Where to Find the Best Gold Coast Chicago Restaurants

Just blocks from Michigan Avenue, this neighborhood is filled with upscale restaurants for date night, casual eateries for you and your friends, and affordable, yet delicious, bites. Check out some of our favorite restaurants in the Gold Coast area! 

Best restaurants for casual dining with friends 

Somerset is a swanky restaurant filled with art deco designs and mid-century modern furniture, just right up the street from Mariano Park. Making brunch reservations is a must here, with an unbeatable ambiance, array of food and drinks, and highly-praised service, this spot books up fast! Another great restaurant for a casual day enjoying apps with friends is Luxbar. This two-level pub features outdoor patio seating and an upstairs lounge. At the corner of Rush and Bellevue, Luxbar is truly a great place for catching up while enjoying breakfast pizza or salmon sliders. Eduardo’s Enoteca is a cozy restaurant and wine bar serving Italian dishes that will easily impress your friends. Make sure to share a charcuterie board and crostinis while browsing their extensive wine selection during happy hour. This little slice of Italia just blocks from Lakeshore Drive is a must in Gold Coast! 

Best date night restaurants in Gold Coast

Nothing beats date night in an intimate and old-school setting like Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse. A wealth of history and a great atmosphere, this timeless restaurant offers food and service that is top-notch, just steps away from the happenings on Oak Street. The pianist keeps the mood and energies high, the atmosphere so grand it takes your breath away, and the oysters, lobsters, and steaks will make your mouth water beyond a doubt. Right up the street from Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse is Maple & Ash. With over 3,000 – 4.8 star reviews, Maple & Ash is another perfect spot for a night out with your significant other. Full of sleek and modern decor, attentive service, and complimentary cocktails, this pick is truly exceptional. If you’re looking for a little classic Italian, look no further than Carmines. This lively supper club is famous for its hearty portions of pasta and a vast selection of meats. In this cozy club, the Chef personally greets every table, leaving you with the most intimate and personal experience. After dinner, walk a few blocks down to Oak Street Beach for a stroll along Lake Michigan. 

Best affordable restaurants along State Street

If you’re looking for a fairly priced taco joint, make sure to try Velvet Taco. After hitting Michigan Ave, this unique twist on the traditional taco restaurant is a go-to for many locals. Right up the street from Velvet Taco is Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. This pizza and pasta hub is known for its friendly service, great atmosphere, and affordable prices. Their pies have the perfect ratios of cheese, sauce, toppings, and crust… and will fill you up for days as one reviewer said “One deep-dish slice and you’ve been fed for a week!” Across the street from Lou Malnati’s sits Goddess and Grocer, a not-so-ordinary sandwich spot. Goddess and Grocer feature a fresh and creative menu full of sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, and baked goods. The menu here has something for everyone, with selections inspired from regions all over the world. 

Best Bars in Gold Coast

Right by the Lake Michigan shoreline, Gold Coast is known for being picture-perfect with its vintage homes, charming boutiques and dynamic bar scene. This historic area has everything from summer rooftop bars to cozy lounges to local spots with killer happy hours. Check out some of these Gold Coast go-to’s when looking for a fun night out!

Rooftop Bars in Gold Coast

If you’re looking for a beautiful rooftop spot with impeccable skyline and lake views, Devereaux is the place. Enjoy time with friends or lounge out and take in the city views by the swimming pool. Locals say Devereaux is one of the best spots if you’re not in the mood for a large crowd. Out and about shopping along Michigan Avenue? Make sure to check out Drumbar. This moody, yet energetic cocktail-focused rooftop bar sits atop the Raffaello Hotel and sheds astonishing views of Lake Michigan and the Hancock building. On a breezy summer day, head over to 3 Arts Club Cafe to chill out and enjoy the ambience. One of the most beautiful dining environments, this place gets an A+ when it comes to an unbeatable atmosphere. It has the look and feel of Restoration Hardware, making this a go-to intimate outdoor cocktail space. Oh, and make sure to request seating by the fountain!  

