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Dining Experts Reveal Chicago’s Best Takeout Options

Pizza, Thai, and burgers continue to reign the at-home dining scene.

A plate of spaghetti pomodoro topped with stracciatella.
Tortello’s takeout impressed a panelist.
Tortello

Chicago’s media dish on their favorite takeout options for 2022 as part of Eater’s ongoing tradition of polling the city’s experts for their year-end takes.

Michael Nagrant, The Hunger: It is always Lee’s Chop Suey on volume and deliciousness alone, but I say this every year, so we’re gonna go with the other stalwart, Tortello because getting perfect legitimately top-level nonna pasta dropped on your doorstep with a side of focaccia and honey drizzled mascarpone dip is life-affirming.

Matt Lindner, writer and marketing manager: Sausage and giardiniera tavern-style pizza from Michael’s. Michael’s sweet sauce is a perfect complement to the heat from the giardiniera and the savoriness of the sausage. The best — for my money — tavern-style pizza on the North side. Plus, it comes with a bottle of RC on the side. Can’t go wrong with that.

Samira Ahmed, best-selling author of Love, Hate & Other Filters, Internment, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know, Hollow Fires, Amira & Hamza, and a Ms. Marvel comic series: A single cheeseburger with extra pickles, fries, and a black & white shake from Small Cheval in Hyde Park. Sure, confessing this might make me a basic bitch, but a no-frills burger done to perfection is a bite of Midwestern heaven and I am here for it.

Sarah Spain, ESPN: Panang curry, fried rice & fresh rolls from Thai Village/Silli Kori in Wicker Park — the best! Every once in a while I try a new Asian place, but nothing ever beats Thai Village for flavor, consistency, and perfect takeout comfort food.

David Manilow, Check, Please! creator and host of The Dining Table podcast: Red Light Chicken. Chicken sandwich with truffle fries. No phone. No online ordering. Show up. Order. Wait. Takeout. Eat.

Brenda Storch, Eater Chicago contributor: I looked at my receipts and found that Pollo Express was my go-to this year. Half a chicken with a nopales salad, fresh tortillas and salsa, rice, and beans was enough to feed me at least twice and put a smile on my face every time.

Jay Westbrook, local craft beer professional: Lemme Get Ummm... finally brought their delicious sandos, smoothies, and juices to the South Side in October, and the Jive Turkey/Is You Cool combo is undefeated. The Jive Turkey has honey-roasted turkey, turkey bacon, cheddar cheese, onion, relish, and mustard on Texas toast while the Is You Cool juice features cucumber, kale, celery, green apples, cilantro, and pineapple. It’s the perfect marriage of flavor and sustenance without leaving you tired and sluggish after you’re done.

Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago Tribune: Without a doubt, I ordered Pizza Lobo the most.

Maggie Hendricks, Bally Sports: Chili chicken at In-On Thai in Uptown and crispy spring rolls.

Jeffy Mai, Time Out Chicago: A greasy Redhot Ranch double cheeseburger has long been my go-to for a late-night bite, and that did not change in 2022. And despite inflation, one of the city’s best burgers is amazingly still just $7. It’s hard to find a better deal.

Amy Cavanaugh, Chicago magazine: It’s a tie between Lao Sze Chuan, where my current go-to is the salt and pepper tofu and string beans with spicy black bean, and Kai Sushi, where I order a ton of maki and miso soup.

Pizza Lobo

3000 West Fullerton Avenue, , IL 60647 (312) 265-1745 Visit Website

Thai Village

2053 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (773) 384-5352 Visit Website

Redhot Ranch

3057 North Ashland Avenue, , IL 60657 (773) 661-9377 Visit Website

Tortello

1746 West Division Street, , IL 60622 (773) 360-1293 Visit Website

Small Cheval

1732 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60647 Visit Website

Pollo Express

1315 West 18th Street, , IL 60608 (312) 829-1550 Visit Website

In-On Thai

4641 North Broadway, , IL 60640 (773) 944-0114 Visit Website

Lao Sze Chuan

304 Southeast Oak Street, , MN 55414 (612) 886-3906 Visit Website

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