Subway: Green, Pink to Clinton(312) 715-0708 blackbirdrestaurant.com41.884335 -87.643507 619 W Randolph St (between Jefferson and Desplaines Sts) West Loop, Chicago
Lunch (Mon–Fri), dinner (closed Sun)Average main course: $37
This iconic West Loop kitchen, overseen by executive chef Paul Kahan, is still one of Chicago’s best. The beautiful, seasonal plates chef de cuisine David Posey puts out are full of surprising elements—chilled spring pea and tofu soup with paddlefish roe; wood-grilled sturgeon and chicken wings with kale, turnips, and walnut puree—which makes for exciting and, sometimes, challenging eating. Pastry chef Dana Cree aims to “work with really familiar stuff in an unfamiliar way.” The newest dessert on the menu is the bubblegum ice cream with marshmallow parfait, bubblegum mochi, strawberries, and banana.