Welcome DEAC Fall Workshop participants to the Windy City (nicknamed for its politics and not for its breezy conditions)! In addition to our focus on supporting the delivery of quality educational options, EduCred Services is serious about all things food and drink related. We feel that the best way to get to know any city is by experiencing the culinary delights that define each neighborhood, and Chicago is no different. Below are some of our favorite restaurant and bar recommendations. We encourage you to get to know this city we love so much just the way we did, by eating our way around. Below are six categories including links. If you have any questions, we would be happy to provide further recommendations. Chicago is a fun city so be prepared to make some reservations and new friends!

Close to Home

Streeterville Neighborhood (Distance: 0.7 miles or less)

  • Riva Crabhouse (Navy Pier)
    (ask to sit upstairs by the windows for a great view)

  • Carson’s (BBQ)
    (sit at the bar in the back for a view of the Ogden Slip and to catch the game)

  • Pinstripes (American)
    (you can bowl and play bocce)

  • Coco Pazzo Cafe (Italian)
    (order any of the bruschetta boards and if you're feeling spicy get the spaghetti ‘aop’)

  • Timothy O’Toole’s (Sports Bar)
    (get the chicken wings also, check out Comedians You Should Know stand-up comedy venue located in the back)

  • Beatrix (Healthy American)
    (it’s all delicious but also try the fresh squeezed juices)

Where the Tourists Go

Magnificent Mile (Distance: 0.7 miles or less)

  • Purple Pig (Wine and Swine)
    (small plates and big pork flavors, it’s all good)

  • Lao Sze Chuan (Chinese)
    (try the chef’s special dry chili chicken)

  • Labriola (Italian and Pizza)
    (good food and people watching)

  • Hampton Social (American)
    (rosé all day)

  • RL (Ralph Lauren) Bar and Grill (American)
    (food and service is on point in a cozy atmosphere)

  • Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse
    (must get the blue cheese fondue garlic bread and MJ’s Delmonico)

  • Eataly (Italian Grocery)
    (buy a bottle of vino and window shop before sitting down to eat upstairs, the cheese plates are a must)

Feeling Adventurous

River North Neighborhood (Distance: 1.1 miles or less)

  • Joe’s Seafood, Steak, and Stone Crab
    (the king crab legs with drawn butter)

  • Siena Tavern (Modern Italian)
    (get the coccoli—trust me and save room for the bomboloni)

  • Ema (Modern Mediterranean)
    (share plates and try the hummus with lamb ragu and the grilled octopus)

  • Frontera Grill (Mexican)
    (start with the topolo margarita and the sopecitos rancheros or any of the ceviches)

  • RPM Italian
    (the best carbonara ever)

  • Steak 48 (Steakhouse)
    (order the king crab and avocado stack appetizer and an extra dirty martini to start and see where the night ends)

  • Tanta Cocina Peruana (Peruvian)
    (if the weather is nice, sit on the rooftop—order a pisco sour and an anticucho of your choice to start)

  • Pacific Standard Time (West Coast Seafood)
    (try the shima aji crudo and the whole branzino)

Connect with Your Inner Foodie

West Loop Neighborhood (Distance: 2.7 miles or less)

  • Au Cheval (Burger)
    (the best burgers ever—and delicious honey fried chicken with chili, they do not accept reservations so be prepared to wait, but it’s worth it)

  • Monteverde Restaurant and Pastificio (Italian)
    (watch the house-made pasta being made while starting with the burrata e ham)

  • Girl and the Goat (American Fusion)
    (the goat liver mousse and confit goat belly are just the beginning)

  • Avec (Rustic Mediterranean)
    (ask for the “chef’s table” to watch all the action and order the chorizo-stuffed medjool dates and the slow roasted pork shoulder)

  • Duck Duck Goat (Chinese)
    (arrive hungry and try the dim sum and xi’an goat slap noodles—made in-house)

  • Aba (Mediterranean)
    (relax with a glass of garnacha blanco and the whipped feta to start)

  • Maude’s Liquor Bar (French Bistro)
    (must order the delice de bourgogne and the roast farm chicken in a warm atmosphere)

  • Bad Hunter (Vegetarian)
    (start with the pickled summer veggies and crispy togarashi carrots)

Libations and Nightcaps

Local Wateringholes (Distance: 1.3 miles or less)

  • Bar Sotano (Mezcal)
    (try the guacamole—it’s a drink and the Oaxacan drinking snacks and palomitas—also, it’s located in a back alley)

  • Three Dots and a Dash (Tiki Bar)
    (order anything that comes with fire)

  • Bar Ramone (Wine Bar)
    (the reds and tapas are a lovely end to any evening)

  • Pops for Champagne
    (order a glass of bubbly, listen to live music, and order the cheese curds)

  • Watershed (Craft Beer)
    (just downstairs from Pops because drinking beer in a basement is just more fun)

  • The Drifter (Speakeasy and Secret Door)
    (located downstairs of the Green Door Tavern, but remember, not all who wander are lost)

  • Cindy’s Rooftop (City Views)
    (ask for the Jillian)

If you have additional questions, ask them here. We look forward to seeing you at the DEAC Fall Workshop in October!