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Don’t get caught on an empty stomach late night in Chicago.
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Where to Find Late-Night Food in Chicago

The standards for nocturnal dining

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Don’t get caught on an empty stomach late night in Chicago.
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Is Chicago still considered a late-night city?

COVID changed the rules, and now restaurants and bars don’t have the same staffing numbers as prior to March 2020. That means not everyone can afford to keep their doors open late. Reduced hours are the norm, and city government seems to be OK with it. Recall that Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the City Council curtailed liquor sales. Stores are no longer allowed to sell drinks past midnight, though bars can continue to pour. The city considers this a safety concern.

2022 has seen a rebound with some restaurants expanding hours. Summer will truly be a test in consumer confidence. Will folks be out and about late night? Or will they depend on delivery or — gasp — cook at home?

As Chicago ponders this, check out the following listing of restaurants that are serving past 11 p.m. Yes, the pandemic has redefined what is considered late night.

For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Ghareeb Nawaz

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Go big at this Indian mainstay on Devon Avenue that’s open late. Everything on the menu is less than $10 so fill up on biryanis, curries, kebabs, and more without breaking the bank. Ghareeb Nawaz also has locations in University Village and Lombard. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery via third-party services.

Superdawg Drive-In

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The pandemic makes drive-thru restaurants uniquely situated to tackled the risks of COVID-19. Chicago’s greatest drive-thru continues to thrive. Superdawg’s unique hot dogs taste better while sitting in the car enjoying the retro setting.

A person with curly red hair wearing glasses hands a bag of food to a person sitting in an SUV. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Little Bad Wolf

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Head to this Andersonville gastropub for a beer and one of the finest burgers in town. The menu leans heavily on comfort foods as well as an extensive collection of whiskeys and craft brews. Little Bad Wolf offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery. Don’t forget about Gretel, the sibling restaurant in Logan Square.

San Soo Gab San

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Customers can feast on kalbi, bulgogi, and samgyeopsal in the comforts of home. A second location is in Morton Grove. San Soo Gab San offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

A charcoal grill and various banchan on a table.
Get Korean barbecue to go at San Soo Gab San.
San Soo Gab San [Official Photo]

A small, nondescript Korean bar located in Lincoln Square, Dancen serves one of the city’s best late-night bites: Fire chicken. The must-try dish stars chunks of spicy marinated chicken that’s grilled over an open flame until it’s charred and caramelized. Diners can temper some of the heat by ordering it topped with melted cheese. The restaurant offers takeout.

The Wiener's Circle

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A true Chicago experience isn’t complete without a visit to Lincoln Park’s Wiener’s Circle. Management always has new gimmicks up its sleeve, but the char dogs — and the staff's high jinks — are still memorable. Just be sure to know what to expect if ordering a chocolate shake. During the pandemic, late-night hours have been limited to Thursday through Sunday. The restaurant offers outdoor seating at its new back patio and there’s a bar.

A woman in a face mask stands outside a hot dog stand talking to another woman across a red picnic table Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Pequod's

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A hotspot for locals and tourists alike, Pequod’s is an essential Chicago dining experience. The Eater 38 pizzeria is renowned for the caramelized crust on its pan pies, a quality that gives the outer dough a cheesy flavor and crispy crunch. A second outpost is located in Morton Grove. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery; anticipate at least 40 minutes for the pizzas to bake.

The Moonlighter

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The Scofflaw Group’s laid-back sports bar features a spacious outdoor patio and approachable items like burgers, wings, and cheese fries. Takeout and delivery are also available.

Redhot Ranch

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Drunken stupors and grease go together like … hot dogs and fries? Unlike ketchup, dumping a pile of spuds on top of a wiener is something Chicagoans fully support. Get the aforementioned Depression Dog, terrific smashed burgers, jumbo fried shrimp, and more at this no-frills joint. The restaurants just moved from Ashland to right around the corner to Armitage. A second outpost is located in Lakeview. Redhot Ranch offers outdoor seating and takeout.

White Palace Grill

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Breakfast for dinner? All options are on the table at this legendary greasy spoon that has been feeding college students, city workers, and night owls since 1939. The kitchen cranks out reliable omelets, skillets, pancakes, waffles, French toasts, sandwiches, and more at all hours of the day. White Palace Grill offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

Jim's Original

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Jim’s Original, the self-proclaimed home of the “original” Polish sausage, epitomizes Chicago’s street food scene. Satisfy the late-night munchies with a delicious Polish, hot dog, or pork chop sandwich. The stand offers takeout and delivery via third =-party services.

