Chicago West Loop Dining & Attractions

Chicago West Loop Dining & Attractions

Design Engine Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood is arguably the hottest neighborhood in the United States with hundreds of restaurants all with 4 block walk of the training studio. We hear it called Restaurant row. We organized this list of Chicago West Loop Dining & Attractions in three categories; walking distance, 5 minute taxi ride and 10 minute taxi ride.

West Loop Restaurants


Au Cheval French meets Chicago west loop with a great beer selection. Fried bologna sandwich, or a pork porterhouse. Bart’s favorite is the side of bacon & beer. They don’t take reservations so we suggest you walk over at 5 and make put in your name and go back to Design-engine and practice your class then go for dinner in 2 hrs. There is always a 2 hour wait. 800 W. Randolph 312.929.4580

BellyQ Asian BBQ 1400 W. Randolph 312.563.1010

Cemitas Puebla Mexican restaurant specializing in traditional Poblano foods, the distinctive sesame covered rolls are baked on site each day, using a recipe that can be traced back to Puebla, Mexico 817 W Fulton Market 312.455.9200

City Winery 1200 W Randolph 312.733.WINE

De Cero Hand made and ultra tasty tacos. A favorite for Design-engine lunches 814 West Randolph 312.455.8114

Duck Duck Goat The website states “reasonably authentic Chinese food.  We realize however that anything Stephanie Izard’s  puts together is probably one of the coolest places to eat in Chicago 857 W Fulton Market

Eataly Eataly borrowed from Italy is probably the coolest mall like restaurant where downstairs is shopping for cooking supplies for mom and upstairs a group of various small restaurant

Food Trucks Recently Chicago City government made food trucks legal.  In the past food trucks were not allowed in Chicago because of fear of improper handing of food and possible contamination.  All food trucks must prepare food in a restaurant environment and pass stringent tests.  It’s one of the coolest parts of Chicago!

Chicago Food Trucks lined up ready for service

Chicago Food Trucks lined up ready for service

French Market Off Clinton this french mall for lack of a better word.

Geordonos Pizza Famous Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.  As a mater of fact you can order a frozen one to take back home on the plane with you.   Order online too!  We order online 45 min wait then show up to eat pizza. 312.421.1221

Girl and The Goat One of the hottest spots in Chicago to dine. Belly up at the bar because of the three month wait for a reservation but here is the phone number anyway. 809 W Randolph 312.492.6262

The Girl & Goat Restaurant

The Girl & Goat Restaurant next door to Design-engine’s studio

Grange Hall Burger Bar Great Burgers 844 W. Randolph 312.491.0844

Grange Hall Burger Bar

Grange Hall Burger Bar across the street from Design Engine

Glazed and Infused Barrowed from the Matt movie ‘Dazed and Confused’ come get the bacon & glazed donuts!!!

Green Street Meats Next Door to Design Engine offices this Texas style BBQ house does it better as good or better than the best Houston, Dallas or Austin BBQ restaurants. Great selection of Beer to wash it all down. Hope designers and engineers down south at Dell Austin TX is not reading this. They might get upset that Chicago competes with Austin TX on BBQ.

Harold’s Chicken Classic Chicago Double Fried Chicken Double Fried. The first Harolds we’ve been to without bullet proof glass.

Hay Market Awesome brewery, known for their sausage salads.

Jaipur Authentic Indian Cuisine.

J.P. Graziano Grocery Co. Great Place for Sandwiches and a Design engine’s Matt’s favorite.

Jupiter Outpost Jupiter Cafe is a local favorite off Fulton Across the street from the new Google / Sram building.

Little Goat Diner Great place to grab a Coffee before class starts. There is a bakery and bar next door too for after class drinks. 820 W. Randolph 312.888.3455

Lou Malnatis Classic Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza and a must try for first time Chicago visitors. Although he shouldn’t be eating pizza this is by far Steve’s Favorite!  312.828.9800

Nellcôte The latest addition to the Randolph strip and just below Design Engine. A Rolling Stones theme with great food and interesting beers. 833 W Randolph 312.432.0500

Nellcote Restaurant Downstairs from Design Engine

Nellcote Restaurant is just Downstairs from Design-engine

Nia Restaurant Mediterranean Tapas. Seasonal Large & Fat Rabbits from Wisconsin on the menu is Bart’s favorite. Design-engine and group have been friends with Nia for 20 years and love her restaurant! 803 W. Randolph 312.226.3110

Parlor Pizza Bar This is the newest addition to our fabulous neighborhood and part of the problem why no one can’t get a parking spot in the West Loop.

Perez Restaurant Good lunch time Mexican food. NO split Checks, Bart!   We try to not go here because they refuse to split checks for everyone and we are always on separate expense reports. 853 W. Randolph 312.421.2488

Publican The finest contemporary American Meets served up with the best service in Chicago. 837 W Fulton Market 312.733.9555

Publican Quality Meats Contemporary American lunch place across the street from Publican. The salads are super delicious. 825 W. Fulton Market Street 312.445.8977

Porkchop Mighty saws from the 1800’s that were used to cut beef are all on display at this Chicago Westloop restaurant & they have a food truck too!  941 W Randolph Chicago, IL  312.733.9333

Maudes Liquor Bar Great spot for drinks and french Bistro style cuisine on Randolph 840 W. Randolph 312.243.9712

Soho Restaurant A new hot spot for Chicago and right across the street from Design Engine’s offices this hotel is the happening spot with 3 bars 2 restaurants.

