7 Best Gold Coast Restaurants

Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood is known for historic mansions on Astor St. and the haute couture shops on Oak St.  It is also home to some great food finds from hotel restaurants to taquerias.  Below are my picks for the “7 Best Gold Coast Restaurants,” in no particular order:

*Click on restaurant names for more information and directions

  1. Cafe Spiaggia/Spiaggia – James Beard winner, Chef Tony Mantuano is at the helm of Chicago’s only 4-star Italian restaurant.  
Farro spaghetti with clams at Cafe Spiaggia

Farro spaghetti with manila clams at Cafe Spiaggia

Cocktails at Cafe Spiaggia

Perfect Venetian Spritz!


2.  Nico Osteria – This seafood-centric, Italian restaurant is located inside the stylish Thompson Chicago Hotel.  It’s always a delicious treat.


Nico Osteria Thompson Chicago Hote

Nico Osteria’s swordfish with ‘nduja sauce and mint


3.  Fig & Olive – Even if you cannot affort a new pair of Louboutin shoes, head a few doors down to this elegant and pretty Mediterranean spot.  The dishes are prepared using a variety of 30 different olive oils, so you can watch your figure and get a healthy glow at the same time 🙂



Pasta at Fig & Olive

Penne with cremini and truffle mushrooms, scallions, Parmesan and white truffle oil

Cocktails at Fig & Olive

A glass of Cava to wash it all down


4.  Pump Room – This sexy spot is located inside the Public Hotel (formerly the Ambassador East Hotel).  Enjoy the fabulous dishes while soaking up the atmosphere which once saw the likes of many politicians, movers, shakers and entertainers, including Paul Newman and Frank Sinatra.



Pump Room at Public Hotel Chicago

Pump Room menu

Still dreaming of this lemony pasta dish!


5.  Palm Court – This dramatic cafe is located inside The Drake Hotel.  They serve a lovely and traditional “Afternoon Tea” complete with towers of finger sandwiches and pastries.  A harpist is on-site to set the mood.  Or, simply stop by for some cocktails.  



Afternoo Tea at Palm Court at The Drake Hotel

“Ladies Who Lunch”

Palm Court at The Drake Hotel

New Year’s Day at Palm Court’s Afternoon Tea


6.  Hash House A Go Go –  Open daily for breakfast and lunch, this kitschy spot is serving up Fred Flintstone-sized portions of your favorite comfort foods.  Wear your big-boy and big-girl pants!



Hash House A Go Go's pancakes

Banana-pecan pancakes


7.  Velvet Taco – This place is one of Chicago’s 11 best taquerias.  Sure, it’s located in a swanky part of town but you do not want to miss their shrimp ‘n grits tacos, the crisp and bright falafel taco or the red velvet cake.  you can wash it all down with a margarita.



Velvet Taco

Shrimp and Grits taco

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Red LIne and #22 Clark bus to these “7 Best Gold Coast Restaurants.”  Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!