The West Loop, a popular neighborhood in Chicago that started out as an industrial zone, is now a mecca for live music, shopping, and restaurants of all types. As the new “foodie” destination in the city, West Loop attracts residents from all over Chicago as well as visitors from other cities on a daily basis. Whether you’re living in Chicago or are just in town for a visit, you’ll want to know the best restaurants in West Loop so that you can plan out your dining agenda. Here are our top picks.
318 N Sangamon St, Chicago, IL 60607
From the glamorous decor to the suited bartenders, Fioretta exudes luxury. Whether you want to celebrate a special occasion or experience the ultimate romantic date night, this excellent Italian steakhouse on the edge of the Fulton Market District should definitely be on your radar. Italian-American chef Joe Rizza expertly blends old-world fare with contemporary steakhouse cuisine for a unique and memorable dining experience. Antipasti choices include crispy squash blossoms and shrimp scampi, the pasta menu features goat cheese ravioli and truffle mushroom lasagna, and a popular option for diners is the tableside Caesar salad for two. If you’re more in the mood for steak, you can choose from a wide range of options, like an olive-fed Wagyu NY strip and a 34-oz tomahawk steak. Fioretta also boasts an extensive wine list, a broad selection of craft cocktails, and traditional Italian desserts.
2. Rose Mary
932 W Fulton St, Chicago, IL 60607
Operated by Top Chef contestant Joe Flamm, Rose Mary’s menu is a vibrant and unique combination of Italian and Croatian cuisine. Named for both of Flamm’s grandmothers (Mary Rose and Mary), the restaurant in Fulton Market has an atmosphere reminiscent of Croatian taverns known as konobas.
As much as you’ll love the decor, you’ll love the food even more. The menu is split into vegetables (the squash blossoms are a stand-out), fish (bone-in swordfish, anyone?), meat (where else can you get a 16-oz lamb saddle?), pasta (the bucatini with rabbit is a favorite), and three different kinds of risotto. To enhance your dining experience, choose from the restaurant’s extensive wine, beer, and cocktail list for a drink to sip on or end your meal with a gelato or tre latte cake.
3. Girl & the Goat
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Open since 2010, Girl & the Goat has stood the test of time when it comes to restaurants in West Loop for a reason. Open for dinner at 4:30 pm every day of the week, this popular dining spot on Restaurant Row focuses on seasonal ingredients and vibrant, global cuisine. Make sure you start your meal with the olive focaccia served with whipped feta and cherry relish before deciding on your entree. If you really want to feel the vibe of the eatery, try one of their goat dishes (goat liver mousse, goat belly, or goat empanadas). If goat isn’t your thing, you’ll have plenty of other options to select from, including woodfire lamb ribs, king salmon poke, and chickpea fritters. Girl & the Goat also has a nice selection of wines, local craft beers, and craft cocktails.
736 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661
An upscale, progressive Indian restaurant, Rooh has two levels of dining. Choose the bar area if you want a lively atmosphere or the upstairs if you’d like a quieter, more intimate dining experience. No matter which you choose, you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in Indian dishes that are as visually pleasing as they are delicious. Choose from small plates like sweet potato chaat, Kerala chicken, and garlic kulcha or large plates like the tandoori cauliflower, butter chicken, and Bengala lamb shank. You can also add accompaniments, including chutneys, chickpea curry, butter, or garlic naan. Rooh also has a wonderful happy hour from 5-6 pm Monday through Thursday and 3-5 pm on Sundays. Happy hour specials include discounts on drinks and several small plates.
5. Trivoli Tavern
114 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607
Located in West Loop’s Gin Alley, Trivoli Tavern has a charming cobblestone patio and an interior packed with overstuffed leather furniture and lit by classic chandeliers. Depending on the time of day you visit Trivoli, you’ll find several different and delightful food options. Stop in for brunch on the weekends from 10:30 am to 1:45 pm to try avocado toast, breakfast scrambles, or fried chicken sliders. Drop by for afternoon snacks from 2:15 to 4 pm for pigs in a blanket, fries, or shrimp cocktail.
Are you looking for a casual yet still upscale dinner? Trivoli is your place if you like smoked pork ribs, handmade spicy shrimp pasta, sushi, or lobster rolls. Of course, as a tavern, Trivoli has plenty of drink choices. Craft cocktails include the old-fashioned, martinis, and gimlets, and the tavern also has an excellent selection of wines by the glass and beer.
6. Forno Rosso
1048 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
If you’re a fan of Italian Neapolitan pizza, you need to put Forno Rosso on your must-try list. The restaurant’s focal point is its huge wood-fired pizza oven, which imbues the space with warmth and delicious aromas. This is the perfect place for a low-key gathering, especially if you visit during the week (it tends to get quite busy on the weekends). In addition to their mouth-watering pizzas (toppings range from the traditional marinara to more creative options like pistachio pesto and Mais, which has wood-fired corn on the cob), Forno Rosso also has pasta, salads, and antipasti like burrata and wood-fired olives. Make sure to save room for an after-dinner drink or a dessert of tiramisu or Nutella pizza.
If you’re a resident of Chicago, making a trip to the incredible West Loop
neighborhood is well worth it to experience the fantastic restaurants in the area. Are you considering calling West Loop your new home? Reach out to the experienced agents at the Armando Chacon Group
to learn more about the area and to see what’s on the market.
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock