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Chicago’s Dining Authorities Share Where They Frequented in 2019

These were their top restaurant standbys of the year

A brick building with a sign that reads “Lula Cafe.”
Lula Cafe in Logan Square.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

It’s time to look back on 2019 with Eater’s annual series where Chicago’s food writers and critics weigh in on the year’s dining scene. Here are the restaurants which were their top standbys for the year.

Morgan Olsen, Time Out Chicago: It should come as no surprise that I’ve dined at Time Out Market Chicago more than any other restaurant in Chicago this year. Runners-up include Community Tavern, Lula Cafe, Virtue, Italianette (R.I.P.) (inside the closed Fulton Galley) Birrieria Zaragoza, and Middle Brow Bungalow.

Chandra Ram, Plate: Avec has been a standby for me since the minute it opened. Ditto for Floriole, Proxi, Sunday Dinner Club, Rainbow Thai, Spacca Napoli, Lula, and Bar Biscay. People always want to know about the new spots, but these are the restaurants that keep Chicago’s food world humming along nicely.

Titus Ruscitti, ChiBBQKing: La Chaparrita, New China Station, Szechwan JMC, Tacos El Tio, Mr. D’s.

Ariel Cheung, Plate, Chicago, Time Out Chicago, Block Club: I live in Bridgeport, so if I’m not around the corner at the Duck Inn (best happy hour in the city), you can probably find me at Maria’s. If I’m downtown, I’m always craving the bites at Bar Sotano.

Ji Suk Yi, WGN Radio, Sun-Times: Lula, Half Shell.

Jeff Ruby, Chicago: While I’m a dining soldier who generally goes wherever I’m assigned by my editor or my small children, I go out of my way for Fat Rice, Coalfire, Parachute, and La Chaparrita. I went more than once to Superkhana International, which is super fun, and periodically find myself craving the Ligurian-style focaccia stuffed with creamy melted crescenza cheese at Davanti Enoteca.

Michael Nagrant, Boeufhaus, Rainbow Thai, Lola’s Coney Island, Lee’s Chop Suey, Coalfire, Paulie Gee’s.

Time Out Market Chicago

916 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 637-3888 Visit Website

Fat Rice

2957 West Diversey Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 661-9170 Visit Website

The Duck Inn

2701 South Eleanor Street, , IL 60608 (312) 724-8811 Visit Website


615 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661 (312) 377-2002 Visit Website

Bar Sotano

445 North Clark Street, , IL 60610 (312) 391-5857 Visit Website

Community Tavern

4038 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60641 (773) 283-6080 Visit Website

Birrieria Zaragoza

4852 South Pulaski Road, , IL 60632 (773) 523-3700 Visit Website

Davanti Enoteca

1655 India Street, , CA 92101 (619) 237-9606 Visit Website

Middle Brow Bungalow

2840 W. Armitage Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 Visit Website

Lola’s Coney Island

2858 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 687-9459 Visit Website


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

Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar

960 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608 (773) 890-0588 Visit Website

Rainbow Thai Cuisine

4825 North Western Avenue, , IL 60625 (773) 754-7660


3707 North Southport Avenue, , IL 60613 (773) 477-2625 Visit Website

La Chaparrita

2500 South Whipple Street, , IL 60623 (773) 254-0975 Visit Website


1321 West Grand Avenue, , IL 60642 (312) 226-2625 Visit Website


1012 North Western Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 661-2116 Visit Website

Floriole Cafe & Bakery

1220 West Webster Avenue, , IL 60614 (773) 883-1313 Visit Website

Half Shell

676 West Diversey Parkway, , IL 60614 (773) 549-1773 Visit Website

Lola's Coney Island

2858 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 773-687-9459 Visit Website

Superkhana International

3059 West Diversey Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 661-9028 Visit Website

Lula Cafe

2537 North Kedzie Boulevard, , IL 60647 (773) 489-9554 Visit Website


615 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60661 (312) 377-2002 Visit Website

Bar Biscay

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

Spacca Napoli

1769 W Sunnyside Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640 773 878 2420 Visit Website


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


1462 E. 53rd Street, Chicago, IL