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Chicago’s Restaurant Experts Name Their Top Restaurant Newcomers of 2017

Mi Tocaya was a top favorite among industry experts this year

Marc Much

Every year brings a new group of restaurants to the Chicago food scene, but only some turn into favorites. To finish up 2017, Eater asked a group of local Chicago critics and writers about their year in restaurants and bars. The nine questions varied from their favorite dining neighborhoods to what we can expect for headlines in 2018. Here are their answers — copied and pasted, totally unadulterated — for their top restaurant newcomers of 2017.

Morgan Olsen, Time Out Chicago: Proxi was my all-time favorite opening of the year. Other contenders include HaiSous, Mi Tocaya Antojería, The Royal Grocer & Co. and Marisol.

Chandra Ram, Plate: Proxi, The Bellemore, Mi Tocaya Antojería, Marisol, Split-Rail, Daisies, HaiSous.

Matt Kirouac, Zagat: HaiSous. I love everything about it: the people behind it, the chopped clams, the chicken wings, the sake cocktails, the neighborhood. And their cafe next door has the most incredible banh mi and pastries. I'm also really into Proxi.

Carrie Schedler, Chicago magazine: Loved my visits to Mi Tocaya, Somerset, Kitsune, and Elske.

Michael Nagrant, RedEye: Steingolds, Mi Tocaya, Haven’t been to Bellemore, but Chef Jimmy P is mad talented. Elske .– technically this opened end of 2016, but I think that counts. Daisies. Technically it’s not a restaurant, but Vol. 39 is cocktail heaven with solid caviar service.

Mike Sula, Chicago Reader: Somerset, Kitsune, Daisies, Mi Tocaya, Proxi, Mango Pickle, Heritage

Michael Gebert, Fooditor: Ten in no particular order: Proxi, S.K.Y., Quiote, A Place by Damao, Daisies, Pizzeria Bebu, Ca Phe Da, Steingold's, The Delta, Tempesta Market.

Mango Pickle

5842 North Broadway, , IL 60660 (773) 944-5555 Visit Website

Vol. 39

39 South LaSalle Street, , IL 60603 (312) 604-9909 Visit Website


200 West Superior Street, , IL 60654 (312) 280-1000 Visit Website

Pizzeria Bebu

1521 N Fremont St, Chicago, IL 60642 (312) 280-6000

Royal Grocer & Co.

2118 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL (773) 904-7805 Visit Website

The Delta

135 South 6th Avenue, , AZ 85701 (520) 524-3400 Visit Website


2456 North California Avenue, , IL 60647 (312) 878-8571 Visit Website


205 East Pearson Street, , IL 60611 (312) 799-3599 Visit Website


1350 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 733-1314 Visit Website


4229 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60618


1239 West 18th Street, , IL 60608 (312) 846-1077 Visit Website

Alla Vita

564 West Randolph Street, , IL 60661 (312) 667-0104 Visit Website

Mi Tocaya Antojería

2800 West Logan Boulevard, , IL 60647 (872) 315-3947 Visit Website


1800 S. Carpenter St., Chicago, IL Visit Website


565 West Randolph Street, , IL 60661 (312) 466-1950 Visit Website


2500 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 697-4413 Visit Website


2375 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 697-9443 Visit Website