Planning a group dining occasion in Chicago can quickly get overwhelming with the long list of top-rated restaurants across the city. If you need a few ideas of where to host an upcoming wedding rehearsal dinner, birthday bash, or a team victory celebration, you’re in the right place. From relatively small group dinners to large-scale soirees, we’ve compiled a list of a few spots to consider for your next dinner event in Chicago. Keep on reading to see a few recommendations for your dining venue and the best way for your special dinner guests to travel.

A group of friends toasting and taking a selfie at a restaurant

How to Travel

Booking a shuttle for a large-scale dining event can make arrival and departure significantly easier for guests, organizers, and even the restaurant itself. Chicago Charter Bus Company offers personalized minibus and charter bus rental services across the metro area for a variety of events. Renting a minibus can allow your colleagues to unwind during happy hour without the worry of needing a DD, or ensure that all of your rehearsal dinner guests make it to the restaurant right on time. Chicago Charter Bus Company offers a variety of group transportation solutions to make your dining experience in the Windy City run as smoothly as possible. Call 312-667-0906 to book a minibus or charter bus rental to shuttle your group of diners around Chicago with ease.


Chicago Restaurants for Small- to Medium-Sized Groups

Looking for a Chicago restaurant to have a casual group meal? You’ll find quite a few spots that can accommodate groups with reservations or take walk-ins if you don’t have too many people. Here are just a few popular casual eateries for small or medium-sized groups:


Parlor Pizza Bar

West Loop

Address: 108 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607

Phone: (312) 600-6090

Parlor Pizza is one of Chicago’s many beloved pizzerias. There are multiple locations across the city but the West Loop location is conveniently located and perfect for occasions like corporate happy hours. This location has a spacious indoor area and a large covered patio with seating arrangements that can accommodate big groups. Order up a few of Parlor’s creative pies like the Burrata Be Kidding Me and I Feel Like Bacon Love along with a few pints of beer or tasty cocktails. Parlor Pizza Bar also has a weekend brunch with breakfast cocktails like bloody marys and mimosa alongside specialty brunch pizzas, omelets, and chicken biscuits.

Bus parking tip: As with many neighborhoods in Chicago, finding parking near Parlor Pizza in the West Loop can be difficult. Most parking is located on the street. If you’re traveling by minibus or charter bus, consider contacting the restaurant to ask for parking recommendations.

Friends smiling and eating pizza

The Purple Pig Restaurant

Near North Side/Magnificent Mile

Address: 444 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Phone:  (312) 464-1744

This famed Mediterranean eatery has been a Magnificent Mile mainstay since 2009, serving up a variety of fine cheeses, tasty pork dishes, and wines. Dishes are served tapas-style, which is perfect for groups who want to try a variety of dishes together. Just a few popular dishes you should consider include the turkey leg confit, roasted bone marrow, milk braised pork shoulder, and ginger glazed pork belly. The Purple Pig also has vegetarian pasta entrees and starters like their famous salt-roasted beets. Reservations are available online or by phone and walk-ins are also welcome. If you have a group larger than 4, making a reservation is highly recommended.

Bus parking tip:  Parking along Magnificent Mile can be notoriously hard, even by Chicago standards. If you’re traveling by charter bus shuttle, it’s highly recommended your group gets dropped off and your driver parks outside of the neighborhood while you wine and dine.


Small Cheval

Wicker Park/West Town

Address: 1732 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Phone:  (312) 837-3859

In the mood for classic burgers, shakes, and fries? Small Cheval is the place to be. This casual rustic eatery has long community-style tables inside and spacious picnic tables outside on the patio for large groups. The no-frills menu includes classic hamburgers, cheeseburgers, golden fries, and a plant-based burger for visitors who don’t eat meat. Small Cheval also has a handful of beers on draft and a variety of canned brews too. Small Cheval does not take reservations and tables are available on a first-come-first-served basis. You can always call ahead to see how busy the restaurant may be and if they have open tables at the time

Parking tip: Street parking can be found on W Wabansia Ave and N Leavitt Street. Additional street parking may be available on nearby roads but keep in mind that many of these areas are residential.

a bartender making a flaming cocktail at a bar

Three Dots and a Dash

Near North Side

Address: 435 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

Phone: (312) 610-4220

Three Dots and a Dash is the ultimate place for a fun night out. This tiki-themed spot is a great choice if you’re looking for food and drinks in a bar atmosphere. Three Dots serves up Asian fusion dishes like Thai fried chicken, crab rangoons, and pu pu platters. You can also order a variety of creative cocktails served up in unique glasses. Where else are you going to get a smoking cocktail served out of a hippo cup? Three Dots and a Dash offers reservations, which are highly recommended if you’re planning a group visit during a busy night. Lines can easily trail out the door on the weekend. There are also multiple private event spaces for larger events.

