Every year, Michelin releases their famed city guides that rate the best restaurants in top dining destinations around the world. And this year’s guide only confirms Chicago’s spot as a world-class restaurant city, with 18 exciting new additions.
The 2020 Michelin guide awarded stars to five new Chicago restaurants, bringing the city’s total of starred spots to 25. Alinea tops Chicago’s list again this year, one of just a handful of restaurants in the world with three Michelin stars. The latest Chicago guide also added 13 new Bib Gourmands, which recognizes high-quality food for affordable prices.
Here are the new additions to Chicago’s Michelin guide 2020.
New Michelin-starred restaurants in Chicago
Kikkō: This ultra-intimate omakase spot can be found in the basement of Kumiko, the West Loop’s chic Japanese cocktail bar. Grab a spot at the eight-seat counter and marvel at the seven sushi-centric courses prepared by revered chef Noah Sandoval, formerly of Oriole. The experience is rounded out by beverage pairings crafted by renowned bartender Julia Momose.
Mako: The highly anticipated passion project of BK Park, the chef behind acclaimed Juno in Lincoln Park, Mako offers an authentic omakase menu that showcases Park’s passion and precision in the kitchen. The Mako experience includes up to 25 courses, plus an optional beverage pairing, focusing on high-quality seafood with touches of luxury (think pristine nigiri adorned with caviar and gold flakes).
Next: This much-lauded concept from the founders of Alinea has been in the running for a Michelin star for years. The West Loop spot is known for their ever-changing dining experiences, with four totally unique prix fixe menus each year. This year’s themes included a take on modern Italian, a journey down the ancient Silk Road, and a collaboration with Spanish chef José Andrés.
Omakase Yume: It’s the year of omakase in Chicago. Omakase Yume in the West Loop is built on traditional Japanese techniques and philosophy, with hints of chef Sangtae Park’s Korean heritage (like fresh fluke topped with puréed aged kimchi ). The 17-course omakase menu changes daily, and there’s an à la carte menu that allows you to customize your meal.
Yugen: The cuisine at this refined West Loop space is inspired by progressive Japanese and rooted in classic Fresh technique. The kitchen is led by Mari Katsumura, a veteran of some of Chicago’s top restaurants, and her executive chef debut was one of the year’s most anticipated openings. The highly seasonal, multi-course tasting menu is both elegant and creative, like house-made bread with bonito flakes and crab rice in foamy uni butter.
New Michelin Bib Gourmand picks in Chicago
Virtue: This Hyde Park gem serves up modern Southern cuisine, bringing a fine dining twist to your favorite comfort food. It’s already a favorite spot for locals, including the Obamas when they’re in town.
Kie Gol Lanee: Uptown has no shortage of amazing global cuisine, and Kie Gol Lanee is an excellent addition. Feast on traditional Oaxacan fare like tamales, ceviche, and tlayudas (a giant, homemade tortilla topped with your choice of perfectly seasoned meat).
Ina Mae Tavern: Get a taste of New Orleans at this casual Wicker Park spot, from char-grilled oysters to po’boys on freshly made bread. Order a Hurricane for the full NOLA experience.
Ghin Khao: Pilsen is known for its wealth of international eats, so its no surprise its now home to one of the best Thai spots in town. Try home-cooked specials like Grandma’s Pork Belly, seared to perfection before your eyes.
Cabra & Cira: Try two Michelin favorites, both inside one of the city’s hippest hotels. Cira, located on the first floor of The Hoxton in the West Loop, dishes out modern Mediterranean while Cabra, the lush rooftop spot, is a Peruvian cevicheria by celebrity chef Stephanie Izard.
Avlí Taverna: Tradition meets modern cuisine at this homey Lincoln Park taverna. Dig into elevated versions of all your Greek favorites, like saganaki with figs and honey or a show-stopping whole fish.
Birrieria Zaragoza: Birrieria has long been a local secret, but it’s Bib Gourmand nod means it won’t be under the radar for much longer. The goat tacos, piled high with tender and flavorful meat, are unlike anything you’ve tried before.
County BBQ: If you don’t usually go to Little Italy for your barbecue, you might want to start. This casual joint caught Michelin’s eye for their hickory-smoked meats, like their addictive Chicago-style rib tips.
Funkenhausen: German and Southern fusion? It all comes together at Funkenhausen. The West Town spot serves fun and funky dishes like giant pretzels with pimento cheese and a scallops and pork belly dish dubbed “sürfentürfen”.
Nella Pizza e Pasta: This authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of Hyde Park is all about pizza and pasta. The menu is composed of long-held family recipes that are made by scratch each day.
Flat & Point: Expect wood-fired everything at this Logan Square “barbecue-inspired” spot. The menu changes almost daily thanks to their focus on seasonality, but you can anticipate lots of locally sourced ingredients and nose-to-tail cuts of meat.
La Josie: Mexican food and mezcal will always be a winning combination, and La Josie excels at both. The chic West Loop space serves shared plates, along with tacos, ceviches, seafood, and more.