clock menu more-arrow no yes
A view of the South Loop.
Facebook

Where to Eat and Drink in South Loop

From a Michelin-starred restaurant to fancy Spanish cuisine

View as Map
A view of the South Loop.
| Facebook

Once home to plenty of the city’s bars, brothels, and burlesque theaters, South Loop has a lot of history as the vice district and having Soldier Field and the Shedd Aquarium. Now, with mid-rises, old train stations and historic buildings abound, there are plenty of excellent options for eating and drinking in the neighborhood. Here are 13 popular places to eat and drink in South Loop, from Thai to old dive bars, listed from north to south.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cafecito

Copy Link
26 E Congress Pkwy #1
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-2233
Visit Website

One of the favorite lunching places in South Loop, Cafecito is an excellent spot for a sandwich. Pick a traditional Cuban or go for one of their more out-of-the-box options, and don’t forget to add a side of spicy black bean soup or grab a container of whole olives to share.

2. Kasey's Tavern

Copy Link
701 S Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 427-7992
Visit Website

Regardless of the name, the space is one of the oldest bars in the city — being Kasey’s Tavern since 1974. With over thirty beers on draft, ranging from Miller Lite to Three Floyd’s Gumballhead, Kasey’s is an excellent spot to grab a beer. There’s always a special, whether it’s a $4 craft draft or a $3 domestic, which makes this place even easier to wind down the day.

3. Mercat a la Planxa

Copy Link
638 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 765-0524
Visit Website

For tapas, sangria and cocktails, head to Mercat a la Planxa. Olives, tomato bread, boquerones and a Spanish tortilla are all on the menu, and larger plates consist of meats and paellas. Pair the tapas with a build-your-own gin and tonic to complete the meal.

4. Chicago Curry House Restaurant

Copy Link
899 S Plymouth Ct
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 362-9999
Visit Website

Traditional Indian and Nepalese dishes are abundant at Chicago Curry House. Try creamy chicken tikka masala or rich biryani paired with naan and a cooling mango lassi. Or stop by for all-you-can-eat brunch with made-to-order naan.

5. Eleven City Diner

Copy Link
1112 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 212-1112
Visit Website

This Jewish deli serves up huge sandwiches and ice cream floats in a traditional diner setting. Melts, Reubens, loaded mac and cheese, and chicken matzoh ball soup are available (plus latkes). This diner’s truly a gem.

6. Burger Bar Chicago - South Loop

Copy Link
1150 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 988-0162
Visit Website

Out-of-the-box burgers are the name of the game at Burger Bar. There’s a burger of the month and burgers made out of interesting meats, like a bratwurst burger with sauerkraut, swiss cheese and mustard on a pretzel bun.

7. The Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen

Copy Link
1301 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 705-0595
Visit Website

For a great spot to watch a game in South Loop, head to the Scout. The menu’s classic American, with a long list of burgers and foot-long grilled cheeses paired with a well-rounded beer menu perfect for cheering on the Bears. Plus, there’s a kid’s menu for the little ones.

8. Lobo Rey

Copy Link
1307 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 624-9090
Visit Website

The owners of The Scout have brought modern Mexican dining to the neighborhood, courtesy of chef Daniel Espinoza, a former contestant on the Mexican version of Top Chef. It’s part taqueria/sit-down restaurant, with Espinoza pushing the standard definitions of what Americans think of Mexican food. There’s also a flattop grill for a hibachi-like experience.

Flautas de Pollo con Papa, it is not just gorgeous!

Posted by Lobo Rey on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

9. Chicago Waffles

Copy Link
1400 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 854-8572
Visit Website

Both sweet and savory waffles are on the menu at Chicago Waffles, plus pancakes, omelettes and egg plates. Waffles in abundance aren’t available at most breakfast and brunch places in the city, but from green tea waffles to cheddar and short rib waffles, there are plenty of options at this brunch spot.

10. Acadia

Copy Link
1639 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 360-9500
Visit Website

For a fancy meal, Acadia’s the South Loop resident Michelin-starred restaurant. Sit at the bar or on the patio and enjoy a still-upscale but a la carte meal with a fancy burger, oysters and blistered shishito peppers. Or make a reservation for the five- or nine-course meal and enjoy the full prix fixe experience.

11. The Spoke & Bird (South Loop)

Copy Link
205 E 18th St
Chicago, IL 60616
(929) 263-2473
Visit Website

This cafe and bistro’s expansive patio is the main draw, while traditional cafe items like baked goods, soups and sandwiches accompany the atmosphere. There’s a large beer list to round out the spot, making it a place to hang out with a brew in hand.

12. Opart Thai House Restaurant

Copy Link
1906 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 567-9898
Visit Website

All of Opart Thai’s locations are popular Thai fixtures, including the South Loop location. Dishes are traditional, from chicken or pork larb to tom yum soups. A long list of curries and noodle dishes round out the menu for a hearty Thai meal.

