12 Chicago Restaurants You Need to Try on Your Next Business Trip

By Tiffany Mast

No matter how busy your business trip gets, there’s always time to eat. So next time you’re traveling to Chicago on business, make sure to try these 12 restaurants. Be it artisanal coffee and decadent donuts near Millennium Park or Instagrammable toast and shared plates in the West Loop, this list has something for everyone’s taste.

Breakfast

Intelligentsia Coffee
For the busy, on-the-go business traveler, you can grab your morning coffee fix at Intelligentsia Coffee. They have a location conveniently positioned between Michigan and Wabash Avenues in the Loop. You can also grab a breakfast pastry or a more adventurous matcha soy iced latte if that’s your style.

Do Rite Donuts Chicago

Do-Rite Donuts
For the sweet tooth, Do-Rite Donuts is a must during your Chicago business trip. They churn out fresh donuts and breakfast sandwiches (including a fried chicken donut sandwich!) all day, in multiple locations around the city. Seasonal flavors like carrot cake and apple cider make it fun to come back even when you visit the city again and again.

Left Coast Food Juice Chicago

Left Coast
If something more healthy is what you’re after, Left Coast Food and Juice serves up fresh juices, smoothies, and breakfast bowls in the River North neighborhood. The montecito hash is all sorts of healthy and delicious, while the mornin’ buzz smoothie will give your morning the jumpstart it needs. And when you pick up your breakfast, don’t forget to grab an Insta-worthy food-stagram against the backdrop of their adorable shop.

Lunch

Southport Grocery and Cafe
When brunch is better suited for your midday meal than lunch, visit Southport Grocery and Cafe. The baked goods look delicious but the menu is even better. They serve cupcake batter pancakes and grown up pop tarts for sharing, but they’re most famous for the bread pudding pancakes. If you prefer a savory breakfast dish, the hash is a perfect order. While you’re on this side of town, take some time and wander around Wrigleyville and Boyston after brunch.

Atwood Beet Toast Chicago

Atwood at Alise Chicago
Inside the picturesque Alise hotel, Atwood is an excellent stop for lunch when you’re in downtown Chicago, just steps from the Loop. The dining room in this 19th century building is Instagram-worthy in its own rights with white marble surfaces, subway-tiled walls and massive windows bringing in lots of natural light, but if that doesn’t make you take your phone out, the beet toast will.

Littly Goat Diner Chicago

Little Goat Diner
The Little Goat Diner sits across the street from the original Girl & The Goat restaurant. Whether you come for the goat chili cheese fries, a banh mi-style burger, or indian spiced apple pie, the Little Goat serves all sorts of upscales twists on the typical diner menu. And the good news for breakfast lovers is that breakfast is served all day here. If you fall into that category, don’t forget to stop by the attached bakery for a cinnamon bun on your way out.

Happy Hour

Cindy’s Rooftop
The rooftop bar at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Cindy’s, offers a hip spot to take in the dazzling panoramic view of Millennium Park.

Cindys Rooftop Chicago

Go early to make sure you can snag a spot, and if the weather is nice, try one of their boozy popsicles. The cocktails are as pretty as they are creative, and if you find yourself not wanting to leave (we don’t blame you!), stay for dinner and try the oysters.

Girl and the Goat Chicago

Girl & the Goat
Go to the Girl & the Goat for an early dinner, because while this place generally requires an advance reservation for dinner, we had no problem getting seated right away on a Sunday at 5 PM. The menu consists of a variety of shared plates served family style. The staff recommend 2 plates per person and send them out from lightest to heaviest. If you happen to go by yourself, single diners can actually order half sized portions for half the price!

Restoration Hardware Bar Chicago

3 Arts Club Cafe
The 3 Arts Club Cafe is a bar inside Restoration Hardware! So if interior design is your thing, grab a glass of wine and then wander the store in bliss. They also offer a menu of salads, charcuterie boards, plates, and sweets. As expected, this bar is impeccably designed and a stylish spot to take a moment to relax.

Dinner

The Purple Pig
When you head to Chicago, The Purple Pig is likely to be on your list of restaurants to try for multiple reasons like the chorizo-stuffed olives, the milk-braised pork, or the decadent chocolate blackout cake.

The Purple Pig Beets Chicago

Since this spot is so popular, and doesn’t accept reservations, there’s always a bit of a wait. To minimize your wait time, show up right at 5:30 PM to put your name on the list. The Magnificent Mile is nearby so there’s plenty to check out until your table is ready. A pro tip for getting in quickly is to sit at the bar by the kitchen, where you can enjoy dinner and a show as the chef’s whisk up fancy plates.

Eataly Fresh Pasta Chicago

Eataly
When you’re in the mood to try a little bit of everything, head over to Eataly Chicago in River North for dinner. Eataly is an Italian marketplace filled with authentic goods, restaurants, take-away counters, and even a cooking school. The fun part is that they cook everything they sell in the market. So pick your favorite pasta and a glass of wine, and enjoy!

Willow Room
For a delicious dinner in an intimate setting, grab a ride over to the Willow Room in Lincoln Park. Start with one of their classic cocktails or a glass of wine, then select a variety of shared plates like espresso squash soup, shaved vegetable salad, and beef tartare tartine. Make sure to follow up with dessert, even if you only have room for a bite.

 

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