Lincoln Park offers a diverse dining landscape, with cheap eats for the college kids, a three-star Michelin destination and most locals' favorite deep dish pizza. But that's not all—the family-friendly North Side 'hood is also home to pristine sushi, thoughtful contemporary American restaurants and damn fine barbecue. Hungry yet? Here's where to eat in Lincoln Park.
RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to the Lincoln Park neighborhood
Best Lincoln Park restaurants
Regularly lauded as the best restaurant in Chicago, if not the country, Alinea lives up to the hype. Chef and mastermind Grant Achatz delivers a well-orchestrated ride that plays with textures and temperatures while remaining grounded in season, flavor and flawless execution. The menu is constantly changing, so you never know what dish will steal the show when you’re in the audience.
The theory goes like this: The first time you eat at this unassuming Greek spot, you may try the gyro salad—well-spiced slices of meat sitting atop simple greens—and you’ll think: “Not bad.” But according to the cultish customer base that swears by this place, it’s on your third visit—when you order the juicy chicken kebabs, the vinegary Greek fries or the flaky spanakopita—that the spell is cast.
French cuisine feels fresh at this elegant-yet-unstuffy Lincoln Park restaurant. Chef Ryan Burns’s menu is packed with traditional dishes like Dover sole, but he makes seasonal twists, like pairing king crab with garlic scapes and Parisienne gnocchi. Save room for dessert—the berry tarlet with vanilla cream is topped with fresh basil leaves for a refreshing touch.
A mainstay in Chicago's vast food scene, Boka has been serving inventive seasonal American fare for 12 years. Chef Lee Wolen is the mastermind behind balanced dishes like cured fluke with pickled watermelon and roasted Spanish octopus with eggplant, spicy 'nduja, hazelnut and lemon. Order a la carte or go all in on a $130 tasting menu.
With an assortment of breads and sandwiches, this airy bakery-cafe is a great spot for lunch. But Floriole’s soul is its French pastry, skillfully executed by owner Sandra Holl. Among our favorite offerings are the canelés—petite, fluted cakes with caramelized exteriors and custardy cores flavored with vanilla and rum.
Since 1972, this underground institution has been luring Chicagoans with the promise of famous sandwiches and pizzas. Its “Pizza Pot Pies” are in no way, shape or form actual pizza—they’re more like bread bowls filled with pizza sauce and melted cheese. But the grinders, such as the Italian combination that piles on Genoa salami and smoked ham, are so mammoth, crispy and warm, and the salads topple with such insane quantities of artichoke hearts, olives and peppers, that we’ll forgive the false advertising.
Grab a table in the tiny Christmas light–strewn room at this 47-year-old subterranean seafood spot, and start out with the Mulligan stew. For more fried goodness, have the Thirty-Two Pointer for an entrée—a crunchy pile of smelts, perch, frog legs, clam strips and fat shrimp. And if you’re looking to crack some crab, splurge on the massive, meaty king legs.
Sushi's the name of the game at Juno. Under the watchful eye of sushi chef BK Park, you'll find immaculate sashimi, restrained maki and creative takes on Japanese classics. Yes, everything looks beautiful and you'll want to spend time admiring what you've ordered, but don't take so many Instagram photos that you forget to actually eat your food.
Okay, so technically you’re not eating outside, but when you’re only a few feet from a pond in the middle of Lincoln Park, you’re as close to nature as it gets in the city. Even more so when you sample chef Bruce Sherman’s latest creations, concocted with as much locally grown organic food as he can get his hands on.
Chicago restaurateur Jared Leonard spent over a year perfecting his personal recipe for Nashville hot chicken, and the dedication shows. Taste his craft at one of three locations (and counting), where poultry is served naked, classic, hot or x-hot. We're big fans of the slaw-topped hot chicken sandwich, red potato salad and collard greens.