The Top 10 Restaurants In Chicago's South Loop

Nutella Crepe at Yolk | © Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/Flickr
Nutella Crepe at Yolk | © Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/Flickr
Photo of Elizabeth Newhart
9 February 2017

Chicago’s South Loop doesn’t always get the love it deserves. People are often in the area but gravitate east toward Museum Campus, Soldier Field, and McCormick Place. If you only head a few blocks west, you’ll find dozens of quality restaurants, bars, and nightlife options that are more than worth your time. Grab a bite and stay awhile.

Chicago Waffles

The name really speaks for itself – Chicago Waffles specializes in all things waffles and breakfast foods alike. To name just a few of their waffle options, you can try the original Belgian, bacon and chicken, chocolate, or red velvet. And if waffles aren’t your thing, they have plenty of eggs, pancakes, and protein standing by for your visit. Stop in for weekend brunch or a full weekday breakfast.

Chicago Waffles, 1400 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 854 8572

Tapas Valencia

Come to Valencia for an unforgettable Spanish tapas experience. While they do all the traditions well and have the sangria flowing, their specialty martinis are a must-try. They got their start as Meson Sabika in suburban Naperville and have since expanded to Chicago. The atmosphere at Valencia is fun, tasty, and infectious, making it an excellent establishment for any occasion.

Tapas Valencia, 1530 S State St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 842 4444


Bar, Restaurant, American, Contemporary, $$$
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Acadia offers contemporary American cuisine and an extensive wine list that can be enjoyed in their lounge space, dining room, or private dining area. Choose between five- or ten-course tasting menus or upscale bar eats. They also plan to have a special Thanksgiving menu along with a New Year’s Eve celebration – details will be announced on their website.

The Bongo Room

Cafe, Restaurant, Market, American, Coffee, Vegetarian, $$$
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The Bongo Room has three Chicago locations and is among the top in the city’s competitive brunch market. Opened in 1993, the restaurant has been feeding customers hearty breakfast foods even since. They’re only open until 2 p.m., so come early and try popular favorites like the breakfast burrito and croissant sandwich.

Flo & Santos

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Polish, American, Fast Food, Vegetarian, $$$
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This may be the only place in Chicago where you can order a pizza and pierogis, and they both taste good. Flo & Santos is part pizzeria and part Polish restaurant, and no one seems to mind the odd mashup because it works. Come with an open mind, and don’t forget to enjoy the beer garden before it’s shut down for the winter.


Restaurant, Cuban
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If you’re craving Cuban cuisine in the Windy City, Cafecito has you covered. It’s a cross between a coffee house and Cuban restaurant, complete with all the vibes of a cozy café. They offer pressed sandwiches, entrées, salads and more, all inspired by Latin America. And if you need another reason to visit, they exclusively use fresh, all-natural ingredients.


Yolk has five locations across Chicago and more throughout the nation, and they’re all worth a visit. But the South Loop outpost is where it all began when Taki Kastanis founded Yolk in 2006. Being the first location in a successful chain makes it special, and that’s evident here. At Yolk, you’ll find upscale breakfast and lunch fare, earning it a spot on Chicago’s best brunch list. Just remember it closes every day by 3 p.m.

Yolk, 1120 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 789 9655


On the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, you can dine as if you’re sitting in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower. Everest serves upscale French cuisine that packs a double punch of taste and ambiance. You’ll see incredible views of the cityscape from the south and enjoy food unlike anywhere else in Chicago. They feature a prix-fixe menu, offering three-, four- and seven-course options.

Everest, 440 S La Salle St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 663 8920

Chef Luciano

Since 1982, Chef Luciano has been serving the South Loop a global menu of gourmet eats. It’s a family-owned joint that caters to regulars and tourists alike. It’s a great spot for unique food that strays from the deep-fryer that’s become a Chicago staple and leans toward the healthy side. Try their jerk chicken or salmon salad, which are both customer favorites.

Chef Luciano, 49 E Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 326 0062

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