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An airfield lit up at night with Chicago’s skyline in the background.
O’Hare International Airport is located northwest of Downtown Chicago.
City of Chicago [Official Photo]

Where to Eat Near O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Where to find excellent barbecue, noodles and dumplings, and deep-dish pizza close enough to the airport for a pre-flight stop or a hungry layover in Chicago

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O’Hare International Airport is located northwest of Downtown Chicago.
| City of Chicago [Official Photo]

Technically, O’Hare International Airport is located in Chicago, but the airport is about 15 miles northwest of downtown. In reality, Chicago officials made a deal with officials from suburban Rosemont for the privilege of saying O’Hare is within Chicago city limits. Don’t let the geographic proximity fool you; it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to drive from O’Hare to the city, depending on road traffic. So, instead of trying to drive downtown, scope out some of the city’s best fare near the airport. To make the most of your time before your flight, it’s best to get there early and have a meal plan in mind. The CTA Blue Line is also a good option for transit while sticking to the schedule.

Although it may not get the fanfare of venues closer to downtown, the surrounding Northwest Suburbs have a wide range of offerings: quality Chinese, Korean, and Japanese food bolstered by the area’s large Asian-American population; downtown steakhouses with outposts near O’Hare for business travelers looking to find a space to flex their corporate accounts; and for tourists, classic Chicago fare — hot dogs, pizza, and Italian beef — are also well represented. Below, find a variety of restaurants that offer a sampling of the city’s staples, all without having to stray too far from your next flight.

As of October 30, Chicago restaurants can no longer serve customers indoors. Still, a number of Chicago restaurants have outdoor seating. The state now requires reservations for patio dining. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Chef Ping

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1755 W Algonquin Rd
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
(847) 981-8888
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Chef Ping might seem unassuming, as it sits in a typical suburban strip mall, repurposed from its former life as an outpost of Chicago-area chain Bakers Square. Don’t make the mistake of judging this book by its cover. The giant menu features Chinese-American classics mingled with Korean-American fare. From noodles to dumplings, the suburbs are lucky to have such a quality restaurant. Order online.

2. Johnnie's Beef

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1935 S Arlington Heights Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
(847) 357-8100
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While not as well known as the city’s pizzas and hot dogs, the Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich is part of the town’s fabric. Johnnie’s makes among the area’s best example of the sandwich, with two locations inside no-frills spaces perfect for a quick bite. Enjoy thinly sliced rib-eye topped with spicy or sweet pickled peppers; the spicy mix is known as giardiniera in Chicago. A combo won’t come with fries — instead, it’s an Italian sausage topped with shaved beef for a real delight. Order at the restaurant.

3. Mitsuwa Marketplace - Chicago

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100 E Algonquin Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
(847) 956-6699
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The Chicago-area location of Mitsuwa, the all-in-one spot for Japanese groceries and products, includes a food court where customers will find ramen, udon, and yakitori. The grab-and-go sushi also makes for a fast, high-quality meal.

4. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria

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1050 E Higgins Rd
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
(847) 439-2000
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For those who must try deep-dish pizza, there are several choices to pick from, but Lou Malnati’s remains a top choice because of its consistency and quality. While this location in Elk Grove Village is less than a 15-minute drive from the airport, you’ll need to plan a bit since it takes a while to bake the iconic thick pie. Calling ahead of ordering online is advisable; half-baked pies are the ideal travel companions to take home in the overhead bin. Don’t let local fervor fool you: Chicagoans still enjoy the pizza, they just get sick of others trying to define the city by the dish, which is a conclusion as shallow as the pizza pans are deep.

Chicago deep-dish pizza
Lou Malnati’s
Lou Malanti’s/Facebook

5. Boston Fish Market, Inc.

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1225 Forest Ave
Des Plaines, IL 60018
(847) 803-2100
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Fresh seafood is the name of the game at Boston Fish Market. Chef Louis “Louie” Psihogios has two locations, but the Des Plaines one is closest to the airport. Find lobster rolls, New England clam chowder, crabcakes, and hefty fish platters. Worried you won’t be getting the best seafood? Don’t be. Chicago’s status as an air transportation hub makes up for its lack of proximity to an ocean.

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6. Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse

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10233 W Higgins Rd
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 699-1200
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Harry Caray was a beloved baseball announcer who worked on the North and South sides of town, but he’s most remembered for his work with the North Side Chicago Cubs. His original namesake restaurant is an Italian steakhouse in River North known for mammoth pork chops. This suburban location allows visitors to take a look through all the sports memorabilia inside without straying too far from the airport. Don’t sleep on the tender fried calamari.

7. Murray Bros. Caddyshack

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9546 Balmoral Ave
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 443-3673
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Actor Bill Murray and his brothers (Andy, Ed, Joel, Johnny, and Brian-Doyle; many of who also work in TV and film) have opened a restaurant just outside of Chicago. It’s kind of a lifetime achievement award celebrating their successful careers. Fans of golf and Caddyshack will get a kick out of the space that features a colorful mural with tons of references to Bill Murray movies. The restaurant also serves dependable pub grub, like burgers,

Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

8. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

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5464 N River Rd
Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 928-9900
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Gibsons is a legendary name for steaks in Chicago, with its flagship location downtown, a gorgeous location overlooking the Chicago River, and a massive three-level restaurant project with the great José Andrés. While travelers with corporate accounts can find several steakhouses around ORD (Morton’s, another old-school favorite, is also in suburban Rosemont), this is an ideal spot for dinner on the company’s dime. Gibsons offers takeout and dine-in service. Customers can order or make reservations online.

9. Mantra by Indian Garden

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9438 W Irving Park Rd
Schiller Park, IL 60176
(847) 260-5777
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Indian Garden is a venerable chain of restaurants with a location in Downtown Chicago before that was housed on Devon Avenue, the traditional center of South Asian-owned businesses in the city. This suburban location, Mantra, opened with the intention of refreshing the brand and attracting younger customers. Find the traditional Punjabi favorites, plus a few wrinkles on classics. Order online.

10. Gene & Jude's

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2720 N River Rd
River Grove, IL 60171
(708) 452-7634
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Chicago has plenty of hot dog stands, and sometimes it’s hard for them to distinguish themselves from one another. Gene & Jude’s does not have this problem. This place serves freshly cut fries and offers yet another variant of the Chicago-style hot dog: the Depression Dog, which gets more or less topped with those fries, yellow mustard, onions, hot sport (pickled) peppers, and relish. Don’t be surprised to find a little wait.

Gene & Jude’s [Official Photo]

11. Shakou Park Ridge

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130 S Prospect Ave
Park Ridge, IL 60068
(773) 441-9900
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Shakou is a popular suburban mini chain with a reputation for serving high-caliber fish. Under normal circumstances, the dining room is dark and intimate, a place for a date or a celebration with friends. It’s patronized by a more mature crowd who have departed the city for suburban family life. These customers cherish these places because it makes them feel trendy and young. But that would sell the food short. Expect creative maki and a smattering of Chinese and Korean plates. Lunch specials and bento boxes are also available. Order delivery, pickup, or reserve a patio seat online. Call for curbside pickup. The restaurant has remained open for dine in, defying the state’s indoor dining ban.

12. Dino's Italian Pizza & Italian Restaurant

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7004 W Higgins Ave
Chicago, IL 60656
(773) 763-4077
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Chicago is a pizza town, and it extends beyond deep-dish pizza. That type of pizza is still revered, but the city’s thin-cut pizza, known as tavern-style and cut up into squares and triangles, may be the most popular in town. Dino’s, which is off the Harlem Avenue exit on I-90 (also a short walk from the Harlem Blue Line), delivers a picture-perfect, tavern-style pizza. Chicago-style sausage (this city likes its fennel) is the signature topping, but customers can’t go wrong other options.

13. Superdawg Drive-In

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6363 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 763-0660
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Superdawg is Chicago’s only true drive-in restaurant, with carhop service and ordering via an intercom. It’s a dose of nostalgia that allows customers to safely order from their cars; traditional takeout is also available inside. Customers can order grilled cheeses or burgers, but the signature item is a special version of the Chicago-style hot dog. It’s not dragged through the garden, but comes with relish, mustard, and a pickled tomato. Enjoy the retro cardboard packaging filled with crinkle-cut fries.

