CHM will be open on Monday, July 4 more

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, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. The Museum has dedicated more than a century to celebrating and sharing Chicago stories through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming. The Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents and images to help audiences connect to the city and its history. The Chicago History Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. The Chicago History Museum is a 2016 winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest award given to these institutions for their community engagement and having an impact on the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories