Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood is highly regarded for its exclusive residences, which include historic mansions, elegant brownstones on tree-lined streets, and luxury high-rise apartments with views of Lake Michigan. The local dining scene is similarly upscale, and the best restaurants in Gold Coast, Chicago represent some of the best in the entire Midwest, if not the nation. Expect impeccable takes on fine-dining staples, like white-tablecloth Italian restaurants and steakhouses with a dress code. Inventive American eateries with a farm-to-table ethos, chic brunch spots, enticing hotel bars, and old-school pizzerias round out the restaurant scene.
From our Chicago neighborhood insiders, here are just a few examples of the best restaurants in Gold Coast, Chicago.
Where to Find Gold Coast’s Top Restaurants
Maple & Ash
Address: 8 W. Maple Street, Chicago, IL 60610
With menus crafted by two Michelin-starred chef Danny Grant and a wine list called “one of the most outstanding in the world” by Wine Spectator, Maple & Ash is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Gold Coast, Chicago. This stylish establishment promises exceptional versions of steakhouse classics, like wedge and Caesar salads, and sides, like sauteed spinach and potatoes au gratin. The highest-quality steaks and chops are cooked to order over a live wood fire.
What to Eat:
Torn between the signature fire-roasted seafood tower and the hamachi crudo? Can’t choose between veal chop Oscar and Galician turbot? Then opt for the infamous “I don’t give a f*@k” (for $200 per person) and welcome whatever dishes the chef wishes to send to your table.
Blue Door Kitchen & Garden
Address: 52 W. Elm Street, Chicago, IL 60610
A “farm-to-table oasis” offering dinner and brunch menus, Blue Door Kitchen & Garden is the brainchild of chef and co-owner, Art Smith. The chef is a pioneer of seasonal, sustainable, farm-to-table cuisine and has some serious Chicago creds as the former personal chef of Oprah Winfrey. The menu features comfort food classics elevated by impeccably sourced Midwestern ingredients.
Many dishes highlight the menu’s Southern inspiration, such as the buttermilk-fried chicken with garlic mashed potato and hot sauce, pork chops with applesauce, and Cajun gumbo. Chef Smith also nods to fine French cuisine with his takes on beef burgundy and duck confit. Another draw to the restaurant is its inviting indoor-outdoor space in the old carriage house of the Biggs Mansion.
What to Eat:
Go all in on the comfort food with a shared side of Cece’s three-cheese mac and cheese. For brunch, don’t miss Art Smith’s fried chicken and buttermilk waffles with rosemary maple syrup.
Address: 205 E. Pearson Street, Chicago, IL 60611
Marisol is unique among the best restaurants in Gold Coast, Chicago for its location inside the Museum of Contemporary Art. While it’s a no-brainer for hungry museum-goers, Marisol is a renowned dining destination in its own right. Chef Jason Hammel expresses boundless creativity and introduces new dishes every week.
The dinner menu features numerous small plates, such as pomme frites with feta creme fraiche, and ham and manchego toast with maitake, black currant, and walnut aioli. The Counter, a distinct all-day coffee and snack shop within Marisol, has its own menu of pastries, sandwiches, and salads.
What to Eat:
A Marisol bestseller, the signature burger topped with Havarti, pickle, and secret sauce, plus a side of pommes frites elevates this humble American favorite. From the Counter, the breakfast sandwich of baked egg, Comté cheese, sherry-glazed bacon, and mushroom duxelles stands out as a crowd pleaser.
Address: 912 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60610
Michelin-starred chef, Soo Ahn, modernizes Italian cuisine at Adalina. The upscale restaurant boasts an expansive, opulent dining space with crisp white tablecloths, tuxedoed servers, and velvety jewel-tone decor. Its vibe is fun and lively, and the cuisine is exquisite.
An inventive selection of house-made pasta, such as chitarra with duck bolognese, shares space on the menu with substantial entrees like bone-in veal parmigiana.
What to Eat:
Exemplifying the chef’s playful approach, the reverse eggplant parmesan, comprising breaded green tomato with eggplant puree and spicy pomo will delight any lover of Italian cuisine. Consider the seven-course chef’s tasting menu for a special occasion.
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria (Gold Coast)
Address: 1120 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60610
It might be among the Windy City’s fanciest neighborhoods, but one of the best restaurants in Gold Coast, Chicago, is the local outlet of a famous chain of pizzerias: Lou Malnati’s. This is the largest and also the flagship location of a Chicago-born chain beloved by locals for over 50 years. Founder Lou Malnati mastered Chicago-style deep-dish pizza in the 1940s, and his family still runs the empire.
The menu showcases the family’s secret-recipe crust and has sourced ingredients from the same farms and vendors for decades. Grab your knife and fork to delve into one of these famous pies.
What to Eat:
The restaurant has a well-rounded menu, yet ordering one of the famous Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas is almost mandatory. How about the Malnati Chicago Classic, made with sausage and extra cheese?
Staying in for the night? If you also love to cook at home, pick up some ingredients at our favorite Italian markets to help you create an authentic feast. Or, if you want to catch the next game from a great location, check out these Chicago sports bars.
Find Your Dream Apartment in Chicago
If the thought of becoming a regular at any of these amazing Gold Coast restaurants seems like a dream, it might be time to make a move. AptAmigo can connect you with a local apartment expert who will find your perfect new place in the neighborhood. Reach out to AptAmigo for a free, full-service consultation today!