4 best kept hidden restaurant gems in Chicago

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Bubba Gump’s Shrimp-Nestled into one of the more secluded and unknown parts of the city, in a quaint part of town known adoringly by locals as Navy Pier; Bubba Gump Shrimp will submerge you in the scenic waters of Lake Michigan. Unfortunately Bubba Gump’s is only for the most hardcore of seafood snobs, offering up unorthodox interpretations on shrimp like popcorn shrimp and coconut shrimp (both styles uniquely Chicago) and a variety of intriguing pairings for the seafood like Moscato and Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The perfect romantic place for an anniversary or to show off the diverse offerings of a big city to an out of towner. Bubba Gump’s Shrimp will bring any seafood gourmand to their knees and have them begging Poseidon for one more piece of buttery flaccid shrimp!

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Margaritaville-Adjacent to Bubba Gump’s Shrimp is a charming beachside bungalow called Margaritaville. The perfect place to take a load off and enjoy a few $9 domestic beers. Nothing will melt your cares away faster than listening to, local favorite, Jimmy Buffet’s Cheeseburgers in Paradise on repeat for the entire duration of your meal. It’s the absolute perfect escape from big city living, a little slice of trendy 1940’s Tiki culture right in your own backyard. People will be amazed at the authenticity of the décor and the cocktail program that only uses artisan flavored silver rums like Parrot Bay. No shirt, no shoes, no problem…it’ll be our little secret.

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Rainforest Café-Perhaps the most discreet restaurant in Chicago, there is no way for anyone (except veteran Chicagoans) to tell that what lies inside is a gorgeously exotic rainforest themed bar & grill. The ingenuity behind a hyper real amazon experience is unrivaled. The misters will turn any entrée into an elegant soup, and at points the dark, hot, cramped space can make you as delirious as a Malaria induced fever. The smell of dirty diapers is a true bonus and the souvenir shop is ripe with treasures that will be conversation starters for decades. Do you have what it takes to survive in such a new and unusual neighborhood spot?

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ESPN Zone Chicago (CLOSED TO PUBLIC, BUT AVAILABLE THROUGH A SECRET HOBBIT DOOR LOCATED IN THE BASEMENT OF EATALY)-Anything with Chicago in the name will clearly be the life force of the city, and ESPN Zone Chicago is no exception. A family run post-futurist restaurant with plenty of eye candy found in the thousands of inescapable plasma screen televisions. Nothing like supporting the local economy with this mom and pop run restaurant. They provide a modern twist on old classics like deep frying chicken tenderloins and deep frying mozzarella cheese. What could be more modern and edgy than having 0 interactions with the person you’re out with? Have a mixologist craft you up a toothsome whiskey and coke to go with staring lifelessly into a monitor, what better way to enjoy the sights and sounds of a big city?!

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