Food is integral to almost all of our most memorable moments. Consider all of the holidays spent around the table with loved ones and glasses clinked in joy at every major celebration.
In Chicago, we’re lucky to have a thriving food scene with historic stalwarts joined by creative new chefs. When there are so many wonderful choices, it can be hard to know where to start when you’re planning one of life’s celebrations.
You want the right caterer to craft a custom, highly-personal menu that your friends and family will remember for years to come. Whether it’s a Chicago caterer who can conjure your grandmother’s infamous chocolate mousse or who can ensure that your menu is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and the like — we’ve got your pick.
*list in alphabetical order
What we Love: We love how this Chicago-based catering company offers an extensive variety of custom catering options that include Kosher-style, vegan, gluten-free and more. Amazing Edibles Catering forges strong relationships with their clients and the community while also creating exquisite cuisine for both virtual and live events.
What to Know: Andrea Herrera, President of Amazing Edibles Catering, says, “Our mission is to foster relationship-building at bread-breaking events. And what could be more relationship-building than a wedding? Our two-part tasting process beginning with Bridal Bites then Cocktails and Conversation allows us to get to know you and what’s most important to you so that we can help bring your vision to life.”
What to See: Of this rustic outdoor wedding, Herrera shares, “This micro wedding was one of our first when the city reopened for events during COVID. We were able to create an intimate and safe celebration in a beautiful venue with amazing food and drinks where love and family were the focus.”
What to Know: The Ashyana Banquets – Events & Catering team boasts event planners as well as expert chefs skilled in a variety of global cuisine, including authentic offerings from various states of India, Pakistani dishes, as well as Western and Italian fare.
What to See: This Irish and Indian Trinidadian wedding featured a beautiful dinner party for the cultures to unite — in cuisine and love — during an intimate and safe COVID-era celebration.
What to Know: Grace Hamilton, Director of Weddings and Events for Big Delicious Planet, says, “When you choose Big Delicious Planet, you can count on receiving top-notch planning, creative menus including produce from our Urban Farm, and impeccable service. In 2013, the Green Restaurant Association awarded BDP the highest green rating (4-Star Certified) they had ever given a catering company, a title we still hold today.”
What to See: Hamilton shares of this gorgeous summer wedding, “This memorable wedding was a beautiful tribute to the best of the season. Mezcal margaritas and passed hors d’oeuvres were garnished with edible floral, and the tabletops were decorated with an abundance of vibrant blooms. Guiding guests to their seats with violet watercolor signage, the couple served a flavorful menu that guests raved about.”
What to Know: Tiffany Pruitt, Director of Events & Catering for Big Star, says, “Big Star is a bourbon and beer-focused, taco-slinging, late-night honky-tonk in the heart of Chicago’s Wicker Park. Executive Chef Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine Chris Miller’s menu, inspired by authentic Mexican street food, is complemented by an extensive cocktail program. We offer full-service catering and also have 2 food trucks!”
What to See: Pruitt shares, “We have been a staple in Chicago for over 10 years, and lots of Brides & Grooms have celebrated their first dates with us or have frequented our patio. We have created many memories for them over the years and nothing’s better than hosting their big day!”
What to Know: Missy Wright Scroggins, Sales Director for Blue Plate Catering, says, “Our team is dedicated to turning your event vision into reality, working directly with you, your planner, and your venue to develop beautiful and creative menus, presentations, and experiences. Whether your vision is traditional, contemporary, or in-between, we will create a culinary experience that is uniquely yours.”
What to See: Scroggins shares of this dinner party, “This event is a a total collaborative effort with both client, outstanding vendor partners, and our culinary team. The menu is a visually-stunning seasonal and creative feast of flavors.”
PartySlate note: See more of this top catering team’s amazing fare at PartySlate’s first-ever launch party in Chicago.
What we Love: We love how seamless Boka Catering Group makes any event with the help of their enthusiastic and energetic team. Michelin-starred Chef Giuseppe Tentori — along with a collection of award-winning restaurants that fall under the Boka name — will make your event unforgettable.
What to Know: Boka Catering Group has a well-earned reputation for creative custom fare, presented stylishly. Couples and other party hosts note that the team goes above and beyond to accommodate every special request and that guests talk about their food long after the event.
What to See: This garden-inspired July wedding wows with rich greenery and elegant accents, but also with its menu. The Boka team thought of every meaningful detail from mouth-watering passed bites to a delectable dessert bar.
What to Know: Boutique Bites earns rave reviews from party host for their extensive menu options as well as their friendly, responsive service. The catering company was founded in 2008 by Executive Chef Elaina Vazquez who trained at some of the best restaurants in the country. Bonus: The team opened a venue (Brique) as well, meaning they offer a full-service event experience.
What to See: This Hamptons-themed summer party brought a little East Coast glamour to Chicago’s North Shore. The cocktail party featured a memorable menu of fresh seafood and clever, themed fare that perfectly fit the beachy vibe of the soirée.
