The Ultimate Guide to the Best Tasting Menu Restaurants in Chicago |2023|


Chicago, known for its vibrant food scene and culinary innovation, is a foodie paradise that offers an array of world-class dining experiences.

For solo travelers and food enthusiasts alike, exploring the best tasting menu restaurants in the city is a must-do.

These establishments push the boundaries of flavor and presentation, leaving diners with unforgettable gastronomic memories.

In this guide, I will take you on a journey through some of Chicago’s finest dining establishments that offer exceptional tasting menus. 

These top best tasting menu restaurants in Chicago are known for their creative dishes, impeccable service, and unique dining experiences that will leave you wanting more.

From Michelin-starred restaurants to hidden gems, prepare yourself for an extraordinary culinary adventure.


What is a Tasting Menu?

A tasting menu is a multi-course meal that features several small portions of food. Each course offers a different flavor profile and is carefully crafted to complement the overall dining experience.

Tasting menus give chefs the opportunity to showcase their creativity and culinary skills, often incorporating seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.

It is a carefully curated dining experience that takes diners on a journey of flavors and textures.


Related: 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Chicago 


Best Tasting Menu Restaurants in Chicago


Alinea: Where Art Meets Cuisine

Location: 1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

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Alinea stands as one of Chicago’s most renowned and avant-garde dining experiences.

Led by Chef Grant Achatz, this three-Michelin-starred restaurant consistently pushes the boundaries of creativity and taste.

At Alinea, dining is elevated to an art form where each course is meticulously crafted to surprise and delight.

Best Tasting Menu Restaurants in Chicago

The multi-sensory experience takes guests on a culinary journey like no other.

From edible helium balloons to deconstructed dishes presented with theatrical flair, Alinea captivates both the eyes and taste buds.


Next: The Ever-Evolving Culinary Adventure

Location: 953 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

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Next takes the concept of fine dining to new heights by reinventing itself every few months with a new theme or cuisine focus.


Helmed by Chef Grant Achatz and his team at The Alinea Group, Next provides an immersive dining experience that transports guests to different time periods or places around the world.

With meticulously curated menus inspired by everything from historical events to iconic restaurants, each visit promises an exciting adventure for your palate.


Goosefoot: Intimate Fine Dining Delight

Location: 2656 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

Tucked away in the Ravenswood neighborhood, Goosefoot offers an intimate and memorable dining experience.

Chef Chris Nugent’s Michelin-starred restaurant exudes elegance and sophistication while maintaining a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

With a focus on seasonal ingredients and modern French cuisine, Goosefoot presents a tasting menu that showcases the chef’s culinary finesse paired with impeccable service.

Each dish tells a story, leaving guests with a profound appreciation for the artistry behind every plate.


Oriole: A Symphony of Flavors

Location: 661 W Walnut St, Chicago, IL 60661

Oriole invites diners into an elegant space where they can savor inventive dishes crafted by Chef Noah Sandoval and his talented team.

This two-Michelin-starred restaurant celebrates the harmony of flavors through their thoughtfully curated tasting menus.

The culinary journey at Oriole is carefully orchestrated to create an unforgettable symphony on your taste buds.

Impeccable service and attention to detail elevate the overall dining experience, making it a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts.


Sepia: Modern Cuisine Rooted in Tradition

Location: 123 N Jefferson St, Chicago, IL 60661

Located in West Loop, Sepia seamlessly blends contemporary techniques with classic flavors to create a unique dining experience.

The Michelin-starred establishment pays homage to its historical building roots while serving up innovative dishes inspired by global cuisines.

Sepia’s tasting menu showcases the expertise of Chef Andrew Zimmerman and his team as they expertly balance flavor profiles and textures.

With an emphasis on seasonality and locally sourced ingredients, each visit to Sepia is an exploration of culinary excellence.


Boka Restaurant: A Culinary Masterpiece

Location: 1729 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

With its Michelin Star status and a slew of accolades under its belt, Boka Restaurant is an epitome of culinary creativity and excellence.

The seasonal American cuisine, helmed by Chef Lee Wolen, emphasizes on vibrant flavors and textures.

Boka’s tasting menu is a true testament to the chef’s culinary prowess, each course designed to engage all senses and leaving you yearning for more.


RPM Steak: A Meat Lover’s Paradise

Location: 66 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654

RPM Steak is not your ordinary steakhouse. This upscale establishment redefines the traditional steakhouse experience with its wide selection of prime cuts, aged in house for maximum flavor.

