Ratings are determined by food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance, and value.
= very good
• = noteworthy
Price symbols indicate the typical cost of a meal (without tax, tip, or alcohol) per person.
How we pick the restaurants: These listings are not advertisements. They are a selective guide to establishments recommended by Chicago’s dining critics. Visits are anonymous and all expenses are paid by Chicago. These listings are updated regularly. “Update” indicates reappraisals of listed restaurants.
Bob Chinn’s Crab House •
393 S. Milwaukee, Wheeling. 847-520-3633
Seafood. This seafood lovers’ magnet serves 2,000 diners daily. Crowd pleasers include king crab legs, surf-and-turf options, soft-shell crabs (jetted in fresh from Virginia), and a daily catch offered seven ways.
L & D daily. Free dinner parking, wheelchair accessible, child friendly. $$$
GT Fish & Oyster
531 N. Wells. River North. 312-929-3501
Seafood. Where the cold dishes are good but the hot dishes are great—especially the oyster po’ boy sliders and just-different-enough clam chowder. If you aren’t going to Maine this summer, GT has got you covered with bona fide lobster rolls from the coast.
L Mon–Fri, D nightly. Br Sat, Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining, high noise level, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). $$$
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
60 E. Grand. River North. 312-379-5637
Steaks, seafood. The name says it all, but skip directly to the signature stone crab claws. These treasures from the Gulf of Mexico are billed as medium, select, and large. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
L & D daily. Br Sat, Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). $$$$
Belden-Stratford, 2300 N. Lincoln Park West. Lincoln Park. 773-868-0002
Contemporary seafood. Matthew Kirkley works small—or, as Wonderland’s Alice might have said, in miniature and miniaturer. His takes on impeccably fresh fish and mollusks are expectedly fussy and crazy delicious. Excellent wines. Prix fixe menus from $140 to $210.
D Thu–Mon. Wheelchair accessible. $$$$
500 N. Clark. River North. 312-321-6242
American seasonal. Carrie Nahabedian’s white-tablecloth space shows a certain nostalgia for fine dining past, with its civilized, luxurious atmosphere. The kitchen pays dazzling homage to land and sea—from Hudson Valley foie gras to Barnegat Light scallops, from Berkshire pork shank to crisp Chesapeake Bay soft-shell crabs. Not too loud, not too flashy, Naha comes off poised and elegant. Expensive but excellent wines.
L Mon–Fri, D Mon–Sat. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining. $$$$
Thompson Hotel, 1015 N. Rush. Gold Coast. 312-994-7100
Italian seafood. One Off Hospitality (Blackbird, Avec) excels at coastal Italian in this perpetually packed space. Ultrafresh crudo and housemade pastas dominate the menu, especially the Nantucket Bay scallops and the tagliolini with Hama Hama clams. The salt-crusted wild branzino, buttery and crisp, is one of the finest fish in the city.
B & L daily, D nightly. Br Sat, Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining, high noise level, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). $$$$
Piccolo Sogno Due
340 N. Clark. River North. 312-822-0077
Italian. Piccolo Sogno’s sister extends the design and ambiance of the original but uses this riverside spot to showcase seafood. Faultless technique and attractive presentations bump up all dishes, including tagliolini with crabmeat, sea urchin, and garlic and the wood-fired monkfish with artichokes and peas. Thoughtful, helpful service.
L Mon–Fri, D nightly. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining. $$$
837 W. Fulton Market. West Loop. 312-733-9555
Contemporary American. You can be lulled into porky bliss by all the salty-sour-sausagey delights here, but don’t ignore the pristine oysters, clams, and crudo. If you are lucky, the soft-shell crab sandwich will show up as a special.
L Mon–Sat (3:30–5:30 p.m.), D nightly. Br Sat, Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly (brunch only), outdoor dining, high noise level, will seat past 11 p.m. (Fri, Sat). $$
Shaw’s Crab House
21 E. Hubbard. River North. 312-527-2722
Seafood. Fresh shellfish lures a crowd to this multiroom haven for briny oysters, hefty crab legs, juicy lobster, griddled shrimp, sweet marble-size bay scallops, and tender sushi.
L & D daily. Br Sun. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, high noise level. $$$$
3257 N. Halsted. Lake View. 773-248-6160
Contemporary. For 30-plus years, Yoshi Katsumura has stayed true to his instincts rather than to fashion. Seafood offerings and a wagyu beef bento box star on the regular menu; daily specials, such as grilled jumbo sea scallops and soft-shell crab tempura, keep things lively.
D Tue–Sun. Br Sun. Wheelchair accessible (side entrance), child friendly, outdoor dining. $$$