Sushi Dokku Authentic sushi, sashimi & Japanese small plates plus sake & cocktails in a chic, minimalist setting. Steve (a design engine account manger)  is a regular for lunch each week, and everyone is invited to join. Happy Sushi Friday! 823 W. Randolph 312.455.8238

TÊTE Charcuterie French Chicago Style 1114 W. Randolph 312.600.9391

Trattoria Isabella Excellent Italian Food and Bar. 217 N Jefferson Street 312.207.1900

Vivo Restaurant Italian Cuisine 838 W. Randolph 312.733.3379

Wishbone Restaurant Look for Louisiana cuisine complete with blackened catfish, cornbread, Black-eyed peas and spinach. Inexpensive alternative to all the upscale spots, casual atmosphere. 1001 W Washington Blvd  312.850.2663


Al’s Italian Beef The Adams St. location is closest to Design Engine. Esquire Magazine calls this the best sandwich in the USA!! In 2007 that is.

Frontier, The An excellent craft beer and wine selection coupled with delicious finger foods and exotic meats. Menu options include wild boar, alpaca, and venison sausages and alligator scallopini.

Gibson’s Friday or Sat night, great steaks!

Gilt Bar
Same area as Hubbard Inn, tasty food and drinks. Same owner as Green Street Meats so you know it’s special 230 W Kinzie St 312.464.9544

Hubbard Inn
Another good spot in River North closer to your hotel. Good food and drinks with a nice, unique atmosphere. American fare

Jerk Grill Modern Jamaican Grill.  Near Bart’s house and one of his favorites. 811 W Chicago Ave  & They Deliver too 312.763.2870

Purple Pig
Small plate style, great food if you like pig/pork among other things, located on the Magnificent Mile. 312.464.1744

Manny’s Best Jewish Food in Chicago!!! In the South Loop. Since 1945. A Chicago legend!!

Nuevo Leon Delicious authentic Mexican cuisine in the heart of Pilsen. Careful: the carrots on the table are hot! BYOB so bring some Modelos put out the fire!

Sushi X at the intersection of Milwaukee & Chicago this Sushi restaurant does not serve alcohol and packs a powerful flavor set of Sushi.  Stop at the CVS across the street for you favorite beer or wine and consider brown bagging it.   BYOB  is Legal in Chicago   Sushi X also delivers   Bart’s favorite 312.491.9232


Feast Upscale dining in a casual atmosphere with 2 locations. Great for dinner or brunch.

Karryn Raw Vegetarian Cuisine on Halsted

Flo Chicago Greet sit down mexican. For breakfast try the Bacon-Chocolate Pancakes. Also for dinner you will ask for Bacon glazed Bourbon. We suggest the Red Chilaquiles for dinner & Breakfast 1434 W. Chicago Ave 60642 312.243.0477

Folklore Argentine steak house in Wicker Park

Handle Bar North Avenue in Wicker Park.  Known as a Vegetarian restaurant however they have Grilled Chicken on the menu.  One of Bart’s favorites because of the fried pies and he barely eats fried foods.

Hampton Social Well named w/ the beach like atmosphere with coastal-inspired cuisine .

The Bedford
Good place for drinks, built in an old bank vault (Division/Ashland)

Rustic House
In Lincoln Park 1900 N. Halsted

in Lincoln Park about 1650 N. Halsted

Italian Village
71 W. Monroe, Chicago, IL 60603-4910 ● Phone 312.332.7005
The Opera Singers eat here. So you know they have the best Italian Food in Chicago.

Places of Interest alternate to Chicago West Loop Dining & Attractions:

Blue Chicago – 736 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60610
Kingston Mines – Across the street from Blue Chicago in Lincoln Park, another interesting blues bar
Museum of Contemporary Art free Fridays
Art Institute free Tuesdays
Adler Planetarium – catch “Adler After Dark” if you can
Shedd Aquarium – catch “Jazzin’ at the Shedd” if you can
Field Museum
The Museum of Science & Industry
The Museum of Contrariety Art
Northerly Island
Top of the Willis/Sears tower
Signature Room at the top of the Hancock
Architectural Boat Tour, access this on Michigan Ave/Wacker near the river
Millennium Park/Ice Skating
Wicker Park
North Avenue Beach
Mag Mile
The 16th in Trump Tower, cool view, very expensive, so maybe a drink,_Chicago


Other notes about Chicago 

  • Any restaurant in Chicago that does not maintain a beer or liquor licence it is legal for patrons to bring a bottle of wine or beer.  Chicago calls that ‘brown bagging it”  It is illegal for those bars to charge a corking fee if that establishment does not have a beer or liquor licence.