Chicago is known for its diverse food scene, offering a plethora of options for foodies of all kinds. One staple dish that is a must-try in the city is gumbo.
This hearty stew has its roots in Louisiana Creole cuisine and typically consists of a mix of meat or seafood, vegetables, and a roux-based broth. While it may not be as widely available in Chicago as it is in New Orleans, there are still plenty of places to find a delicious bowl of gumbo.
Whether you prefer your gumbo spicy or mild, with chicken or seafood, there is something for everyone in Chicago. Some restaurants offer traditional Creole-style gumbo, while others put their own spin on the dish.
From upscale restaurants to casual neighborhood joints, there is no shortage of options when it comes to finding the best gumbo in Chicago.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the top places to try gumbo in the city. We will highlight the unique flavors and styles of each restaurant and provide recommendations based on personal experience and customer reviews.
So, whether you're a gumbo connoisseur or a first-timer, get ready to discover the best places to satisfy your craving for this classic Southern dish in Chicago.
1. Shaw's Crab House
Shaw's Crab House is a retro seafood restaurant and oyster bar that serves classic fare and sushi in a relaxed space with a vintage vibe.
The restaurant's gumbo is a must-try for anyone visiting. The dish is packed with flavor and has the perfect balance of spices and ingredients.
The chefs at Shaw's Crab House know how to make a mean gumbo that will leave you wanting more. The restaurant is also known for its attentive and friendly staff, who make sure that every guest has a great dining experience.
If you're in the mood for some delicious gumbo, head to Shaw's Crab House and indulge in this classic Louisiana dish.
2. Lowcountry Lakeview
Lowcountry Lakeview is a great spot for anyone looking for delicious gumbo.
The staff is friendly and the service is speedy. The seafood bag is a must-try and the beignets are a definite highlight.
The atmosphere is casual and perfect for a family dinner or catching up with friends.
Highly recommended for those who love seafood boils.
3. Virtue Restaurant
Virtue Restaurant is a funky-chic Southern restaurant that serves up hearty and flavorful dishes.
The open kitchen adds to the ambience of the place, and the attentive and knowledgeable servers make the dining experience all the more enjoyable.
The gumbo is a must-try, as are the blackened catfish and collard greens. The portions are generous, so it's perfect for sharing with family and friends.
The restaurant can get busy, so it's best to make a reservation. All in all, a great spot for some delicious Southern fare and cocktails.
4. Catch 35
Catch 35 is a chic seafood destination that offers delicious gumbo. The portions are on the smaller side but the seafood is fresh and the flavors are amazing.
The restaurant has a great atmosphere, with a live music bar and a patio.
The staff is attentive and professional, making the experience even better.
It is recommended to make a reservation, as the place is usually busy. Catch 35 is a great spot for a fine dining experience in the city.
Wishbone is a charming restaurant that serves authentic and delicious Cajun food.
Their gumbo is a must-try, but the bread pudding steals the show.
The service is attentive and the ambience is lovely. It's a great place to share 2-3 dishes between two people.
The prices are reasonable, and the wait time can be long, but it's well worth it.
6. Pearl's Southern Comfort
Pearl's Southern Comfort is a down-home restaurant that offers delicious Cajun-Creole comfort fare.
The restaurant is known for its mouth-watering gumbo, which is a must-try for any foodie.
Pearl's also offers a variety of craft beer and cocktails to accompany your meal. The cozy and inviting ambiance adds to the overall experience.
Whether you're a local or just passing through, Pearl's Southern Comfort is definitely worth a visit for a taste of the South.
7. Storyville Chicago
Storyville Chicago is a hip venue that serves up Cajun cuisine and cocktails.
The red leather booths and chandeliers create a cool ambiance.
The gumbo, jambalaya, and po' boys are all delicious.
The cocktails are also worth a try. It's a great spot for a night out with friends.
8. Joker's Cajun Kitchen
Joker's Cajun Kitchen is a must-visit for gumbo lovers. Their chicken and andouille gumbo is a classic and flavorful dish that hits the spot.
The family-run restaurant offers a variety of Cajun dishes, including jambalaya, po boys, and muffaletta sandwiches.
The sensible portion sizes make for great combos, especially when paired with their delicious cornbread. The restaurant's French market seating adds to the overall experience.
The friendly and welcoming staff make it a place worth revisiting. For an authentic Cajun dining experience, Joker's Cajun Kitchen is the place to be.
9. Roy's Soul Food
Roy's Soul Food is a must-visit for anyone craving authentic Southern cuisine. Their gumbo is a standout dish, full of flavor and generously portioned.
The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, with friendly staff and a down-home feel.
Prices are reasonable, and the menu offers a variety of home-cooked meals that are sure to satisfy.
Whether you're looking for breakfast or lunch, Roy's has something for everyone. Don't miss out on this hidden gem.
10. What's Krackin' Southern Seafood
What's Krackin' Southern Seafood is a must-visit for gumbo lovers. The shrimp gumbo is a standout dish and the cornbread is heavenly.
The restaurant has a relaxing atmosphere and the owner is actively involved in making the experience positive.
Prices are reasonable and the Cajun pasta is highly recommended.
The staff is friendly and welcoming, making it a great spot for seafood lovers.
11. Fish Bar
Fish Bar is a small, casual seafood spot that serves up sustainably sourced seafood in various forms. The menu includes fried, sandwich, soup, and taco options.
But what really sets this place apart is their gumbo. It's flavorful and well-spiced, with a hearty mix of seafood and sausage.
The ambiance is cozy and intimate, with bar-style seating and booths. The service is friendly and attentive, making for a pleasant dining experience.
If you're in the mood for some delicious gumbo, Fish Bar is definitely worth checking out.
12. Creed On LAKE
If you're looking for delicious and authentic soul food, Creed On LAKE is the place to go. Their gumbo is a standout dish, packed with flavor and made with fresh ingredients.
In addition to the gumbo, their fried chicken, yams, and mac and cheese are all outstanding.
The portions are generous, and the staff provides excellent customer service. The menu is limited, but everything they do offer is made to perfection.
It's a great spot for a quick and satisfying meal, and the prices are very reasonable. If you're in the mood for some comfort food, give Creed On LAKE a try.
13. Daisy's Po-Boy and Tavern
Daisy's Po-Boy and Tavern serves up delicious New Orleans-style gumbo that's sure to satisfy any craving.
The restaurant also offers a variety of other tasty dishes, including po-boys, catfish, and fried green tomatoes.
The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is upbeat, making it a great spot for a quick bite or a night out with friends.
While it may be a bit pricey for some, the quality of the food and service make it well worth the cost. Don't miss out on this Hyde Park gem!
14. Joker's Cajun Smokehouse
Joker's Cajun Smokehouse is a must-visit for anyone looking for mouth-watering gumbo.
The smoked meats are cooked to perfection and the sides are equally delicious. The staff is friendly and accommodating, making for a cozy atmosphere.
Don't miss out on trying their homemade BBQ sauce, especially the chipotle one.
With live music and great prices, this spot is perfect for a night out with friends or family. Highly recommended for anyone looking for authentic Cajun cuisine.
15. Wayne's BBQ & Cajun
Wayne's BBQ & Cajun is a no-frills restaurant that serves up some of the best Cajun comfort food and BBQ in town.
While they offer a variety of dishes, their chicken gumbo is the star of the show. The gumbo is rich, flavorful, and packed with tender chicken and savory spices.
The restaurant's simple digs and friendly staff make for a comfortable and laid-back dining experience.
It's worth noting that Wayne's only accepts cash, so be sure to come prepared. If you're looking for a delicious bowl of gumbo, Wayne's BBQ & Cajun is the place to be.