Morton Grove, IL
What to Know: Lisa Ware, Director of Business Development for Catering by Michaels, says, “We believe that catering is more than just food on a plate. We take the time to learn about your event and create a menu that not only helps achieve our clients goals, but enhances the experience for every guest.”
What to See: Ware shares of the Columbian Ball at the Museum of Science and Industry, “Our mission for this event was to inspire the inventive genius in everyone by presenting captivating and compelling food and beverage experiences in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission. Every single detail of this event and menu provided a unique and elegant experience and celebrated the exciting future of space travel.”
PartySlate note: Catering by Michaels was a premier catering partner at our company launch party in Chicago, offering creative and interesting fare to our guests.
What to Know: Entertaining Company draws raves from their clients for marrying cultural and other food traditions into cohesive, delectable menus — with concierge service that provides warm responsiveness and astounding attention to detail.
What to See: Of this vibrant summer wedding, the catering team shares, “This gorgeous summer wedding was all about mixing vibrant seasonal flavors with stunning floral and décor. One of our favorite aspects of this wedding was how beautifully our cheese and charcuterie boards correlated with the table centerpieces. The menu also included a portable raw bar passed by our servers in hawker boxes as well as an artisan salad with corn blinis and balsamic-glazed sea bass.”
PartySlate note: Entertaining Company partnered with PartySlate, offering a gourmet meal for our exclusive dinner party for investors and press featuring Hamilton’s Miguel Cervantes.
What to Know: Tina Colletta, Marketing Manager for Food For Thought, says, “We believe buffets shouldn’t be boring. That’s why we work with clients to design custom-built food presentation pieces that coincide with forward-thinking menu items to take event themes to the next level.”
What to See: Colletta shares this unique corporate holiday party, and says, “Using innovative food displays, we created a fantastical world that embodied all the magic found in Tim Burton’s collection of film-work. Stations reflected the personality of each movie, culminating in a ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ dessert suite with Oompa Loompas dishing up sweets via conveyor belt, slides, and a custom beverage dispenser.
What to Know: Well-known for Chicago mainstays like Gibsons Steakhouse and Hugos Frog Bar, Gibsons Catering brings that city glitz and flavor to every celebration, from monogrammed ice bars to passed bites that wow.
What to See: Gibsons Catering was a partner at PartySlate’s very own third company anniversary bash; we knew we could rely on the team for fresh fare and a dynamic presentation that guests would remember.
PartySlate Note: See more of our PartySlate’s 3rd anniversary party catered in part by Gibsons Catering, with a focus on a creative, statement-making, carved ice presentation.
What we Love: We love how Goat Group Catering takes great pride in making every event unique and different. They understand their clients’ visions and bring them to life by tailoring their menu for each individual event.
What to Know: Gabbie Gresge, Marketing and Creative Director of Boka Restaurant Group (which includes Goat Group Restaurants), says, “From corporate lunches and dinners to social receptions, weddings, and in-home dinner parties, Goat Group Catering can take you and your guests on a truly unique culinary adventure! We are your partner in every detail of custom events, as well as a visionary counterpart leading you through an extraordinary, hospitable experience.”
What to See: Gresge shares of this luxury dinner party catered by Goat Group Catering, “This outdoor event was a dream to plan — from the florals to the farm-to-table setting, it epitomized our seasonal, creative approach to food. Watching guests enjoy the meal, summer weather, and vendors is the reason we love our business!”
What to Know: Morgan Berrington, General Manager of J&L Catering says, “At J&L Catering, our goal is to create a custom catering experience for our clients. We always put our food and service at the forefront of each event, allowing our clients’ visions to shine through.”
What to See: Berrington says of this gorgeous Lyric Opera House wedding, “We made this event especially memorable for our clients by providing multiple food stations and passed food options that reflected the client’s background, culture, and travel together. They wanted a fun and different “wedding experience” and we delivered just that!”
PartySlate note: J&L Catering partnered with PartySlate on our chic 3rd anniversary party, serving delectable passed hor d’oeuvres. The team was also a featured caterer at our original launch event in Chicago.
What to Know: Jewell Events Catering goes above and beyond with both their unique, custom fare and their responsiveness and service. The team accommodates every food allergy, sensitivity, and preference with flair.
What to See: This classic city wedding features not only fantastic shots of the couple and their loved ones against iconic Chicago backdrops, but also creative, delectable fare.
What we Love: Labaratory by Scarlette is out with the old and in with the new, recreating classic cocktails with creative presentation and incorporating rare ingredients. We appreciate that whatever they have brewing behind the bar is both whimsical and delicious.
What to Know: Claudine Kielson, Owner & Chief SpiritGuide℠ of Labaratory by Scarlette, says, “Labaratory by Scarlette was born from a desire to ‘take spirits to a higher level©’. There are infinite opportunities to create magic in this life, and events are a wonderful arena to make that enchantment happen. What some see as the bar basics, such as ice, liquor, and garnish, we see as vehicles to transcend the banal into something glorious.”
