Best of Chicago 2019: Dining

Better: Best of 2019

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)

Le Sud

2301 W. Roscoe St., Chicago

Best of 2019: Le Sud
Photo by Sandy Chen.

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)

Convito Café & Market

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)

Dinkel’s

3329 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago

Floriole Café

1220 Webster Ave., Chicago

Sweet Mandy B’s

1208 W. Webster Ave., Chicago; Politan Row, 111 N. Aberdeen, Chicago

Best of 2019: Sweet Mandy B's
Photo courtesy of Sweet Mandy B’s.

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)

Hewn

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)

Travelle at the Langham

330 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago

Best of 2019: Travelle at the Langham
Photo courtesy of Travelle at the Langham.

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)

Ward Eight

629 Howard St., Evanston

Nick’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill

1168 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette

Best of 2019: Nick's Neighborhood Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Nick’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill.

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)

Smoque BBQ

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)

Oscar Lee’s BBQ

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)

MAD Social

1140 W. Madison St., Chicago

Best of 2019: MAD Social
Photo courtesy of Stefani Restaurant Group.

This West Loop neighborhood fave is the perfect start to the weekend for both families and young professionals alike.

Best Breakfast/Brunch (Suburbs)

Cupitol Coffee & Eatery

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)

Half Acre Beer Company

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)

Temperance Beer Co.

2000 W. Dempster St., Evanston

Best of 2019: Temperance Beer Co.
Photo by Genie Lemieux.

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)

Au Cheval/Small Cheval

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)

Edzo’s Burger Shop

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)

Duck Duck Goat

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)

Koi

624 Davis St., Evanston

Best of 2019: Koi
Photo by Neil Burger.

Whether it’s dim sum brunch or authentic Chinese specialties you crave, you’re sure to find it here.

Best Coffee Shop (City)

Dark Matter Coffee

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)

Glenview Grind

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)

Green City Market

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)

Evanston Farmers Market

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)

Oriole

661 W. Walnut St., Chicago

Best of 2019: Oriole
Photo by Sammy Faze Photography.

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)

George Trois

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)

Frìo Gelato

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)

Kilwins

1724 Sherman Ave., Evanston

Best of 2019: Kilwins
Photo courtesy of Kilwins.

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)

Mariano’s

Various

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)

Heinen’s

Various

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)

Bar Roma

5101 N. Clark St., Chicago

RPM Italian

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)

Mino’s

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)

Broken English Taco Pub

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)

Milwalky Taco

605 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville

Our readers are clearly feeling the taco love this year!

Best New Restaurant (City)

Jeong

1460 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago

Best of 2019: Jeong
Photo by Hahm Visuals.

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)

Pescadero Seafood & Oyster Bar

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)

Lou Malnati’s

Various

Pequod’s

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)

Grateful Bites Pizza Shoppe

899 Green Bay Road, Winnetka

Union Pizzeria/Union Squared

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)

Jerry’s Sandwiches

4739 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago; 5419 N. Clark St., Chicago

There are sandwich combinations here that would make Dagwood Bumstead drool.

Best Sandwiches (Suburbs)

Stacked & Folded

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)

Riva Crabhouse

Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago

Best of 2019: Riva Crabhouse
Photo courtesy of Stefani Restaurant Group.

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)

Oceanique

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)

RPM Steak

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)

The Barn Steakhouse

1016 Church St. (Alley), Evanston

Pete Miller’s

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)

Sunda

110 W. Illinois St., Chicago

Best of 2019: Sunda
Photo courtesy of Sunda.

This longtime River North hotspot is known for their colorful and inventive Signature Sushi rolls.

Best Sushi (Suburbs)

Blufish Sushi Bistro

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)

The Chicago Diner

2333 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago; 3411 N. Halsted St., Chicago

Handlebar

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)

Blind Faith Café

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)

Binny’s Beverage Depot

Various

You’re a fan of this adult-beverage superstore.

Best Wine Store (Suburbs)

Schaefer’s Wines, Foods & Spirits

9965 Gross Point Road, Skokie

They’ve been “setting the bar since 1936,” and this North Shore institution continues to win your vote.