Watch out world - it’s ladies night and the girls are looking to hit the town.
We’re not quite sure when a group of women going out to dinner became “ladies night,” but what we do know is that that “Girls’ Night Out” is one of the most popular Perfect For categories on The Infatuation. It makes sense - planning a dinner for your girl crew can indeed be a stressful situation. But we’re here to help, with a list of places that are generally fun, mostly possible to get into, and with menus that should make the whole group happy (and PS, we’re pretty sure guys will like most of these places too).
Here are 15 excellent contenders for your next girls’ night out.
Women instinctively flock to Summer House like the salmon of Capistrano. It’s whitewashed, light filled, and the inside feels like summer year round in a city that does not experience summer year round. The menu is rich with girls’ night-friendly items like quinoa, kale, and - obviously - rosé.
Think of everything you want in a rooftop - comfy couches, shareable plates, and some kind of lavender cocktail. Now add great music and one of the best views in the city, and it’s easy to understand why Cindy’s is so good for a girls’ get-together. Come here for dinner or brunch, but either way, hang out well after your meal. It’s a great time, and easily one of the most photogenic places in Chicago.
“Popping bottles” might be a phrase you haven’t used un-ironically since you were in college, but Sunda is the place where you straight-faced are in that mood (and have a great time). It’s fancy “New Asian” cuisine, and the food is just really good. Plates like Oxtail Potstickers are unique and easy to share, and the table sizes are good for big groups. It’s definitely a scene—but you’re going out in River North—what did you expect?
The best girls’ night out is spent eating your body weight in pasta. Good pasta is common, but great pasta is hard to come by, and Monteverde is serving great pasta. Pasta you can watch being made in the middle of the restaurant. Drink all the wine, order all the pasta, and skip the part where you “go out” afterward. You’ve eaten a lot of pasta — we give you permission to just go home.
Your group thread wants a GNO, but there’s no consensus on what to do. Half the crew wants to eat and the other already ate Sweetgreen at home. Solve the problem by throwing RM Champagne into the ring—the name sells itself for drinks, and there’s a solid small plates menu too. The prime West Loop location also makes it easy for post-dinner drinks, and it gets extra points for a charming ambiance and a French vibe without being cheesy.
It’s time to face the fact that all 10 of you probably aren’t getting a table at Big Star tonight. The good news is that you can live out all of your tequila-fueled dreams at Del Toro. It’s under the radar, but Pilsen is a great neighborhood to go out in, the tacos are great, and they serve flaming jalapeño margaritas. They mean that name literally - these things come to the table on fire, which is thrilling no matter how comfortable you are with danger.
But maybe you are willing to wait it out for that elusive big group table at Big Star. The fish tacos, margaritas, and patio make it worthwhile.
A girls’ trip to San Francisco sounds fun, but it’s also not happening in the next 24 hours. Head to Presidio in Bucktown instead. It’s a cocktail lounge in front and a dining room in the back, which is pretty ideal for a leisurely evening with friends. Sip drinks for a while before heading to the dining room for seasonal “California inspired” dishes, which is really just American food you’re accustomed to like steak tartar, beet salad, rotisserie chicken, and a bone-in pork chop. It’s trendy without being stuck-up, and that’s a vibe everyone can appreciate.
Do your friends tend to get pretty loud when alcohol is involved? Feel confident bringing them to Steakbar, where this type of behavior is welcomed, if not encouraged. It’s pricey and kind of feels like a club, but the food is delicious and the music is playing all night. Steakbar also serves an Old Fashioned cocktail with Fireball, so there’s a 100% chance you can hang here all night and have fun.
Your New York friends are visiting from out of town and you’re looking to eat and party. And the only thing you and your friends like more than partying is sushi. So combine the two and hit up Butterfly for a classic BYOB sushi experience. Eat all the spicy tuna rolls and pour all the vodka sodas your heart desires.
Quartino is so ideal for a big group that your guy friends will be jealous they aren’t invited. Italian small plates like pizza, pasta, and veggies mean even the pickiest of eaters can find something to eat. The restaurant is large and loud so you don’t have to be on your best behavior, and the prices are beyond reasonable even cheap-ass Barb won’t be able to complain. A win all around.
Gilt Bar is an almost-classic Chicago spot that always has a lot of sex appeal. It’s dark, the booths are large and red, and the menu is full of generally heavy things for those cold nights that are about to be our reality (sorry). Get dressed up and plan to share some tenderloin tartar and truffle pasta over cocktails with your friends.
Bar Siena is a hip and trendy Italian restaurant serving basic pizzas and pastas. That makes it the best of both worlds because not only is it a cool spot, but there’s something for everyone to eat. Once you’re done eating dinner upstairs, make your way to the downstairs bar where the single members of your crew will be happy to hang.
RPM Italian checks all the boxes for girls’ night out. It has great Italian food, a quality wine selection, and it’s all in a trendy and fun River North setting. Add in the fact it’s owned by Giuliana Rancic and it’s as if RPM was built specifically for this occasion. Giuliana’s Fashion Police days may be over, but you’ll still want to look good here.