5 Best Dinners on Magnificent Mile
If shopping and eating all day long sounds like a great vacation, you’ll be in heaven along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The 13-block stretch along Michigan Avenue is home to more than 400 shops and boutiques, plus around 275 restaurants from mom-and-pop burger joints to Michelin star eateries and James Beard winners. If you’re in the neighborhood when the proverbial dinner bell rings (or your stomach starts growling), head to one of these five best dinner spots near the Magnificent Mile.
1. The Purple Pig
Widely heralded as the best restaurant on Michigan Avenue, The Purple Pig is owned by fourth-generation Chicago restaurateur and James Beard Award winner Jimmy Bannos, Jr. The experience here is all about noshing (and wine) with friends. Look for a rotating selection of cured meats and fanciful international cheeses like Alta Langa Rochetta and Barneveld Blue. Small plates with a Mediterranean flair can range from New American traditional – salt-roasted beets with goat cheese, pork fried almonds, smashed potatoes with feta – to adventurous offerings like roasted bone marrow, pig’s ear and smoked pork tongue.
2. 20 East
This chic nightspot spills into the entryway of The Talbott Hotel, with plush upholstered chairs and couches lending it a cozy lounge feel. The petite menu focuses on American classics, from the classic cheeseburger and French dip to an oversized lobster roll to rival any Maine fish shack. Diners can also feast on heart-healthy fare such as Faroe Island salmon and seared kampachi with baby bok choy, or opt for heartier plates like the braised short rib paired with a side of creamy baked mac & cheese spiked with truffle oil. If the weather is nice, grab a coveted seat on the Delaware-side patio and nosh on charcuterie boards paired with an aperol spritz or the classic French 75 with prosecco, gin and a lemon twist.
Just off Michigan Avenue, on the way to Navy Pier, you’ll find a bustling kitchen with old-school white linens and home-style Italian classics. In addition to traditional antipasti and made-from-scratch minestrone soup, look for fettuccini Bolognese, seafood carbonara, and classic Sardinian paella. Looking for meat? There are plenty of familiar favorites at Volare, from chicken parmesan and New York strip steak to lamb and veal that pair beautifully with house wines. Finish up with buttery amaretto crème bruleé or tiramisu with layers of espresso-soaked ladyfingers and creamy mascarpone. You’ll need reservations in advance to get a spot here on weekends, so make sure to call in advance.
4. Taketai Sushi – River North
Don’t take our word for it that this Japanese joint is a winner. The Michelin Guide recommends Taketai for its upscale, but unassuming plates of sushi nigiri and maki. Don’t expect bizarre local takes like a deep-dish pizza roll or Chicago Cubs tuna. This is classic Americanized sushi, with spicy scallop rolls, salmon skin and a few lesser-known maki such as the Green Turtle Roll with freshwater eel, cooked shrimp and tempura crunch topped with creamy wasabi sauce. Tip: The place is tiny, with less than a dozen seats at the bar, but it’s worth waiting to see the sushi chef in action.
5. Billy Goat Tavern
A descendant of the circa-1934 tavern connected to the famous curse on the Chicago Cubs, Billy Goat is tucked into a cool subterranean spot on Michigan Avenue. It’s a local icon, and was featured in a famous SNL skit with Jon Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray. The menu is as basic as it gets, with just a handful of “cheezborgers,” polish dogs and meat sandwiches listed on a rickety individually lettered electric marquee. There are no fries here, either – just crispy potato chips. That doesn’t stop travelers from needing to stop in for a cold beer and a cheap dinner with a side of Chicago history.Chicago visitors love staying in the heart of the city, in easy walking distance to downtown shopping, dining and cultural events. Book a stay at The Talbott Hotel and you’ll be just steps away from the Magnificent Mile. Our luxury lodgings in the historic Gold Coast district feature Bluetooth alarms, waterfall showers and a fully stocked mini-bar to help you relax before heading out to the Mile for dinner. Call 800-825-2688 or make your reservation online today.