13. Baderbräu

Copy Link
2515 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 890-2728
Visit Website

Baderbräu’s been serving beer for a long time, but just opened its taproom and restaurant in the last year. The space overlooks the brewery, so diners can check out what’s going on behind the scenes. There’s ten beers on draft, both flagships and seasonally rotating brews, to pair with an indulgent mac and cheese waffle with dill ranch and buffalo aioli.

Baderbräu’s mac and cheese waffle.
Ashok Selvam

Loading comments...

1. Cafecito

26 E Congress Pkwy #1, Chicago, IL 60605

One of the favorite lunching places in South Loop, Cafecito is an excellent spot for a sandwich. Pick a traditional Cuban or go for one of their more out-of-the-box options, and don’t forget to add a side of spicy black bean soup or grab a container of whole olives to share.

26 E Congress Pkwy #1
Chicago, IL 60605

2. Kasey's Tavern

701 S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60605

Regardless of the name, the space is one of the oldest bars in the city — being Kasey’s Tavern since 1974. With over thirty beers on draft, ranging from Miller Lite to Three Floyd’s Gumballhead, Kasey’s is an excellent spot to grab a beer. There’s always a special, whether it’s a $4 craft draft or a $3 domestic, which makes this place even easier to wind down the day.

701 S Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60605

3. Mercat a la Planxa

638 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

For tapas, sangria and cocktails, head to Mercat a la Planxa. Olives, tomato bread, boquerones and a Spanish tortilla are all on the menu, and larger plates consist of meats and paellas. Pair the tapas with a build-your-own gin and tonic to complete the meal.

638 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

4. Chicago Curry House Restaurant

899 S Plymouth Ct, Chicago, IL 60605

Traditional Indian and Nepalese dishes are abundant at Chicago Curry House. Try creamy chicken tikka masala or rich biryani paired with naan and a cooling mango lassi. Or stop by for all-you-can-eat brunch with made-to-order naan.

899 S Plymouth Ct
Chicago, IL 60605

5. Eleven City Diner

1112 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

This Jewish deli serves up huge sandwiches and ice cream floats in a traditional diner setting. Melts, Reubens, loaded mac and cheese, and chicken matzoh ball soup are available (plus latkes). This diner’s truly a gem.

1112 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

6. Burger Bar Chicago - South Loop

1150 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Out-of-the-box burgers are the name of the game at Burger Bar. There’s a burger of the month and burgers made out of interesting meats, like a bratwurst burger with sauerkraut, swiss cheese and mustard on a pretzel bun.

1150 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

7. The Scout Waterhouse + Kitchen

1301 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

For a great spot to watch a game in South Loop, head to the Scout. The menu’s classic American, with a long list of burgers and foot-long grilled cheeses paired with a well-rounded beer menu perfect for cheering on the Bears. Plus, there’s a kid’s menu for the little ones.

1301 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

8. Lobo Rey

1307 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

The owners of The Scout have brought modern Mexican dining to the neighborhood, courtesy of chef Daniel Espinoza, a former contestant on the Mexican version of Top Chef. It’s part taqueria/sit-down restaurant, with Espinoza pushing the standard definitions of what Americans think of Mexican food. There’s also a flattop grill for a hibachi-like experience.

1307 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

9. Chicago Waffles

1400 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Both sweet and savory waffles are on the menu at Chicago Waffles, plus pancakes, omelettes and egg plates. Waffles in abundance aren’t available at most breakfast and brunch places in the city, but from green tea waffles to cheddar and short rib waffles, there are plenty of options at this brunch spot.

1400 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60605

10. Acadia

1639 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

For a fancy meal, Acadia’s the South Loop resident Michelin-starred restaurant. Sit at the bar or on the patio and enjoy a still-upscale but a la carte meal with a fancy burger, oysters and blistered shishito peppers. Or make a reservation for the five- or nine-course meal and enjoy the full prix fixe experience.

1639 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

11. The Spoke & Bird (South Loop)

205 E 18th St, Chicago, IL 60616

This cafe and bistro’s expansive patio is the main draw, while traditional cafe items like baked goods, soups and sandwiches accompany the atmosphere. There’s a large beer list to round out the spot, making it a place to hang out with a brew in hand.

205 E 18th St
Chicago, IL 60616

12. Opart Thai House Restaurant

1906 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616

All of Opart Thai’s locations are popular Thai fixtures, including the South Loop location. Dishes are traditional, from chicken or pork larb to tom yum soups. A long list of curries and noodle dishes round out the menu for a hearty Thai meal.

1906 S State St
Chicago, IL 60616

13. Baderbräu

2515 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
Baderbräu’s mac and cheese waffle.
Ashok Selvam

Baderbräu’s been serving beer for a long time, but just opened its taproom and restaurant in the last year. The space overlooks the brewery, so diners can check out what’s going on behind the scenes. There’s ten beers on draft, both flagships and seasonally rotating brews, to pair with an indulgent mac and cheese waffle with dill ranch and buffalo aioli.

2515 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

Related Maps