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Food and drink in Chicago

Chicago's explodingfood and drink scene is going from strength to strength. Try out some of the most exciting eateries and bars in the Windy City, and work up an appetite first with an architectural walk around The Loop.
Mixing cocktails at Bad Hunter restaurant
COMPILED BY CATRIONA GREW AND RORY GOULDING, WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM KARLA ZIMMERMAN. PHOTOGRAPHS: ANTHONY TAHLIER, SERGII KOVAL/ALAMY

EATING

Alinea

GASTRONOMY £££ (alinearestaurant.com; 1723 N Halsted St)

With three Michelin stars, Alinea brings on multiple courses of molecular gastronomy. Dishes may emanate from a centrifuge or be pressed into a capsule, à la duck served with a ‘pillow of lavender air.’ Alinea sells tickets two to three months in advance via its website.

Bad Hunter

VEGETARIAN ££ (badhunter.com; 802 W Randolph St)

The atmosphere here is bright and plant-adorned – and so are the dishes. Think wood-grilled carrots and fennel with pistachio-green chilli pesto and avocado crema, and the already legendary ‘beet tartare.’

Big Jones

AMERICAN ££

(bigjoneschicago.com; 5347 N Clark St)

Warm, sunny Big Jones puts sustainable 'Southern heirloom cooking' on the map, mixing dishes from New Orleans, the Carolina Lowcountry and Appalachia. Locals flock in for the seasonal menu that includes chicken, crawfish etouffee and shrimp. The decadent, biscuit-laden brunch draws the biggest crowds.

Doughnut Vault

BAKERY £

(doughnutvault.com; 401 N Franklin St)

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About Lonely Planet Traveller (UK)

Summer's here and this month we'll be showing you how to make the most of the season. In the June issue, we're trying colour therapy, reflecting on our friendships, building up our resilience, channelling our imagination with creative writing, making our own soap, cooking with edible flowers, stargazing in La Palma and much more.