The 38 best restaurants in Chicago

Susan S. Johnson

Mako brings fancy sushi home.
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Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

As of mid-January, Chicago appears perched to see the return of indoor dining, but health experts are moving slowly, worried about factors including a new COVID-19 variant that arrived in Chicago earlier in the month. Restaurants will continue to offer creative takeout offerings as Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says, ordering takeout and tipping generously are some of the best ways to support the industry while indoor dining remains suspended.

With all these factors in mind, it’s time for the Eater 38 to receive its first update for 2021. For January, four restaurants were added — a Logan Square landmark, a bakery from an acclaimed pastry chef, a Chicago stalwart for car dining, and a Michelin-starred sushi restaurant.

Have tips or suggestions for the Eater 38? Send them to the Chicago tipline. And head here for a guide to Chicago’s newer restaurants.

As of October 30, Chicago restaurants can no longer serve customers indoors. Still, a number of Chicago restaurants have outdoor seating. The state now requires reservations for patio dining. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

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