What to See: Kielson says of this glamorous pink launch party, “Bvlgari’s mission for their Omnia Pink Sapphire launch party was to transform the Sheats Goldstein Residence into a pink L.A. oasis. We built a breathtaking menu that utilized local ingredients to make custom infusions and large ice spheres bursting with pink edible flowers to bring the taste, look, and feel of the “pink” into every glass.”
PartySlate note: Labaratory by Scarlette was a partner at PartySlate’s Los Angeles launch party with cocktails as memorably tasty as they were beautiful.
What to Know: Sarah Banasiak, Chief Creative Officer of The Revel Group (of which Limelight Catering is a member), says, “Our cuisine is driven by our food philosophy and a desire to provide innovative culinary experiences. There is no cookie cutter solution. We craft menus that align with each client’s vision and can accommodate clients’ specific desires. If people at our events walk away thinking, ‘I didn’t want this party to end,’ then we’ve done our job.”
What to See: Banasiak says of the team’s omkase (a Japanese term that means that the guest puts their choices in the hands of the chef) dinner party, “Our 7 course omakase dinner features the creativity and style of a one-of-a-kind photography exhibit.”
What to Know: Lauren Hammond, Communications Director for LM Restaurant Group, says, “The LM Catering & Events team has worked to create a full-service approach at their three exclusive venues: City View Loft, Lacuna Events by LM, and Kitchen Chicago. This provides clients with the complete service they are accustomed to receiving at hotels but in one-of-a-kind settings.
What to See: Hammond shares of this beautiful intimate rooftop wedding, “Bella and Larry had an intimate ceremony and reception on the SkyDeck at Lacuna Lofts in September of 2020. Due to the pandemic, lots of logistics had to be adjusted, however; and with the help of an awesome team of vendors, the end result was an incredibly special day with a one-of-a-kind setting.”
What we Love: It’s hard to narrow down what we love about Paramount Events, but here’s a start: a hand-picked hired and trained (never outsourced) service staff and fresh, seasonal cuisine. They maintain their own organic grow-house from which the team handpicks produce daily to limit refrigeration and maximize flavor.
What to Know: Kim Urbaniak, Vice President of Catering for Paramount Events, says, “Paramount Events is Chicago’s premier full-service and drop-off catering company specializing in seasonal and fresh food, sourcing ingredients from local purveyors and an on-site greenhouse. We combine innovative catering and impeccable service to bring the finest chef-driven cuisine to any table you’re gathered around, no matter the size or style.”
What to See: Urbaniak shares of this boho-inspired Michigan wedding, “For this boho-inspired wedding, our team traveled out of state and stayed four days to make sure this nature-infused wedding was a memorable and flawless event. From rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, and next-day brunch, the vegan, South African-themed menu was a uniquely customized creation.”
PartySlate note: Paramount Events catered PartySlate’s 2nd anniversary party with flair, combining delicious passed bites with themed stations. We worked with the talented team at our first launch party as well.
What we Love: We love how Truffleberry creates a bespoke catering experience that combines dynamic dining with customized menus and wow-worthy designs. This chef-driven catering company uses the highest-quality ingredients and innovative cooking techniques to bring dining to the forefront of your celebration.
What to Know: David Abrahamsen, Chief Marketing Officer for Truffleberry, says, “Truffleberry is a chef-driven catering company redefining what is possible in a catered format. Our job is more than feeding guests, it’s about creating a dynamic culinary experience. Through bespoke details, customized menus, highest quality ingredients, evocative presentation, and meticulous attention to detail – your guests will be impressed.”
What to See: Abrahamsen says of this sophisticated Derby cocktail party, “Truffleberry was off to the races with ideas for this event. We excelled in bringing attention to detail and personalized touches on the branded old-fashioned glasses, straw flags, and linen napkins. The theme was highlighted with a bourbon bar and our food showcased on vintage wood passing trays, stations with boxwood, and red rose garnish.
PartySlate’s editorial team takes great care when curating reliable lists to help you plan any type of event, from weddings and birthday parties to corporate events and galas.
We create our “Best” lists utilizing proprietary PartySlate data, as well as reviews, honors, professional speaking engagements, and more. It’s a combination of art and science designed to help you hire the best team to create your perfect celebration.
Next Steps on PartySlate:
In addition to finding the best Chicago caterers, PartySlate is here to help you find your entire team of Chicago event vendors. Whether you’re planning a wedding or birthday bash, an employee appreciation event or a gala, head to our curated directory to find everything from florists and photographers to caterers and entertainment companies. You can also click on the following Chicago event vendors:
You can also discover the perfect Chicago venue for your celebration — be it a wedding, milestone celebration, gala, or corporate event — here. Use filters to narrow your list by type of venue, capacity, amenities, and more.
Lastly, you can use PartySlate to discover top inspiration and creative ideas for your wedding. Browse real event albums from our homepage under “Browse by Celebrations” or click below on the type of celebration you’re planning.
Your dream Chicago celebration awaits…