The Best Restaurants Near Magnificent Mile

You're on Chicago's most iconic street. Here's where to eat.
The Best Restaurants Near Magnificent Mile image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Ah, the Magnificent Mile. That iconic stretch of Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Oak Street filled with luxury shops, breathtaking architecture, historic views, and a bunch of gimmicky, mediocre restaurants. Luckily, you don’t need to eat at any of those. Instead, go to one of these spots, which are both good and near the section of the city where you can look at $12,000 handbags and the bridge where they filmed Transformers.


photo credit: The Purple Pig


Magnificent Mile

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightEating At The BarImpressing Out of TownersSmall Plates
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The Purple Pig is one restaurant on the Magnificent Mile we wholeheartedly endorse. Not only is it convenient to whatever Prada/Water Tower Place/Nike store shopping you’ve been doing, but this place serves great food. The Mediterranean menu is long, with dishes ranging from crispy pigs’ ears to housemade pastas. Since they don’t take reservations, you might have to wait, but it shouldn’t take too long. You’ll be back at the Navy Pier Build-A-Bear in no time.

photo credit: Kim Kovacik



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Despite what everyone in the entire world thinks, deep dish isn’t Chicago’s only pizza. Case in point: Robert’s, a great thin-crust spot that’s right on the river in Streeterville. The pies here have an airy, chewy crust with a great yeast-y flavor, and the toppings range from fennel with pepperoni and honey to sausage with caramelized onions. So, if you're on Michigan Ave and someone has the audacity to suggest Giordano’s, head here instead.

Marisol is located in the MCA, and it serves food you want to eat even if you’re not just here to look at an installation of cotton balls under black light. You’ll find dishes like sunflower seed hummus, housemade pastas, and bass with saffron polenta. Plus, the versatile space has a bar area that’s casual enough for a bite with a few friends, and a separate section perfect for dinner with someone who wants to talk about how cotton balls represent consumerism. Or something.

Woodwind has an unappealing location, on the 18th floor of a building on the Northwestern Hospital campus. But this restaurant has great food that’s worth a kind-of-weird walk through a hospital lobby. The menu includes creative dishes that sound strange but are actually delicious—like corn gnocchi with poached lobster and pomegranate-roasted squash with chunky peanut butter. The space has a beautiful view of downtown too, which makes you forget about that gurney you saw on your way here.

This Chinese restaurant is large, perfect for groups, and open 365 days a year. Minghin also happens to have the most consistent dim sum in Chicago. They don’t have carts or paper menus—instead, you use iPads at the table to place your order. You can get tasty entrees like lo mein and rice dishes, but focus on the dim sum, especially the pork buns and dumplings.

Pippin’s is a short walk from Michigan Ave and has a robust food menu filled with dishes that are surprisingly interesting and also very good. For example, you can order a tasty bread ball filled with french onion soup and gruyere or tater tot fries that remind us of perfectly crispy McDonald’s hash browns. Come here when you're looking for a drink and a casual meal after seeing jewelry worth more than a new car.

If you’re willing to walk about six blocks west, you’ll find yourself at another local icon, a classic Chicago steakhouse. Expect fantastic steaks, traditional sides, and great service, all right in the middle of the unfortunately named “Viagra Triangle.” But you won’t just be eating with high-rolling Gold Coasters, Gibson’s is usually full of tourists and Chicagoans celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, too. The massive desserts are no joke—the signature carrot cake literally weighs about six pounds. So plan on clearing out that mini fridge if you want to take it back to the hotel.

We’ve come to really appreciate Beatrix for its versatility. This casual American restaurant has multiple locations that work for business meals, date nights, and even breakfast or brunch. The one in Streeterville has the same wide-ranging menu (full of healthy-ish options like salads and quinoa burgers) along with a coffee bar. There’s also a pastry case with wonderful cookies.

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