West Loop, also called “the West Loop,” is one of Chicago’s most impressive examples of urban rejuvenation.
Decades ago, West Loop was a meat-packaging district but today, it’s a trendy and artsy area with art galleries, cultural attractions, and much more.
One of the things West Loop is best known for is its vibrant food scene. In fact, Chicago locals and tourists alike will tell you that it’s West Loop’s food and restaurant scene that is its most iconic feature.
There’s a range of dishes on offer here, and everyone is sure of finding more than enough to delight the palate.
On my visit to West Loop, I was amazed by how former warehouses and other industrial buildings have been transformed into fashionable and unique boutiques, restaurants, music venues, art galleries, and more.
And the food you’ll find here is well worth a visit on its own. When it comes to food, West Loop’s Randolph Street is one of the most popular must-see spots.
- Girl & The Goat
- Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio
- Avec Restaurant
- J.P. Graziano Grocery
- Au Cheval
- High Five Ramen
- The Publican
- Gioia Ristorante & Pastificio
- OMAKASE YUME
- GREEN STREET SMOKED MEATS
- Bonci Pizzeria
- Greek Islands
I visited many West Loop restaurants during my time in the district. Check out my list of the best West Loop restaurants below!
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Girl & The Goat is one of the numerous impressive restaurants I found on West Loop’s famous “Restaurant Row,” West Randolph Street.
I was impressed by Girl & The Goat’s stylish and sophisticated decor the minute I stepped inside.
The atmosphere here is trendy and artistic, and there are plenty of wine, cocktail, and locally sourced beer options for you to enjoy with your meal. I loved my first Girl & The Goat experience so much that I went back for a second visit.
One of the dishes I most recommend at Girl & The Goat is the Chickpea Fritters. This dish includes sumac yogurt, sev spice crunch, and green chutney. The Goat Cheese Board is another popular option.
1020 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607
Just a little over a mile from Skydeck Chicago at Wills Tower, Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio has a convenient West Loop location.
Monteverde has been praised in local publications such as Eater Chicago, and I could easily see why when I enjoyed dinner there.
Monteverde takes pride in all its fresh and delicious Italian cuisine with a modern twist. This West Loop restaurant knows how to balance a love for Italian food traditions with the adoption of new and exciting techniques.
The creation of Chef Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde is an essential part of the West Loop food scene.
All the pasta here is freshly made in the Monteverde kitchen. I tried the Tagliatelle al Tartufo and can attest it is spectacular.
615 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661
Part of West Loop’s famous Restaurant Row on West Randolph Street, Avec Restaurant is trendy yet casual. Popular with locals and tourists alike, Avec Restaurant serves both brunch and dinner.
Some of the most popular dishes at Avec Restaurant include Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder, Chorizo-stuffed Medjool Dates, Focaccia, and Potato & Salted Cod Brandade.
I headed over to Avec Restaurant for brunch, and I enjoyed the Deluxe Focaccia with Taleggio Cheese. This dish also featured fresh ricotta, herbs, and truffle oil.
I went all out and added smoked salmon, too. For a drink, I always enjoy Mimosa with my brunch. I can tell you the Mimosa here is excellent.
661 W Walnut St, Chicago, IL 60661
Oriole on West Loop’s Walnut Street is a must-visit destination if you want to try a sophisticated tasting menu.
This stylish establishment has a Sommelier, Aaron McManus, and he makes sure you can pair your food with the perfect wine or sake.
The menu here is always changing, so there is always a surprise or two in store. When it comes to wine, Oriole favors white varieties.
The decor and atmosphere in Oriole have significant industrial touches, so it’s in keeping with the area’s history and evolution.
Some popular options you may find on the tasting menu include Alaskan King Crab, Japanese A5 Wagyu, Capellini, Golden Caviar Osetra, and Lamb Belly. I favor the Alaskan King Crab.
901 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Without a doubt, J.P. Graziano Grocery is one of the best-loved West Loop eateries for getting a tasty lunch sandwich.
This local institution offers a range of sandwiches to suit every taste, such as Roast Beef, Porchetta, Caprese, Prosciutto, Tuna, Veggie, and more.
Personally, my favorite is the Mr. G. This sandwich is the house specialty and it’s a unique creation with sharp imported provolone, marinated Roman-style artichokes, volpi genoa salami, truffle mustard balsamic vinaigrette, and a host of other mouth-watering ingredients.
