Chicago, IL

Five Date Night Restaurant Ideas in Chicago

Brandon Wang

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Whether it be a first date or just one of many dates, date night can be a daunting event to plan for. It can be hard to decide what activities to do or where to go. One tried and true activity that never fails is sharing an unforgetable meal together. For those that are stumped or fresh out of ideas, here are five trendy new restaurants to try out for a great date night in Chicago. Even if the date does not work out, the food will definitely make it an awesome experience regardless.

1. Mansion on Rush

Mansion on Rush is definitely the spot to hit up if you and your date are looking for an upscale and hip establishment found in the Gold Coast of Chicago. This restaurant is relatively new and draws its inspirations from Japanese and Latin cuisines. Mansion on Rush is bound to impress both sushi lovers and food enthusiasts alike with crazy fresh nigiri and impressive menu items including a wagyu beef and duck confit with mole. For those special nights, this establishment also has an even fancier menu option in their upgraded Champagne Lounge which boasts an upscaled menu, live music, and bottle service. If you really want to impress your date, Mansion on Rush is a great choice for any type of night.

Mansion on Rush can be found located at 1009 N Rush St.

2. En Passant

While En Passant might just be a quirky chess move to some, in Chicago, En Passant is one of the trendiest new restaurants around the Logan Square area. The menu is full of amazing suprises with courses ranging all the way from a duck confit and chicken liver mousse to a perfectly crispy smashburger paired with a tangy balsamic onion jam. Despite having fancier options on the menu, the smashburger is actually one of the most popular dishes at En Passant. This might be because the chef at En Passant is Sam Engelhardt who is the legendary former chef at Au Cheval. Needless to say, chef Engelhardt definitely knows his way around a burger.

En Passant can be found located at 3010 W Diversey Ave.

3. Bar Avec

It would not be a list of date night spots in Chicago without at least one rooftop bar on this list. Bar Avec is a newly created bar that sits right on top of Avec River North which used to host the Laurel Room. This rooftop bar is situated on the eigth floor and prides itself on its lovely food menu specific to the rooftop bar. The menu itself draws a lot of inspiration from Spanish dishes and is completely different than the menu that can be found at the Avec restaurant below. Some of the most popular dishes at Bar Avec include tapas style dishes ranging from the likes of mussels escabeche and fideo noodle paella. One of the crowd favorites also includes their chorizo stuffed and bacon wrapped dates.

Bar Avec can be found located at 640 N Lasalle.

4. Korini's Pizza

For fans of Parachute, a funky and chic Korean American restaurant in Chicago, Korini's Pizza will be a must visit. Early in this year, the owners of Parachute decided to work towards the creation of a pop up shop specializing in pizza and that ended up coming to fruition in the form of Korini's Pizza. At Korini's they have various different seasonal flavors that change almost every time you visit. If you see an interesting flavor when you go in, make sure to try it out because the next time you walk in, it most likely will no longer be on the menu. Some of the best flavors in the past have included variations like a bulgogi pizza and spam and coconut shrimp pizza. Additionally, Korini's Pizza is currently running a campaign called "Dough Something" in support of AAAJ (Asian Americans Advancing Justice).

Korini's Pizza can be found located at 3472 N Elston Ave.

5. Level Up Burgers

Level Up Burgers does not only have absolutely delicious burgers but has one of the most playfully decorated menus with each of its burgers having a unique video game reference or theme. For those that enjoy a more playful and casual meal, Level Up Burgers is definitely the place to go. Found right in the heart of Humboldt Park, Level Up Burgers has many great burger creations including the very popular, Double Dragon which consists of two burger patties, beef short rib, togarashi (a common Japanese spice and chili mixture), garlic aoli, cabbage, pepper jack cheese on meticulously piled on top of an impossibly soft and fluffy bao bun. If that did not sound good enough, each burger meal are all served alongside a whole pound of tater tots.

Level Up Burgers can be found located at 3220 W Grand Chicago.

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