Five Of My Favorite Restaurants in Chicago

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I’m one of those people who lives to eat, not eats to live… not even going to lie about it. It doesn’t hurt that I also date a chef who introduces me to some of the most insane restaurants I’ve ever experienced. With that said, working out is a MUST! It makes going out much easier and much more fun, which is why I’m excited I’ve got a full year packed with runs & triathlons.

Any-who, from time to time I do get asked what my favorite restaurants are or where is the newest place that you’d recommend… and below are my list of top 5 currently:

  1. Toro Sushi
    • This hidden gem is a place I can no longer hide away from all my family & friends because it’s TOO good not to try. Some of the best, most unique sushi you can find in Chicago and the owner is one of the nicest people I think I’ve ever met.
    • Must order? Any of the crazy creations, especially the Kamakaze or Volcano rolls!
  2. Restaurant Veneno De Nayarit
    • The BEST seafood in Chicago, hands DOWN. This BYOB nook in Ukrainian Village is 1000% times better than El Barco Marisco across the street, so save time and money (it’s SO cheap!) and bounce across the street.
    • Must order? Spicy prawns & crab legs. Every dinner comes with fresh ceviche, it’s all you’ll need!
  3. Santouka
    • This restaurant isn’t technically in the city, it’s in a near-isn suburb inside a Japanese market, but it’s worth the ride. The line is always the longest, cash only, best ramen you’ll have while in Chicago.
    • Must order? At LEAST a medium of the ramen with pork cheek and soy egg, I’ve been really digging their side dish with rice, salmon & salmon egg
  4. Tanta
    • This newer Peruvian style restaurant is new & always crowded lately. It’s definitely a gorgeous interior space, trendy music, great cocktails and some great smaller plates to share – a bit on the expensive side.
    • Must order? Chi jau kay marino – their sea bass a top a bed of fried rice
  5. El Ideas
    1. If you’re into the fine dining scene, I couldn’t help but add this spot on here because it’s by far one of the coolest fine dining restaurants in Chicago! Oh, and BYOB. Oh, and I can’t recommend a dish because the menu changes all the time and you always get at least 12 – 15 courses (full disclosure, I live with the Chef de Cuisine).


These are just my five favorites of the moment, anyone have an awesome recommendation? Would love to hear it!

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