NEMA Chicago is set to be the tallest rental residence in the city. Designed by renowned architect Rafael Viñoly with interiors by the equally lauded Rockwell Group, NEMA is primed to take Downtown Chicago apartments to the next level both literally and metaphorically. While enjoying life at these new Chicago residences, make sure to head outside to explore some of the best culinary attractions right near NEMA Chicago in South Loop. Here are a few of our favorites.

Acadia | 1639 South Wabash Avenue

In its first year of operation, Acadia received a Michelin Star, and just a few years later, it received a second one. The menu is as inventive as it is eclectic, drawing significantly from Maine and Vietnam. Owner and head chef Ryan McCaskey is a master at his craft and a meticulous artist who has developed a wonderfully bright and unique menu. We recommend visiting Acadia for a special occasion and choosing their 10-course tasting menu.

The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant | 1401 South Michigan Avenue

Housed within the former firehouse of Engine Company 104—which was constructed in 1905— this elegant American eatery has been one of the city’s premier restaurants for nearly 20 years. The building is stunning, as most of the original architecture has been preserved, and it mixes quite nicely with the traditional, vibrant design of the interior. Well-known for their exquisite seafood and steak dishes, Chicago Firehouse serves up finely prepared and well-balanced meals. Go for the ambiance, and stay for the food.

Everest | 425 South Financial Place, 40th Floor

If you’re drawn to stunning wide-ranging views of Chicago, robust French cuisine with a litany of vegetarian options, and an absolutely enormous, finely curated wine list, Everest is the spot for you. Housed on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, it certainly has incredible views, but the folks at Everest certainly do not rest on the draw of the vistas; the cuisine is still—somehow—the star of the show. We strongly recommend trying their vegetarian tasting menu, whether you eat meat or not. What they are able to do with vegetables is like nothing you have seen before.

La Cantina Grill | 1911 South Michigan Avenue

Over the last decade, La Cantina has become one of the most celebrated Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood—and for good reason. Their dedication to creating an authentic Mexican experience is evident everywhere, from the ambiance to the cuisine itself. Their enchiladas are phenomenal, and their chimichangas are wildly flavorful. They have a wide selection of tequila and mezcal and boast a world-class margarita.

Sofi Restaurant | 616 South Dearborn Street

You can’t publish a best restaurant list without including at least one Italian option—and this is a great one. Sofi features vibrant, fresh pasta dishes as well as meat-centered entrees that are all thoughtfully prepared and exquisitely tempting. They offer a large wine list with many excellent selections from Northern Italy. For those nights when nothing but fine Italian fare will do, Sofi should be your destination.

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