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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.

1. The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

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1401 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 786-1401
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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

2. M Lounge

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1520 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 447-0201
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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]

3. Acadia

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1639 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 360-9500
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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

4. Opart Thai House Restaurant

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1906 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 567-9898
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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

5. Cafe Bionda

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1924 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 326-9800
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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

6. Reggies Chicago

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2105 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 949-0120
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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

7. Asian Cajun PLUS - South Loop

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1507, 2115 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 883-6536
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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

8. Harold's Chicken Shack

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2132 Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 326-5575
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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

9. VU Rooftop Bar

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133 E Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 528-0191
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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

10. Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick

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2206 S Indiana Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 878-9292
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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]

11. Chef Luciano Kitchen + Chicken

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49 E Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 326-0062
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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

12. 14 Parish

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2333 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 291-8379
Visit Website

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

1. The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

1401 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
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.

1401 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

2. M Lounge

1520 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
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.

1520 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

3. Acadia

1639 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
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.

1639 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

4. Opart Thai House Restaurant

1906 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616
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.

1906 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616

5. Cafe Bionda

1924 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616
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.

1924 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616

6. Reggies Chicago

2105 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616
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.

2105 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616

7. Asian Cajun PLUS - South Loop

1507, 2115 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616
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.

1507, 2115 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616

8. Harold's Chicken Shack

2132 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60616
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.

2132 Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616

9. VU Rooftop Bar

133 E Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616
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.

133 E Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60616

10. Fatpour Tap Works - McCormick

2206 S Indiana Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
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.

2206 S Indiana Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

11. Chef Luciano Kitchen + Chicken

49 E Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616
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.

49 E Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60616

12. 14 Parish

2333 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
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.

2333 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

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