Taqueria Los Comales

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Cheap, quick, and filling, tacos make for an excellent late-night meal. This popular local mini-chain offers a variety of choices including al pastor, bistec, barbacoa, and pescado. The tortas and burritos are equally tasty. Taqueria Los Comales offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp

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A night on the town often ends in a binge-eating session, and few things are as devourable as the fried specialties at this South Side eatery. Enjoy shrimp — ranging from jumbo-sized to coconut — or golden pieces of catfish, cod, and perch. Lawrence’s has multiple locations and outdoor seating, and offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

Chi Cafe

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Chinatown is home to lots of late-night dining options and Chi Cafe is among the best. The long menu offers everything from congee and noodle soups to beef, pork, and seafood dishes — and at budget-friendly prices. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery.

A plate of rice noodles with beef.
Chi Cafe cooks up a variety of American Chinese classics.
Chi Cafe [Official Photo]

Raymond's Tacos No. 2

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This popular mini-chain is open until 11:30 p.m. with delivery through Uber Eats. Street food expert Titus Ruscitti recommends the steak taco with American cheese.

Ricobene's

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Ricobene’s famous breaded steak sandwich is a Chicago classic and especially good as late-night fuel. The meaty creation features breaded steak, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and giardiniera on a Turano French roll. Other menu highlights include Italian beef, meatball sub, and pizza slices. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery.

Maxwell Street Depot

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Located just a couple of blocks away from Sox Park, Maxwell Street Depot serves cheap and greasy delights. Grab a Polish sausage or a bone-in pork chop sandwich for a dependable post-game meal. The restaurat offers takeout and delivery.

Phil's Pizza

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Although Chicago is famously associated with deep dish pizza, a large number of locals prefer a cracker-thin crust. Phil’s Pizza in Bridgeport is a longtime champion of tavern-style pies, which boast crispy, square-cut slices topped with tomato sauce and a thick layer of mozzarella. Adding fennel sausage is also highly recommended. The pizzeria is cash only and offers takeout and delivery.

Italian Fiesta Pizzeria

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All five Italian Fiesta locations are open until midnight most days, and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. This pizza is designed for carryout, with a memorable crisp crust dusted with herbs. President Obama endorsed the Hyde Park location when he lived in Chicago.

Lem's Bar-B-Q

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Follow the smells coming from this South Side institution’s aquarium smoker and order up some rib tips. Lem’s offers takeout, and don’t forget about those hot links.

Ghareeb Nawaz

Go big at this Indian mainstay on Devon Avenue that’s open late. Everything on the menu is less than $10 so fill up on biryanis, curries, kebabs, and more without breaking the bank. Ghareeb Nawaz also has locations in University Village and Lombard. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery via third-party services.

Superdawg Drive-In

The pandemic makes drive-thru restaurants uniquely situated to tackled the risks of COVID-19. Chicago’s greatest drive-thru continues to thrive. Superdawg’s unique hot dogs taste better while sitting in the car enjoying the retro setting.

A person with curly red hair wearing glasses hands a bag of food to a person sitting in an SUV. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Little Bad Wolf

Head to this Andersonville gastropub for a beer and one of the finest burgers in town. The menu leans heavily on comfort foods as well as an extensive collection of whiskeys and craft brews. Little Bad Wolf offers outdoor seating and takeout and delivery. Don’t forget about Gretel, the sibling restaurant in Logan Square.

San Soo Gab San

Customers can feast on kalbi, bulgogi, and samgyeopsal in the comforts of home. A second location is in Morton Grove. San Soo Gab San offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

A charcoal grill and various banchan on a table.
Get Korean barbecue to go at San Soo Gab San.
San Soo Gab San [Official Photo]

Dancen

A small, nondescript Korean bar located in Lincoln Square, Dancen serves one of the city’s best late-night bites: Fire chicken. The must-try dish stars chunks of spicy marinated chicken that’s grilled over an open flame until it’s charred and caramelized. Diners can temper some of the heat by ordering it topped with melted cheese. The restaurant offers takeout.

