The Best American Restaurants in Downtown Chicago




Gibson's- The quintessential Chicago steakhouse. A great place to go to see the rich and famous while eating an enormous steak and drinking a huge martini. One of our favorite places for a splurge dinner. The twice baked potato is an indulgence and big enough for 2. The banana cream and cherry pies are sensational. 266-8999, 1028 N. Rush, L D, $$$$ Gibson's

Purple Pig - If it is part of a pig you can eat it at the Purple Pig. They have a lot of great meats and cheeses. They also have an extensive wine list. The wait staff is very attentive and knowledgeable. 461-1744, 500 N. Michigan Ave. L, D $$$ Purple Pig

Gage- A gastro pub with a mix of local and British classics along with more inventive offerings based on those two countries. Also has a good wine and beer list. One of our favorite places for lunch downtown near Millennium Park. The pulled pork sandwich is great if you do not mind a 1000 calorie lunch. A good, lower calorie option is the mushroom sandwich. Can be loud and crowded and is a bit overpriced. 372-4242, 24 S. Mich., L D, $$$ Gage

Ditka's- Well made, large steaks and chops with good sides in a less stuffy atmosphere make this a good steak house. Coach Ditka is often there. My favorite pork chops in the city. The creamed corn is beyond decadent. 587-8989, 100 E. Chestnut, L Mon-Fri, D, $$$ Ditka's

Park Grill- Under the bean in Millennium Park. Has tasty fare in a sophisticated setting with good service. A place to watch figure skaters in the winter or the hoards at the park in the summer. It is an escape from the crowds. A good place to go after looking at the "bean" or going to the Art Institute. The Texas chili, more of a stew than chili is on of the best winter dishes we have found. 521-7275, 11 N. Michigan, D L, $$$ Park Grill

Atwood Cafe- Upscale comfort meals in an interestingly sophisticated Dr. Suess-for-adults decor. A top pick for lunch for those shopping on State Street. Try the grilled cheese for a smaller lunch. 368-1900, 1 W. Washington, L D, $$$ Atwood Cafe

Bandera- Very well made cuisine. Much of which is grilled. A fine place for lunch or a hearty dinner. Best service for it's price range and decor. Our favorite place to go for lunch in downtown. The only veggie burger I will ever order. 644-3524, 535 N. Michigan, L D, $$$

Wildfire- Great steaks, chops, ribs etc. Usually crowded and fairly lively. Similar to Bandera but less romantic and better for a group. Mondays are half priced wines. 787-9000, 159 W. Erie, D, $$$ Wildfire

Gemini Bistros- A new entree into the Lincoln park dining scene. It is an upscale neighborhood place. They have a variety of very well made American food. The short rib ravioli is tasty as are their soups but the kitchen truly shines when it comes to seafood. Their salmon is excellent and so is their Lake Superior Whitefish. 2075 N. Lincoln, 773-525-2522, D, closed Mon. $$$ Gemini Bistros

Weber Grill- Yes it is a restaurant based on the outside grill in your back yard and it sounds crazy but the chow is above average. Is usually crowded and noisy. They do a surprisingly good slow roasted pork and beef BBQ. 467-9696, 539 N. State, L D, $$ Weber Grill

Cheesecake Factory- A fun place to go especially for kids and teens. Has a huge menu of offerings that comes in big portions. We always order lunch sized portions when possible. No reservation and the wait can be long. 875 N. Mich., L D, $$ Cheesecake Factory