Disclaimer: I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and I am not afraid to admit that, but we all know the suburbs just aren't the place to get the best eats. The 20-minute drive downtown to eat out has been a norm my whole life. Honestly, when I am home, I spend more time in the city eating than I do at home with my family. With the help of other suburbanites, actual Chicago locals and, of course, the Internet, I complied a list of the 25 best restaurants in Chicago. Some of them you will find on other top lists, but a lot of them are one-of-a-kinds that definitely beat out the mainstream spots. 

1. Band of Bohemia

Band of Bohemia is a Ravenswood brewhouse unlike any other. Besides their long list of unique beers and expansive menu, they claim their spot on the list of Chicago's best for their bar food. With only five items on this limited-time menu, each bite — especially the Fried Kennebecs — is worth the hike up north.

2. Pequod's Pizza

Forget the old-as-time debate over Lou Malnati's versus Giordano's, it's all about Pequod's. Pequod's deep dish pizza is cooked in a cheese-sprinkled pan, giving the pizza what they call a "caramelized crust." And frankly, it really is a jaw-dropping, unique taste.

3. Little Goat

Little Goat Diner is known affectionately for serving breakfast all day (aka the American dream), but their menu also expands into essentially everything you've ever hoped and dreamed of. 

Little Goat also has a one-of-a-kind bakery attached to it where you can order a goat-milk latte. Yes, I am for real. And yes, it tastes just like the cheese.

4. Girl & The Goat

Right across the street from the Little Goat is what has been called the one of the best restaurants in the world: Girl & The Goat. It was the original of Stephanie Izard's Chicago restaurants and it never fails to impress the masses, whether it be with roasted broccoli or goat empanadas.

#SpoonTip: If you're going to try this world-renowned fave, be sure to make a reservation in advance.

5. Coalfire Pizza

It might surprise you that a thin crust pizza place made a top list for Chicago, but it is well deserved. Coalfire Pizza makes their pies in an 800 degree oven and their topping combinations are outside the box, yet perfect. They have everything from Vodka Meatball to Lasagna pizza — all worth a try.

6. The Purple Pig

The Purple Pig made Bon Appétit's 2010 list of top 10 restaurants in the country and is consistently a local and visitor favorite in Chicago. Its exceptional blend of Mediterranean food offered on the menu makes it feel like you're far outside of the Windy City with every bite. 

7. Lula Café

Lula Café is raved about citywide for their spectacular brunch which offers a few select items that may change seasonally. They have also been a long time front runner in the farm-to-table movement involving local farms and offering a popular Monday night farm dinner with pre-selected courses.

8. Longman & Eagle

Longman & Eagle has it all: a bar, a restaurant and an inn. L & E is known for their extensive (400+) whiskey menu. If that doesn't get you excited, then the food will. Their farm-to-table dishes are hyped up no matter the season. The duck egg hash and handmade gnocchi are must-trys.

9. Au Cheval

Au Cheval has hands-down the most talked about burger in the Chicagoland area. It is constantly topping lists of best burgers in the country, but everything on the menu is just as show-stopping. The chilaquiles at brunch are supposed to be life changing, but I have yet to try them. BRB.

10. Trenchermen

Besides the inside of Trencherman topping our (hypothetical) most impressive decor list, its food is also flawless. The restaurant aspires to be a community meeting place with swanky drinks and finer bites. Their eggs florentine — offered at brunch — is a local fave.

11. Portillo’s

Could I really make a Chicago's best list without including Portillo's? Even if it's a bit "too suburban," it's still a Chicago classic with some pretty dank food. The extra soft poppy seed bun on the Chicago dog, crinkle-cut cheese fries, chopped salad, croissant sandwiches, the famous chocolate cake shake and other must-orders really have no competition. 

12. Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co.

This one has been all over the internet lately because of its Pizza Pot Pie. Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. brings history to its customers in the bottom floor of an old Lincoln Park home, while also redefining deep dish. The pies are made from scratch and can also be bought frozen to eat at home. #blessed

13. Fat Rice

If you haven't heard a Chicagoan talk about Fat Rice's potstickers then you are probably living under a rock. Fat Rice is a culinary one-of-a-kind with food based off the Macau region in China. It is a masterful blend of Asia-meets-Europe and everyone seems to love it.

