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The best restaurants in River North and Streeterville

River North and Streeterville serve some of the best food in Chicago, including seafood, steak and Mexican

Rural Society
Photograph: Brendon Brown Panqueques + Yerba Mate at Rural Society.

River North and Streeterville are best known for steakhouses, but the neighborhoods also have plenty of other culinary gems. With Mexican restaurants, Czech food and seafood restaurants, the area has a diverse array of options. Still hungry? Devour River North and Streeterville's cheap eats or head to one of the best bars.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to River North and Streeterville

Restaurants, Steakhouse

RPM Steak

icon-location-pin River North
The second restaurant from the team of chef Doug Psaltis, the Rancics and the Melman kids is this steakhouse, which turns out perfectly cooked steaks, a towering seafood platter and potatoes with black truffles. The desserts are the secret star, with a flaming baked Alaska and chocolate cake, though you should just pretend it's your birthday and snag one of the over-the-top sundaes.
Restaurants, Argentinian

Rural Society

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Located in the Loews Hotel, Rural Society is the second location of Philadelphia chef Jose Garces’s (Mercat a la Planxa) Argentine restaurant (the first is in DC). And it's not just a great place for Argentine food, it’s a great steakhouse. The dining room feels like a barn and smells like smoked meat (this is a good thing), and it's a cozy spot for flaky Swiss chard empanadas, a gorgeous filet, and grilled lobster, perfectly cooked, lightly smoky and luxuriating in butter. Welcome to the new era of hotel dining.
Photograph: Erica Gannett
Restaurants, Seafood

Shaw’s Crab House

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There’s nothing wrong with splurging on lobster or king crab and wanting to enjoy it in this institution’s formal dining room. We just prefer to get down and dirty in the adjacent oyster bar, where we slurp fresh oysters, crack open crab claws and dunk lobster tail in copious amounts of butter. Classic cocktails are well-executed, though we'll almost always opt for a well-chosen draft beer alongside seafood.

Sixteen is located in Trump Tower.
Steve Hall
Restaurants, French


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Sixteen transformed itself under former chef Thomas Lents—with creative themed tasting menus like Chicago History, more approachable service and two Michelin stars, the restaurant is solidly in the top tier of fine dining in Chicago. While the tasting menu is firmly in the "splurge" category (dinner for two with wine pairings is around $1,000), the patio offers an even better view of the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower, as well as less expensive food.

Saffron rice on the Topolobampo Mexico City 1671 menu.
Photograph: Martha Williams
Restaurants, Mexican


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Topolobampo is the most sophisticated and upscale of Rick Bayless's restaurants, and the one most frequented by President Obama and his family. As with all of Bayless's restaurants, the products used here are local and seasonal. So whether you're eating fresh oysters or ceviche or one of the beautiful moles, you know you're eating the best the season has to offer. An ever-changing menu means it's hard to predict exactly what will be offered day to day—but because Bayless is involved, it never really feels like a gamble.