Chicago Restaurants

‘Chicago Today' Hosts Reveal Their Top Restaurants to Check Out

"Chicago Today" hosts Cortney Hall and Matthew Rodrigues have scouted out some of the best and most popular Chicago restaurants in the area

"Chicago Today" aims to share the parts of the city many love most and in a city like Chicago, food is critical to that mission.

So far, hosts Cortney Hall and Matthew Rodrigues have scouted out some of the best and most popular Chicago restaurants in the area.

Whether it was the food or ambience that stood out to the pair, they put together a list of their top eateries for you to check out. 

Here are their favorites:


The South Loop restaurant brings the contemporary cuisines of chef Stephen Gillanders to the table. 

"This spot is changing the food scene in the South Loop," Rodrigues said. "If you don’t try their mussel toast, you’re not really living."

It also landed a spot on Michelin Guide’s 2022 Bib Gourmand lineup for its culinary excellence and affordability.

To visit, head to 2201 S Michigan Ave. For questions, call (312)363-2431.

The Darling

The Victorian-themed lounge boasts a ballroom and library, both of which serve "fire" cocktails and entertainment, according to Hall.

"I couldn’t love a place more," Rodrigues said. "Their library room is a wonder — from the performances to the elaborate but tasty cocktails."

To visit, head to 905 W Randolph St. For questions, call (312)285-2609.


Etta’s two-story branch in Bucktown offers fresh takes on Italian dishes, including wood-fired pizzas, as well as pastas and roasted meats.

"This is such a great double date place," Hall said. "Great food and ambience."

To visit, head to 1840 W North Ave. For questions, call (312)757-4444.


Chef Curtis Duffy brings his vision to upscale dining at this West Loop restaurant. 

"Chef Duffy is so thoughtful in his approach to fine dining," Hall said. "Every course was extraordinary."

"Incredible fine dining that doesn’t make you feel like an outsider," Rodrigues added.  

The restaurant earned the Michelin Guide's hallmark stamp of culinary excellence in 2022 with two stars to denote its excellent cuisine. 

To visit, head to 1340 W Fulton St.

Rose Mary

Rodrigues called chef Joe Flamm, former "Top Chef" winner, a "humble genius."

Flamm’s eatery in the West Loop is loaded with rich and expressive Mediterranean flavors. 

"This is one of the best meals I’ve had in the city," Hall said. "It’s different, and the fact that it’s not a steakhouse is refreshing."

To visit, head to 932 W Fulton St. For questions, call (872)260-3921.


The progressive restaurant perched in the West Loop offers reimagined takes on Indian cuisine, while also preserving its tradition.

Rodrigues highly recommends the Chicken Kohzi, which comes with curry leaves and Kerala Podi Masala.

"If you love good Indian food, you’ll love to dress up and eat in this gorgeous space," Hall said. 

To visit, head to 736 W Randolph St. For questions, call (312)809-6964.

RPM Seafood

The water-front restaurant in River North offers a rich and flavorful menu, including a seafood tower that Hall recommends. 

"This is the first place I bring anyone visiting me in Chicago,” Rodrigues said. “You instantly impress guests with incredible views and food."

To visit, head to 317 N Clark St. For questions, call (312)900-9035.


After a fire forced Solazo out of its original West Lawn location in 2019, the restaurant moved its meals near Midway Airport with a refreshed menu. 

The “gem” of a restaurant features contemporary Mexican dishes with a range of tacos, enchiladas and drinks to pair.    

“A neighborhood spot with a welcoming vibe,” Rodrigues said of the eatery. “You’ll be ordering every variety of taco on the menu.”

To visit, head to 5600 S Pulaski Rd. For questions, call (773)627-5047.


Tzuco plates Mexican dishes with French twists brought by Carlos Gaytán, the first Latin American chef who earned a Michelin star, in River North. 

“You’ve seen Mexican food served a million different ways, but not like this,” Rodrigues said. “Chef Carlos Gaytán has really created an oasis in the heart of Chicago.”

To visit, head to 720 N State St. For questions, call (312)374-8995.

VU Rooftop Bar

VU Rooftop Bar features sights from the 22nd floor above McCormick Place and sips from its extensive cocktail program.

“You can’t beat the view at VU,” Hall said. “It’s a great rooftop option in the South Loop.”

On top of the ambiance, the bar offers ample, upscale meals on its menu. 

“I dream about their chicken sandwich,” Rodrigues said.

To visit, head to 133 E Cermak Rd. For questions, call (312)528-0191.

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