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All of Chicago’s Past James Beard Award Winners

Where to find every James Beard Award-winning Chicago chef and restaurant on a map

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Chicago has hosted the James Beard Foundation Awards — aka the “Oscars of the food world” for four years now. But the city itself isn’t the only thing blessed by the Beards, as a plethora of Chicago’s restaurants and chefs have joined elite company throughout the years by winning awards.

To provide a refresher, the following is a map of all Chicago-area JBA recipients from the past 12 years — that are still open. The update adds 2019 Best Chef: Great Lakes Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark’s Parachute and Boka Restaurant Group after Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz’s long-awaited Outstanding Restauranteur win, as well as Publican Quality Bread for Greg Wade’s Outstanding Baker award and Pacific Standard Time, recognized for Outstanding Design.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Lettuce Entertain You (Rich Melman - Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015)

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5419 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL

Chicago’s largest and most successful restaurant empire started out four decades ago as a local neighborhood eatery. Since opening R.J. Grunts in 1971, Lettuce Entertain You owner Rich Melman has expanded all across the city (and country) with dozens of concepts that span various themes, trends, and price points. From the casual—such as M Burger and Wow Bao—to fine dining stalwarts like Tru and Everest, the company has left no stone unturned in its vast lineup. In honor of Melman’s accomplishments, the James Beard Foundation presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

Rich Melman of Lettuce Entertain You
Lettuce Entertain You [Official Photo]

2. Sun Wah BBQ (America’s Classics, 2018)

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5039 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-1254
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This famed BYO Chinese eatery, well known for its massive Beijing duck spread that’s carved tableside, was honored by the Beard Foundation as an America’s Classic in 2018.

Sun Wah’s signature Beijing duck spread
Sun Wah BBQ [Official Photo]

3. Arun's (Arun Sampanthavivat - Best Chef: Midwest, 2000)

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4156 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 539-1909
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Arun Sampanthavivat has been setting the standard for Thai food in Chicago for more than three decades. His Albany Park restaurant has received numerous accolades for its upscale prix fixe menus, which highlight elevated Southeast Asian staples. Though the dining room was remodeled in 2017, little else has changed over the years and Sampanthavivat continues to impress diners with the skills and techniques that have made him a Chicago legend.

Arun’s [Official Photo]

4. Parachute (Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark - Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2019)

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3500 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 654-1460
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Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark opened their Korean-American smash-hit Parachute in 2014 and quickly accumulated awards and accolades, including recognition from Eater National, Bon Appetit, the Jean Banchet Awards, and Michelin. The James Beard Foundation named the restaurant a finalist several times before awarding it a medal in 2019.

Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

5. Fat Rice (Abe Conlon - Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2018)

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2957 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-9170
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Logan Square powerhouse Fat Rice brought Macanese cuisine into the spotlight when it opened in 2012, and more than five years later chef-owner Abe Conlon added to its many honors when he earned a James Beard Award. Along the way it added a bakery and a cocktail bar and continually drawing a parade of food enthusiasts for its mix of Chinese, Portuguese, and Indian flavors.

A man dressed in a black tuxedo holding a silver medal worn around his neck.
Abe Conlon
Barry Brehceisen/Eater Chicago

6. North Pond (Bruce Sherman - Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2012)

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2610 N Cannon Dr
Chicago, IL
(773) 477-5845
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Come for the intimate setting, be wowed by Bruce Sherman’s beautiful farm-to-table fare. The Michelin-starred restaurant situated on the edge of Lincoln Park’s North Pond is arguably the most romantic spot in town. Sherman backs up the ambiance with an array of seasonal and locally-sourced dishes that redefine Midwestern flavors. On Sundays, a lavish prix fixe brunch set against the backdrop of the city skyline is a can’t-miss experience. It’s not only suited for special occasions either—the menu is offered a la carte as well so diners can opt for a shorter meal.

A white male chef in a chef’s coat.
Bruce Sherman of North Pond
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

7. Mindy’s Hot Chocolate (Mindy Segal - Outstanding Pastry Chef, 2012)

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1747 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL
(773) 489-1747
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Mindy Segal has long been regarded as the Pastry Queen of the Windy City and she has the hardware to back it up. Her busy Wicker Park eatery is at the forefront of the dessert scene, having popularized items like brioche doughnuts before the trend arose. Segal’s skills extend beyond just classic sweets, though, as her savory dishes are equally impressive and she has also created a line of cannabis edibles.