For more than seven decades, Maury and Flaurie, two giant 12-foot fiberglass wieners model after the drive-in’s founders, have stood guard in Norwood Park. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

14. Gale Street Inn Chicago

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4914 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60630
(773) 725-1300
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Chicago-style barbecue exists in a few forms. For true smoke, head toward the South Side during an extended trip for rib tips cooked in an aquarium smoker. Since O’Hare is nowhere close to the South Side, try nearby Jefferson Park, home to one of the city’s best neighborhood restaurants. Gale Street Inn serves baby-back ribs, which were popularized in the ’80s in North Side communities. They aren’t fall-off-the-bone tender, but they are a highlight of this popular family restaurant that’s endured more than five decades. The restaurant is off the CTA Blue Line Jefferson Park stop.

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1. Chef Ping

1755 W Algonquin Rd, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

Chef Ping might seem unassuming, as it sits in a typical suburban strip mall, repurposed from its former life as an outpost of Chicago-area chain Bakers Square. Don’t make the mistake of judging this book by its cover. The giant menu features Chinese-American classics mingled with Korean-American fare. From noodles to dumplings, the suburbs are lucky to have such a quality restaurant. Order online.

1755 W Algonquin Rd
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

2. Johnnie's Beef

1935 S Arlington Heights Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60005

While not as well known as the city’s pizzas and hot dogs, the Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich is part of the town’s fabric. Johnnie’s makes among the area’s best example of the sandwich, with two locations inside no-frills spaces perfect for a quick bite. Enjoy thinly sliced rib-eye topped with spicy or sweet pickled peppers; the spicy mix is known as giardiniera in Chicago. A combo won’t come with fries — instead, it’s an Italian sausage topped with shaved beef for a real delight. Order at the restaurant.

1935 S Arlington Heights Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

3. Mitsuwa Marketplace - Chicago

100 E Algonquin Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60005

The Chicago-area location of Mitsuwa, the all-in-one spot for Japanese groceries and products, includes a food court where customers will find ramen, udon, and yakitori. The grab-and-go sushi also makes for a fast, high-quality meal.

100 E Algonquin Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

4. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria

1050 E Higgins Rd, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Chicago deep-dish pizza
Lou Malnati’s
Lou Malanti’s/Facebook

For those who must try deep-dish pizza, there are several choices to pick from, but Lou Malnati’s remains a top choice because of its consistency and quality. While this location in Elk Grove Village is less than a 15-minute drive from the airport, you’ll need to plan a bit since it takes a while to bake the iconic thick pie. Calling ahead of ordering online is advisable; half-baked pies are the ideal travel companions to take home in the overhead bin. Don’t let local fervor fool you: Chicagoans still enjoy the pizza, they just get sick of others trying to define the city by the dish, which is a conclusion as shallow as the pizza pans are deep.

1050 E Higgins Rd
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

5. Boston Fish Market, Inc.

1225 Forest Ave, Des Plaines, IL 60018

Fresh seafood is the name of the game at Boston Fish Market. Chef Louis “Louie” Psihogios has two locations, but the Des Plaines one is closest to the airport. Find lobster rolls, New England clam chowder, crabcakes, and hefty fish platters. Worried you won’t be getting the best seafood? Don’t be. Chicago’s status as an air transportation hub makes up for its lack of proximity to an ocean.

1225 Forest Ave
Des Plaines, IL 60018

6. Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse

10233 W Higgins Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018

Harry Caray was a beloved baseball announcer who worked on the North and South sides of town, but he’s most remembered for his work with the North Side Chicago Cubs. His original namesake restaurant is an Italian steakhouse in River North known for mammoth pork chops. This suburban location allows visitors to take a look through all the sports memorabilia inside without straying too far from the airport. Don’t sleep on the tender fried calamari.

10233 W Higgins Rd
Rosemont, IL 60018

7. Murray Bros. Caddyshack

9546 Balmoral Ave, Rosemont, IL 60018
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Actor Bill Murray and his brothers (Andy, Ed, Joel, Johnny, and Brian-Doyle; many of who also work in TV and film) have opened a restaurant just outside of Chicago. It’s kind of a lifetime achievement award celebrating their successful careers. Fans of golf and Caddyshack will get a kick out of the space that features a colorful mural with tons of references to Bill Murray movies. The restaurant also serves dependable pub grub, like burgers,

9546 Balmoral Ave
Rosemont, IL 60018

8. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

5464 N River Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018

Gibsons is a legendary name for steaks in Chicago, with its flagship location downtown, a gorgeous location overlooking the Chicago River, and a massive three-level restaurant project with the great José Andrés. While travelers with corporate accounts can find several steakhouses around ORD (Morton’s, another old-school favorite, is also in suburban Rosemont), this is an ideal spot for dinner on the company’s dime. Gibsons offers takeout and dine-in service. Customers can order or make reservations online.