The Wiener's Circle

A true Chicago experience isn’t complete without a visit to Lincoln Park’s Wiener’s Circle. Management always has new gimmicks up its sleeve, but the char dogs — and the staff's high jinks — are still memorable. Just be sure to know what to expect if ordering a chocolate shake. During the pandemic, late-night hours have been limited to Thursday through Sunday. The restaurant offers outdoor seating at its new back patio and there’s a bar.

A woman in a face mask stands outside a hot dog stand talking to another woman across a red picnic table Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Pequod's

A hotspot for locals and tourists alike, Pequod’s is an essential Chicago dining experience. The Eater 38 pizzeria is renowned for the caramelized crust on its pan pies, a quality that gives the outer dough a cheesy flavor and crispy crunch. A second outpost is located in Morton Grove. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery; anticipate at least 40 minutes for the pizzas to bake.

The Moonlighter

The Scofflaw Group’s laid-back sports bar features a spacious outdoor patio and approachable items like burgers, wings, and cheese fries. Takeout and delivery are also available.

Redhot Ranch

Drunken stupors and grease go together like … hot dogs and fries? Unlike ketchup, dumping a pile of spuds on top of a wiener is something Chicagoans fully support. Get the aforementioned Depression Dog, terrific smashed burgers, jumbo fried shrimp, and more at this no-frills joint. The restaurants just moved from Ashland to right around the corner to Armitage. A second outpost is located in Lakeview. Redhot Ranch offers outdoor seating and takeout.

White Palace Grill

Breakfast for dinner? All options are on the table at this legendary greasy spoon that has been feeding college students, city workers, and night owls since 1939. The kitchen cranks out reliable omelets, skillets, pancakes, waffles, French toasts, sandwiches, and more at all hours of the day. White Palace Grill offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

Jim's Original

Jim’s Original, the self-proclaimed home of the “original” Polish sausage, epitomizes Chicago’s street food scene. Satisfy the late-night munchies with a delicious Polish, hot dog, or pork chop sandwich. The stand offers takeout and delivery via third =-party services.

Taqueria Los Comales

Cheap, quick, and filling, tacos make for an excellent late-night meal. This popular local mini-chain offers a variety of choices including al pastor, bistec, barbacoa, and pescado. The tortas and burritos are equally tasty. Taqueria Los Comales offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

Lawrence's Fish & Shrimp

A night on the town often ends in a binge-eating session, and few things are as devourable as the fried specialties at this South Side eatery. Enjoy shrimp — ranging from jumbo-sized to coconut — or golden pieces of catfish, cod, and perch. Lawrence’s has multiple locations and outdoor seating, and offers takeout and delivery via third party services.

Chi Cafe

Chinatown is home to lots of late-night dining options and Chi Cafe is among the best. The long menu offers everything from congee and noodle soups to beef, pork, and seafood dishes — and at budget-friendly prices. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery.

A plate of rice noodles with beef.
Chi Cafe cooks up a variety of American Chinese classics.
Chi Cafe [Official Photo]

Raymond's Tacos No. 2

This popular mini-chain is open until 11:30 p.m. with delivery through Uber Eats. Street food expert Titus Ruscitti recommends the steak taco with American cheese.

Related Maps

Ricobene's

Ricobene’s famous breaded steak sandwich is a Chicago classic and especially good as late-night fuel. The meaty creation features breaded steak, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and giardiniera on a Turano French roll. Other menu highlights include Italian beef, meatball sub, and pizza slices. The restaurant offers takeout and delivery.

Maxwell Street Depot

Located just a couple of blocks away from Sox Park, Maxwell Street Depot serves cheap and greasy delights. Grab a Polish sausage or a bone-in pork chop sandwich for a dependable post-game meal. The restaurat offers takeout and delivery.

Phil's Pizza

Although Chicago is famously associated with deep dish pizza, a large number of locals prefer a cracker-thin crust. Phil’s Pizza in Bridgeport is a longtime champion of tavern-style pies, which boast crispy, square-cut slices topped with tomato sauce and a thick layer of mozzarella. Adding fennel sausage is also highly recommended. The pizzeria is cash only and offers takeout and delivery.

Italian Fiesta Pizzeria

All five Italian Fiesta locations are open until midnight most days, and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. This pizza is designed for carryout, with a memorable crisp crust dusted with herbs. President Obama endorsed the Hyde Park location when he lived in Chicago.

Lem's Bar-B-Q

Follow the smells coming from this South Side institution’s aquarium smoker and order up some rib tips. Lem’s offers takeout, and don’t forget about those hot links.

Related Maps