Mindy Segal
Mindy Segal of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate
Jon Shaft [Official Photo]

8. Alinea (Outstanding Restaurant, 2016; Outstanding Service, 2010; Grant Achatz - Outstanding Chef, 2008; Best Chef: Great Lakes: 2007)

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1723 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL
(312) 867-0110
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Widely recognized as one of the best restaurants in the world, Alinea is no stranger to critical acclaim. The three-star Michelin restaurant, where science and food meet to create mind-bending dishes, is at the top of the culinary bucket list for Chicagoans and visitors alike. In addition to taking home the coveted top prize in 2016, Grant Achatz was also crowned Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2007 and Outstanding Chef in 2008, while his team was honored for Outstanding Service in 2010.

Critics deem Alinea one of the best restaurants in the world
Matthew Gilson [Official Photo]

9. The Violet Hour (Outstanding Bar Program, 2015)

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1520 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL
(773) 252-1500
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One Off Hospitality Group forever changed drinking in Chicago when it opened this mysterious craft cocktail mecca almost a decade ago. Long before egg white cocktails were in vogue, the Violet Hour was spurring on the mixology movement with never-before-seen techniques and concoctions. Today, it remains one of the most beloved bars thanks to an expansive menu and Wonderland-ish atmosphere. And no, guests are still not permitted to use their phones in the dimly-lit rooms.

The Violet Hour is known for innovative cocktails and creative techniques
The Violet Hour [Official Photo]

10. Spiaggia (Tony Mantuano - Best Chef: Midwest, 2005; Paul Bartolotta - Best Chef: Midwest, 1994)

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980 N Michigan Ave 2nd Floor, Suite 1
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-2750
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For more than three decades, Spiaggia has stood as one of Chicago’s premier restaurants thanks to chef/owner Tony Mantuano. One of Chicago’s most venerable chefs, Mantuano also runs River Roast, Terzo Piano, and the recently opened Maddon’s Post. He’s cooked for President Obama, written books, and earned numbers accolades over a distinguished career. He’s one of Chicago’s leading ambassadors of Italian cuisine.

Tony Mantuano
Spiaggia/Galdones Photography

11. NoMI (Louey/Rubino Design Group, Inc - Outstanding Restaurant Graphics, 2001)

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800 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 239-4030
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Perched on the seventh floor of the Park Hyatt Chicago, NoMI touts seasonal, ingredient-driven cooking with French influences. The space includes three different entities — restaurant, lounge, and rooftop bar — alongside scenic views of the Mag Mile. The restaurant was also a Michelin-star recipient before shifting to a more casual experience.

NoMI [Official Photo]

12. Pacific Standard Time (Parts and Labor Design - Outstanding Restaurant Design, 2019)

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141 W Erie St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 736-1778
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California-inspired Pacific Standard Time’s clean, airy dining room in River North took home the 2019 James Beard award for outstanding design, and a step inside explains why: large windows bathe the space in natural light and fresh plants add a pop of green that stands out against the white oak and walnut woods and brass fixtures. Designed by New York-based firm Parts and Labor, the space is elegant and modern with mid-century touches.

Pacific Standard Time’s thoughtful, spare dining space
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

13. Brindille (Bureau of Architecture and Design - Outstanding Restaurant Design, 2015; Carrie Nahabedian - Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2008)

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534 N Clark St
Chicago, IL
(312) 595-1616
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It took a bit of time but Carrie and Michael Nahabedian followed up on the success of Naha (which sadly closed in March 2018) with Brindille, a swanky Parisian-style restaurant with modern touches and an intimate atmosphere. Carrie Nahabedian reigned over all other chefs in the Great Lakes region in 2008 and her follow-up restaurant took home a Beard in 2015. From the silverware to the décor, Brindille is unified by the concept of brindille—the French word for twig. For guests, it’s welcoming and scenic escape in the heart of River North.

The James Beard Foundation awarded Brindille for both its chef and design
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

14. The Purple Pig (Jimmy Bannos Jr. - Rising Star Chef, 2014)

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500 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL
(312) 464-1744
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The Mag Mile’s “cheese, swine, and wine” spot isn’t just ultra popular because of its location. The success can be largely attributed to Rising Star Chef winner Jimmy Bannos Jr., who comes from a long line of restaurateurs and was mentored by his father Jimmy Bannos (Heaven on Seven). His approachable and inventive shareable plates evoke the essence of the Mediterranean region and guests often wait hours for a table. Tourist trap, the Purple Pig is certainly not.

