Chicago is lucky enough to boast an extensive roster of dazzling Michelin-star restaurants. But only the cream of the crop can earn the leading three- and two-star spots. Here we present the four Chicago restaurants that have won top Michelin honors for 2019, including the world-renowned Alinea and hip newcomer Oriole. Get ready for an incredible dining experience you won’t find anywhere else. 


Close up of experimental food dish at Alinea restaurant in Chicago

This is the place where experimental molecular gastronomy was brought to new heights by Chef Grant Achatz, one of the most celebrated chefs in the world. Awarded three coveted Michelin stars, Alinea recently reinvented itself, somewhat toning down its stunt presentations (although you’ll still be treated to scented vapors and dramatically smoking dishes). There are three seating options, each with its own menu, ranging from the subdued Salon (offering 10-14 courses) to the multi-sensory Gallery (16-18 courses) and the extravagant private Kitchen Table. Dishes have included a (literally) smoking scallop with citrus aroma, and delicate veal cheeks mingled with pine and blackberry. Pre-paid reservations are required, and menu prices vary depending on the date and time of your visit.


Wreath made of food on a plate at Acadia restaurant in Chicago

Chef Ryan McCaskey brings a bit of coastal Maine to the South Loop with his Michelin two-star restaurant. Inspired by his childhood memories of time spent on the East Coast, McCaskey pays homage to Maine through Acadia’s contemporary decor, accented with sleek woods, and ingredients sourced from Penobscot Bay and its surrounding islands. The five- and nine-course tasting menus (which change daily) include dishes such as lobster with Vietnamese herbs and pork belly with caviar. In addition to its two-star Michelin rating, Acadia earned four stars from the Chicago Tribune, as well as a nod from the James Beard Foundation to McCaskey as a semi-finalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes.


Chef Noah Sandoval of Oriole restaurant in Chicago

A lively open kitchen that’s the centerpiece of this industrial-chic restaurant gives an insight into why Oriole was awarded two Michelin stars in its first year of business. Chef Noah Sandoval takes a contemporary approach to his globally influenced dishes that incorporate everything from fresh pasta to frozen foam and Spanish cheeses. Take a seat in the intimate 28-seat dining room and settle in for a tasting menu that includes inventive dishes, such as the Jamon with black walnut, egg yolk, and quince; or mackerel with Asian pear, seaweed, and sea grape. Equally impressive are the desserts whipped up by Pastry Chef Genie Kwon, including the sweet potato tempura ice cream with chocolate and lavender.


Small plate of food at Smyth restaurant in Chicago

The husband-and-wife chef team of John and Karen Urie Shields head up this welcoming West Loop restaurant that earned two Michelin stars. The restaurant name was inspired by the chefs’ time spent in the farmlands of Smyth County, Virginia at the acclaimed Town House restaurant. Coming back home to Chicago, they brought with them a newfound culinary sensibility focused on imaginative but thoughtful dishes created with farm-fresh ingredients. Choose from a five- eight- or 12-course tasting menu featuring dishes like aged ribeye with marmite and buttermilk; or roasted squab with sorrel, sorghum, and hickory nut. After dinner, head downstairs to The Loyalist lounge for a craft cocktail.

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