Five new Chicago restaurants were selected as 2023 Michelin Bib Gourmands. Reps from the tire guide announced the news Wednesday morning. A full guide won’t be available until after a November 7 party in New York attended by chefs where reps will reveal which restaurants earned Michelin Stars.
The Bib Gourmands denote a balance of quality and value. Due to supply chain issues and rising labor costs, the prices at restaurants impact how consumers define value. This year, the Bib Gourmands are based on the ability to order two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for about $50 without tax and gratuity, according to a Michelin spokesperson. Last year, the criteria was $40.
Michelin teased that 47 Chicago restaurants are listed as Bib Gourmands. Last year, 55 Chicago restaurants made the list. Of those, six restaurants have since closed (Soule, Pizzeria Bebu, Joe’s Imports, GT Fish & Oyster, Funkenhausen, Flat & Point, and Dos Urban Cantina).
Normally, Michelin releases this news in the spring, but reps are trying something new woth the party and a fall reveal. The full guide and the fine-dining-focused Michelin stars will be made available via the Michelin app after the aforementioned party where chefs from New York and Washington, D.C. will be present to hear about their fates.
Read about the five additions below.
Chef and owner Joe Fontelera, a Filipino American, has raised his culinary voice. The veteran chef dreamed of opening a restaurant that spotlights his heritage. With Boonie, he achieves it with a boisterous casual restaurant with a fine dining edge. Michelin inspectors say: “The intoxicating, unmistakable aroma of garlic fills the narrow room every time someone opens the rice cooker.”
Cellar Door transformed during the pandemic with a wine-focused menu and a remodeled dining room. This tiny Logan Square restaurant always houses some of Chicago’s best cooking, and now it's positioned better to showcase that. Michelin inspectors say: “This is an honest restaurant with unfussy, no-nonsense cooking where the plates are warm, the seasoning is spot-on and the flavors are clear.”
A team of veteran chefs came together for this all-day cafe in Bucktown. The seasonal menu rotates, but as a gateway, the burger has been getting great feedback. Michelin Inspectors say: ”It’s the kind of place you could come all day, every day, and never tire of the selection.”
The company behind Lardon, the all-day palace of charcuterie, opened a pub next door with a focus on beer, sourcing brews from some of Chicago’s best. But unlike most beer bars, the food is no mere afterthought. Michelin inspectors say: “The menu balances comfort with creativity. The spicy baby gem is peak salad satisfaction. Fried cheese curds and lamb meatballs are easy crowd-pleasers, and every table has at least one cheeseburger.”
A newcomer in Chinatown, pickled fish stars at this under-the-radar opening. The signature fish comes topped with chiles in broth with fish heads. Michelin inspectors say: “Fiery and potent, this plate delivers a one-two punch with a funky seafood quality and the sharp tang of sour greens.”