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Chicago is known for its busy airport, sports teams, and, most of all, food. If you only eat at chain restaurants when you visit, you are missing out on some of the best dining experiences the Windy City has to offer. Here are six restaurants that are unique to Chicago and will leave an impression, even if some may be a wee-bit quirky.

Ed Debevic’s

While this diner’s retro nature is enough to make it unique, the extra helping of attitude is what really sets them apart. Check out this video to see one of the waitress’s in action.

While Ed Debevic’s is temporarily closed, they will be opening a downtown location soon. Check their website for details.


Godspeed is “an unforgettable one-night journey across town with transportation, dinner, and entertainment included.” You’ll be picked up and taken around town to a secret location and enjoy dinner and entertainment.

Godspeed restaurant, chicago

Photo: Sean Cooley / Thrillist


This restaurant blends the worlds of art and cuisine together. They have green apple helium balloons and desserts that look like paintings. While the seats go for $175 a pop at the cheapest, this is a once in a lifetime experience you must try.

Alinea Intro from Christian Seel Media on Vimeo.


This spy-themed restaurant is everything my 10-year-old self (and let’s face it, my current self) had ever hoped for. In the yelp comments, one patron said it is so much like a safe house that she and her boyfriend walked by it three times (with a map too) without finding it.

Once you find it, you’ll need the password to get it. Once you’re in, the place is filled with trapdoors and secret passageways.

EL Ideas

The idea behind this restaurant was to make it approachable instead of the stuffy atmosphere you sometimes get. They encourage mingling with everyone, including the chefs, and there is no divide between the kitchen and dining floor. To the surprise of one customer, at the first course, she was instructed not to use her hands or utensils. A few courses later, she received a surprise when her parfait puffed out a bit of fog from the liquid nitrogen inside.

el ideas restaurant in chicago

Photo: eater.com


Tapster’s motto is, “It’s okay to be self-serving.” This restaurant has a huge wall covered in 40 taps, 32 beer taps and 8 wine taps. Using a Tapcard, customers pour as much as they want and are charged by the ounce. Another tap wall serves cocktails, sodas, coffee, and Kombucha. This chill atmosphere lets you relax and work on your laptop or chat with your neighbors.

tapster restaurant in chicago

Photo: eater.com

Next time you’re in Chicago, give one of these restaurants a try.

If you liked this article, share it with someone who has Chicago ties!

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