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Chicago’s Dining Experts Share Their Best Meals of 2018

Not all of them are in Chicago this year

Acadia was the best meal of 2018 for two of our experts

Chicago’s food and drink writers eat out plenty, so we asked them which meals stood out the most in 2018. Here are their favorites.

Michael Gebert, Fooditor: Oriole? Could I give a more obvious answer? Okay, the best moment in a restaurant was during my South Side Food-I-Tour, taking a busload of foodies back to see how Robert Adams at Honey 1 BBQ cooks rib tips and links on his aquarium smoker, and then feeding them out of an aluminum tray in the back of my wife’s Mazda on the street, and just watching their eyes roll back in the heads with delight. That’s what it’s about.

Ariel Cheung, CS Magazine: I had the good fortune to try Acadia for the first time, and wow was it everything I’d hoped it would be.

Matt Kirouac, What Should We Do: I ate at Duck Duck Goat for the first time and LOVED it. I always appreciate a good theme, and that group always knocks it out of the park without being gaudy. I also went back to Acadia and had an incredible time. One of the most consistent and endlessly exciting restaurants I’ve been to.

Chandra Ram, Plate: Dinner at Daisies one night in August when we ordered three rounds of the Overpriced Tomato.

Morgan Olsen, Time Out Chicago: Easy: Bar Biscay. Everything that’s happening there—from the interior design to the pintxos to the wine list—is unapologetically different and delightful. I probably sounded like a broken record recommending it to everyone I know this year.

Audarshia Townsend, Managing Editor for Restaurant Inc. Magazine; regular contributor for WGN Morning News: My fourth anniversary dinner with my significant other at Bellemore. We still talk about how magnificent the tasting menu is there, and we have experienced many around town and throughout the country. I also loved how our server explained everything to us, without over-complicating details.

Titus Ruscitti, ChiBBQKing: My most memorable meals (places I sat down and ate an actual meal) of the year were dinner at Han Oak (Portland, OR), dinner at Baan Nual (Bangkok), dinner at Osteria del Cavaliere (Rome), Peking Duck dinner at Siji Minfu (Beijing), lunch at Revolver Taco Lounge (Dallas), lunch at Dearborn Meat Market (Dearborn, MI).

Mike Sula, Chicago Reader: Krua Apsorn, Bangkok

Michael Nagrant, Benu pre fixe with the wine pairing.

Honey 1 BBQ

746 East 43rd Street, , IL 60653 (773) 285-9455 Visit Website


661 West Walnut Street, , IL 60661 (312) 877-5899 Visit Website


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

Alla Vita

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

Bar Biscay

1450 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60642 (312) 455-8900 Visit Website

Duck Duck Goat

857 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 902-3825 Visit Website


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