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Chicago’s Media Predicts Restaurant Industry Headlines for 2024

Wonder Woman’s invisible jet and a lack of South Side pizzeria representation are mentioned

Maple & Ash steakhouse with a big dining room with an elegant hanging chandelier.
The owners of Maple & Ash will be in court in February to defend themselves against allegations of PPP loan fraud.
Marc Much/Eater Chicago
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 predicts what the news will look like in 2024.

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

Maple & Ash Founders Found Not Guilty on PPP Loan Fraud, Afterall There Was Nothing To See Because They Hired Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet With The Funds

Lee Wolen Spins Off a New Concept, GG’s Mac & Cheese

Asador Bastian Announces $300 Steak Cut Called ‘The Sweetness’ and Chef Doug Psaltis Reminds Chicago That He Played for the 1985 Bears

Warlord Announces New Concept, a Celebration of Cocaine Culture Called Vicelord

Reservations For All of 2024 for Akahoshi Ramen Sell Out in Two Hours, Ramenlord Changes Social Handle to ‘RamenJesus’

In Its Bid to Be the Best Restaurant in Chicago, Feld Announces a ‘Fruit Ninja’ Course Whereby Diners Wield Custom Samurai Swords to Slice Fruit Grown in the Restaurant’s Backyard Launched at their Heads From a T-shirt Cannon

Chicago Magazine Food Critic John Kessler Finally Discovers a Chicago Restaurant That Makes Him Happy He Moved Here From Atlanta

Janice Scurio, South Side Sox and CHGO Sports:

Chicago’s Best Pizzas: Including a Legally-Mandated Vito & Nick’s Mention Followed by 15 Joints on the North Side

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

Service Charges Absorb Tips

Sarah Spain, ESPN writer, TV and radio host:

Make Room, Burrata — Halloumi Madness Is Here!

(This is entirely wishful thinking on my part. I want a world with burrata *and* halloumi-based dishes on every menu! Catch up to Europe, Chicago! Grilled Halloumi is good in pasta, salads, tacos... everything!)

Brenda Storch, contributor, Eater Chicago; freelance writer:

More Functional Food Offerings Beyond the Health Food Aisle

Also, diners seem increasingly aware of the depth of the cuisines of different cultures and their stories, which adds another dimension to the dining experience.

Monica Eng, Axios Chicago: If it’s next year, I could say:

Confusion Continues Over Tips and Service Fees

Alex Jewell, Best Food Alex:

A Year of Some Difficult Goodbyes Makes Room for Innovative Hellos; It Wasn’t All French

A Wave of Bistros Aside, 2023 Brought Tasty New Concepts and Promising Signals for Chicago Culinary

Chicago Defends Its Culinary Title with a Beef in One Hand and Accolades in the Other

Jeffy Mai, editor Time Out Chicago:

Popeyes to Open a Salad Spin-off in Northbrook


3201 West Armitage Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 252-9700 Visit Website

Maple & Ash

8 West Maple Street, , IL 60610 (312) 944-8888 Visit Website


3198 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60618 Visit Website

Akahoshi Ramen

2340 North California Avenue, , IL 60647 Visit Website