Bus parking tip: Street parking is extremely limited in this area and it’s highly recommended you organize parking off-site if you’re traveling by charter bus.


Private Dining Spaces in Chicago

Hosting a large dining event like a company holiday dinner? You should consider booking a private space for your group to fully enjoy the dining experience without the worry of being too loud around other guests. The following restaurants have private dining spaces that are sure to please your dinner guests.


Girl & The Goat

West Loop

Address: 809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

Phone: (312) 492-6262

Since opening in 2010, Girl & The Goat has become one of Chicago’s most popular fine dining locations among local foodies. The restaurant offers an intimate private dining space, affectionately called the Underground Goat,  for groups of up to 24 or 26 guests depending on seating arrangements. Dining in the Underground Goat is a great choice for special events like business dinners and birthday parties. True to its name, Girl & The Goat serves up creative New American fare like goat empanadas and confit goat belly. If you’re not a fan of goat, try other popular dishes like wood oven-roasted pig face, chickpea fritters, and pan-roasted scallops. Groups planning a private party can choose from dining packages that include a curated family-style menu from Chef Stephanie Izard. Your package can also include drinks like beer, wine, specialty cocktails, or champagne.

Bus parking tip: Parking in the West Loop can be a nightmare for many diners, so it’s highly recommended that you organize group drop off and pick up with your charter bus driver.

Business people having a dinner and chatting

Nico Osteria

Gold Coast/Near North Side

Address: 1015 N Rush St Chicago, IL 60611

Phone: (312) 994-7100

If you’re looking for a chic and sleek Italian restaurant to host your next company dinner, birthday meal, or a special event like a rehearsal dinner, Nico Osteria is the place. The restaurant boasts 5 semi-private and private event spaces to suit any type of atmosphere you’d like for your occasion. Depending on seating arrangements, the restaurant’s spaces can accommodate anywhere from 40 to 200 guests. You can build a custom menu for your guests or offer buffet-style services for your event. Consider adding foodie faves to your menu like lobster spaghetti, brussels sprouts bruschetta, and grilled octopus.

Bus parking tip: Nico Osteria offers valet parking for guests traveling by car but if you’re traveling by charter bus, your driver will need to find street parking or park outside of the neighborhood



Lincoln Park

Address: 1729 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Phone: (312) 337-6070

Boka has made a big name for itself in the Chicago food scene since opening almost 20 years ago, with many guests saying the food is well worthy of its Michelin Star and James Beard Award nominations. This New American restaurant focuses on offering fresh food with the finest of seasonal ingredients. Boka’s menu changes with the seasons and the popular course tasting menu often changes daily. A few seasonal favorites that you may find during your dining experiences include slow-cooked beef short rib, dry-aged Rohan duck, and ricotta dumplings. With its award-winning menu and private glass-enclosed terrace for up to 32 diners, Boka is the place to take guests you’re looking to impress.

Bus parking tip: It’s highly recommended that any guest opting to drive take advantage of Boka’s valet service. Groups booking a minibus should advise their driver that some parking can be found on nearby streets but may be difficult to come by during certain hours.

A group of friends having beer and food

Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery

Ukrainian Village/West Town

Address: 1746 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Phone: (312) 929-2202

This brewpub offers a more casual private dining atmosphere for groups looking to have a relaxed night with tasty food and brews. Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery offers semi-private and private event packages for occasions like birthday celebrations, company lunches, and happy hours. Guests can order flights with Forbidden Root’s brews like the refreshing Strawberry Basil Hefeweizen or the citrus-forward Snoochie Boochies double IPA. The brewpub’s menu is packed with tasty comfort foods and creative bites like duck with dumplings, pork schnitzel sandwiches, and mushroom pot pie.

Bus parking tip:  Since Forbidden Root is located quite a ways from the Loop, street parking is more readily available and less of a hassle. If our charter bus driver can’t find parking on W Chicago Ave, additional street parking can be found on nearby roads.


Easily Dine in Chicago with a Group

Ready to wine and dine in the Windy City? Chicago Charter Bus Company is here to help your group of diners travel safely to and from your restaurant of choice. Call 312-667-0906 24/7 to book a compact yet comfortable minibus rental in Chicago for your next group dining experience.