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The 10 Best Michelin Star Restaurants In Chicago

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The cultural and culinary diversity of Chicago is unmatched. It has something for everyone from Italian to Asian, Middle Eastern to Mexican.

Chicago offers a wide variety of dining options, from farm-to-table meals and luxury dining experiences to casual fare and exciting kid-friendly establishments, even if you are unable to visit them all.

Chicago

The Michelin guide provides a distinctive perspective on excellent dining. The most distinguished restaurants in the world are recognized by Michelin and are known not only for their cuisine but also for their ambiance and service.

Many visitors frequently inquire about their location. Every year, they provide a list of newly-starred restaurants and those that have already closed. 

Let’s look more closely at the kinds of food and cuisines that can be found in Chicago restaurants that have been awarded a Michelin star.

Interested in other Michelin Star Restaurants? Check out our other delicious guides:

Visiting Chicago? Don’t miss out on these delicious Chicago food guides! 

The 10 Best Michelin Star Restaurants in Chicago

Alinea

1723 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614, United States

The only establishment of its kind in Chicago, Chef Grant Achatz’s three-Michelin-starred institution offers a multisensory experience. The venerable Lincoln Park establishment underwent a significant restoration in 2016, replacing its ominous, seductive decor with a light, classic setting.

Expect lots of dry ice, unusual fruits, and fun serving utensils. Achatz’s famous helium taffy balloons, which fill the dining room with giggles and high-pitched laughing, are a great way to round off the evening.

The “contrast,” “Sangre,” and “swirl” dishes are presented simultaneously, with a “swirl” in the middle of the table, a glass bulb with a sizable flat surface area on top of it, yuzu vapor streaming over an apple bite that has been thinly sliced and spun and is bright with acidic citrus. “Glass” is presented on a big, flat plate with blueberry-sauce decorations surrounding a maitake mushroom that is surrounded by panes of blueberry “glass.”

However, desserts don’t end there: rather than being painted at the table, the new desserts are placed atop an acrylic painting by Thomas Masters, whose works can be found all about the restaurant. Each component’s plating—cherry, white chocolate, and bourbon—reflects the picture behind it, giving the plate a three-dimensional appearance.

It’s difficult to choose a favorite meal from the 14-course menu, but the “fry” course, which had a mound of miniature fried icefish and radishes that had been thinly sliced, was a standout.

The “bone” dish was particularly noteworthy; it consisted of a thin slice of raw A-5 wagyu beef on a rice cracker with Japanese ginger, bringing out the umami flavors of the soft meat.

Michelin Star Restaurants In Chicago: Alinea Wagyu Beef

The “toast” dish, which consisted of a pumpernickel square topped with gruyere and black truffle, was one of the dishes that stood out to me. It was compact until you took your first bite, at which point the warm gruyere lost its structure and exploded with the earthiness of the truffle and richness from the cheese. This excellent restaurant should not be missed!

Ever Restaurant

1340 W. Fulton St., Chicago, IL 60607, United States 

Ever, a fine-dining landmark in Chicago that offers a prix-fixe menu with eight to ten courses centered on proteins from land and sea that are whipped into delectable marvels marks the return of Curtis Duffy and Michael Muser.

As soon as you enter, the ambiance, lighting, and decor, together with the arrangement of the tables, make you want to stay for as long as possible. You get the impression that you are cut off from the outer world. 

Everyone working there is committed to giving you the impression that you are the only person there dining, taking the time to engage in conversation and address any queries.

Each of the numerous dishes on the tasting menu had 7-8 carefully chosen ingredients, and each featured the most delicate and surprising flavor combinations.

Every meal was a taste explosion, making it difficult to choose a favorite, but I would say my favorites were the frozen hamachi dish and the chicken cabbage wrap with coconut mousse – who would have thought those two ingredients would go so well together?

Ever Restaurant Chicken Cabbage Wrap

The amounts and pace of this meal were ideal, and the food is all you could ask for in a tasting menu. Two types of butter were distributed among three different types of bread throughout the meal. 

There were several properly sized protein servings. We received the following dish as soon as we completed the previous one. We didn’t feel overly stuffed when we left. The sweets were really amazing. A definite must-try Michelin star restaurant in Chicago!

