Locals all know how good Chicago’s dining scene really is, but we could not be happier that the New York Times has just placed two local names to its list of the 50 best restaurants in America right now.
Our city loves food, and the industry is recovering
Chicagoans and tourists alike all know how much Chicago loves food. The Windy City has been named a foodie haven, and many reputable culinary publications like Bon Appétit, Conde Nast Traveler, and Food & Wine have all acclaimed Chicago’s food scene. And there are good reasons behind all that fame. You can find a variety of heart-warming and sensational dishes in over 8,000 restaurants spread across the city, some of the city’s iconic dishes being only a reservation away.
After the pandemic brought two really bad years for the restaurant industry, this year finally also marked some good developments, with newcomers opening each month.
For instance, wine lovers in the Chicago area will have another top destination in the city starting this fall. Chicago Winery—a First Batch Hospitality working winery, restaurant, tasting room and event venue — is putting the finishing touches and plans to open a massive two-floor space at 739 N Clark St in River North. Chicago Winery is the latest winery, restaurant and private event venue from First Batch Hospitality joining the ranks of local winemaking spots like City Winery and Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery.
Located downtown in River North, it is a space destined for those who love wine making (and drinking, who are we kidding?), but mostly enjoy gathering and sharing life’s best moments with their loved ones, all while having good wine and spectacular food, perfect for any events: weddings, work related events, happy hour with colleagues, date night with that special someone, or a winery tour.
In 2022, foodies have had nice events to look forward to in Chicago: The James Beard Awards were held in Chicago this past summer for the first time since 2019, while the Michelin Guide added four One MICHELIN Star restaurants to Chicago’s list of starred eateries, as well as seven new Bib Gourmand recipients, highlighted for their particularly interesting value.
In total, 23 restaurants are on the list, including Alinea, led by chefs Grant Achatz and Douglas Alley, which has earned Three MICHELIN Stars and has maintained its exceptional level of quality for 11 years, since the first edition of the MICHELIN Guide Chicago in 2011.
The news about the New York Times picking two of our favorite eating spots to place on their 50 restaurants top could not have come at a better moment.
The most exciting foods from all other the country include some Chicago staples
The Times staff traveled throughout the country, trying to find the most exciting and interesting bites to eat from older or more recently established places. From the array of foods Chicago has to offer, Evette’s and Dear Margaret were chosen for their “amazing” food list of the top 50 restaurants in the country worth discovering.
Evette’s presents Lebanese and Mexican flavors through a Midwestern approach. Named after owner Mitchell AbouJamra’s grandmother, the Lincoln Park shop offers favorites that include crispy golden fries topped with spit-roasted shawarma, and halloumi tacos dressed with jalapeño tabouli and whipped feta—a creation the Times declared “ingenious.” The restaurant also has a Fulton Market location.
Over in Lakeview, Dear Margaret was chosen for its interpretation of French-Canadian cuisine. First-time restaurateurs Ryan Brosseau and Lacey Irby have built a warm and inviting dining room to enjoy comforts such as smooth duck liver pâté with pink lemon marmalade and buckwheat granola, and smelts fried in beef tallow.
“Thanks to the grace of its cooking and service, Dear Margaret feels like an old soul,” the Times said.
With two restaurants on the top 50 list, Chicago is comparable to cities like San Francisco, Nashville, Washington D.C. and Portland, Maine. New York City had the most spots on the list, five eateries making the cut.
If you plan on traveling soon, here you have the full list of the 50 best restaurants in America in 2022 according to the New York Times.
- Abacá, San Francisco
- Anajak Thai, Los Angeles
- Andiario, West Chester, Pa.
- Apteka, Pittsburgh
- Audrey, Nashville
- Bacanora, Phoenix
- Bacoa Finca + Fogón, Juncos, P.R.
- Bonnie’s, New York City
- Brennan’s, New Orleans
- Cafe Mutton, Hudson, N.Y.
- Canje, Austin, Texas
- Chicken’s Kitchen, Gretna, La.
- Daru, Washington, D.C.
- Dear Annie, Cambridge, Mass.
- Dear Margaret, Chicago
- Elvie’s, Jackson, Miss.
- Evette’s, Chicago
- Freya, Detroit
- Gabriella’s Vietnam, Philadelphia
- The Harvey House, Madison, Wis.
- Here’s Looking at You, Los Angeles
- Kabob Grill N’ Go, Phoenix
- Kann, Portland, Ore.
- Kato, Los Angeles
- Kitty’s Cafe, Kansas City, Mo.
- Leah & Louise, Charlotte, N.C.
- Leeward, Portland, Maine
- Little Mad, New York City
- Little Saint, Healdsburg, Calif.
- Locust, Nashville
- Lucian Books and Wine, Atlanta
- Lutèce, Washington, D.C.
- Ma Der Lao Kitchen, Oklahoma City
- Mamey, Coral Gables, Fla.
- MÄS, Ashland, Ore.
- Matia, Eastsound, Wash.
- The Musket Room, New York City
- Neptune Oyster, Boston
- Off Alley, Seattle
- Petite León, Minneapolis
- San Ho Won, San Francisco
- Semma, New York City
- Sister, Dallas
- Smoke’N Ash B.B.Q., Arlington, Texas
- Thaily’s, Chandler, Ariz.
- Tito & Pep, Tucson, Ariz.
- Twelve, Portland, Maine
- Yeyo’s, Bentonville, Ark.
- Zaab Zaab, New York City
- Zitz Sum, Coral Gables, Fla.