When it comes to dining out, we are positively spoiled. As of 2019, Chicago is home to 23 Michelin-starred restaurants that range from fine-dining heavyweights to a culinary brewpub to an upscale Mexican mainstay. The best part? You don’t have to drop an entire paycheck to enjoy some of the city’s finest eateries—there are a handful of affordable (and very approachable) options on this year’s Michelin roster.
So, how does it all work? The Michelin Guide assesses restaurants on a number of criteria, but the coveted stars are awarded based on quality of food alone. Inspectors look for top-notch ingredients, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in his or her cuisine, overall value and consistency. One star represents high quality cooking that’s worth a stop; two stars indicate excellent cooking that’s worth a detour; and three stars denote exceptional cuisine that’s worthy of a special journey. With all of that in mind, take a look at the Chicago restaurants that earned Michelin stars for 2019.
For years, Everest has lived up to its name for those looking for a lavish experience, and in the process it has become the pinnacle of high-end French dining. Atop the Chicago Stock Exchange, it is still the height of elegance, with views of the rooftops that made the city famous. Chef Jean Joho’s menu still starts with his iconic whipped cauliflower served on an iced tea spoon and dotted with caviar. From there, it’s on to carefully executed dishes such as roasted rack of lamb, foie gras and poached halibut, each given some sort of Alsatian flair or French accent. If you’re looking for fancy, you found it.