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Moody Tongue 

2515 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60616, the United States // +13126005111

Moody Tongue relocated west to a spacious 28,600 square foot location after outgrowing its Pilsen digs, allowing the brewery more room to explore.

Executive chef Jared Wentworth runs the space’s modest 28-seat restaurant. It features a 12- 15-course tasting menu based on seasonal ingredients, matched with the most recent culinary-inspired drinks by Moody Tongue brewmaster Jared Rouben. It’s a pairing made in heaven for craft beer drinkers who enjoy good meals.

You have the option of dining on a 12-course tasting menu in the elegant Dining Room or having a more relaxed experience in the bar, where food is available à la carte.

The dinner I had here was one of the best I’ve ever had. Each course is taught. We headed to the bar, which consisted of a bar and a few tables for eating. This is where you should go if you don’t want the complete experience or a la carte.

The dishes we ordered were the artichoke agnolotti (oh, so spring-like), crescent duck breast (so tender), and Iberico presa (another fine cut of Iberico; I could have eaten the meat without any of the accompanying ingredients).

Moody Tongue  Duck Breast

Ahi tuna crudo was the best because it had so many flavors that all went together. We chose the buttermilk panna cotta, which was mouthwatering!

Overall, it was an incredible experience, and I wholeheartedly suggest going there!

Oriole

661 W. Walnut St., Chicago, IL 60661, United States // +13128775339

There are several fine dining establishments in Chicago, including well-known ones like Alinea and more recent ones like Smyth and Elske. However, Oriole, a West Loop restaurant from Noah Sandoval, must be included on every foodie’s bucket list.

The 14-course menu’s creative, gorgeous, and delicious dishes help you become lost in the experience. If I could provide one bit of advice, it would be to avoid looking at the menu before going; the chef wanted each plate to be a surprise.

The room itself is stunning; exposed brick creates a cozy atmosphere, and massive wooden columns serve as a constant reminder that you are in one of the city’s most fashionable neighborhoods. Every table is covered in spotless white tablecloths, and the napkins are neatly folded.

Our dinner began with a mouthful of Golden Osetra caviar, which felt opulent and set the tone for the rest of the meal. It was accompanied by rich coconut dashi, lychee, and grape to brighten the bite. With all the ingredients sitting inside, it was presented in a practically egg-shaped dish, adding a further element of surprise. The foods are all presented interestingly.

Consider the puffed beef tendon; a fancy pork rind served with wagyu tartare and sliced matsutake mushrooms on top of a bed of wood chips for a hint of smokiness. A broad wooden skewer of smoked finger limes, small greens, and ham is served with a Beausoleil oyster topped with an Ibérico consommé.

Oriole Wagyu Tartare

Sommelier Aaron McManus’s suggestions for drink pairings range from light and airy whites like grüner veltliner to a bitter cocktail made with Madeira, Cocchi Americano, and Noilly Prat vermouth.

The server carefully describes each selection that pairs a Belgian golden ale with many carb-heavy courses (sourdough and capellini dishes) to complement the yeast profile.

You’ll end your meal with a platter of bite-sized sweets, including a bit of mint chocolate macaron, white chocolate yuzu, salted caramel chocolates, and more. It is coupled with an Italian Moscato from the Piedmont region that is a bit on the sweeter side.

In contrast to many tasting menus, Oriole’s doesn’t leave you feeling overstuffed or inebriated after it’s over. Instead, it is fantastic and flawless! Put Oriole on your must-try Michelin restaurants in Chicago.

Smyth

177 N. Ada St. #101, Chicago, IL 60607, United States // +17739133773

Only a few eateries can boast of giving traditional American fare a distinctive spin. Smyth is one such eatery that carries this out. It has earned two Michelin stars in recognition of this.

It allegedly serves the city’s greatest burger and has a sophisticated tasting menu. But, even when compared to other Michelin-starred restaurants, it stands out. It does so because it provides three unique experiences.

It is one of the most reasonably priced Michelin-star restaurants, with a tasting menu that starts at about $100. In addition, the restaurant constantly adds a unique twist by remembering to offer seasonal items. It is undoubtedly a must-visit due to all these gastronomic characteristics. 

Smyth serves up some of the most intriguing and decadent cuisines. As an illustration, on a single plate, luscious foie gras slices, scrambled Kani miso, and soft Dungeness crab chunks are served. A tiny yet potent mouthful, it overflows with great ingredients. 

