It’s no secret that Chicago is a foodie’s nirvana: Our fair city boasts 26 Michelin-starred restaurants. Some have avant-garde tasting menus where A-list chefs play mad scientist, while others have painstakingly perfected the staples. Here, we round up the cream of the crop based on creativity, atmosphere and the ability to actually get a table (sorry, Schwa).

Dish from Everest restaurant in Chicago

Everest

French-born chef J. Joho has managed to keep this Loop restaurant relevant—and well-rated—for 30 years. Since opening its doors in ’86, it has kept its four-star rating from the Chicago Tribune and has earned Michelin stars six of the last seven years. Known for upscale French cuisine influenced heavily by Chef Joho’s upbringing in Alsace, expect a meal dripping with old-school elegance—not butter. In between dishes (we recommend trying the lobster, which has been on the menu for 25 years), diners can take in stunning views from the restaurant’s prime location on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange.