Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the best high-end South American restaurants around Chicago, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to fill the bill.
1. Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
Photo: Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse/Yelp
Topping the list is Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, a haven for carnivores. Located at 661 N. Lasalle Blvd. in River North, the steakhouse is the most popular high-end South American restaurant in Chicago, boasting 4.5 stars out of 1,423 reviews on Yelp. The churrascaria -- founded in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, with a focus on roasting spears of meat on an open fire -- has dozens of other locations in the United States and Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil. The menu features a variety of fire-roasted cuts of meat and seafood, a buffet packed with salads, veggies, soup, and feijoada -- a traditional black bean stew with rice, fresh orange and yucca flour. An extensive wine list, cocktail program and indulgent desserts round out the menu.
Photo: Abby T./Yelp
Next up is River North's ZED451, situated at 739 N. Clark St. With four stars out of 1,218 reviews on Yelp, the steakhouse, lounge and Brazilian spot has proven to be a local favorite for those looking to indulge. At ZED451, the meat comes to you, with chefs slicing off chunks of fire-grilled fare and hand-carved rotisserie table side. Approach the "harvest table" for a wide selection of salads, soups, sides and charcuterie. The steakhouse also offers a popular brunch and rooftop seating.
3. Texas de Brazil
Photo: Texas De Brazil/Yelp
Streeterville's Texas de Brazil, located at 210 E. Upper Illinois St. in the Optima Chicago Center, is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the fancy steakhouse and Brazilian spot four stars out of 151 reviews. Dinner is $49.99 for adults and includes unlimited meats -- including filet mignon wrapped in bacon and parmesan-crusted pork loin -- and trips to the salad bar. The 7,700-square-foot restaurant also has an extensive drink menu with happy hour specials on weekdays in its bar.
4. El Che Bar
Photo: El Che Bar/Yelp
El Che Bar, an Argentinian spot in the West Loop, is another pricey go-to, with four stars out of 143 Yelp reviews. Head over to 845 W. Washington Blvd. (between Green and Peoria streets) to see for yourself. Serving wood-fired Argentinian fare and South American-influenced cocktails, El Che Bar was opened in 2016 by chef John Manion as his "homage to the steak-heavy traditions of Argentina's Asador," the business says on its website. The 100-seat restaurant has a 12-foot custom-built grill for its flame-cooked meats, vegetables and seafood. For special occasions, try the 10-course chef's counter for $110 per person.
5. Evita Argentinian Steakhouse
Photo: Evita Argentinian Steakhouse/Yelp
Over in North Park, check out Evita Argentinian Steakhouse, which has earned four stars out of 25 reviews on Yelp. Treat yourself at the kosher steakhouse, located at 6112 N. Lincoln Ave., which features a warm ambiance and regional dishes from throughout Argentina. The menu is varied with a tongue pinxos appetizer (house-pickled tongue with a dry fig and apricot compote); grilled baby lamb chops with a honey and rosemary baste; and the Buenos Aires classic milanesa a caballo (breaded, boneless veal chop with fries and two sunny-side up eggs). Desserts include homemade churros, poached pears topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate lava cake.