Jimmy Bannos Jr. of the Purple Pig
The Purple Pig [Official Photo]

15. Topolobampo (Outstanding Restaurant, 2017; Rick Bayless - Best Chef: Midwest, 1991)

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4682, 445 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 661-1434
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The iconic fine-dining sister restaurant to Frontera Grill added to chef and owner Rick Bayless’ seemingly endless list of acclaim when it won the Beards’ top honor for restaurants in 2017. The tasting menu changes seasonally with an array of creative Mexican concepts that has also been awarded Michelin stars.

A dimly lit dining room with shelves full of trinkets.
Topolobampo is Rick Bayless’ esteemed fine-dining Mexican restaurant
Topolobampo [Official Photo]

16. Frontera Grill (Outstanding Restaurant, 2007; Rick Bayless - Humanitarian of the Year, 1998; Outstanding Chef, 1995)

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445 N Clark St
Chicago, IL
(312) 661-1434
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Rick Bayless is synonymous with Mexican cuisine and his flagship restaurant still operates at the consistently high level that diners have come to expect. It’s been 30 years since the celebrated chef began exposing audiences to a new brand of Mexican food—one that focuses on a contemporary style of cooking driven by traditional ingredients. Bayless’ salsas, seasonings, and marinades have also been so popular that they’ve spawned a line of store products, while the Frontera empire shows no signs of slowing down as it continually expands.

Frontera Grill
Outside Frontera Grill
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

17. The Publican (Design Bureaux, Inc. - Outstanding Restaurant Design, 2009)

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837 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL
(312) 733-9555
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Pork isn’t just confined to the menu at the Publican, it permeates the dining room. Pigsty-style booths keep diners fenced in while pig artwork adorns the walls. Long communal tables also help generate a lively environment where anyone can make friends with a neighbor. 

The Publican’s popular communal tables
One Off Hospitality [Official Photo]

18. The Aviary (Outstanding Bar Program, 2013)

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955 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL
(312) 226-0868
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Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas’ impact on the culinary world extends beyond food. At their cocktail temple, which won a Beard in 2013, the talented team behind the bar practice alchemy to create mesmerizing and awe-inspiring libations that are unlike any other. Downstairs, The Office is a hidden speakeasy that serves classic drinks and vintage spirits.

A stunning cocktail bar from Alinea’s Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

19. Next (Dave Beran - Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2014; Best New Restaurant, 2012)

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953 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL
(312) 226-0858
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Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas’ highly-anticipated follow-up to their first restaurant arrived to much buzz in 2011 for several reasons. First is its unique concept—the kitchen changes themes every “season,” offering a completely new menu three times a year. Secondly, diners have to prepay upfront for the cost of the meal by purchasing tickets on Kokanas’ reservation system, Tock. Despite the massive expectations, the restaurant managed to live up to the hype and was deemed the Best New Restaurant in 2012. Former executive chef Dave Beran followed that up with a Best Chef: Great Lakes win in 2014 and his successor, Jenner Tomaska, was nominated for 2018’s Rising Star Chef award.

A private dining room inside Next
Next [Official Photo]

20. Boka Restaurant Group (Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz - Outstanding Restaurateur, 2019)

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820 W Lake St #200
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 238-9896
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Chicago restaurant empire Boka Restaurant Group includes acclaimed Chicago spots Girl & the GoatMomotaro, and Bellemore, and is regarded by critics as one of the most exciting and dynamic groups in the city. Boka, the group’s flagship restaurant, first opened in 2003. Katz and Boehm lured Charlie Trotter’s chef de cuisine Giuseppe Tentori into Boka’s kitchen in 2007, and the restaurant received its first Michelin star three years later. The James Beard Foundation nominated the owner duo for Outstanding Restauranteur four times, and in 2019 they finally snagged the prize.

Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

21. One Off Hospitality Group (Donnie Madia - Outstanding Restaurateur, 2015)

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808 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607

With powerhouses such as Blackbird, The Publican, and The Violet Hour under its umbrella, it’s not hard to see why One Off Hospitality Group is a preeminent restaurant player not just in Chicago, but the country. One of the main men behind it all, Donnie Madia, planted the seeds for the company back in 1997 and now 20 years later, his restaurants are some of the city’s most essential dining experiences. For his work, Madia received the highest honor for restaurateurs when Chicago hosted the James Beard Awards for the first time in 2015.

Donnie Madia of One Off Hospitality
One Off Hospitality [Official Photo]

22. Publican Quality Bread (Greg Wade - Outstanding Baker, 2019)

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808 W Lake St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 605-1618
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One Off Hospitality’s Publican Quality Bread launched in 2014. Under the leadership of baker Greg Wade, it runs bread programs for all of the group’s restaurants, including the Publican, Avec, and Dove’s Luncheonette. Its breads are also sold wholesale and served in more than 50 restaurants across Chicago. The James Beard Foundation nominated Wade for Outstanding Baker three times and he took home a win in 2019.

Greg Wade
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

23. Avec (Koren Grieveson - Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2010; Thomas Schlesser Design - Outstanding Restaurant Design, 2005)

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615 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL
(312) 377-2002
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The Mediterranean-inspired wine bar from One Off Hospitality Group has been a runway hit since day one due in large part to the efforts of Koren Grieveson. She helped open the hugely popular spot and developed the small plates menu full of crowd-pleasers such as chorizo-stuffed dates, housemade focaccia, and slow-roasted pork shoulder. Grieveson left the company for New York in 2012, but Avec hasn’t missed a beat under new leadership.

Koren Grieveson of Avec
Nick Solares [Official Photo]

24. Blackbird (Paul Kahan - Outstanding Chef, 2013; Best Chef: Midwest, 2004; Thomas Schlesser and Demian Repucci - Outstanding Restaurant Design, 2002)

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619 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL
(312) 715-0708
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If there was a Mount Rushmore of Chicago chefs, Paul Kahan would most assuredly make the short list. The famed partner and chef of One Off Hospitality Group began building his legacy in 1997 at Blackbird. His sleek, relaxed, and seasonal fine dining restaurant was a beacon of what was to come for the area. Kahan has gone on to open many more influential spots while the Michelin-starred Blackbird is as popular as ever in its 20th year.

Paul Kahan of One Off Hospitality
One Off Hospitality [Official Photo]

25. Girl & the Goat (Stephanie Izard - Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2013)

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809 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL
(312) 492-6262
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Since winning season four of “Top Chef” in 2008, Stephanie Izard has been one of the city’s most popular chefs. Her original restaurant, Girl & the Goat, is still tough to reserve as fans continue to flock in to try bold, signature dishes like oven-roasted pig face and goat empanadas. Izard capped off her quick rise to fame with a Best Chef: Great Lakes award in 2013. She’s since expanded her Chicago footprint with acclaimed restaurants Duck Duck Goat, Little Goat Diner, and Cabra.

Stephanie Izard of the Girl & the Goat, Duck Duck Goat, and more
Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for NYCWFF

26. Sepia (Robert Louey Design - Outstanding Restaurant Graphics, 2008) 

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123 N Jefferson St
Chicago, IL
(312) 441-1920
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Andrew Zimmernan’s Michelin-starred restaurant has been a paragon of excellence over the last 10 years. To showcase the lauded chef’s New American plates, Robert Louey Design helped transform a 1890s print shop into a warm and inviting room featuring Art Nouveau floor and hand-crafted millwork. It’s a striking design that exudes modernity while preserving the space’s history.

Sepia’s award-winning space
Sepia [Official Photo]

27. Cherry Circle Room (Land & Sea Dept. - Outstanding Restaurant Design, 2016)

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12 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL
(312) 792-3515
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When the historic Chicago Athletic Association Hotel was renovated in 2015, Land & Sea Dept. restored Cherry Circle Room to its former glory and then some. The design pays homage to the past with wood-accented walls and cabinets, leather booths, and velvet chairs. The result is a stunning room that feels like a classical hideaway on Michigan Avenue.

Intimate booths at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel’s Cherry Circle Room
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

28. Monteverde (Sarah Grueneberg - Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2017)

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1020 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 888-3041
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Chef-partner Sarah Grueneberg rose to fame when she became a Top Chef finalist in 2012 while running the kitchen at Italian icon Spiaggia. After opening her Italian restaurant Monteverde, which is continually rated as one of Chicago’s best restaurants and toughest reservations, Grueneberg won a Beard in 2017.

Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde
Monteverde [Official Photo]

29. The Berghoff (America’s Classics, 1999)

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17 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 427-3170
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One of the oldest restaurants in Chicago is a timeless landmark that offers traditional German fare and an in-house microbrewery. Opened in 1898, The Berghoff is notable for having the city’s first liquor license and also for operating a men’s-only bar until 1969. The historic 45,000-square-foot building closed briefly in 2006 during a transition in ownership but has since returned to its role as a reliable spot for a Reuben or schnitzel in the downtown area.

The Berghoff Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

30. Everest (Jean Joho - Best Chef: Midwest, 1995)

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425 S Financial Pl 40th floor
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 663-8920
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Jean Joho’s renowned restaurant with Lettuce Entertain You on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange has been impressing critics and diners for over 30 years. The fine-dining experience pairs breathtaking views with Alsatian favorites, such as roasted lobster in Gewürztraminer butter and ginger, and 1,600 wines. It’s arguably the finest French spot in town and Joho’s efforts have also earned him a Michelin star.

Everest [Official Photo]

31. Tufano's Vernon Park Tap (America’s Classics, 2008)

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1073 W Vernon Park Pl
Chicago, IL
(312) 733-3393
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It doesn’t get more old school than this mom-and-pop Italian joint. Owned and operated by the DiBuono family since 1930, Tufano’s hasn’t changed a bit over the years. It’s cash-only, the menu is posted on chalkboards on the wall, and regulars drop in often for hearty Italian red sauce dishes and classics such as house-made eggplant Parm and lemon chicken. For its enduring spirit, the restaurant was fêted by the James Beard Foundation in 2008.

The DiBuono family has owned Tufano’s for nearly 90 years
Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap [Official Photo]

32. Calumet Fisheries (America’s Classics, 2010)

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3259 E 95th St
Chicago, IL
(773) 933-9855
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For almost seven decades, this no-frills South Side staple has been treating diners to some of the finest seafood. Take a trip down to the city limits and enjoy fresh catch that’s been smoked in a roadside shack. The menu runs the gamut from fried shrimp to smoked salmon and trout. Guests often eat in their cars or on the curb because of the limited seating, but that’s no deterrent for the restaurant’s loyal fans. The James Beard Foundation recognized Calumet Fisheries in 2010 and declared it a timeless American Classic.

Calumet Fisheries
Calumet Fisheries hosted the crew from iconic Chicago movie “the Blues Brothers” in the summer of 1979
Eric Allix Rogers/Flickr

1. Lettuce Entertain You (Rich Melman - Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015)

5419 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL
Rich Melman of Lettuce Entertain You
Lettuce Entertain You [Official Photo]

Chicago’s largest and most successful restaurant empire started out four decades ago as a local neighborhood eatery. Since opening R.J. Grunts in 1971, Lettuce Entertain You owner Rich Melman has expanded all across the city (and country) with dozens of concepts that span various themes, trends, and price points. From the casual—such as M Burger and Wow Bao—to fine dining stalwarts like Tru and Everest, the company has left no stone unturned in its vast lineup. In honor of Melman’s accomplishments, the James Beard Foundation presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

5419 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL

2. Sun Wah BBQ (America’s Classics, 2018)

5039 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60640
Sun Wah’s signature Beijing duck spread
Sun Wah BBQ [Official Photo]

This famed BYO Chinese eatery, well known for its massive Beijing duck spread that’s carved tableside, was honored by the Beard Foundation as an America’s Classic in 2018.

5039 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60640

3. Arun's (Arun Sampanthavivat - Best Chef: Midwest, 2000)

4156 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Arun’s [Official Photo]

Arun Sampanthavivat has been setting the standard for Thai food in Chicago for more than three decades. His Albany Park restaurant has received numerous accolades for its upscale prix fixe menus, which highlight elevated Southeast Asian staples. Though the dining room was remodeled in 2017, little else has changed over the years and Sampanthavivat continues to impress diners with the skills and techniques that have made him a Chicago legend.

4156 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

4. Parachute (Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark - Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2019)

3500 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark opened their Korean-American smash-hit Parachute in 2014 and quickly accumulated awards and accolades, including recognition from Eater National, Bon Appetit, the Jean Banchet Awards, and Michelin. The James Beard Foundation named the restaurant a finalist several times before awarding it a medal in 2019.

