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3.27 | From Meatpacking to Michelin Stars

Restaurants share stories and cultures through the ultimate human experience—breaking bread together. At first glance, one may equate Chicago with hot dogs, deep-dish pizza, and Italian beef sandwiches, but throughout the city, you can find Michelin-starred restaurants, innovative culinary experiences, and revolutionary cocktail bars. We’re even the host city for the James Beard Awards.

Trace our city’s evolution from meatpacking capital to foodie paradise through our historic menu collection. Explore Chicago’s food history.

The CHM Research Center is home to these historical menus, as well as printed material, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, architectural drawings, and assorted ephemera. One of the premier research facilities in the city, the Research Center is free to access and open to the public, continuing the tradition of serving the public that the Chicago Historical Society established with its founding in 1856. While the Research Center is currently closed, you can still access many of our online resources.

Learn more about the Research Center.


The Chicago History Museum is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories