Where Locals, Tourists Go To Eat, Wind Down in Chicago

Chicago locals and tourists are more alike than they might think, according to a new study

When it comes to finding a great Chicago restaurant, locals and tourists are more alike than they might think.

Turns out, according to a recent study by TripAdvisor, it doesn't matter if you live here or are visiting: Chicago Cut Steakhouse and Portillo's are destinations.

The travel planning and booking website studied aggregated mobile data through a new tool that shows where out-of-towners and locals most like to visit. TripAdvisor broke it down to show the most visited restaurants and attractions in cities across the country. 

"It’s interesting to see how in some cities travelers and locals are drawn to the same things to do or places to eat, while in others you see distinct differences in their preferences," said Jeff Chow, vice president of product, consumer experience for TripAdvisor.

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In Chicago's case, locals and tourists both flock to Portillo's, followed by Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe, for local chain restaurants.

When it comes to independent restaurants, they varied slightly. Locals were most likely to dine at Chicago French Market, then Chicago Cut Steakhouse and Quartino. On the other hand, travelers' first choice was Quartino, then Girl & the Goat and Chicago Cut Steakhouse.

Tourists and locals alike headed to the same spot for their favorite Chicago attractions: the Magnificent Mile. Locals' second favorite destination was the United Center followed by the East Bank Club. Travelers second favorite was The Art Institute of Chicago, then Navy Pier.


Tourists: The Magnificent Mile, The Art Institute of Chicago, Navy Pier
Locals: The Magnificent Mile, United Center, East Bank Club

Independent Restaurants

Tourists: Quartino, Girl & the Goat, Chicago Cut Steakhouse
Locals: Chicago French Market, Chicago Cut Steakhouse, Quartino

Chain Restaurants

Tourists: Portillo's, Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe, Giordano's on Rush Street
Locals: Portillo's, Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe, Starbucks on South Drexel Avenue

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