Chicago is an iconic city and cultural hub of the Midwest, with an abundance of historic, cultural, and natural attractions that bring tourists from around the world.
Known as “The Windy City” due to its location along the shores of Lake Michigan, where the wind whips up off the lake, increasing in intensity as it gusts through wind tunnels created by Chicago’s skyscraper-lined streets.
During the spring and summer, though, Lake Michigan offers a source of entertainment and beauty, with hike and bike trails, sandy beaches, and volleyball courts.
Another favorite activity for tourists visiting during the summer is catching a baseball game at the famous Wrigley Field.
Just north of Wrigley Field is Uptown Chicago, a neighborhood rich in culture, with countless blues lounges, historic theaters, and artistic venues.
For example, the Aragon Ballroom has been a key art venue since 1926. For a post or pre-show meal, Uptown has plenty of incredible dining options that are as diverse as Chicago itself.
During my most recent trip to Chicago, I spent my time in search of the best restaurants in Uptown and found a long list of bistros, barbecue joints, bars, and pancake houses to satisfy your cravings for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
5020 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640
Tweet is a stunning breakfast bistro inside an iconic art-deco building. It sports a creative interior designed by artist Zuleyka Benitez, showcasing art pieces from local artists who also helped brainstorm the menu.
Located in Uptown’s Margate Park area, Tweet has received countless accolades and features in high-brow culinary publications like Bon Apetit, Michelin Guide, and Chicago Reader.
Their world-famous brunches are some of the best in town, serving an overwhelming list of breakfast and lunch classics from every region of the U.S.
I went for one of the contributing artist’s favorites, Mary Lou Zelazny’s Biscuits and Gravy, with two buttermilk biscuits smothered in creamy pepper gravy with Amish country sausage and two poached eggs.
4801 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
Located in the heart of Uptown, two blocks from St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery, Demera Restaurant is a Michelin Guide-recommended Ethiopian restaurant. It serves the most authentic Ethiopian cuisine family-style.
Demera is female-owned and operated offers a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere, and is a favorite spot for the Ethiopian American community and visiting Chicagoans alike.
Similar to Indian food, Ethiopian food consists of various stewed lentil, vegetable, and meat dishes artfully placed on a large plate with spongy bread used to scoop each bite in place of utensils. Ethiopian food is wonderfully spiced, healthy, and has many vegan options.
If you like spicy meat, try the Lega Tibs, sauteed lamb with onions, garlic, tomatoes, jalapenos, awaze, and rosemary.
5039 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
Owned and operated by Chinese transplant Eric Cheng, his wife Lynda Cheng, and their three children, Sun Wah BBQ is an Uptown institution for Chinese barbecue. They have served the most authentic Hong Kong-style barbecue for over 30 years.
Located in a massive contemporary dining hall a block from the Argyle metro stop, Sun Wah has received a James Beard Award as well as features on Food Network and Chicago’s Iconic Eats.
The authentic, award-winning menu features Chinese barbecue, Hong Kong dishes, noodles and congee, and the famous off-menu Beijing Duck dinner.
Whether you want Hong Kong-style Lobster noodles, sweet and sour pork, or whole crispy duck, everything on the menu is spectacular.
4953-55 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
Tank Noodle is a casual family-owned Vietnamese restaurant located caddy-corner from the Argyle metro stop in a bustling, no-frills dining space.
They serve a wide variety of authentic Vietnamese dishes from Pho to spring rolls, all using family recipes and fresh ingredients. They have fast take-out and delivery services as well.
Tank noodles has an extensive menu of appetizers, salads, stir-fries, noodles, rice congee, soups, and Banh Mi. They also serve a variety of boba teas, tropical lemonades, and other fresh and flavorful beverages.
I loved their Vietnamese take on chicken noodle soup, the curry chicken noodle soup with vermicelli rice noodles, curried coconut milk, and taro.
5014 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
Owned and operated by Vietnamese transplant Le Vo, Ba Le Sandwiches is an authentic Vietnamese Banh MI sandwich shop and bakery. It first opened in California in 1982 before establishing its headquarters a block from Argyle metro in 1988.
