Pre-Theater Dining in Chicago

Restaurant favorites for pre-show dining in Chicago

Pre-theater dining at Vivere
Pre-theater dining at Vivere

Chicago has a wide variety of pre-theater dining options close to Chicago’s most beloved playhouses. Savvy resaturants recognize their patrons’ need for an elegant and timely meal before or after a performance.

Below are several restaurant suggestions for pre-theater dining, located just minutes away from some of Chicago’s finest theater venues.

Pre-theater dining near Chicago’s Theater District: Cadillac Palace Theatre, The PrivateBank Theatre, Oriental Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Harris Theater at Millennium Park

Atwood Cafe
1 W. Washington St.
At any time of day, you?ll find familiar American favorites that?ve been elevated with Chef Millman?s elegant touch and the finest local ingredients. Let the bar enhance your evening by crafting just the right cocktail, or recommending the perfect local beer or playful wine, to fit your meal and your mood. Please visit Atwood Cafe for more information.

150 N. Dearborn St.
Steps from Michigan Avenue, located in the heart of Chicago’s Loop, Petterino’s specializes in classic Italian dining, prime steaks and fresh seafood. Petterino’s offers pre- and post-theater menus. Traditional dishes, using simple and classic ingredients. Please visit Petterino’s for more information.

South Water Kitchen
225 N. Wabash Ave.
Dine on classic American favorites at this Hotel Monaco Chicago popular spot. Warm colors, strong columns and intimate lighting achieve a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, great for a quick bite to eat before enjoying a show at any of the nearby venues. Entrees range from $30 and under. Please visit South Water Kitchen for more information.

Great Street Restaurant & Bar
1 W. Wacker Dr.
Located on the 2nd floor of the Renaissance Chicago Hotel, this restaurant offers Contemporary American fare while achieving a sense of casual elegance. The atrium dining room surrounded by windows and lush greenery, complete with a breathtaking view of the Chicago skyline, make this a romantic dining destination before a night at the theater. An a la carte menu is available for dinner patrons looking for a quick and easy bite. Please visit Great Street Restaurant & Bar for more information.

The Park Grill
11 N. Michigan Ave.
Located within Millennium Park right off of Michigan Avenue, this one-of-a-kind Chicago restaurant offers classic American cuisine with a view. Floor-to-ceiling windows invite scenic ambiance of all that Chicago has to offer complemented with Executive Chef’s haute cuisine menu. Please visit The Park Grill for more information.

71 W. Monroe St.
The liveliest and most modern of the three Italian Village Restaurants, Vivere offers a contemporary twist on traditional Italian dishes. Reds and golds decoration creates a flashy but intimate interior great for a couple or family preparing for a night at the theater. Please visit Vivere for more information.

Steppenwolf Theatre

1732 N. Halsted St.
Enjoy the old world charm of Italy? Vinci may be the place for you. Just minutes away from the Steppenwolf Theatre in Lincoln Park, rustic Italian decor with beige walls, wooden tables and flowing drapes make this restaurant a casual but elegant pre-show venue. Servers are known to be sharp and speedy, catering to fast-paced theater diners on their way to Steppenwolf. Please visit Vinci for more information.

1729 N. Halsted St.
Sleek and trendy, this restaurant offers the Italian creations of Chef Giuseppe Scurato, former chef of Spaggo-Chicago and MK. This intimate and chic restaurant is a great venue for the stylish Steppenwolf theater-goer. Please visit Boka for more information.

Adobo Grill
215 W. North Ave.
This regional Mexican cuisine restaurant brings fine quality fare. A lively atmosphere and Chef Freddy Sanchez’s playful, authentic menu makes this a fun spot before an evening out at the Steppenwolf theater. Try their signature guacamole prepared tableside with a lava rock mortar and pestle. A second bar is open for large weekend, theater-going crowds. Please visit Adobo Grill for more information.

Chicago Symphony Center, Auditorium Theatre

The Gage
24 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago (Loop / S. Michigan Ave.)
The Gage is an iconic restaurant located along the Cultural Mile of S. Michigan Ave. near The Art Institute of Chicago, Symphony Center and the Auditorium Theatre. This American restaurant is equally good for pre-theater dining or the perfect business lunch.  The Gage is named after a group of 1880’s buildings owned by the Gage Brothers at 24-30 S. Michigan Ave. that housed three milliners of fashionable ladies hats. Please visit for more information.

1312 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago (South Loop)
Dine at this Prohibition-era style establishment before the Auditorium for an interesting taste of history. Long corridors of exposed brick and white linen tables contrasted with warm orange and red accents give this hot spot a rustic, speakeasy sentiment. Chef Fred Ramos serves up classic Italian food including interesting homemade pastas and meats. Please visit Gioco for more information.