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Chicago’s Media Recap the Messed Up 2020 Restaurant Scene in a Word

Many have colorful words for this year in the industry

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A man squeezes something white out of a pastry bag into a rectangular silver to-go container
Upscale restaurants like Sepia and Proxi have turned to carryout and delivery this year.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Chicago’s restaurant writers sum up Chicago’s restaurant scene in 2020 as part of Eater’s ongoing tradition of polling the city’s experts for their year-end takes.

Audarshia Townsend, WGN Morning News: Humbled

Michael Nagrant, Delivery

Morgan Olsen, Time Out Chicago: Fuckedwithoutfederalaid

Michael Gebert, Fooditor: Deli cup

Aaron Oliver, Seasoned and Blessed: Endangered

Dennis Lee, the Takeout, Food is Stupid: Fucked

Mike Sula, Chicago Reader: Ventilated

Titus Ruscitti, ChiBBQKing: Survival

As 2020 threw the world a curveball, Eater Chicago this year has expanded its end-of-year panel to include other members of the city’s media.

Janice Scurio, Sports Illustrated and South Side Sox: Uncertain

Exavier Pope, Forbes, the Athletic, Al Jazeera English: COVID-19. The pandemic has vastly changed the restaurant scene. It has shifted from finding the best restaurants in various neighborhoods for diverse cuisines to which restaurants operate safest and warmest.

Natalie Moore, WBEZ: Adaptable

Chicago Party Aunt, @ChiPartyAunt: Shitshow

Sarah Spain, ESPN: Fragile