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Chicago’s Media Recap the 2023 Restaurant Scene in a Word

Spoiler: Some in the panel used more than one word

Two pieces of sushi.
The sushi from Planta Queen doesn’t use fish.
Planta Queen
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Chicago’s media dish on their favorite spots in 2023 as part of Eater’s ongoing tradition of polling the city’s experts for their year-end takes. Here, the panel attempts to summarize Chicago’s dining scene in a single word.

Janice Scurio, South Side Sox and CHGO Sports: Popping! (So, so, so many pop-ups.)

Danny Shapiro, founding partner of the Scofflaw group; co-host of the Joiners podcast: Adjusting

Sarah Spain, ESPN writer, TV and radio host: Omakase

Brenda Storch, contributor, Eater Chicago; freelance writer: Yikes! I have three. Feel free to pick one:


Asian. Is it just me, or did Southeast Asian flavors seem to be in the spotlight this year?

Soups. Social media might be fueling this trend, and from pozole to birria ramen, Chicago is the perfect place for this “hug in a bowl.”

Amy Cavanaugh, Chicago magazine dining editor: Evolving

Monica Eng, Axios Chicago: Sorting things out

Alex Jewell, Best Food Alex: Revival

Jeffy Mai, editor Time Out Chicago: Adapting

Michael Nagrant, author of the Hunger, a Substack newsletter; former Sun-Times and RedEye dining critic: Hungover