culinary styles that make Chicago’s dining scene so exceptional. By offering specially curated menus, they invite diners to experience a wide array of dishes that cater to every palate.

Over the years, Restaurant Week Chicago has become synonymous with excitement, discovery, and a celebration of all things delicious. It has helped put the city’s restaurants on the map, attracting food lovers from far and wide. In recent years, the event has also expanded to include special events and promotions, giving attendees even more reasons to participate and explore the culinary wonders of the city.

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As the event continues to grow and evolve, one thing remains constant: the unforgettable dining experiences that await during Restaurant Week Chicago. Whether you are a seasoned foodie or simply looking to explore new flavors, this annual event promises a culinary journey like no other. So mark your calendars and get ready to indulge in the vibrant and dynamic culinary scene that Chicago has to offer.

Participating Restaurants and Prix-Fixe Menus

Restaurant Week Chicago showcases the city’s diverse dining scene through a wide array of participating restaurants and their carefully curated prix-fixe menus. With over 400 restaurants taking part in the event, there is something to satisfy every palate and budget.

During Restaurant Week, these establishments offer special three-course menus at fixed prices, allowing diners to indulge in a variety of dishes without breaking the bank. The menus often feature popular items from the restaurant’s regular menu, as well as unique creations exclusive to the event. From traditional favorites to innovative culinary delights, the participating restaurants aim to wow their guests with their creativity and skill.

The prix-fixe menus typically include an appetizer, main course, and dessert, providing diners with a complete dining experience. Some restaurants even offer optional wine or cocktail pairings to elevate the overall dining experience. It’s a fantastic opportunity to try out new restaurants or revisit old favorites, all at a discounted price.

Participating restaurants range from charming local eateries to Michelin-starred establishments, ensuring that visitors can explore the full spectrum of culinary offerings in Chicago. Whether you’re craving Italian, French, Asian, or American cuisine, there is a restaurant for every taste and preference. With so many options to choose from, it’s advisable to make reservations in advance to secure a table at your desired restaurant.

Here are some popular participating restaurants that are known for their exceptional culinary offerings:

  • Alinea: A three-Michelin-starred restaurant known for its innovative and avant-garde cuisine.
  • Girl & the Goat: Helmed by award-winning chef Stephanie Izard, this restaurant offers a creative menu that blends global flavors with locally sourced ingredients.
  • Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse: A Chicago institution famous for its prime steaks and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Xoco: Chef Rick Bayless’ casual Mexican eatery that serves up delicious tacos, tortas, and hot chocolates.
  • The Purple Pig: A Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that offers a diverse selection of small plates and charcuterie.

These are just a few examples of the many incredible restaurants waiting to be explored during Restaurant Week Chicago. The event provides a wonderful opportunity to discover new flavors, support local businesses, and celebrate the vibrant culinary scene that Chicago has to offer.

Exploring Chicago’s Culinary Scene

Chicago is renowned for its diverse and vibrant culinary scene, and Restaurant Week Chicago is the perfect opportunity to experience it all. With over 250 participating restaurants, this annual event showcases the best the city has to offer, from local hidden gems to Michelin-starred establishments.

During Restaurant Week, these dining hotspots create carefully curated prix-fixe menus that allow guests to sample a variety of dishes at fixed prices. This not only offers an excellent value for diners but also encourages them to step out of their comfort zones and try new flavors and culinary experiences.

One of the standout aspects of Restaurant Week is the sheer range of cuisines available. Whether you’re a fan of Italian, French, Asian, or American fare, you’ll find something to tantalize your taste buds. From decadent steakhouses to cozy neighborhood cafes, the event caters to every culinary preference.

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Some of Chicago’s most renowned restaurants, such as Alinea, Girl & the Goat, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, Xoco, and The Purple Pig, also participate in Restaurant Week. These culinary powerhouses not only offer exceptional dining experiences but also showcase their creativity and craftsmanship through unique and innovative dishes.

Apart from the diverse cuisines and renowned establishments, Restaurant Week also gives diners the chance to support local businesses. Chicago is home to a thriving food scene, with countless independent eateries that are the backbone of the city’s culinary landscape. By dining at these establishments during Restaurant Week, visitors can contribute to the sustainability and growth of these local favorites.

Michelin-starred Establishments: A Must-Try Experience

Chicago’s Restaurant Week isn’t just about exploring a wide range of cuisines; it’s also an opportunity to dine at some of the city’s Michelin-starred establishments. These renowned restaurants have gained accolades and recognition for their exceptional culinary skills and commitment to providing diners with an extraordinary dining experience.

One such establishment is Alinea, led by Chef Grant Achatz, which has been awarded three Michelin stars for its innovative and avant-garde approach to cuisine. Alinea offers guests a multi-sensory experience, pushing the boundaries of traditional dining by incorporating elements of art, science, and technology into their meticulously crafted dishes.

Another must-try Michelin-starred restaurant is Oriole, helmed by Chef Noah Sandoval. With its intimate setting and focus on seasonal ingredients, Oriole offers a dining experience that is both refined and approachable.

For those seeking a more casual yet equally extraordinary experience, Schwa is the place to be. With its laid-back atmosphere and creative, ever-changing menu, this one-Michelin-starred restaurant surprises and delights diners with its inventive dishes.

