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While its number of Michelin-starred restaurants doesn’t quite compete with the gastronomic powerhouses of Tokyo, Paris, or New York, Chicago’s 21 top-tier restaurants make it one of the world’s most enticing cities for culinary tourism. Come to Chicago for the skyline, the arts scene, and the sporting events, but stay for the food. Here’s our rundown on the best Michelin star restaurants in Chicago.
Located right in Lincoln Square, Goosefoot is the brainchild of designer Nina Nugent and chef Chris Nugent. The space is modern, elegant, smart, yet approachable — as any stand-out Michelin-starred restaurant should be. Everything from the hand-picked menu items to the silverware and the interior architecture all come together to create a very impressive aesthetic. The food can best be described as having a French foundation with some extremely modern twists. Most items are seasonal and don’t stay put for longer than a few months, which makes Goosefoot worthy of more than one visit. Before you book your trip, check out Airbnb Chicago: Where to Stay Like a Local to make sure you have somewhere to sleep off a heavy meal.
Band of Bohemia
‘Brewery’ and ‘Michelin star’ usually don’t end up in the same sentence, but that isn’t the case with Band of Bohemia. As the world’s first Michelin starred brewpub, Chicago’s Band of Bohemia has effectively upped the standards for aspiring microbreweries. With starters like venison tartare and entrees like miso caramel cod and aged Rohan duck, the food is just as worthy as the beer. That said, we recommend you stay thirsty. Sip from brews made from Jasmine rice, honey and rosehips, and good old-fashioned wheat and barley. Speaking of tipsy travel, check out the Five Beer Festivals You Can’t Miss.
Chefs (and husband and wife) Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim have turned a modest Chicago street corner into a culinary destination for foodies around the world. Parachute definitely has its roots in Korean cuisine, but it’d be doing them a disservice to pigeonhole Parachute as anything strictly Asian. The baked potato bing bread, for example, is their signature cheese-crusted, bacon-bit-topped flatbread carb-bomb that doesn’t sound the least bit foreign. However, gems like kanpachi, yuba, and bibimbap will remind you that Parachute has something to say about inventive Korean dishes.
Chicago’s Boka may be the most romantic dining experience on this list if your evening calls for something elegant. The dark leather booths and vintage paintings exude a kind of vibe you’d expect from a 1940s jazz club where the loud chatter and music force you to lean in to be heard. The food is designed for guests to choose one hot and one cold appetizer, and the entrees are an array of delicious takes on American classics like short ribs, roasted chicken, and wild striped bass. Also, you should definitely save room for the hazelnut, dark chocolate, and concord grape desserts.
Whereas some Michelin starred restaurants may make you roll your eyes at the small portions and delicate presentations, Elizabeth Restaurant gets down to chef Iliana Regan’s roots as a midwesterner fond of all things healthy. Most dishes are fruit and vegetable focused. There are protein options, but by no means is this a steak and potatoes place. Sustainability is evident in what they practice and preach, so it very much feels like a new-age restaurant.
For all the Italian lovers out there, Spiaggia sets the bar pretty high for Italian food in Chicago. They recently gained some international fame as executive chef Joe Flamm won season 15 of Top Chef, but the Michelin star doesn’t hurt either. The dishes are excellent, but the wine is second to none. Spiaggia has won the “Best Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator and was named one of “America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants” by Wine Enthusiast, so they know what they’re doing. If the wine talk has whet your palate, check out 5 Awesome Wine Vacation Destinations.
Chicago’s newest (and only 2019) addition to the Michelin star lineup is Temporis, an intimate contemporary spot that focuses on a single 8-10 course tasting menu. As of writing, their current menu includes escargot, capellini, duck, comté, and foie gras. It’s a rotating menu that changes up pretty frequently, so be sure to review their menu every once in a while to see what’s cooking.