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Eater Chicago’s Top Stories of 2016

2016 was THE year for Filipino food and the Cubs

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Was 2016 the year of Jollibee in Chicago?
Nick Fochtman
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

The openings of Seafood City and Jollibee generated mountains of interest in Chicago in 2016. In fact, of the top 15 most-read Eater Chicago stories — not including maps — six involved the two Filipino powers. Take a trip down memory lane and browse the most-read Eater Chicago stories of the year.

Where to Eat at O'Hare International Airport (ORD)

Christmas O'Hare Facebook

Management at O’Hare continued to make dining upgrades, headlined by Publican Tavern, One Hospitality’s spin-off of their Fulton Market restaurant. This story was easily the most-read of the year. Perhaps it was a sign that Chicagoans traveled more than in years past.

What to Eat at Wrigley Field, Home of The Chicago Cubs, 2016 Edition

This was THE year for Chicago’s North Side baseball organization. The atmosphere surrounding and inside Wrigley Field was electric. The World Series run also meant there were more games played at Clark and Addison than ever before, so more fans were in need of Eater Chicago’s dining guide.

The 2016 Chicago Michelin Guide's Big Winners Are Acadia, Parachute, Dusek's

Parachute Marc Much

Though published in October 2015, tourists and residents alike were eager to read about Michelin’s 2016 stars throughout this year. Chicago stayed even as the city gained three stars and lost three compared to the previous year.

The Parthenon, Chicago’s Greektown Landmark & Flaming Cheese Creator, Has Closed

Saganaki, the Greek-American flaming cheese staple, was allegedly born at this Chicago restaurant which closed in September. The story, which was first reported by Eater Chicago, has gotten more complicated with lawsuits and charges of unpaid bills. Still, The Parthenon’s closing is among the saddest shutters of 2016.

Inside Seafood City, Chicago’s Massive New Filipino Food Wonderland, Now Open

Opening day at Seafood City, the Pan Asian grocery store with a plethora of food stalls, was one of the most-memorable events of the year. The grocer, which is uber-popular with Filipinos and Filipino-Americans, opened its first location in the Midwest and promises to be a cultural hub for Pinoys in Chicago.

Hopleaf Denies 'Bar Rescue's' Bizarre TV Offer To Save Andersonville Icon

The Hopleaf stands as one of Chicago’s biggest destinations for craft beer. When Bar Rescue cold-called the bar, looking for down-trodden participants for their TV show, the Hopleaf’s owners and fans were offended. Cold calling for these shows happens all the time, but do a minimal amount of research, please.

Alinea 2.0: Reinventing One of the World's Best Restaurants

Alinea Photos Redesign Renovation Matthew Gilson

When Alinea closed, Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas weren’t planning just to remodel, they planned to open a new restaurant in their Lincoln Park space. The duo explain their changes as they took a calculated risk in reinventing one of the world’s best restaurants.

Filipino Mega-Market Seafood City Opening on Wednesday in Chicago

Chicago has one of the country’s largest Filipino populations, and they’ve been waiting for West Coast standbys like Seafood City to open for quite a while. The opening date announcement for the Mayfair location drove fans crazy.

‘Harry Potter’-Themed Dinner Coming To Chicago’s City Winery Next Month

City Winery Chicago covertly put together a wine dinner based on Harry Potter, and passionate fans made tickets quickly disappear. The interest was so large that the restaurant added a second seating.

Filipino Powerhouse Jollibee Is Finally Opening Their 1st Chicagoland Restaurant This Week

There are a couple of lenses to view Jollibee, the Filipino fast-food restaurant that arrived in the Chicago suburbs over the summer. It’s a fast-food restaurant, so don’t expect a passport stamp to have some deep summer abroad experience. But to those who grew up in the Philippines, it represents memories and is sometimes their only window to their native country. Plus, it has a zany dancing bee as a mascot, so that’s cool.

Filipino Food Megastore Seafood City Following Jollibee To Chicago in September

The top Eater Chicago stories were dominated by Seafood City and Jollibee in 2016. Fans started marking their calendars back in July when Seafood City announced they were opening in September and bringing their quick-serve restaurants, like Crispy Town, with them.

Chicagoans Continue to Wait Hours For Jollibee's Filipino Fried Chicken and Spaghetti

It’s a good thing that the Jollibee opening happened over the summer in Skokie. If they held it during winter, there would be a lot of cold customers. The lines were outrageous, making Hot Doug’s queues look quaint.

What to Eat at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field, 2016 Edition

Philadelphia Phillies v Chicago White Sox Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

South Side fans generated quite an appetite after another disappointing White Sox season. New items at Sox Park included boozed-up shakes and nachos made with tater tots. Oddly, readers spent on the average a minute more reading the Sox Park guide compared to readers of the Wrigley Field guide.

Michelin Reveals Chicago's 2016 Bib Gourmand List

Again, this post is from October 2015. It’s the annual reveal of Michelin’s Bib Gourmands, showcasing the restaurants which provide quality at an affordable price.

Jollibee's Long-Awaited Unveiling Brings the Philippines to Chicagoland

Have you ever seen a bucket of chicken that large? Probably not, as giant-sized buckets only come out for special occasions. And few days were more unique than opening day for the first Jollibee in the Midwest.


3534 W Touhy Ave, Skokie, IL 60076 (847) 674-3900 Visit Website


1227 W 18th Street, Chicago, IL


3500 North Elston Avenue, , IL 60618 (872) 204-7138 Visit Website

The Parthenon

314 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661 (312) 726-2407 Visit Website


1639 South Wabash Avenue, , IL 60616 (312) 360-9500 Visit Website

Seafood City

5033 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60630 (773) 295-1658


1723 North Halsted Street, , IL 60614 Visit Website

City Winery

1200 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 733-9463 Visit Website