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Two Chicago Restaurants Land on Eater’s List of America’s Essential Restaurants

Last year, three Chicago restaurants were on the list

The exterior of a fine dining restaurant in the West Loop with lots of ivy Marc Much/Eater Chicago
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.

A pair of Chicago restaurants are among the nation’s best, according to Eater National critic Bill Addison’s fourth-annual ranking of America’s 38 Essential Restaurants. The list features two Chicago restaurants not named last year: Smyth & the Loyalist, John and Karen Urie Shield’s West Loop tasting menu restaurant and upscale bar combo, earned a spot. Another husband-and-wife team join them: Parachute, Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark’s Korean-American masterpiece in Avondale, also secured a mention.

Addison removed Alinea, Chicago’s only three-Michelin-starred restaurant, from his rankings. He did somewhat mention the Lincoln Park trailblazer when he lauded Chicago as a “stronghold of tasting-menu restaurants all nearly on par in their intellectual heft.” Smyth now arrives on the list as Chicago’s tasting-menu torchbearer, dazzling Addison with its “12 courses that uniquely coalesce Japanese, Nordic, and Southern-American flavors and techniques.” Downstairs, Addison also described the Loyalist’s burger as “what may be the most righteous cheeseburger in Chicago.” Smyth, which opened in 2016, earned two stars this year from Michelin.

Timothy Hiatt

It’s a return for Parachute, which made the list in 2016. Addison notes that the restaurant draws inspiration from various places, “but the road always leads back to Korea with seasonal journeys like dolsot bibimbap and sesame-laced beef stew.” Parachute opened in 2014 and earned another Michelin star this year. Kim and Clark have plans for a second restaurant nearby but aren’t ready to divulge specifics.

Last year, three Chicago restaurants made the list: Alinea, Publican, and Monteverde. Alinea and Publican had made the rankings all three years. Publican, the upscale bar from One Off Hospitality Group also didn’t receive Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition this year.


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


1020 West Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 888-3041

The Publican

837 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 733-9555 Visit Website


177 North Ada Street, , IL 60607 (773) 913-3773 Visit Website

The Loyalist

177 North Ada Street, , IL 60607 (773) 913-3774 Visit Website


1723 North Halsted Street, , IL 60614 Visit Website