Where To Eat In StreetervilleOur guide to the best spots in the neighborhood.
Unless you live or work in Streeterville, you might think of it simply as that place between Michigan Avenue and Navy Pier devoid of public transportation and full of hotels, wandering tourists, and hospitals. But there are still plenty of reasons to find your way over here, and you can always get great food. Here’s where to go.
Despite what everyone in the entire world thinks, Chicago doesn’t only have deep dish. Case in point: Robert’s, a great thin-crust pizza spot that’s right on the river. The pizza here has 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 next time you’re near Navy Pier with a friend from New York who won’t stop smirking at Giordano’s, take them here.
Curfew is a restaurant inside The Hotel Saint Clair from the chef behind Siena Tavern. The space looks a bit clubby, and while the food isn’t going to blow anyone away, it’s more fun than what we normally find in a hotel. The menu is all-over-the-place, with dishes like ricotta dumplings, scotch eggs, and black sesame hummus that kind of freaked us out since it looked like a giant pile of mud—but ended up tasting really great. Plus, like all of the Siena restaurants, the service and cocktails are always wonderful.
Woodwind has an unappealing-sounding location. This upscale spot is 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 a sweet and savory Big Mac-inspired foie gras bao and pomegranate-roasted squash with chunky peanut butter. The space has a beautiful view of downtown too, and it’s an overall fun option for dinner and drinks if you’re in the neighborhood.
Marisol is in the Museum of Contemporary Art, but it’s open to the public even when the museum is closed. This is a good thing, because the food is excellent—way better than anything you’ve probably eaten in a museum cafe. You’ll find sunflower seed hummus, housemade pastas, and fried quail with date honey that tastes like fancy chicken and waffles. Come here for dinner with your mom, after she makes you go shopping at Talbots.
As tempting as a cellophane sandwich from one of the many nearby Starbucks might be, try a cubano at Cafecito instead. It’s the best thing here, which is saying something since their other sandwiches and Cuban entrees, like the ropa vieja, are also very good. Get a cafe con leche as well. Cafecito has two other locations in the city, but the one in Streeterville differentiates itself with a full bar and table service.
Doc B's Fresh Kitchen
Doc B’s isn’t technically in Streeterville - it’s just west of Michigan Avenue - but it’s close enough to count for us. This place has the type of broad menu that normally raises red flags (when we see barbecue ribs, ahi tuna, and pizza all at the same place, we don’t expect much), except it actually delivers. It’s a good spot for dinner and lunch if you’re with a group that can’t make a decision, and it works for a low-key solo meal, too.
Sayat Nova is a family-owned restaurant serving tasty Armenian food. The menu is large, and you’ll find a well-rounded collection of dishes like hummus and kebabs. Whatever you do, make sure to order an appetizer of raw kibbe, an Armenian version of steak tartare that’s full of spices.
Volare Ristorante Italiano
By our count there are about a billion old-school Italian spots in this city, and Volare is the one holding it down in Streeterville. If you’re looking to sit down for a meal away from the chain restaurants, this is the spot. Get some pasta.
Don’t dismiss this place because it’s located at the bottom of a Hilton on Mies van der Rohe Way. Mirai serves excellent sushi, from basic sashimi and nigiri to creative rolls. It’s not cheap, because good sushi never is, but it’s also not fancy and overpriced. Prices at Mirai are no different from those at most other sushi restaurants around, but the food is infinitely better.
Ramen Misoya isn’t a particularly cool ramen restaurant. It’s a very basic spot - but sometimes that’s all you need. It’s perfect for an easy weekday meal or Sunday night dinner, and the ramen is consistently good.
We’ve come to really like Beatrix in River North because it’s so versatile. It works for business meals, date nights, and even breakfast or brunch. Luckily, the newer Streeterville location is pretty much exactly the same. It doesn’t have 100% of the River North version’s pizzazz, but you’ll find the same great coffee bar, salads, and healthy-ish entrees. There’s also a to-go area that specifically caters to businesspeople (of both the suit-and-tie and scrubs variety).
Billy Goat might not truly be in Streeterville, but it’s in no man’s land on Lower Wacker, so we might as well include it here. Always get a double cheezeborger, and, if you can swing it, a light or dark Billy Goat beer. If beer isn’t in the cards, then no Pepsi. Coke.
Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken
The Streeterville Do-Rite location serves fried chicken sandwiches. It’s a tiny place mostly meant for carry out, but who doesn’t want to carry out donuts and fried chicken sandwiches? Name us a better one-two punch and we’ll get you a unicorn.
If you’ve never been to Ron of Japan, know that it’s basically a Benihana, but we’ll take the ROJ any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Sit at a communal table, watch the chef flip shrimp tails into his hat, and cover all of your food in egg salsa, which is a delicious egg yolk and butter mix.