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McCormick Place
McCormick Place/Facebook

Where to Eat Near McCormick Place Convention Center

A guide to find food and drink near McCormick and Wintrust Arena

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McCormick Place
| McCormick Place/Facebook

Chicago’s McCormick Place is one of the most popular venues for conventions in America. But restaurateurs and developers have avoided the area around the South Side convention center leaving mostly fast food options like McDonald’s and White Castle. Until recently, convention goers didn’t have many choices nearby.

But that’s changed with the addition of Wintrust Arena, the building that’s mostly known for hosting DePaul University men’s basketball. The arena has jumpstarted development with newly constructed hotels and more. There are more choices near McCormick than ever before, and expect the number of restaurants to increase in the future.

So check out the follow list of the best bets to eat and drink near McCormick. If convention centers want to explore, note that both Chinatown and the South Loop are a quick car ride away. Those neighborhoods offer even more dining and drinking options, and use the linked guides for tips.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

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This steakhouse was a former fire station and coincidentally was closed for two years after a fire. Chicago Firehouse reopened in 2017 and is a popular spot for private events. The building was erected in 1905. It’s a classic menu with shrimp cocktails on all the traditional staples of a steakhouse.

Chicago firehouse
Chicago Firehouse Restaurant
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

M Lounge

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Live music and DJs are staples at this South Loop lounge. It’s dimly lit with a friendly staff. Customers can come as they are, or dress up because all types patronize the space to enjoy the relaxed vibe.

M Lounge
M Lounge [Official Photo]

Acadia is the best choice for fine dining near McCormick Place with two Michelin stars. Chef Ryan McCaskey has created a luxurious, approachable, and accessible menu. Customers can find a 10-course tasting menu. But there’s also a casual bar with one of the best burgers in town.

Acadia
Tim Hiatt Photography/Eater Chicago

Opart Thai House Restaurant

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Opart Thai House is a beloved Thai restaurant with locations in South Loop and West Town. The restaurant was a pioneer, and while it does staples like pad Thai well, it introduced Chicago to even more variety of Thai cuisine. This is a BYO spot with a killer Tiger Cry.

Opart Thai House
Opart Thai House/Facebook

Cafe Bionda

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A classic red sauce Italian spot with a spacious dining room. Find pastas, veal, salads, and more.

Cafe Bionda decked out for the holidays.
Cafe Bionda/Facebook

Reggies Chicago

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Reggie’s is a music venue where visitors will find nationally touring acts, the occasional cover band playin nostalgic hits, and a record store. Reggie’s has a fine beer list and is known for its chicken wings. There’s also a rooftop deck.

Reggie’s pub food.
Reggie’s/Google

Asian Cajun PLUS - South Loop

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This Chinese-inspired Cajun restaurant has all the spicy bagged seafood customers have tried at other restaurants. But it also features a solid Chinese-American menu, too.

Asian Cajun
Asian Cajun/Facebook

Harold's Chicken Shack

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Convention goers are blessed by a nearby outlet of Harold’s Chicken Shack, a Chicago landmark. The chain is notoriously inconsistent, but this one is convenient for South Loopers. But beware the tiny waiting room.

Harold’s Chicken No. 71
Google

VU Rooftop Bar

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VU Rooftop Bar offers the South Side a rare view of the city south of Madison. The venue includes three bars and two deck, fire pits, and plenty of small bites and fancy drinks. It’s 22 floors above ground and one of the nicer rooftop venues in Chicago.

The rooftop space features fire pits and couches.
VU Rooftop Bar
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick

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The second location of the Wicker Park sports bar brings pub food and craft beer to the South Side. There’s tons of TVs in a uber-casual atmosphere that will appeal to most folks recently out of college. Fatpour will from time to time do special beer releases, too.

Fatpour Tap Works McCormick Place
Fatpour Tap Works [Official Photo]

Chef Luciano Kitchen + Chicken

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Chef Luciano has been around since 1982 and was once split into two restaurants. They’ve rebranded of late, focusing on chicken and allowing chef David Gupta to serve more international items including jerk chicken and chicken tikka masala. Customers will also find pastas.

Chef Luciano’s chicken
Chef Luciano/Facebook

14 Parish

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On the corner of 23rd and Michigan Avenue, this Caribbean fusion restaurant is casual and has a private events space. Find jerk wings, sliders, and crab cakes. There’s also oxtails and plenty of seafood at 14 Parish.

