12 Best West Loop Restaurants To Eat At In 2023 (+ What To Order) (2023)

Find yourself hungry in the windy city? Head down a little west of Downtown Chicago and witness a plethora of eclectic, world-class restaurants situated in an international culinary neighborhood.

From unassuming hidden gems to the finest award-winning dining experiences, there are lots of gastronomic delights for you here! Below, you’ll find our list of the 12 best West Loop restaurants in the former meat-packing district Chicago neighborhood.

1. Aba

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Setting the bar high, Aba is one of the top Mediterranean restaurants in Chicago. After taking a short elevator ride to the second floor, prepare yourself for an intimate award-winning dining experience in an olive tree grove with impressive decor. The lush greenery paired with the warmth of the dining room feels like you’ve been transported to the garden of eden.

The Whipped Feta and pita is a phenomenal combo that’s so soft and flavorful. One of the most hyped dishes in Aba, pita alone deserves an award from the food academy if one ever existed.

An absolute standout, the Crispy Short Rib Hummus tastes like it came straight from the food version of Mt. Olympus! The caramelized onions that come with it adds even more flavor to the dish’s already distinct profile.

What to order: Whipped Feta, Crispy Short Rib Hummus

Address: 302 N Green St 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60607

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MICHELIN one star, Omakase Yume, brings Japan to your plate with its fresh and high-quality dishes. Offering a traditional, quiet Japanese omakase experience, you’ll technically be dating your food here.

On the menu, you’ll find a one-of-a-kind 16-course omakase tasting created by Chef SangTae Park. From meticulously crafted appetizers to daily sushi handpicked by the chef himself, and even delectable desserts to end your meal – every dish is made with exceptional care and only the finest ingredients.

Omakase Yume ensures that each culinary experience is unique, with new flavors and combinations featured daily that reflect the chef’s ever-changing repertoire.

Although the menu may be different daily, you may be extra lucky to enter when the Grilled Miso Black Cod is served. It is perfectly grilled and seasoned, with each piece bursting with god-like flavors. The fish flawlessly flaked off, adding texture to the dish.

What to order: Chef’s Omakase tasting

Address: 651 W Washington Blvd Suite #101, Chicago, IL 60661

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3. Smyth

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A 2-Star MICHELIN restaurant, Smyth is a rustic venue offering inventive and high-end New American cuisine. With an open concept, you can see the kitchen and staff preparing your meal. With an ambiance of a cozy bistro and intimate quietness, Smyth is the place to be for an exquisite culinary experience.

At Smyth, every dish is carefully crafted using Nature’s finest produce, sourced directly from local farmers who share in their vision of creating masterpieces. You’ll find offerings that combine audacious new flavors but still ring a charm of familiarity.

If you’re looking to impress someone or to celebrate a special occasion, the Smyth menu or Classic menu will no doubt do the trick.

What to order: Smyth menu, Classic menu

Address: 177 N Ada St #101, Chicago, IL 60607

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4. Girl & The Goat

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Ever gone to a popular restaurant only to be disappointed with your experience? You won’t have that in Girl & The Goat! Living up to the hype, you’ll be enjoying inventive dishes and a festive atmosphere here. For a more informative and unique dining experience, request to sit at the chef’s table.

If you could eat only one dish for the rest of your life, the Roasted Pig Face is definitely one of the top contenders. The pig face falling apart like butter, and the perfect amount of fattiness and richness— everything about this dish just seems to hit the spot!

Literally falling off the bone, the Sticky Glazed Pork Shank is all sorts tender with a crunchy and flavorful crust. The sides and the sauces together complimented the pork shank so well, as if they were made for each other.

What to order: Roasted Pig Face, Sticky Glazed Pork Shank, Woodfire Lamb Ribs

Address: 809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

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5. Leña Brava

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Leña Brava’s impeccable dishes will make you question why you haven’t dined here sooner. Serving a delicious variety of Mexican dishes using old-world techniques, Leña Brava features the most unique flavors you won’t find in other places. With two floors of space and an open-type feel, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your food without feeling suffocated.

So tender you don’t even need to cut it, Leña Brava’s Braised Short Rib is a spectacular dish you shouldn’t miss out on. The meat is buttery and smoky at the same time. The cauliflower mash it comes with has a subtle flavor and a very fine texture; you would think it’s mashed potatoes if you didn’t check the menu.

Served alongside corn tortillas, pineapple, and fresh slaw that created the best fish tacos ever, the Black Cod Al Pastor is spot on in every aspect. The familiar Jalapeno kick at the end of every bite feels like a comforting hug on a cold, rainy night.

What to order: Braised Short Rib, Black Cod Al Pastor

Address: 900 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

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6. Elske

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Your home away from home, Elske offers one of the most comforting dining experiences in the whole of Chicago. From the quality to the environment to the staff— you’ll feel very taken care of here, as if you’re the main character of a movie series where all you do is eat.

Lots of shrimp and fish buried underneath cauliflowers and marigolds, Elske’s Roasted Sablefish is about to join your list of favorites. With fresh sablefish tasting, as it came straight from the sea, you might just hear the faint sound of the waves crashing.

One of the most unique dessert dishes you’ll have, the Sunflower Seed Parfait is a must-try. The nutty parfait beautifully compliments the pollen-covered crumble and sour honey topping.

