Looking for where to eat near the Art Institute of Chicago?
You’re probably either already at the museum with a grumbling stomach, or you’re planning a trip and want the lowdown on the best eats in town. Maybe you’re doing team building in Chicago with us and want to grab a bite afterwards.
Either way, our renegade tours of the AIC need fuel, and Chicago has some amazing food to prepare or recharge after your museum adventure.
We’ve spent years in and around the museum and have the full scoop on the best places to eat near the Art Institute of Chicago. Check below for the full list!
Where to Eat Near the Art Institute of Chicago
On this page you’ll find a handpicked list of restaurants categorized as quick eats, bang for your buck, delicious sitdown, brunch & coffee, vegan, drinks, and splurge. Your tastebuds will thank you.
Everything listed here is less than a 15 minute walk from the museum, though most are closer to ten.
Here’s our current shortlist for favorite food spots near the Art Institute of Chicago:
Roti Mediterranean Grill — Chipotle meets Mediterranean food. Quick, healthy, large portions, tasty good prices. Try the baklava!
The Fat Shallot — Gourmet sandwiches, lots of flavor. We’ll let this Yelp review do most of the talking: “YOU might think I’m crazy but that arugula really spoke to me. Like I am not fond of arugula at all I hate the way it curls and I always felt it was in the way of any dish. But this arugula had flavor!”
Le Pain Quotidien — Small and cozy European style café/bakery serving breakfast, coffee, and desserts. Can get crowded during the weekday rush, a lot quieter on the weekends.
Bang For Your Buck
Goddess and The Baker — Cute, trendy café with a beautiful interior and a wide assortment of goods. The internet demands you get the rainbow cake: “Not only was it AMAZING for instagram (don’t judge me), it was delicious. Moist, sweet, perfect.”
Oasis Cafe — Total hole-in-the-wall tucked into the back of a jewelry store on Wabash; huge portions of delicious Mediterranean food at great prices. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value in Chicago.
Shake Shack — Pros: delicious burgers, great prices, casual atmosphere. Cons: often crowded, takes a while to get your food, and you might have to wait a bit to find an empty table. Recommended if you have some time before heading to the museum.
Brightwok Kitchen — Make your own stir-fry! Delicious, quick, and healthy stir-fry bowls with excellent service. Gluten and dairy-free options are plentiful.
Italian Village — Very highly reviewed, Italian Village has got it all: ambience, decor, delicious Italian food, and excellent service. Perfect for a romantic date before a trip to the museum.
Revival Foodhall — Revival Foodhall might be the nicest food court you ever set foot in. Housing fifteen of Chicago’s best eats under one roof, you’ll be able to find a little bit of everything here. Heads up: gets super busy during the weekday rush, best to come at off-peak hours.
Brunch & Coffee
Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe — Some people wait two hours to get brunch here. Many say it’s the best breakfast they’ve ever eaten. I mean, just look at the picture below. Hubba hubba.
Eggy’s — The wait is often shorter than Wildberry’s, but the food is just as good. Eggy’s is an unpretentious diner with fresh ingredients, a mouthwatering menu, and huuuge portions.
Peet’s Coffee & Tea — Small coffee with shop with friendly baristas and a solid brew. A good atmosphere to get some work done before heading to the museum. Prices are better than Starbucks.
Flat Top Grill — Make your own stir-fry with a large selection of fresh ingredients. You get a large bowl, fill it up at the buffet, let it cook, and then it’s brought to your table. Great value.
Native Foods — Heaven for vegans: fast, fresh, delicious. There’s no meat here, but these substitutes are enough to satisfy the ravenous carnivores among us.
Just Salad — Express yourself through salad! Healthy and locally-sourced ingredients at this Chipotle-style, fast-casual salad palace. Use their app to gain rewards and earn free meals.
Cindy’s — Gorgeous design, swanky cocktails, and a stunning view overlooking Millennium Park at this rooftop bar. If you’re coming to eat, Cindy’s also has a solid menu with large, family-style portions.
Game Room — Classy bar with creative cocktails, wood-paneled walls, and a wide assortment of games: bocce, foosball, shuffleboard, and more. A great spot to bring a bunch of friends or a romantic date.
2Twenty2 Tavern — Upscale dive bar with live music, shuffleboard, darts, and Jenga. Large selection of beer on tap. Live music from Thursday – Saturday.
Beacon Tavern — If money ain’t no thang, you’ve just found your culinarily calling. Beacon Tavern is a hidden gem serving upscale New American with a heavy seafood influence. One reviewer says: “Don’t bring the kids. It’s my date place and I need it to stay that way.”
The Palm Restaurant — Mouthwatering steak in a quiet, elegant atmosphere. The Palm is an upscale chain that first opened in 1926 in New York, and it’s been a classic choice since. Surprisingly good value on the lunch special!
Rosebud Prime — I know what you’re thinking. Two steakhouses on one list? You caught us, but we couldn’t leave out Rosebud Prime. This steak will melt in your mouth like butter.
Okay, so now that we’ve got the best food near the Art Institute of Chicago down — ready to grab tickets for an unforgettable tour at the museum too? We guarantee you’ll have an amazing time. See you there!