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Chicago Media’s Favorite Restaurants of 2023

There’s a tremendous amount of meaty favorites listed by out panel.

A platter of barbecue.
Umamicue wowed several Chicagoans by splicing Asian flavors with Texas smoked meat techniques.
Aliya Ikhumen/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 discusses their favorite restaurants that opened this year.

Alex Jewell, Best Food Alex: This is going to be a really biased answer, because this year, I got to watch some of my most talented friends venture out and open, reopen, and redefine genres: Professor Pizza finding residency on the Tetto rooftop, Thattu reopening their own spot, 3 Little Pigs relocating to the South Loop (dangerously around the corner from me), Kimski 2.0 relaunching with a menu that gets more intimate with chef Won Kim’s Korean roots, Taco Sublime expanding into its delicious potential at Marz Brewing, Heffer BBQ touching hearts and tummies at Whiner Beer Company in the Plant, Umamicue smoking life into pork bellies at Spilt Milk. There are obvious “media” answers to this question, but these are the people and places and foods that make me happy, and they also form the juicy backbone of Chicago culinary, in my opinion.

Jeffy Mai, editor Time Out Chicago: Kyoten Next Door. I’m an unapologetic Stan of omakase concepts, and a more affordable version of what I consider to be Chicago’s best sushi experience lived up to expectations.

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

Janice Scurio, South Side Sox and CHGO Sports: Everyone and their mother (including my own) was excited for Boonie’s — and once they were bestowed the hallowed Michelin Bib Gourmand, reservations have been hotter than lumpia fresh out the fryer. I was pleasantly surprised by chef Joe Fontelera’s paksiw isda - a fish stew that overcame my aversion to cooked seafood, something my Filipino mom had been trying to achieve for the 30 to 40 or so years I’ve been on this earth.

Danny Shapiro, founding partner of the Scofflaw group; co-host of the Joiners podcast: Boonie’s Filipino Restaurant

Sarah Spain, ESPN writer, TV and radio host: Fioretta. Yep, a steakhouse won over this vegetarian! The Mad Men vibes, swanky sunken bar, and excellent service were matched by the delicious chopped salad, butternut squash ravioli, and mascarpone whipped potatoes.

Amy Cavanaugh, Chicago magazine dining editor: I have three new favorites: I love the Filipino flavors and soul that Joe Fontelera serves at Boonie’s, the modern takes on Ukrainian fare that Johnny Clark delivers at Anelya, and the smart American plates Adam McFarland and Tom Rogers offer at John’s Food & Wine.

Monica Eng, Axios Chicago: The new location of Daisies.


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

Whiner Beer Company

1400 West 46th Street, , IL 60609 (773) 475-6189 Visit Website

Marz Brewing

3630 S. Iron Street, Chicago, IL Visit Website


2601 West Fletcher Street, , IL 60618 (773) 754-0199 Visit Website

Kyoten Next Door

2513 West Armitage Avenue, , IL 60647 Visit Website


954-960 West 31st Street, , IL 60608 (773) 823-7336


3198 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60618 Visit Website


3472 North Elston Avenue, , IL 60618 (773) 692-2192 Visit Website

Spilt Milk

811 South Boulevard, Oak Park, IL 60302 (708) 613-4403 Visit Website


318 North Sangamon Street, , IL 60607 (312) 897-5011 Visit Website


2375 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 697-9443 Visit Website