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Chicago, Illinois, is a hub for historic sights, picturesque skylines, and culturally inspired eateries from areas all over the world. For this reason, Chicago offers its visitors and locals a fantastic variety of restaurants and cafes, whether you’re on the hunt for everyday bites or once-in-a-lifetime occasions.

The following list will provide you with nine of the best restaurants to try while you are visiting Chicago. From quick bites to luxurious restaurants, these hotspots will have you hopping in your car and driving to experience their unique cuisine.

Birrieria Zaragoza

Birrieria Zaragoza is a Mexican-inspired restaurant located on 4852 South Pulaski Road in Archer Heights, Chicago. Its popularity stems from its variety of chopped goat meat and mouthwatering sides used to complement these signature meat dishes. These include homemade tortillas, cheeses, salsas, desserts, novelty coffees, and Mexican soda drinks. What’s more, the average meal per person totals under $10, giving you a bargain of a price for a delicious Mexican meal.

Portillo’s

Portillo’s is a meat-lovers paradise with a casual Italian atmosphere. A popular restaurant chain that started in Chicago and is now spreading nationwide, Portillo’s is the perfect spot for a hearty meal at affordable prices. You can choose from their unique hot dog dish, charbroiled chicken sandwich, Italian beef sandwich, beef and char-grilled sausage on a French roll, or the classic burger.

Pair one of these meaty favorites with a side of fresh French fries, and if you need a chocolate fix, grab a chocolate cake shake before your drive home. You can find this restaurant in several spots in Chicago.

The Momo World

The Momo World is a Nepali-inspired restaurant located on 727 West Maxwell Street in University Village. You can have a sit-down meal or order takeout while you wait out city traffic for your drive home. Here you can choose from a selection of dishes, from meat-filled or vegetarian dumplings, tomato soup with Jhol momo, pork chili, or spicy cauliflower with peas and potatoes.

Southport Grocery and Cafe

The Southport Grocery and Cafe is an American eatery and bakery located on 3552 North Southport Avenue in Lakeview and Wrigley. This quaint eatery is the perfect place to visit while driving through Chicago whether you need breakfast or lunch.

Stop by in the morning to enjoy a plate full of bread pudding pancakes or a freshly-made breakfast sandwich with red potato mash on the side. For lunch, opt for a veggie sandwich, a dish from the all-day breakfast menu, or boxed lunch, perfect for snacking while stuck in traffic.

Need an afternoon caffeine boost before your drive home? Grab a house blend coffee or one of Southport’s house-made soda beverages.

Huaraches Dona Chio

Huaraches Dona Chio is a quaint Mexican eatery located on 1547 West Elmdale Avenue in Edgewater. Here you can try a variety of authentic Mexican dishes, from huaraches (their signature dish), sopes, enchiladas, or tacos complemented by your choice of carne asada, pastor, poblano to flor de calabaza, mole, rice, and red or green salsa. Not in the mood for a large dish? Opt for their crispy chips and salsa or grab takeout for later.

Pequod’s Pizzeria

Photo of a Kitchen at a Local Chicago Pizzeria

Image via Flickr by Kurman Communications, Inc.

Pequod’s Pizzeria located on 2207 North Clybourn Avenue in Lincoln Park, is the perfect spot for all-you-can-eat American-style dishes, equipped with a bar and TVs to watch the game while you eat. This pizzeria features deep-dish pizzas that you can customize to incorporate veggies, pepperoni, and just about any other topping you want.

If you prefer your pizza without toppings, opt for their deep-dish classic cheese pizza. Not in the mood for a sit-down meal? You can order a pizza for pick-up and enjoy it at home instead.

Cindy’s

Cindy’s is an American-style eatery located on 12 South Michigan Avenue in the Loop and Magnificent Mile area. Because of its central location, it is a fantastic spot to take pictures of the Chicago skyline that you can only get while exploring the city on foot.

Here you will find a delicious variety of dishes for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. For breakfast, choose from buttermilk pancakes, Turkish toast, and pumpkin cinnamon rolls, or opt for the classics such as scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, or home fries. For lunch and dinner, try Cindy’s beet salad, chicken sandwich, shrimp roll, mushroom risotto, or pork shank.

Au Cheval

Au Cheval is an American burger joint located on 800 West Randolph St. in the West Loop. Tourists and locals alike call Au Cheval the best burger in Chicago, but that’s not all the menu has to offer. You can also enjoy tasty potato hash with duck heart gravy, pork porterhouse, fried bologna sandwiches, chilaquiles, and honey-fried chicken dishes.

In addition, they offer a selection of cocktails, beer, and wine to enjoy with your meal. Still hungry? They also have a dessert menu! Choose from their Zarlengo gelato, mille-feuille, or the classic root beer float.

Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse

Don’t drive away from Chicago before paying a visit to Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse located on 1028 North Rush St. in Gold Coast. This steakhouse offers a variety of American classics, from their filet paired with creamy mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli to their spicy lobster cocktail, salmon dish, double-baked potato, or Chicago cut. Each dish gives diners a mouthwatering experience.

If you have more of a sweet tooth, Gibson’s caters to dessert-lovers as well. Have a slice of their macadamia turtle pie or carrot cake, or opt for their crème brûlée with an espresso before you head back out on the road.

Are you thinking about heading to one of these restaurants? Make sure you have the right auto insurance first! Call American Auto Insurance or contact us online to find out more about Chicago and the state of Illinois generally.