Now owned by Vo’s daughter Thuy, Ba Le Sandwiches offers the freshest, most authentic Banh Mi sandwiches using bread, pickled vegetables, and marinated meat all scratch-made onsite.
Ba Le is a fast-casual counter service and prepared food spot with ample seating for dine-in. They have dozens of Banh Mi varieties including plenty of vegan options.
I recommend the Beef Banh MI with sirloin steak, sauteed onions, lemon fish sauce, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and jalapeno.
5004 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640
Kie-Gol-Lanee is a Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning authentic Mexican restaurant, specializing in Oaxacan cuisine and led by Oaxacan Chef Enrique Cortez.
Located a block north of Buttercup Park, Kie-Gol-Lanee has a warm and colorful dining room with authentic Mexican art. Its incredible food has been featured in Reader, The Chicago Tribune, and Fooditor, with rave reviews.
You can choose from a prix fixe dinner menu at an affordable price, or an a la carte dinner and brunch menu. Oaxaca is home to Mexico’s most productive agave farms, so the tequila and mezcal drinks are Kie-Gol-Lanee are must-tries.
I recommend trying the traditional Tlayudas to start, followed by the Codorniz a la Parilla, grilled quail with plum sauce, grilled cactus, zucchini, and onions, served with fresh tortillas, rice, and refried beans.
4631 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
Located a block from the lovely Chase Park, Titztal Café is a family-owned breakfast café and juice bar that started as a mall juice stand in Logan Square.
Titztal Café is a casual, intimate dining space, offering a variety of American and Mexican breakfasts along with fresh juices and coffee.
They also serve lunch and dinner, but breakfast is their strong suit. They have delicious buttermilk pancakes and waffles with fresh fruit and pecan toppings.
My favorite dish at Titztal is the chorizo and eggs chilaquiles made with fresh corn tortilla chips, green salsa, Chihuahua cheese, chopped onions, and fresh cilantro served with their garlicky red breakfast potatoes.
4570 N Broadway Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Lucy’s is a hip, vibrant, All-American comfort food joint, serving outrageous burgers, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and fried potato varieties.
Located across from the Wilson metro stop, Lucy’s trendy retro-vibe makes for a festive atmosphere to enjoy your favorite comfort foods.
Their spicy fried chicken is the crispiest and juiciest in town, and you can get it as a platter or in an over-the-top sandwich. I recommend their signature fried chicken sandwich with crispy fried chicken, coleslaw, pickles, and American cheese.
Their porky fries with smoked pork should, bacon, bbq queso cotija, and pickled jalapenos over golden fries are a culinary masterpiece.
4949 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
Meaning “I’m full” in Thai, Immm Rice & Beyond certainly lives up to its name by serving heaping portions of high-quality Thai street food.
Located across from the Argyle metro, Immm Rice & Beyond has a colorful dining space with Thai-inspired murals and a massive menu written in colorful chalk along the entire length of the restaurant’s wall behind the open counter.
The extensive menu at Immm Rice and Beyond has all the Tahi favorites from Pad Thai to fried rice. Their Som Tum papaya salad is amazing, and dishes are made to order.
If you like spicy food, Immm Rice and Beyond will soon be your favorite. I loved the KLai Loog Kuey, fried, hard-boiled eggs with tamarind sauce and crispy shallots.
1032 W Argyle St, Chicago, IL 60640
Nha Hang Vietnam Restaurant is a small, humble, and homey Vietnamese eatery, serving authentic Vietnamese food at great prices with friendly service.
Nah Hang is a quick drive from the massive Margate Park and serves the best Pho and Vietnamese noodle soup dishes in town, making them an especially popular place for warming winter meals.
The menu has appetizing pictures of its dishes next to the description, so you know what to expect. My favorite dish is the Hu Tieu Thap Cam, a combination rice noodle soup with quail eggs, pork, chicken, shrimp, fish cake, wonton, and vegetables.