Complementing the extraordinary steaks are the unique side dishes and a world-class wine list.

Impeccable service combined with an elegant ambience results in an unforgettable dining experience at RPM Steak.


Swift & Sons: A Nod to Chicago’s Meatpacking Legacy

Location: 1000 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

Swift & Sons pays tribute to Chicago’s rich meatpacking history with its modern interpretation of the classic American steakhouse.

The restaurant offers an extensive selection of beef, including dry-aged prime steaks and Japanese Wagyu.

Besides the exceptional meats, Swift & Sons impresses with its creative side dishes and impressive wine list.

The chic, vintage-inspired decor transports diners back in time, adding to the charm of this iconic steakhouse.


Kinzie Chophouse: A Local Favorite

Location: 400 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654

Kinzie Chophouse has been a neighborhood favorite for over 28 years, serving up quality steaks in an intimate, cozy setting.

This woman-owned establishment takes pride in their hand-cut, dry-aged prime steaks that are seasoned to perfection.

In addition to the stellar steak selection, Kinzie’s menu includes fresh seafood, hearty pasta dishes, and an acclaimed wine list.

The warm and welcoming ambiance at Kinzie Chophouse makes it an ideal choice for any occasion.


Omakase Yume: A Journey of Japanese Culinary Artistry

Location: 651 W Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661

Omakase Yume invites diners to experience sushi in its purest form. This acclaimed sushi bar, led by Chef Sangtae Park, serves an omakase-style menu—a chef’s selection of beautifully crafted nigiri and sashimi.

With quality and sustainability at the forefront, Chef Park hand-selects only the finest seafood, resulting in an exquisite dining experience that is both authentic and innovative.

The minimalist decor at Omakase Yume enhances the focus on the food itself, transforming a meal here into a journey of Japanese culinary artistry.



Tasting menus Chicago

What are the best tasting menu restaurants in Chicago?

Chicago is home to numerous exceptional restaurants offering tasting menus. Some of the best places include Alinea, Smyth, and Oriole.


What is the price of a tasting menu in Chicago?

The price of a tasting menu in Chicago typically ranges from $85 to $275 per person, excluding beverages, tax, and gratuity. Prices can vary greatly depending on the restaurant and ingredients used in the dishes.


What is the dress code for tasting menu restaurants in Chicago?

While each restaurant may have its own dress code, the typical attire for upscale tasting menu restaurants in Chicago leans towards business casual. It’s always best to check with the restaurant prior to your visit.


How long does a tasting menu meal last?

A tasting menu meal typically lasts about two to three hours, but it can vary depending on the number of courses and the pace of the restaurant.


What is the difference between a tasting menu and a prix fixe menu?

A tasting menu typically offers a variety of small plates that together make up a full meal, allowing the chef to showcase their creativity and culinary prowess. A prix fixe menu, on the other hand, is a fixed-price menu that offers a choice of a few dishes for each course (appetizer, main course, dessert).


What are some of the most popular dishes on tasting menus in Chicago?

While the dishes vary across different restaurants and seasons, some popular choices include beef Wellington at Alinea, lamb belly at Smyth, and king crab at Oriole.


Read also: 10 Hidden Gems in Chicago That Solo Travelers Will Love


Final Thoughts 

tasting menu

Experiencing a tasting menu in Chicago is not just about enjoying a meal – it’s about embarking on a culinary journey that allows you to savor the creative talents of some of the city’s top chefs.

The price may seem steep, but the experience often transcends the cost, giving you a memorable gastronomic adventure that is worth every penny.

From the intricately prepared beef Wellington at Alinea to the mouthwatering lamb belly at Smyth and the exquisite king crab at Oriole, the range of dishes on offer is sure to tantalize your tastebuds.

Donning appropriate attire creates an atmosphere that complements the refined dining experience.

Remember, this is not a rushed affair: dedicate a good two to three hours to fully appreciate the artistry and flavors arrayed before you.

So, whether you’re a local food enthusiast or a culinary tourist, the tasting menus in Chicago provide an extraordinary opportunity to experience some of the finest dining offerings in the Windy City.



This article is purely informational and based on personal experiences and research. The establishments mentioned are not sponsors, nor is there any affiliated marketing or promotional relationship. The author received no compensation from these restaurants and all views and opinions expressed are genuinely from the author’s personal perspective. Always be sure to check the restaurants’ official websites or contact them directly for the most accurate, up-to-date information.




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