3500 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

5. Fat Rice (Abe Conlon - Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2018)

2957 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
A man dressed in a black tuxedo holding a silver medal worn around his neck.
Abe Conlon
Barry Brehceisen/Eater Chicago

Logan Square powerhouse Fat Rice brought Macanese cuisine into the spotlight when it opened in 2012, and more than five years later chef-owner Abe Conlon added to its many honors when he earned a James Beard Award. Along the way it added a bakery and a cocktail bar and continually drawing a parade of food enthusiasts for its mix of Chinese, Portuguese, and Indian flavors.

2957 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

6. North Pond (Bruce Sherman - Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2012)

2610 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL
A white male chef in a chef’s coat.
Bruce Sherman of North Pond
Marc Much/Eater Chicago

Come for the intimate setting, be wowed by Bruce Sherman’s beautiful farm-to-table fare. The Michelin-starred restaurant situated on the edge of Lincoln Park’s North Pond is arguably the most romantic spot in town. Sherman backs up the ambiance with an array of seasonal and locally-sourced dishes that redefine Midwestern flavors. On Sundays, a lavish prix fixe brunch set against the backdrop of the city skyline is a can’t-miss experience. It’s not only suited for special occasions either—the menu is offered a la carte as well so diners can opt for a shorter meal.

2610 N Cannon Dr
Chicago, IL

7. Mindy’s Hot Chocolate (Mindy Segal - Outstanding Pastry Chef, 2012)

1747 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL
Mindy Segal
Mindy Segal of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate
Jon Shaft [Official Photo]

Mindy Segal has long been regarded as the Pastry Queen of the Windy City and she has the hardware to back it up. Her busy Wicker Park eatery is at the forefront of the dessert scene, having popularized items like brioche doughnuts before the trend arose. Segal’s skills extend beyond just classic sweets, though, as her savory dishes are equally impressive and she has also created a line of cannabis edibles.

1747 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL

8. Alinea (Outstanding Restaurant, 2016; Outstanding Service, 2010; Grant Achatz - Outstanding Chef, 2008; Best Chef: Great Lakes: 2007)

1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL
Critics deem Alinea one of the best restaurants in the world
Matthew Gilson [Official Photo]

Widely recognized as one of the best restaurants in the world, Alinea is no stranger to critical acclaim. The three-star Michelin restaurant, where science and food meet to create mind-bending dishes, is at the top of the culinary bucket list for Chicagoans and visitors alike. In addition to taking home the coveted top prize in 2016, Grant Achatz was also crowned Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2007 and Outstanding Chef in 2008, while his team was honored for Outstanding Service in 2010.

1723 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL

9. The Violet Hour (Outstanding Bar Program, 2015)

1520 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL
The Violet Hour is known for innovative cocktails and creative techniques
The Violet Hour [Official Photo]

One Off Hospitality Group forever changed drinking in Chicago when it opened this mysterious craft cocktail mecca almost a decade ago. Long before egg white cocktails were in vogue, the Violet Hour was spurring on the mixology movement with never-before-seen techniques and concoctions. Today, it remains one of the most beloved bars thanks to an expansive menu and Wonderland-ish atmosphere. And no, guests are still not permitted to use their phones in the dimly-lit rooms.

1520 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL

10. Spiaggia (Tony Mantuano - Best Chef: Midwest, 2005; Paul Bartolotta - Best Chef: Midwest, 1994)

980 N Michigan Ave 2nd Floor, Suite 1, Chicago, IL 60611
Tony Mantuano
Spiaggia/Galdones Photography

For more than three decades, Spiaggia has stood as one of Chicago’s premier restaurants thanks to chef/owner Tony Mantuano. One of Chicago’s most venerable chefs, Mantuano also runs River Roast, Terzo Piano, and the recently opened Maddon’s Post. He’s cooked for President Obama, written books, and earned numbers accolades over a distinguished career. He’s one of Chicago’s leading ambassadors of Italian cuisine.

980 N Michigan Ave 2nd Floor, Suite 1
Chicago, IL 60611

11. NoMI (Louey/Rubino Design Group, Inc - Outstanding Restaurant Graphics, 2001)

800 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611