DOWNTOWN — Chicago has been named the Restaurant City of the Year.
The honor was bestowed on the city by popular foodie magazine Bon Appétit on Tuesday. Julia Kramer, a special projects editor at the magazine, ate more than 1,000 meals across 40 U.S. cities to find the country's "restaurant city."
“Chicago is clearly America’s most exciting city to eat in right now,” Kramer said, according to a Bon Appétit news release. “I can’t remember a time that I’ve been as psyched to eat there as I’ve been this year. Where other cities fall into soulless trend cycles, Chicago has a way of generating distinctively personal restaurants.”
A few of Kramer's highlights in the city: the "pleasurable" yet "visually arresting" desserts at Elske; the way Fat Rice has reinvented Chicago-style hot dogs; Alinea's recent reboot; and the mezcal options at eateries like Quiote and Estereo.
"From the James Beard Awards to today’s recognition, people throughout the world are finding out what Chicago’s residents have always known — the Second City's restaurants are second to none," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "This recognition from a globally renowned publication also recognizes Chicago’s thriving culinary scene is not only the nation’s best, but it reaches neighborhoods throughout the city — from Logan Square to Little Village to Hyde Park and far beyond.”
Bon Appétit also named four Chicago restaurants as finalists for its list of the best new restaurants in the United States. Though the restaurant hasn't yet named which restaurants will make the list, it said two of them will be from Chicago.
The restaurants are:
• Mi Tocaya Antojeria, in Logan Square
• Giant, in Logan Square
• Smyth & The Loyalist, in the West Loop
• Elske, in the West Loop