Apparently, our readers enjoy eating out as much as we do. Here are your 2019 Best of Dining winners. The people have spoken!
Best Al Fresco Dining (City)
2301 W. Roscoe St., Chicago
This Roscoe Village newbie will transport you to the South of France … especially when dining out in their flower-and-herb strewn rooftop patio and sidewalk cafe.
Best Al Fresco Dining (Suburbs)
1515 Sheridan Road, Wilmette
You love dining outside in Plaza del Lago, drinking glasses of chilled rosé to wash down the perfect Salade Lyonnaise.
Best Bakery (City)
3329 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
1220 Webster Ave., Chicago
1208 W. Webster Ave., Chicago; Politan Row, 111 N. Aberdeen, Chicago
What an embarrassment of sweet riches we have in Chicago! These three bakeries are the jewels in the crown: old-school German favorites at Dinkel’s, updated classics at Sweet Mandy B’s, and glorious French patisserie and more at Floriole.
Best Bakery (Suburbs)
810 Dempster St., Evanston
Hand-forged artisan loaves, made with locally sourced heritage grains, mingle with scones, muffins, croissants, kouign amann, and other delectable treats.
Best Bar (City)
330 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago
It’s glamour all the way at this stunning hotel bar with its strong craft cocktail program as well as gorgeous views of the Chicago River.
Best Bar (Suburbs)
629 Howard St., Evanston
1168 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette
Both of these suburban spots exemplify what’s best about a great neighborhood bar: terrific cocktails and a real sense of community.
Best Barbecue (City)
3800 N. Pulaski Ave., Chicago; 125 S. Clark St., Chicago
Hit up the original in Avondale or the newer outpost at Revival Food Hall in The Loop; you’ll find the same smoky, luscious, Texas-style beef brisket and pulled pork.
Best Barbecue (Suburbs)
603 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville
This newcomer is smoking ribs, brisket, and turkey on site daily. Vegans get some love with the Pulled BBQ Jackfruit.
Best Breakfast/Brunch (City)
1140 W. Madison St., Chicago
This West Loop neighborhood fave is the perfect start to the weekend for both families and young professionals alike.
Best Breakfast/Brunch (Suburbs)
812 Grove St., Evanston
It’s tough to find a spare seat at this spacious, sunny coffee shop in Evanston … it’s that popular.
Best Brewery (City)
4257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Known for their excellent beers and fun collabs with industry friends, Half Acre’s Tap Room also serves up some pretty tasty grub to pair with their brews.
Best Brewery (Suburbs)
2000 W. Dempster St., Evanston
Order in or BYO food to the Temperance Tap Room because you’re going to want to hang out here for awhile.
Best Burger (City)
800 W. Randolph St., Chicago; Small Cheval at 1732 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago; 150 N. Riverside Plaza, Chicago; 354 W. Hubbard St., Chicago; and 1345 N. Wells St., Chicago
Expect long waits no matter the hour at the West Loop location. Same great burgers at Small Cheval, just a streamlined menu.
Best Burger (Suburbs)
1571 Sherman Ave., Evanston
Eddie Lakin has owned this category for the past eight years, with no sign of stopping. It’s a damn fine burger.
Best Chinese (City)
857 W. Fulton Market, Chicago
It’s a repeat win for “Top Chef” victor Stephanie Izard’s West Loop spot. You MUST get the Xi’an Goat Slap Noodles!
Best Chinese (Suburbs)
624 Davis St., Evanston
Whether it’s dim sum brunch or authentic Chinese specialties you crave, you’re sure to find it here.
Best Coffee Shop (City)
2015 W. Grand Ave., Chicago; 1856 N. Western Ave., Chicago; 601 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago; 738 N. Western Ave., Chicago; 2521 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago; 1117 W Belmont Ave., Chicago
Sustainability and social responsibility are the underpinnings of this great hometown coffee roaster, and with six locations, you’re never too far from a serious cup of joe.
Best Coffee Shop (Suburbs)
1837 Glenview Road, Glenview
Pull up to the drive-thru window if you’re in a hurry, or come inside this local independent coffee shop and sit a spell.
Best Farmers Market (City)
South end of Lincoln Park; West Loop: 115 S. Sangamon St., Chicago
Access and education are the focus of this seminal farmers market championing Midwest producers and local craft food purveyors.
Best Farmers Market (Suburbs)
University Place and Oak Avenue, Evanston
From early May to late October, this market hums with activity; many of the farmers have been here for years. Terrific prepared food options abound, including the new raclette stand for cheese fanatics.
Best Fine Dining (City)
661 W. Walnut St., Chicago
Chef Noah Sandoval and his talented team of culinary artisans and service staff have already earned two Michelin stars at this West Loop beauty.
Best Fine Dining (Suburbs)
64 Green Bay Road, Winnetka
This intimate spot was named Restaurant of the Year at the 2019 Jean Banchet Awards for Chef Michael Lachowicz’s ambitious tasting menu.
Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt/Gelato (City)
5152 N. Clark St., Chicago; 3721 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, Navy Pier
Artisanal Argentine gelato means creamy, gluten-free frozen deliciousness in flavors like Café con Leche, Malbec with Berries, Horchata, and Avocado.
Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt/Gelato (Suburbs)
1724 Sherman Ave., Evanston
This Evanston outpost of the Northern Michigan stalwart offers 32 flavors of ice cream, along with Mackinac fudge made in-store.
Best Grocery Store (City)
Who doesn’t love the fresh juice bar, jaw-dropping bakery department (those cakes!), fresh sushi, and comprehensive wine and cheese selection? Grocery shopping here is flat-out fun.
Best Grocery Store (Suburbs)
People love their huge assortment of pre-prepared foods and ready-to-cook meals, as well as the vast selection of produce, meats, and more. And they deliver! It’s all about the service.
Best Italian (City)
5101 N. Clark St., Chicago
52 W. Illinois St., Chicago
Both Andersonville’s Bar Roma and RPM Italian in River North have a fierce following for their updated but still authentic take on Italian cucina.
Best Italian (Suburbs)
985 Green Bay Road, Winnetka
Last year’s Best New Suburban Restaurant is a repeat in the Best Italian category. One bite of the their Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe and you’ll understand why!
Best Mexican (City)
75 E. Lake St., Chicago; 2576 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago; 1400 N. Wells St., Chicago
Three locations of this colorful, full-service taqueria means more tacos for everyone.
Best Mexican (Suburbs)
605 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville
Our readers are clearly feeling the taco love this year!
Best New Restaurant (City)
1460 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago
Whether you opt for a la carte or the seven-course tasting menus, you’ll be blown away by the gorgeous presentations and flavors at this stunningly designed Korean resto from Dave Park and Jennifer Tran.
Best New Restaurant (Suburbs)
1167 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette
This new seafood place from the Napolita team (just down the block) is making a big splash in downtown Wilmette.
Best Pizza (City)
2207 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago
Sure, both of these long-time Chicago darlings offer thin-crust pizza, but you’re really here for the deep-dish pan pizza, right?
Best Pizza (Suburbs)
899 Green Bay Road, Winnetka
1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston; 1307 Chicago Ave., Evanston
The hot-as-blazes, wood-burning ovens at both Grateful Bites and Union Pizzeria ensure a properly blistered crust, while Union Squared is making the best Detroit-style square pizza this side of Lake Michigan.
Best Sandwiches (City)
4739 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago; 5419 N. Clark St., Chicago
There are sandwich combinations here that would make Dagwood Bumstead drool.
Best Sandwiches (Suburbs)
551 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka; 824 Noyes St., Evanston
The new Evanston location is twice the size of the original, but still features locally sourced meats and fresh seasonal produce in their sandwiches (“Stacked”), tacos (“Folded”), and salads (“Forked”).
Best Seafood (City)
Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
Another winning concept from the Stefani Restaurant Group, this one featuring premium fish and seafood preparations with an eye-popping, front-seat view of Lake Michigan.
Best Seafood (Suburbs)
505 Main St., Evanston
Even after 30 years, Chef Mark Grosz is still turning out some of the most inventive seafood dishes in Chicagoland.
Best Steakhouse (City)
66 W. Kinzie St., Chicago
RPM Steak is a standout among the many red meat palaces that dot River North. The menu is chef driven, the wine list spectacular, the martinis divine, and the service spot-on.
Best Steakhouse (Suburbs)
1016 Church St. (Alley), Evanston
1557 Sherman Ave., Evanston
These two Evanston steakhouses are duking it out for first place. Looking for an airy, yet intimate space with a speakeasy feel? Head to Amy Morton’s The Barn Steakhouse. Want to listen to live jazz while consuming mass quantities of protein? Pete Miller’s is the spot.
Best Sushi (City)
110 W. Illinois St., Chicago
This longtime River North hotspot is known for their colorful and inventive Signature Sushi rolls.
Best Sushi (Suburbs)
700 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills; 2709 Pfingsten Road, Glenview; 130 N. Northwest Highway, Park Ridge
All three locations of this local mini-chain are sleekly decorated and filled with happy customers … and master sushi chefs.
Best Vegan/Vegetarian (City)
2333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago; 3411 N. Halsted St., Chicago
2311 W. North Ave., Chicago
In this corner, The Chicago Diner, “meat free since ’83.” In the other corner, newcomer Handlebar from Wicker Park. Winner: all Chicago vegetarians and vegans.
Best Vegan/Vegetarian (Suburbs)
525 Dempster St., Evanston
For 40 years, this seminal restaurant has defined what vegetarian food can be. They’re still keeping it real.
Best Wine Store (City)
You’re a fan of this adult-beverage superstore.
Best Wine Store (Suburbs)
9965 Gross Point Road, Skokie
They’ve been “setting the bar since 1936,” and this North Shore institution continues to win your vote.