If you’d like some salad to accompany your sandwich, check out the JPG Salad. This salad includes arugula and crispy porchetta, as well as apple, gorgonzola, and walnuts, dressed with maple cider vinaigrette.
302 N Green St 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60607
Aba is a well-known West Loop restaurant focusing on Mediterranean cuisine. It’s found within the Fulton Market District, a historic area you’re sure to explore during your time in West Loop. Stop off at Aba and enjoy at least one meal while you’re there.
The Reader’s Choice Dining Awards at the Chicago Tribune has recognized Aba for its excellence. Both the dishes and drinks, including wines and spirits, are part of Aba’s Mediterranean theme.
Some of the best-loved dishes at Aba include the Skirt Steak Shawarma, Char-Grilled Lamb Chops, and Labneh. There’s a rooftop patio at Aba, so think about enjoying your meal in that lovely setting.
800 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
A diner-style restaurant with a unique flair on West Randolph Street, Au Cheval is a place you must experience to understand.
It has a distinctly vintage atmosphere and the dim lighting makes eating here pleasantly relaxing. Au Cheval aims to be cozy, and they achieve this in spades.
If you love egg dishes, Au Cheval is a West Loop restaurant you will want to visit. There are plenty of egg-based dishes here, as well as a host of other popular options.
Locals will tell you how great the burgers and cheeseburgers are here. I was feeling especially hungry so I went with the Double Cheeseburger. It really hit the spot.
820 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607
Sushi connoisseurs need look no further than Momotaro, a West Loop classic Japanese sushi restaurant. West Loop visitors always spend time exploring the Fulton Market District, which is where Momotaro is situated.
Esquire Magazine named Momotaro the Best New Restaurants in America of 2015, shortly after the restaurant opened to great acclaim in West Loop.
When I visited Momotaro, I especially enjoyed the Momomaki, Hamachi, and Alaskan King Crab. I was also impressed by the top-quality attentive service at Momotaro.
While Momotaro stays true to Japanese tradition in all the most fundamental ways, its culinary experience includes distinctly contemporary touches.
177 N Ada St #101, Chicago, IL 60607
Yet another legendary West Loop restaurant, Smyth balances a chic atmosphere with welcoming comfort.
With an army of expert chefs at the helm, Smyth specializes in North American dishes and perfect wine accompaniments.
I indulged in dinner at Smyth on one occasion during my West Loop adventures. What did I order? Nothing less than the Prime Rib.
I was impressed by the flavor and upscale preparation of this dish. Other popular dishes at Smyth include the Crab and Foie Gras, Halibut, Dungeness Crab, and Foie Gras.
If you want even more of a treat, book for Chef’s Table at Smyth. When you book Chef’s Table, you’re served your meal by Smyth’s chefs. And you sit at the only table of the night.
112 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607
When I wanted ramen in West Loop, locals told me about High Five Ramen. This is a Green Street gem, with an industrial aesthetic.
This restaurant has a subterranean setting and sometimes it goes under the radar, but make sure you don’t miss out on the food here.
High Five Ramen really knows ramen. If you’ve never had ramen before, know it’s a noodle soup in the Japanese tradition. Once you try ramen, you have a taste for it that lasts forever.
At High Five Ramen, the ramen is made tonkotsu-style. It’s creamy and satisfying, and it comes adorned with dried Japanese chilies, sesame, miso, numbing pepper, and more. Do I recommend the ramen at High Five Ramen? Absolutely!
837 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
It’s hard to categorize The Publican, a well-known West Loop restaurant in the Fulton Market area. Its menu focuses a lot on homespun or rustic favorites that have stood the test of time, but this restaurant also has a touch of trendiness in its appeal.
West Loop visitors loving pork or seafood absolutely must visit The Publican at least once during their stay.
Oysters play a big part on the menu, so if those are among your favorite foods, you know where to go. I’m a big oyster fan myself.
When I visited The Publican, I was immediately struck by the unique drop-style light fixtures that descend from the ceiling.
The communal seating also makes this restaurant stand out. Enjoy some wine or beer to wash down your meal.
1133 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
You’ll be impressed by Gioia Ristorante & Pastificio before you even step in the door. The exterior is incredibly stylish, and it made me even more excited about my decision to try Gioia Ristorante & Pastificio for dinner.