Cozy Bars and Lounges

The Berkshire Room is a quaint spot, nestled in the first floor of a hotel. This super classy and cool bar lets you create your own cocktail based on your flavor profile. It’s dimly lit with an elegant design, making it the perfect starting spot for date night. If you’re looking for more of a low-key vibe with an upscale twist, check out Eight Bar and Patio. This elevated bistro has an array of wines and signature cocktails that do not disappoint. Zebra Lounge is a fun little piano bar with live music and a great atmosphere. A perfect night cap, this hidden gem is deemed as a Chicago classic by locals. If you’re looking for good vibes and bartenders who know their craft, Le Bar is your place. Rewind from the day on the couch next to the fireplace after ordering from their extensive whiskey selection or elegant cocktail menu. 

Best Happy Hours in Gold Coast

Small, dark, and vintage this next pick gives you all the “speakeasy” vibes. Sparrow is an intimate bar with vintage music and boasts some impressive happy hour deals. On Monday-Friday 4-7pm, get 1/2 off wine and drafts and enjoy $5 daiquiris every Monday! Luxbar is also another great spot when it comes to searching for a Gold Coast happy hour. Order yourself a $5 wine with a side of truffle fries because what’s a better combo? Also, make sure to peruse their specialty cocktail menu too, as locals say those are a solid pick. Reasonable prices can sometimes be hard to come by in Chicago, but Doc B’s proves that statement wrong. This is a frequent happy hour spot by Gold Coast residents because of its modern and fun vibes. Located near Michigan Avenue, this spot is very convenient to enjoy some food and drinks while not breaking the bank in downtown Chicago.

Streeterville Vs. Gold Coast — Where Should You Live?

When looking for a premier neighborhood in downtown Chicago, both Streeterville and Gold Coast offer promising options.

Each area boasts a phenomenal location and luxury living, which means deciding on the best neighborhood comes down to personal preference.

The Luxury Living team is here to help compare Streeterville vs. Gold Coast to help you determine the most suitable spot to call home.

Highlights of Each Neighborhood

Streeterville- Bounded by the Chicago River, the Magnificent Mile, and Lake Michigan, Streeterville finds itself smack dab in the middle of Chicago’s hottest landmarks. 

The neighborhood also houses many well-respected establishments, including Northwestern University Downtown Campus, University of Chicago Gleacher Center, NBC Tower, Northwestern Hospital, and Lurie Children’s Hospital.

With such a competitive location, it’s no surprise that Streeterville is a happening place. The neighborhood is full of working professionals, students, and visitors working, studying, and residing.

Gold Coast-  Located directly North of Streeterville along the lake, the Gold Coast neighborhood is a bit quieter and more residential.

Strolling through the charming and affluent neighborhood, you’ll find a great mix of historic mansions, modern high-rise apartments, upscale shopping, and exquisite dining.

What Makes Each Unique

The Streeterville neighborhood is unique for its surplus of notorious Windy City Attractions. 

Right Along the Lake, sits the infamous Navy Pier where you can find popular activities like the Centennial Wheel and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Boat tours and cruises also depart daily from the Pier during the suitable seasons.

With the Magnificent Mile located right along the West edge of the neighborhood, Streeterville offers some of the most high-end retail in the city, from Saks Fifth Avenue to Gucci.

Streeterville also offers an unrivaled and quirky history. The story of the neighborhood’s growth revolves all around Captain George Streeter’s attempt to claim, sell, and tax a sandbar off the Chicago Harbor. While his efforts were disrupted, his legacy remains.

While Streeterville provides its fair share of luxury living, Gold Coast is known for its affluence. It currently ranks as the seventh wealthiest urban areas in the country.

In 1978 the Gold Coast Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places to preserve the area’s notable history, dating back to the early 1800s. This historic district is bounded by North Avenue, Lake Shore Drive, Oak Street, and Lake Street. 

How to See Homes in Each Area

If you’re interested in checking out these vibrant neighborhoods, you can find updated available listings on the Luxury Living Site.

For in-person property visits, you can also connect with an experienced and licensed broker to arrange a tour.

The Streeterville vs.Gold Coast competition is one only you can judge. Determine which area wins your neighborhood needs today!

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