5464 N River Rd
Rosemont, IL 60018

9. Mantra by Indian Garden

9438 W Irving Park Rd, Schiller Park, IL 60176

Indian Garden is a venerable chain of restaurants with a location in Downtown Chicago before that was housed on Devon Avenue, the traditional center of South Asian-owned businesses in the city. This suburban location, Mantra, opened with the intention of refreshing the brand and attracting younger customers. Find the traditional Punjabi favorites, plus a few wrinkles on classics. Order online.

9438 W Irving Park Rd
Schiller Park, IL 60176

10. Gene & Jude's

2720 N River Rd, River Grove, IL 60171
Gene & Jude’s [Official Photo]

Chicago has plenty of hot dog stands, and sometimes it’s hard for them to distinguish themselves from one another. Gene & Jude’s does not have this problem. This place serves freshly cut fries and offers yet another variant of the Chicago-style hot dog: the Depression Dog, which gets more or less topped with those fries, yellow mustard, onions, hot sport (pickled) peppers, and relish. Don’t be surprised to find a little wait.

2720 N River Rd
River Grove, IL 60171

11. Shakou Park Ridge

130 S Prospect Ave, Park Ridge, IL 60068

Shakou is a popular suburban mini chain with a reputation for serving high-caliber fish. Under normal circumstances, the dining room is dark and intimate, a place for a date or a celebration with friends. It’s patronized by a more mature crowd who have departed the city for suburban family life. These customers cherish these places because it makes them feel trendy and young. But that would sell the food short. Expect creative maki and a smattering of Chinese and Korean plates. Lunch specials and bento boxes are also available. Order delivery, pickup, or reserve a patio seat online. Call for curbside pickup. The restaurant has remained open for dine in, defying the state’s indoor dining ban.

130 S Prospect Ave
Park Ridge, IL 60068

12. Dino's Italian Pizza & Italian Restaurant

7004 W Higgins Ave, Chicago, IL 60656

Chicago is a pizza town, and it extends beyond deep-dish pizza. That type of pizza is still revered, but the city’s thin-cut pizza, known as tavern-style and cut up into squares and triangles, may be the most popular in town. Dino’s, which is off the Harlem Avenue exit on I-90 (also a short walk from the Harlem Blue Line), delivers a picture-perfect, tavern-style pizza. Chicago-style sausage (this city likes its fennel) is the signature topping, but customers can’t go wrong other options.

7004 W Higgins Ave
Chicago, IL 60656

13. Superdawg Drive-In

6363 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646
For more than seven decades, Maury and Flaurie, two giant 12-foot fiberglass wieners model after the drive-in’s founders, have stood guard in Norwood Park. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Superdawg is Chicago’s only true drive-in restaurant, with carhop service and ordering via an intercom. It’s a dose of nostalgia that allows customers to safely order from their cars; traditional takeout is also available inside. Customers can order grilled cheeses or burgers, but the signature item is a special version of the Chicago-style hot dog. It’s not dragged through the garden, but comes with relish, mustard, and a pickled tomato. Enjoy the retro cardboard packaging filled with crinkle-cut fries.

6363 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60646

14. Gale Street Inn Chicago

4914 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60630

Chicago-style barbecue exists in a few forms. For true smoke, head toward the South Side during an extended trip for rib tips cooked in an aquarium smoker. Since O’Hare is nowhere close to the South Side, try nearby Jefferson Park, home to one of the city’s best neighborhood restaurants. Gale Street Inn serves baby-back ribs, which were popularized in the ’80s in North Side communities. They aren’t fall-off-the-bone tender, but they are a highlight of this popular family restaurant that’s endured more than five decades. The restaurant is off the CTA Blue Line Jefferson Park stop.

4914 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60630

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