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Explore the Most Instagrammable Restaurants in Chicago

August 9, 2023 By CityPASS

Few things are more satisfying for coffee lovers and foodies than framing their cappuccino art or fine-dining masterpieces against a quirky background. Except for tasting them, of course.

Vibrant Chicago is chock-full of beautiful, unique, and independent hidden eateries and coffee shops. The city is known for its art and design scene, so it’s no wonder that it attracts appreciators of the aesthetic looking for elevated dining experiences.

Whether you're a visitor or a local, read on if you want to experience some of the city’s coolest cafes and restaurants. We have gathered our top five photo-ready restaurants in Chicago that any Instagram lover will be excited to post about.

Capturing Chicago’s Food Scene: Our Top 5 Photo-Worthy Restaurants

Chicago’s most exciting food and drink experiences await you at these five tasty spots.

1. Sawada Coffee: An Industrial-Style Experience

Industrial vibes and unbeatable coffee: Sawada Coffee is renowned barista Hiroshi Sawada’s first specialty coffee house — and a photo lover’s dream.

In addition to beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows facing the historic buildings of Green Street, exposed brick interiors provide the perfect backdrop for an Instagram upload. There are many quirky details inside, including a painted espresso machine, arcade games, a ping pong table, and a punching bag.

And the decor is not the only photo-worthy thing about Sawada. The menu features specialty drinks that are both visually stunning and expertly crafted. Every item is a work of art — from their signature Military Latte, with its striking matcha latte and espresso swirls, to the aesthetically pleasing vault donuts topped with powdered sugar.

2. The Allis at Soho House Chicago: A Sophisticated Bar for Intimate Gatherings

A modern take on French elegance, The Allis, located on the ground floor of Soho House Chicago, is a sophisticated bar and lounge. It offers a refined and intimate setting for gatherings and socializing.

The decor exudes an aura of timeless glamor. Recline on plush velvet seating and admire the marble accents and tasteful artwork. Combined with soft, warm lighting, these make for the perfect Instagram shot.

The menu offers light Mediterranean bites and delicious cocktails. Or experience elegant afternoon tea on Fridays and Saturdays with tea, champagne, pastries, and snacks. The Allis is a tranquil sanctuary away from the bustle of the city and the perfect place to make beautiful connections, memories, and, of course, photos.

3. Maison Marcel: A Bohemian Hidden Gem

Don't miss this hidden gem for a lively and unique brunch experience. Nestled in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, Maison Marcel brings authentic French fare to the city's center.

The bright, bohemian interior is cozy and chic. Feel serene amongst plants, white brick, wooden accents, and patterned textiles. The comfortable and elegant environment is ideal for catching up with friends.

The fresh and local ingredient-driven menu features a mix of sweet and savory items. House specialties include ratatouille, the "Big Mama" burrata, a roasted vegetable sandwich, and their exquisite, artisanal pastries. And their seasonal, colorful beetroot and pistachio lattes look like they were made for Instagram. So do the smoothies!

The brunch experience is topped off with bottomless mimosas and live bands. You will be hard-pressed to find a brunch experience as delightful as this one among Chicago's Instagram-worthy restaurants.

4. Duck Duck Goat: A Culinary Journey Through Eclectic Chinese Delights

If you're hunting for Instagrammable restaurants in Chicago, go to Duck Duck Goat. Every dish on the Chinese-American menu is worth its own post. And the flavors are as tasty as the color palettes are beautiful.

From dim sum and noodles to seafood and Peking duck, the dishes span a wide range of flavors and textures. Chef Stephanie Izard’s bold and unexpected combinations have won awards. There are many options for dining experiences, from dim sum brunch to private dining.

Duck Duck Goat’s unconventional cocktails will also blow you away. For example, experience the Chili Crunch with vanilla, spiced wontons, strawberry, and cilantro. Or try the frozen Killer Whale with tequila, blood orange, blackberry, hops, lime, and sesame salt.

Aside from the Instagrammable food and drinks, the interior is also worth a mention. The chic, Chinatown vibe incorporates brick walls with old photographs. You’ll find a jade bar, oak paneling, and unusual wallpaper. And look out for the goat figurines — a nod to this establishment’s unique name.

5. The Whale Chicago: A Mid-Century Retro Ambiance

This concept restaurant takes inspiration from mid-century American aesthetics and the world of casino culture. This luxe bar and restaurant serves lunch and dinner in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood.

For dinner, expect high-end hearty dishes like photo-worthy lamb chops, steak frites, or blackened trout. They also have the perfect brunch items, including lobster and waffles or a smoked salmon board. If you really want to be adventurous, order one of the signature mimosa, sangria, or bellini towers. You can’t get much more Instagram-worthy than that.

The mid-century aesthetic is evident in the elegant adornments and retro-inspired furnishings. Rich, warm tones dominate the color palette, combining deep blues, warm woods, and soft earthy hues that create a sense of understated luxury.

The light, airy vibe makes it perfect for a special brunch or a full-blown dinner. The Whale is the ideal stop for foodies seeking mouth-watering dishes and aesthetic restaurants in Chicago.

Immerse Yourself in Chicago’s Vibrant Food Scene

Chicago is a major food city with everything from a picture-perfect cup of coffee to food halls, elegant brunch menus, and delectable dinners. The only challenge is finding the hidden gems worthy of an Instagram shot from Lakeview or River North to downtown.

When not exploring Chicago's top-notch restaurant scene, make sure to check out the best attractions in and around the city too. Your CityPASS® ticket will guide you to Chicago's top things to do. And you don’t need to stress about researching because we hand select the top attractions for you, like the Skydeck, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Shedd Aquarium.

Booking a Chicago CityPASS® ticket saves you time and money, leaving you free to search out the best photo spots and Instagram-worthy restaurants Chicago offers.

Chicago Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in Chicago, we recommend finding lodging near Chicago's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

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