Chef-Driven Restaurants on the Magnificent Mile

Spiaggia Smelt

Chefs are celebrities in Chicago. With their skill and talent, they’re lauded almost as much as movie stars and athletes. Some of the most well-known Chicago chefs have chosen the Magnificent Mile for their restaurants, and you can partake in some of the best cuisine in the country just a few steps from the best shopping.

Whether you want barbecue or bone marrow, these top chefs have you covered. 

At the helm of Tru is Chef Anthony Martin. His background in art and attention to detail led him to be named the Chicago Magazine Chef of the Year in 2010, and he’s transformed this French restaurant with his vision.

A little further north, on Michigan Avenue is Spiaggia, where Italian food goes to heaven. This restaurant is led by James Beard-award winning Michelin-starred Top Chef Master Tony Mantuano. He’s talented, he’s creative, and he’s a super nice guy. He’s launched several concepts, and Spiaggia is his flagship restaurant, with prices to match. If that’s a bit out of your budget, Café Spiaggia offers a more casual menu.

3 Meat Platter from Southern Cut Barbecue

Photo: Southern Cut Barbecue Facebook

A recent addition to the Magnificent Mile's chef-driven scene is Southern Cut Barbecue. Chef Lee Ann Whippen, formerly of Chicago Q, left the restaurants for a bit to work with Frozen Foodies. Now she's back and is smoking things up on Delaware Place. You can get some bourbon and microbrews to go with her Championship Baby Back Ribs.

Salted-roasted beets with whipped goat cheese and pistachio butter at The Purple Pig

Photo: The Purple Pig Facebook

Located on the other end of North Michigan Avenue is another Michelin-starred James Beard award winner, Chef Jimmy Bannos, Jr. The son of famed Heaven On Seven Chef Jimmy Bannos, Jr. has definitely made a name for himself. The Purple Pig is all about “cheese, swine, and wine” and sharable plates and they’ve got great outdoor seating, making them a popular summertime spot.

TLTip: Café Spiaggia’s Sommelier Rachael Lowe created a global wine list of all female winemakers. Lowe was featured as one of  Food & Wine Magazine's "Top Sommeliers of 2016." Cheers!

 

Want to find more great restaurants near the Magnificent Mile? Get your copy of "The Local Tourist's Guide to North Michigan Avenue: the ultimate guide to The Magnificent Mile and Chicago's Streeterville Neighborhood."

980 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
312.280.2750
Enjoy rustic Italian cooking in the beautifully remodeled and stylish Cafe Spiaggia.
Cafe Spiaggia
198 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL 60611
312.280.8887
An elegant country restaurant that smokes up some amazing food from Executive Chef Lee Ann Whippen
Southern Cut Barbecue - Chicago BBQ Restaurant
980 N Michigan Ave #2, Chicago, IL 60611
312.280.2750
Spiaggia Restaurant & Lounge offers modern Italian cuisine from James Beard Award winning @TonyMantuano & Wine Director @SommLowe
Spiaggia Chiago
500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
312.464.1744
Cheese, Swine, and Wine
The Purple Pig
Tru
676 N St Clair, Chicago, IL 60611
312.202.0001
Offering progressive French cuisine at its finest, Tru delivers fresh ingredients, bold creativity and artistic presentation.
Tru

For your reading enjoyment, by the founder of The Local Tourist:

"If John Steinbeck earned a Nobel Prize in Literature shortly after publishing Travels with Charley, then Theresa should start planning a trip to Oslo, Norway, because Two Lane Gems is every bit the book Travels with Charley was. And then some." ~Amazon review