Foie Gras

Astonishingly, it makes you feel as though you’re dining in your best friend’s living room—provided that your best friend also happens to be an exceptional cook with a perfect sense of furnishings. 

We chose the ten-course meal, which is no longer available. Whatever you decide, prepare for opulent items like caramelized lobster, crispy duck tongue, and creamy uni to arrive at your table. 

A salted licorice-soaked egg yolk nestled in a cup of yogurt meringue really captured our attention. The eye-catching meal pairs nicely with an Alsace pinot gris, which has a medium body and citrus undertones. 

The drink pairings, which include a blend of white and red wines and a beer for good measure, are chosen from around the world to match the food.  

The selections, which range from a crisp sparkling white from the Loire Valley to a Belgian Brouwerij Rodenbach sour, give lighter meals depth or lighten the load of heavy ingredients. So you won’t regret it if you go there. Believe me. 

Boka

1729 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614, the United States // +13123376070

For sixteen years, BOKA has existed. It was one of the first restaurants to receive and keep a Michelin star.

The restaurant’s head chef, Lee Wolen, is renowned for his exacting culinary methods, which have transformed American food. The menu at the restaurant is filled with interesting options, such as grilled octopus with ricotta dumplings.

My friend ordered the Spanish octopus as an appetizer, which came with this acidic and creamy sauce. On top of that, there were pickles and fennel pieces. After we finished the first one because it was so excellent, we ordered another one. 

We ordered the short rib and the halibut for the main course. The short rib was tender and savory, and the halibut was buttery and melted in your mouth. It had pickled veggies and tongue chunks on top of mustard sauce.

Boka Short Rib

As the perfect end to an amazing dinner, we had roasted blueberries and caramelized hazelnuts for dessert. Delicious!

Each item on the menu combines surprise and creative thinking. You shouldn’t pass up this Michelin-star eatery for that reason alone.

CLAUDIA

1952 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, United States // +17736979486

This Bucktown brick-and-mortar fine dining establishment, created by chef Trevor Teich, has evolved from his long-running pop-up dining venture. It now serves contemporary cuisine as a 7–10-course, nostalgic tasting menu for $225 per person. 

The restaurant’s design served as an overview of Chef Trevor’s upbringing. His mother’s name is reflected in the establishment’s name, Claudia. The meals were really distinctive. I was immediately struck by how beautifully each plate was presented. You truly experienced each course differently because of the striking colors and interesting textures.

Every meal was different from what you might expect, yet in a reasonable manner. He is an expert at balancing sweet and salty flavors.

His specialty dish is escargot, and I could understand why. Although I’ve never had escargot, it was great to eat it in “snails in the woods” as tempura. I was astounded! People who have never dined at Michelin-starred establishments cannot understand what he is doing with the cuisine.

CLAUDIA Escargot

The drinks are also delicious. The horchata with cognac was my personal favorite. It had a creamy mouth feel with a faint sweetness. 

Everything was very carefully planned out. The candy goody bag at the conclusion was the final point. Each visitor received a small sweet surprise of distinctive sweets. The cumin in the caramel was intriguing. In conclusion, I heartily urge everyone to dine here at least once in their lives.

Elizabeth Restaurant

4835 N. Western. Ave Unit D, Chicago, IL 60625, United States

At Elizabeth, Iliana Regan combines culinary delights and the arts. The restaurant enjoys experimenting with uncommon foods like stone fruit, pepitas, etc. As a result, it provides special treats like caramel corn and bubblegum ice cream.

In addition to usual meals, the restaurant also offers dinners with birthday or holiday themes.

Elizabeth won’t let you down if you search for a Michelin-star restaurant that offers something different each time you go.

This is the place to be if you want to impress someone or have a special occasion. Do not let the subdued ambiance detract from the focus on the cuisine. It’s nearly impossible to identify this restaurant from the outside since it wishes to remain hidden from casual eaters.

Be prepared to spend several hours indulging your senses with some of the most unique, mouthwatering, and artistic cuisine. We spent nearly three hours dining, and I think we had at least nine or ten courses. Make sure you select the “pairing” option for drinks to accompany your meal; it’s well worth the extra cost.