Fried seafood and more at 14 Parish.
14 Parish/Facebook

The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

Chicago firehouse
Chicago Firehouse Restaurant
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

This steakhouse was a former fire station and coincidentally was closed for two years after a fire. Chicago Firehouse reopened in 2017 and is a popular spot for private events. The building was erected in 1905. It’s a classic menu with shrimp cocktails on all the traditional staples of a steakhouse.

Chicago firehouse
Chicago Firehouse Restaurant
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

M Lounge

M Lounge
M Lounge [Official Photo]

Live music and DJs are staples at this South Loop lounge. It’s dimly lit with a friendly staff. Customers can come as they are, or dress up because all types patronize the space to enjoy the relaxed vibe.

M Lounge
M Lounge [Official Photo]

Acadia

Acadia
Tim Hiatt Photography/Eater Chicago

Acadia is the best choice for fine dining near McCormick Place with two Michelin stars. Chef Ryan McCaskey has created a luxurious, approachable, and accessible menu. Customers can find a 10-course tasting menu. But there’s also a casual bar with one of the best burgers in town.

Acadia
Tim Hiatt Photography/Eater Chicago

Opart Thai House Restaurant

Opart Thai House
Opart Thai House/Facebook

Opart Thai House is a beloved Thai restaurant with locations in South Loop and West Town. The restaurant was a pioneer, and while it does staples like pad Thai well, it introduced Chicago to even more variety of Thai cuisine. This is a BYO spot with a killer Tiger Cry.

Opart Thai House
Opart Thai House/Facebook

Cafe Bionda

Cafe Bionda decked out for the holidays.
Cafe Bionda/Facebook

A classic red sauce Italian spot with a spacious dining room. Find pastas, veal, salads, and more.

Cafe Bionda decked out for the holidays.
Cafe Bionda/Facebook

Reggies Chicago

Reggie’s pub food.
Reggie’s/Google

Reggie’s is a music venue where visitors will find nationally touring acts, the occasional cover band playin nostalgic hits, and a record store. Reggie’s has a fine beer list and is known for its chicken wings. There’s also a rooftop deck.

Reggie’s pub food.
Reggie’s/Google

Asian Cajun PLUS - South Loop

Asian Cajun
Asian Cajun/Facebook

This Chinese-inspired Cajun restaurant has all the spicy bagged seafood customers have tried at other restaurants. But it also features a solid Chinese-American menu, too.

Asian Cajun
Asian Cajun/Facebook

Harold's Chicken Shack

Harold’s Chicken No. 71
Google

Convention goers are blessed by a nearby outlet of Harold’s Chicken Shack, a Chicago landmark. The chain is notoriously inconsistent, but this one is convenient for South Loopers. But beware the tiny waiting room.

Harold’s Chicken No. 71
Google

VU Rooftop Bar

The rooftop space features fire pits and couches.
VU Rooftop Bar
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

VU Rooftop Bar offers the South Side a rare view of the city south of Madison. The venue includes three bars and two deck, fire pits, and plenty of small bites and fancy drinks. It’s 22 floors above ground and one of the nicer rooftop venues in Chicago.

The rooftop space features fire pits and couches.
VU Rooftop Bar
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick

Fatpour Tap Works McCormick Place
Fatpour Tap Works [Official Photo]

The second location of the Wicker Park sports bar brings pub food and craft beer to the South Side. There’s tons of TVs in a uber-casual atmosphere that will appeal to most folks recently out of college. Fatpour will from time to time do special beer releases, too.

Fatpour Tap Works McCormick Place
Fatpour Tap Works [Official Photo]

Chef Luciano Kitchen + Chicken

Chef Luciano’s chicken
Chef Luciano/Facebook

Chef Luciano has been around since 1982 and was once split into two restaurants. They’ve rebranded of late, focusing on chicken and allowing chef David Gupta to serve more international items including jerk chicken and chicken tikka masala. Customers will also find pastas.

Chef Luciano’s chicken
Chef Luciano/Facebook

14 Parish

Fried seafood and more at 14 Parish.
14 Parish/Facebook

On the corner of 23rd and Michigan Avenue, this Caribbean fusion restaurant is casual and has a private events space. Find jerk wings, sliders, and crab cakes. There’s also oxtails and plenty of seafood at 14 Parish.

Fried seafood and more at 14 Parish.
14 Parish/Facebook

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