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Chicago’s Restaurant Experts Reveal the Biggest Dining Surprises of 2018

An influx of omakase and the Glad/Giant blow-up gained mention

Le Sud was one of the biggest dining surprises of 2018
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Chicago’s restaurant writers dish on their biggest surprises of 2018 as part of Eater’s ongoing tradition of polling the city’s experts for their year-end takes.

Chandra Ram, Plate: Naha closing, although I have hope that Carrie and Michael will recreate or bring it back in another form. I dearly loved that restaurant.

Mike Sula, Chicago Reader: [Chicago magazine writer] John Kessler puts ketchup on his hot dog.

Audarshia Townsend, managing editor for Restaurant Inc. magazine; regular contributor for WGN Morning News: Anthony Bourdain’s death. He may not have been a Chicagoan, or ever lived here, but the impact he had on our restaurant scene will live on forever. May he rest in peace.

Titus Ruscitti, ChiBBQKing: Real deal Niu Rou Mian (Taiwanese Beef Noodle soup) in a Westmont food court.

Matt Kirouac, What Should We Do: The Glad dinner at Giant was quite surprising. I actually really didn’t mind whatsoever, I thought it was funny. And those guys are amazing and talented.

Michael Gebert, Fooditor: Otto Phan (Kyōten) and everyone else who decided we needed high-end sushi at long last.

Ariel Cheung, CS Magazine: How many new omakase spots popped up simultaneously.

Michael Nagrant, Aba.

Morgan Olsen, Time Out Chicago: Le Sud. Oh, and the influx of omakase concepts. (Here’s hoping my bank account also sees an influx of cash so I can try them all.)


2507 West Armitage Avenue, , IL 60647 (312) 678-0800 Visit Website

Le Sud

2301 West Roscoe Street, , IL 60618 (773) 857-1985 Visit Website


1011 South Congress Avenue, , TX 78704 (737) 273-0199 Visit Website


500 North Clark Street, , IL 60654 (312) 321-6242 Visit Website


3209 West Armitage Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 252-0997 Visit Website


160 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60606 (312) 263-0260 Visit Website