Hotel dining has really come a long way. Often regarded as boring, sterile and overpriced, the number of hotels with truly delicious and stylish restaurants is on the rise. They are the new places to “see and be seen.” Chicago has its fair share of said action. Here are my picks for “7 Great Chicago Hotel Restaurants,” in no particular order:
*Click on restaurant names for more directions and more information
- Beatrix (Aloft Hotel) – Located in River North, this is one of the most consistently delicious restaurants in Chicago. It just happens to be located inside a hotel. I have been here for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Always a treat. Check out this gorgeous chili and chocolate glazed salmon! It’s a best-seller. If you love dessert, the Oh My! Caramel Pie is a showstopper. There is a separate coffee and dessert counter, as well as a bar.
2. Dolce Italian (The Godfrey Hotel) – This River North spot is a welcome addition to the dining scene in this neighborhood. The bar is always hopping with vacationers and residents alike. The service is great. I highly recommend the seafood risotto.
3. Cochon Volant (Hyatt Centric) – This charming French brasserie in The Loop has great traditional French fare like moules frites and escargot. However, you’re going to want the Les Cheeseburger Royale. It is a feat in engineering and one of Chicago’s 6 Best Burgers.
4. Nico Osteria (Thompson Chicago Hotel) – I am a big fan of the Thompson Hotel chain. I experienced its New York opening many years ago when I lived there. I was excited when the Chicago location opened back in 2014. It’s located in the swanky Gold Coast and it is home to the fabulous Nico Osteria, an Italian, seafood-centric restaurant. I had a lovely swordfish dish there on my birthday.
5. Travelle (The Langham) – This River North restaurant has an interesting glass kitchen, fun cocktails and a cool, lounge/bar with live music. I had a lovely birthday dinner here last year. Check out this dreamy, creamy burrata with green strawberries!
6. Pump Room (Public Hotel) – This beautifully adorned restaurant is located inside the Public Chicago (fomerly Ambassador East). it was once frequented by a parade of celebrities, musicians and politicians, including Franck Sinatra, Paul Newman, David Bowie etc. It still draws a stylish crowd. One of the most memorable and drool-worthy meals I’ve had was at this place. I highly recommend their homemade pasta dishes. Also, Pump Room knows how to make vegetables!
7. Palm Court (The Drake) – The very height of old world sophistication, the Palm Court is a stunning and dramatic restaurant. I kicked off the new year with some friends on New Year’s Day at the elegant Afternoon Tea service. Complete with unlimited pastries and finger sandwiches, this is a very civilized way to spend an afternoon.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA trains and buses to get to these “8 Great Chicago Hotel Restaurants.” Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!