The sommelier, who is highly accomplished, selects exquisite flavors to go with each course. A full glass of chilly red wine was served with the gazpacho and remained on the table for the scallops and beets. This was done on purpose so that it would warm to room temperature and develop a deeper flavor.

Elizabeth Restaurant Scallops

The golden plum chamomile cider that went well with the almond ricotta dumplings, asparagus, and semolina focaccia was my favorite. A retro lunchbox containing a tiny hamburger and fries is a charming addition to the menu. An amazing experience overall!

Elske

1350 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607, United States // +13127331314

Elske, which translates to “love” in Danish, is a fitting name for a project started by David and Anna Posey. Order the semi-affordable tasting menu for $115 per person to take the guessing out of the experience, then sit back and be ready to be amazed by the incredibly expensive New American cuisine. It is best to reserve room for one of Anna’s delectable sweets, such as her parfait of sunflower seeds with sour honey, licorice, and bee pollen.

You won’t find many people whispering or conversing in hushed tones over their meals here; impassioned, open conversation is welcomed instead. The area is cozier than typical fine dining locations, with closer tables and a noisy environment.  

Right after the first plate, we were hooked. The sharp crunch of the plants contrasts with the warm beverage, their flavors melding together. Two bowls—one filled with smoked fruits and vegetables like radishes topped with dill, the other a herbal tea of the same fruits and vegetables—are served. 

The first pairings included a sparkling Spanish white from the Canary Islands and a white grape juice that had been carbonated with yeast and star anise, with the option of wine or non-alcoholic beverages. 

The “juice combination,” as our servers termed it, surprised my friend and me after the first sip. It may have passed for wine because it is dry and bubbly. However, I never gave dry drinks’ the ability to resemble their drunken counterparts any thought closely.

Dish after dish is a hit, and the juice pairings never cease to amaze and excite. Even an apparently basic fresh apple juice with whey and juniper next to a surprise—a delicate, umami duck liver tart with the buckwheat pie shell—was the subject of much conversation during our lunch.  

Elske Duck Liver

The only thing missing from Elske’s tasting menu is the extravagant “wow factor” one would come to expect from dining at Chicago’s premier fine dining Michelin-starred restaurants. A must-visit!

Schwa Restaurant

1466 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, the United States // +17732521466

Unless, of course, you know what you’re looking for, an unassuming storefront that might just as quickly be a local dive bar, if you’re driving along Ashland Avenue searching for this fine-dining classic, you might just miss it.

Like practically every dish Carlson makes, each component served a specific function and was essential to the outcome. For instance, sweet maple cream and a tangy lime custard are served with Kona Kampachi. If you eat the fish with just one of them, the flavor will be heavy and one-note; if you eat everything at once, the outcome will be harmonious.

Each meal we had was unique and great, but the raviolo, squab, and wagyu were our three favorites. The chef came out to serve and explain some of the meals, which I thought was a wonderful touch in the service. 

Schwa Restaurant Wagyu

Hip-hop music added to the enjoyable atmosphere, yet you can still comfortably talk to people at your table. It’s a fun restaurant that’s worth going to!

FAQ 

How many restaurants in Chicago have Michelin stars?

23 Chicago restaurants

The Michelin Guide for this year affirms Chicago’s reputation as a culinary hotspot. Four new one-star restaurants were among the 23 Chicago eateries that received Michelin star recognition for 2022.

What Chicago restaurants got three Michelin stars?

Alinea. The only restaurant in Chicago to hold three Michelin stars is Grant Achatz’s famed molecular gastronomy phenomenon.

When did Michelin come to Chicago?

The company began recognizing Chicago eateries with stars in 2011 for the first time. The Michelin inspectors have made repeated trips to the city ever since.

Final Thoughts About The 10 Best Michelin Restaurants In Chicago

There are many Michelin-starred eateries in Chicago, and new ones are always emerging. With numerous new restaurants emerging each year, it is gradually developing into a magnet for foodies.

There are many different restaurants in this area, and Chicagoans have a ton of options when it comes to eating out. So what is a Chicagoan to do with so many possibilities available to them?

You are in Chicago now, so you know what to do the next time. Simply select a restaurant from this list of Chicago’s best restaurants with Michelin stars to have an unforgettable dining experience.

Visiting other destinations in Illinois? Check out our other delicious guides:

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