Big Easy in Chicago

There is no way to replicate New Orleans. The city has a charm, uniqueness and history all its own. The only way to truly experience the Big Easy is to plan a New Orleans vacation. But for when you need a little N?awlins fix in Chicago to get you in the mood, we have the inspiration in these restaurants, bars and more that channel the French Quarter and beyond.

Updated: August 10, 2011

Big Easy in Chicago

Heaven On Seven

600 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

When a craving for Louisiana-style cooking strikes outside of New Orleans, look no further than this restaurant for authentic Cajun cuisine whipped up by famed chef Jimmy Bannos. From Mardi Gras jambalaya to red beans and rice, you'll find all the classic dishes here.

Blue Bayou

3734 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

This New Orleans-themed bar and grill serves up a mean cocktail in a low-key, bustling atmosphere. Go for the Mud Bug, with vanilla vodka, Kahlua and Bailey's, or, for a fruitier concoction, try the Voodoo Doll, a refreshingly sweet combination of raspberry flavored rum, Chambord and cranberry juice.

Crossroads At House of Blues

329 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60610

It's all about Southern culture at this concert venue, which is known for its blues, rhythm and blues, gospel, jazz and roots-influenced rock and roll shows. It's the next best thing to live music in the French Quarter.

Wishbone Restaurant

1001 W Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL 60607

The West Loop now bustles, but the Wishbone set up shop long before any condos or fancy coffee shops opened their doors. The restaurant prides itself on Southern reconstruction cooking and serves traditional Southern-inspired dishes, such as shrimp and grits, jambalaya Cajun stew and blackened catfish.

Big Jones

5347 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Most know Big Jones for its menu of locally grown and farmed food with a southern coastal influence, but this restaurant also has an edge when it comes to New Orleans-style cocktails. Check out its extensive selection of bourbons and spirits or try out a specialty drink such as the Sazerac, with Rittenhouse Rye 100, cane syrup, Peychaud's and Kuebler absinthe. You'll feel like you're down south in a sip.