It’s a challenge to forecast what 2021 will bring after the COVID-19 pandemic brought the restaurant industry to a halt. That fallout for restaurants and bars continues as sweeping closures, layoffs, and derailed careers cast a long shadow over Chicago’s hospitality industry.
As tradition, Eater Chicago assembled a panel of the city’s food media to reflect on the year, to share what they liked about it and what they didn’t. Despite the extreme trials and tribulations of 2020, the panel managed to find bright spots of restaurant innovation, collaboration, and resilience among local culinarians. It’s important to praise these positives, and Chicago’s writers and reported made sure these succssess did not go unnoticed.
For 2020, Eater has expanded its annual poll of year-end takes from local dining experts to include other members of the city’s media. They share everything from their favorite newcomers of the year to their last restaurant meal before dining rooms closed in March. Check out their reactions and 2021 projections below.