5148 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
Hopleaf is a hip and friendly adult-only pub and Belgian-inspired restaurant with a gorgeous outdoor patio and a fun industrial-chic, two-story interior.
Hopleaf opened in 1992 in Uptown’s Andersonville neighborhood, offering 68 varieties of beer, along with wine, cocktails, cider, and mead. Expert staff can guide you on beer, cider, wine, and mead pairings for their seasonally rotating menu.
They serve lunch and dinner at Hopleaf, with an eclectic variety of Belgian-inspired dishes or Belgian takes on classic American dishes.
Their specialty is the Belgian-style mussels plate featuring Atlantic mussels from Main cooking in Balance de Chambly with shallots, celery, thyme, bay leaf, and butter served with frites and aioli.
4744 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
Located right behind the famous Riviera Theater, Golden House Restaurant and pancake House is a classic mom-and-pop diner, offering hundreds of classic American diner dishes and bottomless hot coffee.
Its bright orange storefront has a giant marquee in homage to the old-timey theaters that surround it, and the interior has bright red vinyl booths, laminate wood walls, and old school red and yellow light fixtures.
They do a hopping breakfast and lunch service daily from 7 am-3 pm, offering heaping portions of home-cooked classics for cheap. Their homestyle meatloaf with brown gravy and mashed potatoes is the height of comfort food.
5022 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
Owned by proud Chicagoans Derrick Robles and John Latino, The Bongo Room is an Andersonville staple for breakfast and brunch.
Established in 1993, The Bongo Room offers an ever-changing menu of seasonal, locally sourced dishes, served in a cute, contemporary dining space with hardwood floors, modern art, and creative lighting.
Their small, yet delicious menu of brunch foods uses fresh, gourmet ingredients and a New American approach.
I loved the smoked mozzarella and turkey breakfast sandwich with house-made turkey sausage, melted mozzarella, basil pesto and scrambled eggs on a toasted pretzel roll served with house potatoes.
910 W Buena Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
Owned by high school buddies Aaron Zacharias and Steve Podjasek, The Bar on Buena is a cozy and friendly neighborhood bar.
Head Chef Antonio Garcia offers an eclectic menu of elevated bar fare from America and Mexico. Located two blocks from the famous Graceland Cemetery, The Bar on Buena has over 300 whiskies, 23 beers on draft, a selection of 90 beers in bottles, and 13 rotating wine bottles.
The Bar on Buena evokes a European tavern design and offers an extensive menu of global drinks. Plus, their burgers are pretty spectacular.
They also offer authentic tacos and burritos, not to mention a variety of bar snacks like hummus and chili cheese fries.
4840 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
Fat Cat is a classy, hip bar and grill located right around the corner from the Riviera Theater and The Aragon Ballroom in a stunning contemporary space with two massive outdoor patios.
They offer a creative craft beer and cocktail program to pair with a Chef-inspired New American menu of elevated bar fare.
They do a great brunch, and their bloody mary was voted best in Chicago. I loved their warm pretzel with rosemary pink salt, gouda dipping sauce, and house-made beer mustard.
They also make award-winning coca-cola brined fried chicken over Belgian waffles with Jack Daniels maple syrup and bacon-infused whipped cream.
4829 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
Located a block from Hickory Park and the Aragon Ballroom, Silver Seafood Restaurant is an authentic Cantonese seafood restaurant in a family-friendly, casual dining room.
Silver Seafood uses the highest-quality seafood and fresh produce to create contemporary takes on classic Chinese dishes while still offering budget-friendly meals.
While the menu is seafood-heavy, there are plenty of vegetable, lamb, pork, beef, duck, and poultry dishes.
There’s even frog on the menu! My favorite seafood dishes at Siler Seafood are the walnut shrimp, Dungeness crab with black bean sauce, and their pan-fried seafood potstickers.
Whether you’re looking for a creative cocktail and bar fare, award-winning Oaxacan food, or a hearty diner-style breakfast, the best restaurants in Uptown offer a diverse selection of cuisines and dining experiences.
If you want to explore more delicious food around the Windy City, I have a great list of the best pizza restaurants in Chicago for you to explore.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!