Chicago is proud to be home to over 50 James Beard Award winners. Since the first ceremony in 1991, this national award has become the most coveted honor in the world of food and beverage. Chicago is honored to host the James Beard Awards through 2027.

If you’re looking for a place to dine, this esteemed list is a good place to start.

Outstanding chef award

1995 Rick Bayless, Topolobampo and Frontera Grill
1999 Charlie Trotter, Charlie Trotter’s (closed)
2008 Grant Achatz, Alinea
2013 Paul Kahan, Blackbird

Outstanding restaurateur award

2011 Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
2015 Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality
2019 Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group

Best Large City in the U.S.

Outstanding restaurant award

2000 Charlie Trotter’s (closed)
2007 Frontera Grill
2017 Topolobampo

Best new restaurant award

1996 Brasserie Jo (closed)
2012 Next

Rising star chef award

1994 Sarah Stegner, The Dining Room, The Ritz-Carlton (closed)
1998 Keith Luce, Spruce (closed)
2003 Grant Achatz, Trio (closed)
2014 Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig

Outstanding restaurant design (75 seats and under)

2015 Brindille

Outstanding restaurant design (76 seats and over)

2016 Cherry Circle Room
2019 Pacific Standard Time​

Outstanding pastry chef award

2001 Gale Gand, Tru (closed)
2012 Mindy Segal, HotChocolate

Best chefs in America

1999 Debbie Gold

Best chef: Great Lakes

2007 Grant Achatz, Alinea
2008 Carrie Nahabedian, Naha (closed)
2010 Koren Grieveson, Avec
2012 Bruce Sherman, North Pond
2013 Stephanie Izard, Girl & the Goat
2014 Dave Beran, Next
2016 Curtis Duffy, Grace (closed)
2017 Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde
2018 Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice
2019 Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute

Best chef: Midwest

1991 Rick Bayless, Topolobampo/Frontera Grill
1992 Charlie Trotter, Charlie Trotter’s (closed)
1994 Paul Bartolotta, Spiaggia
1995 Jean Joho, Everest
1997 Roland Liccioni, Les Nomades
1997 Gabino Sotelino, Ambria (closed)
1998 Sarah Stegner, The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton (closed)
2000 Arun Sampanthavivat, Arun’s
2002 Rick Tramonto, Tru (closed)
2004 Paul Kahan, Blackbird
2005 Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia
2006 Shawn McClain, Spring (closed)

Outstanding baker

2019 Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread

Outstanding wine program

1993 Charlie Trotter’s (closed)

Outstanding service

2002 Charlie Trotter, Charlie Trotter’s (closed)
2007 Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, and Richard Melman, Tru (closed)

2010 Grant Achatz, Alinea

Outstanding bar program

2013 The Aviary
2015 The Violet Hour

America’s classics

1999 The Berghoff
2008 Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap
2010 Calumet Fisheries
2018 Sun Wah BBQ

For more information about the James Beard Foundation and the JBF Awards, visit