Chicago is a city that is known for its vibrant culinary scene. From deep-dish pizza to hot dogs, this city has it all. But when it comes to special occasions, choosing the right restaurant can be a daunting task.
Whether it's a birthday, anniversary, or graduation, you want a place that will make the occasion even more memorable.
Luckily, Chicago is home to some of the best restaurants for special occasions. These restaurants offer not only exceptional food but also an ambiance that is perfect for celebrating.
From elegant fine dining to cozy neighborhood spots, there is something for every occasion and every budget.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at some of the best restaurants for special occasions in Chicago. We will explore what makes each restaurant unique and why it is the perfect choice for your next celebration.
Whether you are looking for a romantic dinner for two or a lively gathering with friends and family, we've got you covered. So, sit back, relax, and let us take you on a culinary journey through the best restaurants for special occasions in Chicago.
1. Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio
Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio is a must-visit restaurant for special occasions. The food is made with high-quality ingredients and bursting with flavor.
The house-made pastas are a standout dish and the burrata and arancini are a must-try.
The waitstaff is knowledgeable and attentive, making the dining experience even more enjoyable. The atmosphere is stylish and inviting, making it the perfect spot for a celebration or intimate dinner.
The wine program complements the meal perfectly. It's no wonder why Monteverde has won a James Beard award.
Aba is a posh Mediterranean restaurant that offers a trendy rooftop patio for special occasions. The restaurant's decor is elegant yet relaxed, with olive trees and lamps adding to the ambiance.
The food is high quality, with unique dishes such as braised short ribs with berries and mushroom puree.
The eggplant spread is a must-try, and the hummus dishes are all delicious.
The restaurant is busy, so reservations are recommended. The staff is attentive and humble, making for a fine dining experience.
Boka is a fine-dining restaurant perfect for special occasions. The modern American cuisine served here is creative, flavorful, and beautifully presented.
The restaurant has a sleek and sophisticated ambiance, with a lounge and a candlelit back garden patio for a romantic setting. The wine list is extensive, and the cocktails are delicious.
The service is impeccable, with attentive and knowledgeable staff who can help you select the perfect wine to accompany your meal. The menu changes regularly, so there's always something new to try.
Boka has earned a consistent Michelin Star, which is a testament to the quality of the food and service. For a memorable dining experience, Boka is a must-visit.
4. Volare Ristorante Italiano
Volare Ristorante Italiano is the perfect place for a special occasion. The old-world Italian atmosphere adds a touch of elegance to any gathering.
The menu is filled with delectable options, from seafood to pasta and everything in between. The portions are generous and the service is outstanding.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, making dining here an enjoyable experience. Don't forget to save room for dessert, as the tiramisu is a must-try.
If you're looking for a classic Italian dining experience, Volare Ristorante Italiano is the place to go.
5. The Purple Pig Restaurant
The Purple Pig Restaurant is a must-visit for foodies looking for a special occasion spot.
With a focus on pork, the menu offers creative and delicious dishes that are meant to be shared.
The open kitchen adds to the lively ambiance, while the extensive wine and whiskey selection impresses.
The service is friendly and attentive, making for an overall enjoyable dining experience. Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time, as the restaurant tends to get crowded.
6. Roka Akor – Chicago
Roka Akor – Chicago is an upscale Japanese restaurant that offers an exceptional dining experience for special occasions.
The restaurant's contemporary setting provides a warm and inviting atmosphere that is perfect for intimate gatherings.
The menu features an impressive selection of steak, seafood, and sushi, all expertly crafted and bursting with flavor. The staff is highly knowledgeable and attentive, ensuring that every guest receives top-notch service.
For those looking to celebrate a special occasion with friends or family, Roka Akor – Chicago is an excellent choice that is sure to impress.
Oriole is a high-end, fine dining restaurant perfect for special occasions. Their extended New American tasting menu is expertly crafted and bursting with flavor.
The kitchen staff's passion for their work is evident in the quality of the food.
The service is exceptional, with knowledgeable and welcoming staff who go above and beyond to make the dining experience unforgettable.
The stylish space creates an intimate atmosphere, perfect for romantic dates or celebratory dinners. Oriole is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique and unforgettable dining experience.
8. The Dearborn
The Dearborn is a chic American tavern that serves seasonal fare, making it an ideal spot for special occasions.
The menu features a wide range of food, including unique appetizers and delicious entrees like the famous fried chicken. The drinks are also varied and satisfying, with inventive cocktails available.
The staff is attentive and friendly, providing impeccable service that adds to the overall experience.
The atmosphere is stylish and cozy, making it a great spot for a romantic dinner or celebratory brunch. The Dearborn is definitely worth a visit for those looking for a memorable dining experience.
Alinea is a must-visit for those seeking a unique dining experience for special occasions.
This fine dining restaurant offers New American cuisine with highly creative plates. The staff is knowledgeable and provides superb service.
The tasting menus are inventive, whimsical, and theatrical, making for a memorable dining experience.
While it may be pricier than some other Michelin-starred restaurants, Alinea is worth the splurge for a one-of-a-kind culinary adventure.
10. EL ideas
EL ideas is an innovative and intimate fine dining restaurant that offers a unique culinary experience.
With a fixed-price American menu, Chef Phillip Foss creates dishes that are bold, simple, and refined. The restaurant's BYOB policy keeps costs down, making it an affordable choice for special occasions.
The menu changes often and is presented at the end of the meal, adding an element of surprise to the dining experience.
The cozy atmosphere and open kitchen allow guests to interact with the chefs and watch as their meals are prepared. If you're looking for a memorable and fun dining experience, EL ideas is definitely worth a visit.
Smyth is an upscale restaurant that offers creative New American cuisine in a rustic-chic venue.
Their tasting menu is a must-try, with dishes that are inventive and perfectly prepared. The seafood courses are exceptional, while the meat courses can be too rich and fatty.
However, the dessert courses are refreshing and delicious. The wine pairing is excellent, and the knowledgeable staff provides excellent service.
Smyth is a great choice for a special occasion, offering a memorable dining experience that is worth the price.
12. Virtue Restaurant
Virtue Restaurant is an excellent choice for a special occasion. The food is superb and imaginative, with generous portions.
The menu offers exciting and unusual dishes that are nicely presented and taste sensational. The service is outstanding, with knowledgeable and friendly staff who work together as a team.
The atmosphere is funky-chic, with an open kitchen and a good selection of wines and cocktails.
Make sure to make a reservation in advance, as the restaurant is always busy. Virtue Restaurant is definitely worth a visit for an unforgettable dining experience.
Goosefoot is a destination dining spot for those seeking a sophisticated and intimate fine-dining experience.
The restaurant offers a tasting menu with nine courses that change monthly, incorporating seasonal ingredients and molecular gastronomy techniques. The atmosphere is civilized and vibrant, and the service is delightful.
Edible flowers incorporated into the dishes add a unique touch. The BYOB option from next door is convenient, and the staff is attentive.
Reservations must be made weeks in advance. Goosefoot is a hidden treasure in the city for those seeking avant-garde American fare in a modern setup.