What to order: Roasted Sablefish, Sunflower Seed Parfait

Address: 1350 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

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7. Avec Restaurant

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A hidden gem located at West Loop, Avec is a Mediterranean restaurant that aims to bring your taste buds to another dimension. Beautifully designed to make you feel like you’ve escaped to a beachfront restaurant with all of the light wood designs, you’ll be having a magnificent time here.

A consistent crowd favorite, Avec’s Chorizo-stuffed Medjool Dates has been around the menu for a whopping 20 years. Get ready to be instantly hooked once you get a taste of this one.

The Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder has very tender and soft meat with a flavorful broth. The subtle saltiness of the broth explodes in your mouth. Spicy and hearty, this dish will fill you up in no time.

What to order: Chorizo-stuffed Medjool Dates, Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder, Whole Roasted Fish Kabsa

Address: 615 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661

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8. Kumiko

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A quintessential Japanese dining bar with stunning aesthetics and design, Kumiko is a work of art in itself. With a very nondescript entrance, the No.25 World’s 50 Best Bars is simply gorgeous. Beautiful details and thoughtful touches make the whole experience here even more special and enjoyable.Even though their drinks get most of the limelight, don’t underestimate their small bites.

The classic Karaage made even more delicious, Kumiko’s Yuzu Kosho Karaage will knock your socks off. With perfectly moist chicken and a magical mayo that you wish you could take home, you’ll be dreaming about this dish until you can taste it again the next time.

Wagyu that’s perfectly cooked, seasoned, and melts in your mouth like butter, the Wagyu Katsu Sando is heavenly, savory, and sweet. The truffle honey and shokupan elevate the dish’s flavor, bringing it to a celestial level only a few dishes can reach.

Japanese milk bread and the softest fermented honey ice cream, the Truffle Milk Toast is the perfect dessert ever made to end your meal. A lovely crispy exterior and soft insides allow a pleasant contrast of textures in your mouth.

What to order: Yuzu Kosho Karaage, Wagyu Katsu Sando, Truffle Milk Toast

Address: 630 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60661

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9. Momotaro

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An upscale Japanese restaurant in the West Loop, Momotaro is home to one of the best sushi in Chicago. Interiors, service, and food are all a solid ten here. With elegant presentations and an intimate ambiance, this is the perfect place for romantic date nights where all you want to do is impress your date.

Momotaro’s Momomaki Rolls is a lovely combo of spicy octopus, tuna, and pickled radish. Just one bite of this, and you will immediately understand why it’s their signature roll. Did we mention it’s served with a cute little daikon cube at the top?

An interesting take with the use of spicy beef curry flavor, Momotaro’s Spaghetti has all the right umami, richness, and comfort combined in one simple dish. Spaghetti and curry sauce? Decadent and absolutely delicious.

What to order: Spaghetti, Momomaki Rolls

Address: 820 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607

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10. Swift & Sons

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Situated within Fulton Market, Swift & Sons is a famous steakhouse with excellent seafood options. Offering the best of both worlds, you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. Boasting a classic steakhouse decor with a romantic atmosphere, this is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion.

Big enough to share among two people, the Beef Wellington is one of the most memorable dishes you’ll have in your life. Served and cut by your table, you’ll drool just at the sight of this dish.

Encompassing all desirable flavors, the delicate Crab Cake is simply divine. Filled with yummy chunks of crab punctuated by tangy coleslaw-like cabbage, you’ll love every single bite of this.

What to order: Apple Salad, Beef Wellington, Crab Cake

Address: 1000 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

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11. High Five Ramen

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A small, lowkey Ramen spot with amazing vibes, High Five Ramen is the place to visit if you want to taste the best ramen in the city. The underground basement interiors bring the place’s ambiance to the next level. If you’re around the area, make sure to visit High Five Ramen, or else you’ll miss out on the greatest ramen in Chicago.

High Five’s famous Tonkotsu ramen is hands down the best in Chicago. With Chewy noodles, perfectly gooey egg, and fatty pork, the 2-3 hour wait in line will be instantly forgotten just because of how good this ramen is. You won’t even mind lining up again next time!

Every bite packed with spices and the perfect umami taste, the Shoyu ramen will make you forget you’re in Chicago because of how authentic it tastes. Incredibly flavorful broth with a slightly bitter aftertaste, this one is more earthy and light.

What to order: Tonkotsu, Shoyu, Shio (half spice)

Address: 112 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607

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12. Bonci Pizzeria

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A pizzeria straight out of Italy, Bonci will have you contemplating whether you could still fathom eating pizza from anywhere else other than here! A small, casual spot with lots of options, including vegan, you can pick exactly how much pizza you want and pay by weight— how amazing is that?

An absolute big hit, the Spicy Eggplant Pizza feels like a cannonball of all the right flavors striking your tongue in just one bite. Creamy and delightfully unique, you’ll wish you had an infinite supply of these at home.

A comforting pizza that is capable of lifting your spirits, Bonci’s Sausage and Mushroom Pizza is everything you need on a bad, hungry day. From the slightly crisp but chewy crust to the warm cheese and fresh mushrooms, this pizza is to die for!

What to order: Spicy Eggplant Pizza, Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Address: 161 N Sangamon St, Chicago, IL 60607

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West Loop is not the only place with spectacular food. If your food adventure in Chicago is not yet finished, check out our list of the best restaurants in Chicago Riverwalk for more mind-blowing recommendations.

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