On the surface, Siena Tavern has all the traits of a typical River North spot: it’s trendy, always crowded, and it has giant booths. But despite all this, it’s actually a really good Italian restaurant. You can order the pizzas here half and half (our favorite combo is the prosciutto and pear with the pepperoni), and you can’t go wrong with an order of the gnocchi, or the squid ink linguine with lobster.
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Gibsons Italia, in River West, is the trendy Italian sister spot to Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse.
Shake Shack's burgers live up to the hype, but the food love stops there. Local partnerships at least help give the first Chicago location some street cred.
Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap
Jake Melnick’s is all about the wings. Firecracker wings in particular.
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Sono Wood Fired
SoNo Wood Fired is a casual Italian restaurant and pizza restaurant that’s always reliable.
Davanti is actually a bit of chain restaurant, but we don't hold that against them.
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