Smyth and Elske are also among the Michelin-starred establishments that offer unique dining experiences. At Smyth, Chefs John Shields and Karen Urie Shields showcase their passion for farm-to-table dining and take guests on a culinary journey that celebrates the flavors of the Midwest. Elske, on the other hand, marries Scandinavian and Midwestern influences to create dishes that are both elegant and comforting.

Visiting one of these Michelin-starred establishments during Restaurant Week Chicago is an opportunity to sample the exceptional talents of some of the city’s top chefs. Whether it’s the artistry of Alinea, the seasonal flavors of Oriole, or the inventive creations at Schwa, each restaurant offers a culinary experience that is sure to linger in the memories of diners.

So, as you plan your culinary adventures during Restaurant Week Chicago, make sure to reserve a table at one of these Michelin-starred restaurants. Be prepared to be wowed by their impeccable service, exceptional menus, and the unforgettable dining experiences they offer.

Restaurant Michelin Stars
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Hidden Gems: Uncovering Neighborhood Favorites

Chicago Restaurant Week is not only about the well-known and acclaimed eateries, but it also shines a spotlight on the city’s hidden culinary treasures. These neighborhood gems may not have the same level of recognition as the Michelin-starred restaurants or the famous establishments, but they offer a unique and authentic dining experience that shouldn’t be missed.

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1. Soul Vegetarian

Tucked away in the heart of the city’s West Side, Soul Vegetarian is a haven for vegans and vegetarians. This family-owned restaurant has been serving up delicious and nutritious plant-based dishes for over 30 years. The menu features a variety of flavorful options, from BBQ tofu and jerk “chicken” to soulful sides like candied yams and collard greens. Don’t forget to try their famous vegan mac and cheese!

2. Ras Dashen

For those seeking an adventure in Ethiopian cuisine, Ras Dashen in Edgewater is the place to go. This cozy eatery offers traditional Ethiopian dishes with bold flavors and aromatic spices. Savor the injera, a sourdough flatbread, paired with flavorful stews and seasoned meats. Ras Dashen is known for its warm hospitality, making every visit feel like a trip to Addis Ababa.

3. Cellar Door Provisions

In the vibrant neighborhood of Logan Square, Cellar Door Provisions combines a bakery, café, and restaurant all in one. This hidden gem focuses on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients to create dishes that highlight the flavors of the Midwest. From their freshly baked bread and pastries to their exquisite brunch and dinner options, every bite at Cellar Door Provisions is a delightful experience.

4. Café Marie-Jeanne

Nestled in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, Café Marie-Jeanne offers a charming and relaxed atmosphere paired with hearty French-inspired dishes. The menu features classics like croque madame and escargots, as well as creative interpretations of comfort food favorites. Don’t miss their signature chocolate soufflé for a sweet ending to your meal.

5. Demera Ethiopian Restaurant

Another gem showcasing the flavors of Ethiopia is Demera Ethiopian Restaurant in Uptown. With a menu filled with traditional dishes like doro wot (spicy chicken stew) and kitfo (minced beef seasoned with spices), Demera offers an authentic taste of Ethiopia.


Restaurant Week Chicago offers not only a chance to explore well-known and acclaimed eateries but also to discover hidden culinary treasures in the city’s neighborhoods. From Soul Vegetarian, a family-owned vegan and vegetarian restaurant on the West Side, to Ras Dashen, an Ethiopian eatery in Edgewater known for its bold flavors, there is something for everyone’s taste buds. Cellar Door Provisions in Logan Square combines a bakery, café, and restaurant, while Café Marie-Jeanne in Humboldt Park offers French-inspired dishes. Demera Ethiopian Restaurant in Uptown showcases traditional Ethiopian cuisine. These hidden gems provide unique and authentic dining experiences that shouldn’t be missed during Restaurant Week. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this event is an opportunity to indulge in the diverse culinary scene that Chicago has to offer. So mark your calendars and get ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure during Restaurant Week Chicago.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the focus of Restaurant Week Chicago?

A: Restaurant Week Chicago focuses on both well-known eateries and hidden culinary treasures in the city’s neighborhoods.

Q: Can you give examples of hidden culinary gems in Chicago?

A: Some hidden culinary gems in Chicago include Soul Vegetarian, a family-owned vegan and vegetarian restaurant on the West Side, Ras Dashen, an Ethiopian eatery in Edgewater, Cellar Door Provisions in Logan Square, Café Marie-Jeanne in Humboldt Park, and Demera Ethiopian Restaurant in Uptown.

Q: What type of cuisine does Soul Vegetarian offer?

A: Soul Vegetarian offers vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Q: What is Cellar Door Provisions known for?

A: Cellar Door Provisions is known for combining a bakery, café, and restaurant.

Q: Where is Café Marie-Jeanne located?

A: Café Marie-Jeanne is located in Humboldt Park.

Q: What kind of cuisine does Demera Ethiopian Restaurant serve?

A: Demera Ethiopian Restaurant serves traditional Ethiopian cuisine.

Q: Why shouldn’t these hidden gems be missed during Restaurant Week?

A: These hidden gems provide unique and authentic dining experiences that shouldn’t be missed during Restaurant Week.

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