This Italian restaurant offers a wide range of spectacular dishes from Italian cuisine, and seafood is one of its areas of focus.
For my dinner at this popular West Loop restaurant, I ordered the Tagliatelle di Mare, and it was delectable. Other often talked about dishes include Soft Shell Crab, Pici Toscani, Gioia Nei Paccheri, and Burrata.
Gioia Ristorante & Pastificio is also known for its delicious cocktails. Make sure you try one when you enjoy a meal at Gioia Ristorante & Pastificio.
651 W Washington Blvd Suite #101, Chicago, IL 60661
Before my visit to Omakase Yume, I’d never tried a multi-course meal in the Japanese tradition.
When I heard this experience was on offer at this restaurant, I decided to give it a try. Omakase Yume’s impressive creations are the work of renowned chef, Sangtae Park.
When it comes to atmosphere, sleek and stylish is how I would describe the atmosphere and decor at Omakase Yume.
Enjoy the upscale experience of this establishment as you enjoy your meal. Remember to pair your food with wine, sake, or beer.
Just a few of the many popular culinary creations at Omakase Yume include Kanpachi, Misoyaki, Grilled Miso Black Cod, and Foie Gras.
112 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607
Is there anyone who doesn’t love smoked meats and BBQ? These foods are among my favorites, and I loved the culinary experience I found at Green Street Smoked Meats.
You’ll find this slice of Texas-inspired flavors a bit out of the way, down a charming alley paved with bricks.
There are plenty of popular dishes at Green Street Smoked Meats, such as the beef short ribs, brisket, and rich pork belly.
All these are replete with spicy BBQ sauces. There is also smoked salmon available, as well as chicken legs.
Adding to this eatery’s atmosphere is the rock music you’ll hear played. The building and decor have a warehouse style, too.
161 N Sangamon St, Chicago, IL 60607
Located in West Loop and just about a mile from Skydeck Chicago, Bonci Pizzeria is one of this area’s best pizzerias.
As pizza experts, Bonci Pizzeria offers a range of pizza varieties, with an array of different toppings.
Some of the most popular (and delicious) pizzas at Bonci Pizzeria are the Prosciutto Cotto Pizza, the Smoked Salmon and Burrata Pizza, the Sausage and Mushroom Pizza, and the Spicy Eggland Pizza.
One of the great things about Bonci Pizzeria is that the offerings change seasonally. That’s because Bonci Pizzeria focuses on seasonal ingredients. Some of the constants at Bonci, though, are an abundance of cheeses and cured meats.
731 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60661
Enjoy a meal at Mako and partake in the creations of Chef B.K. Park, one of the best sushi chefs in the United States.
Mako has received a 4-star rating from the Chicago Tribune, and it’s popular with both locals and visitors to the West Loop area.
Mako features a selective and impressive menu to delight lovers of Japanese cuisine.
Examples of popular culinary creations at Mako include Duck Breast, Amberjack Soy Marinated Salmon Chutoro, Young Spanish Mackerel, Black Cod, and Sea Bass.
When I dined at Mako, I appreciated the delicious food as well as the attentive service. I found the decor and atmosphere stylish and welcoming.
200 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661
Conveniently located on South Halsted Street in West Loop, Greek Islands has been a local fixture since 1971.
If you love Greek cuisine or would like to try it, you can’t do better than eating at Greek Islands.
Greek Islands is a large and impressive restaurant with several dining rooms for guests to enjoy.
Some of the many well-loved dishes at Greek Islands include Moussaka, Grilled Octopus, Saganaki, Lamb Chops, and Fresh Greek Sea Bass.
In my opinion, the Mediterranean Chicken Breast is one of the best dishes at this Chicago restaurant. And dessert? The Baklava is delightfully (and decadently) sweet.
Are you planning a West Loop visit? Try to spend as much time in this district as you can, since there’s so much to see and do.
Arts and culture, as well as shopping, enthusiasts will adore this well-known Chicago area. Add plenty of the arts and culture spots to your itinerary.
And of course, enjoy meals at as many West Loop restaurants as possible. I highly recommend all of the great restaurants I listed above.
Looking for more places to dine in Chicago? We’ve narrowed down the best restaurants that are perfect for any occasions with your family and friends. Check these must visit restaurants in the Windy City.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
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