14. Emilio's Tapas Sol y Nieve

Emilio's is the type of restaurant where it feels like you've known everyone inside for years and the tapas taste like they are straight out of Spain. The Queso De Cabra Al Horno (baked goat cheese with tomato sauce) is a classic and basically every kind of tostada on the menu will leave you wanting more.

15. Café Ba-Ba-Reeba

In my opinion, the more students that study abroad in Spain, the more the tapas demand in the US is bound to grow. With a tapas menu more noteworthy than most, Café Ba-Ba-Reeba is another authentic Chicago favorite. Their Pintxos (bite-sized tapas) and chocolate cake are especially good.

16. Davanti Enoteca

Davanti Enoteca is a small plate Italian restaurant with locations in Chicago and in San Diego. The Focaccia Di Recco (flatbread filled with ricotta and topped with honeycomb) might be the greatest thing on the menu. They also serve Glazed & Infused doughnuts, which are another Chi-Town fave.

#SpoonTip: The Little Italy location is especially great for outdoor dining.

17. Dove’s Luncheonette

Dove's Luncheonette is a small, old fashioned-style diner located under the Damen Blue Line stop in Wicker Park. Its quaint feel makes the flavorful food that much more surprising and delicious. The Pepper & Potato Hash followed by the Pozole Rojo makes for the truly perfect meal.

18. Antique Taco

Hip tacos have become a nationwide phenomenon and can usually be pretty disappointing; besides being great for pictures, Antique Taco's food happens to be actually great.

The Crispy Fish Taco possibly tops the list with the best fish taco I have ever eaten. They don't over-do their food and choose each topping thoughtfully and elegantly.

19. Butcher & The Burger

Butcher & The Burger is a burger bar that stands alone in the Windy City. Customers get to build their own burger by choosing the type of patty, spices, bun, toppings and extras. No matter the combo, the ingredients are fresh and undoubtably delicious.

If customers need help creating a masterpiece, their burger-building staff can give some drool-worthy suggestions. And if you happen to fall in love, they sell uncooked patties for take-home.

20. Urbanbelly

Urbanbelly is THE spot for Asian dining in Chicago. Its popularity inspired Chef Kim to open a second location just this year. Other than their famous dumplings, Urbanbelly favorites include the Phat Rice (or Noodle) and the Wok Fired Rice Cakes.

21. Crisp

Crisp is a Korean BBQ joint catered to Chicagoans. The Buddha Bowls and Korean Burritos are good, but the fried chicken is what makes this place a top Chicago restaurant. The Seoul Sassy Fried Chicken is a family recipe and a hands-down favorite. 

22. Flub A Dub Chub's

Flub A Dub Chub's Hotdog Emporium is a small, family-owned, good ol' Chicago dog shop. Customers can get fries or tots with their Flubby (100 percent Vienna Beef) or Chubby (quarter-pound grilled Vienna Beef) dog. Not much beats the perfect simplicity of this hole-in-the-wall spot.

23. Chicago Bagel Authority

Chicago Bagel Authority — lovingly known as CBA — isn't just the perfect Insta, it's also the perfect bagel sandwich. As the NYC bagel trend has made its way to Chi, these bagels give the Big Apple a run for its money. 

Their Steamwiches offer almost every sammie combination you can imagine. If you can't decide, tell the staff what you like and ask them to surprise you (trust me, you'll love it).

24. White Palace Grill

White Palace Grill is great for two reasons. First, the menu stands out compared to most cookie-cutter diners. Second, it's open 24 hours a day. The main menu is pretty uninteresting, but they get the title of "best" thanks to the Southern Chicken Biscuit Platter and the specials menu which consists of eight varieties of chicken and waffles.

25. XOCO

We've all heard of XOCO's churros, but they also have great tortas. This restaurant presents something new and interesting that its sister restaurant (Frontera Grill) doesn't quite do. That's why the whole no-reservations-line-out-the-door thing is pretty much worth it. 

There you have it — the best restaurants in Chicago. Now get to eating, because this is one long foodie bucket list.