Whether you’re checking out the desert plants in Garfield Park Conservatory or marveling at the cherry blossoms in Jackson Park, there are things to do in Chicago for every type of traveler. But what we can all agree on is that eating at as many Chicago restaurants as possible should be at the top of your itinerary. Creative and stylish, many of these restaurants have been awarded the highest restaurant honor we have: a Michelin star rating. These restaurants are the best of the best – and they aren’t cheap. So if you live for luxury dining, colorful, complicated plating, and experimental dishes that involve expensive ingredients and expert cooking techniques, these are the restaurants where you need to book a table. Once you’re done with upscale dining, don’t forget to check out Chicago’s vibrant dive bar scene, and then head over to one of the city’s many music venues for live music. Here is every Michelin star restaurant in Chicago, and what each one serves.
- One Michelin star restaurants in Chicago
- Two Michelin star restaurants in Chicago
- Three Michelin star restaurants in Chicago
- How many restaurants in Chicago have a Michelin star?
- How many 3 Michelin star restaurants are there in Chicago?
One Michelin star restaurants chicago
Classic dishes expertly prepared have earned Boka a Michelin star. Expect foie gras, caviar, and scallops paired with seasonal herbs and vegetables. The backyard patio surrounded by greenery and candle lit at night is a romantic, slightly more casual setting for dinner.
Where: 1729 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
Claudia describes itself as adventurous. With white tablecloths, a white exterior, and white walls inside, you might be expecting a more traditional atmosphere, but the menu, which the restaurant says is inspired by the flavors of the sea but doesn’t give much more of a hint toward ingredients, showcases surprising cooking techniques like edible foams and flowers. There are two dining experiences: The regular Claudia tasting menu which consists of 7-9 dishes, or The Chef’s Table tasting menu of 9-11 dishes. For the latter, expect to be there for at least three hours.
Where: 1952 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
EL in this restaurant’s name is short for “elevated,” an interesting contrast to the graffiti that decorates the walls inside. There’s even more that makes a meal here stand out: First of all, everyone in the dining room is served at the same time. Also, dinner is prepaid, so you can linger at your table over wine and conversation without fussing over the bill. You’ll have a lot to talk about: EL Ideas isn’t just about the food, it’s about the experience of eating it. For instance, one dish is meant to be eaten by licking the plate.
Where: 2419 W 14th St, Chicago, IL 60608
Elske is one of the more casual restaurants on this list – although the menu prices still reflect its Michelin-star quality. The menu is heavily influenced by Danish cuisine so expect lots of herbaceous, sharp flavors: There’s brandade, a dip made from whipped salt cod, radish served on rugbrød, Danish rye bread, frozen anise jelly, and toasted yeast ice cream. Lots of restaurants call themselves creative but Elske lives up to the hype.
Where: 1350 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
The sparse dining room at Esmé, which is decorated with minimalist wooden chairs and just a few pieces of photography on the walls doesn’t hint at how fun the food here is. Esmé is where art meets food, and the dishes are often sculptural in nature – in the past, the menu has featured dishes in the shape of a pigeon and a pair of red lips. The menu changes every 12 weeks, so it’s possible to eat there multiple times and never have the same experience twice.
Where: 2200 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
Blue benches, exposed brick walls, and woven lamps add a stylish touch to the dining room at Galit. Inspired by the cuisine of the Middle East and Israel, Galit offers a 4-course meal that diners can fully customize themselves from a full menu. The menu includes a selection of hummus, mezze dishes like carrots, knish, and falafel, main dishes cooked over coal, like smoked turkey and lamb kebabs.
Where: 2429 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Goosefoot is BYOB which sets it apart from many of the other restaurants on this list. The restaurant emphasizes that the interior design is meant to evoke the cuisine: modern and upscale, but approachable. Traditional French cooking techniques meet seasonal ingredients on a constantly changing menu. There are two dining options: a 5 course menu, and a longer, more intense 12 course dinner.
Where: 2656 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Kasama consists of both a bakery and a laid-back restaurant – so no need to worry about formal, white tablecloth dining here. Modern takes on the classic Filipino dishes like chicken adobo and lumpia populate the menu at a daytime seating that ends at 2 in the afternoon. The beverage menu includes playful twists on tropical cocktails with ingredients like passionfruit, mango, and coconut and a rare tea list.
Where: 1001 N Winchester Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
With just 22 seats in the dining room, it’s hard to snag a reservation at Mako (named for the shark) but is worth trying. A seaweed topped oyster, braised abalone, and high end bluefin tuna all appear on the menu. There are seasonal selection of nigiri too, so you’re meal will hold some surprises too. It all depends on what fresh fish are available on the day of your reservation.
Where: 731 W. Lake St., Chicago, 60661, USA
The current theme of Next is Paris 1906, an homage to Auguste Éscoffier and Cesar Ritz, who founded the Ritz hotels and the techniques that still dictate upscale dining today. Every three months the restaurant’s theme changes – it’s been Rome and Hollywood in the past – and that time and place takes over the menu. Part of the Alinea restaurant group, expect a restaurant that is striving for perfection, but more focused on theatricality.
Where: 953 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, 60607, USA
Beyond the food, what makes North Pond so special is its serene location, overlooking a peaceful pond that offers sweeping views of the Chicago skyline (in fact, the building was once a shelter for ice skaters). Local produce takes center stage at North Pond, like mushrooms paired with hibiscus, and a chicken leg stuffed with brie and served with cherries.
Where: 2610 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL 60614
With a menu inspired by the farms and fishing villages of Spain and Portugal. The seafood-heavy menu features smoked trout, anchovies, and uni among other dishes. There is also a list of seasonal offerings, which includes ibérico ham and caviar, grilled octopus, and roasted oysters. Scents from the grilled and wood fire ovens waft throughout the dining room during dinner at Porto.
Where: 1600 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Black chairs and bowls are among the few decorative items in this compact dining room. The 17 course menu includes salmon and uni for instance, but it changes daily depending on what fish the chef decides to serve. Although Chef Sangtae Park respects the Japanese culinary traditions his restaurants draws from, expect some of the dishes to contain a hint of his Korean heritage at Omakase Yume.
Where: 651 W Washington Blvd Suite #101, Chicago, IL 60661
Music is a big part of the experience at this restaurant, where rap, hip-hop, and metal often play over the loud speakers while diners enjoy Michelin star quality meals. Schwa is BYOB, and interestingly, the chefs who prepare your food share in all the duties that go into running a restaurant – so they are the waiters, too. The opening dish always opens with a cocktail – right now its melon paired with a pet nat.
Where: 1466 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Housed inside a 19th century print shop, the menu at Ander Zimmern’s Sepia pulls from all over the world, from Asia to the Mediterranean. The rustic setting is paired with upscale ingredients, like caviar and foie gras custard. The four course menu can be paired with cocktails with interested features like ginger smoke and fig jam.
Where: 123 N Jefferson St, Chicago, IL 60661
Temporis is all about the time it takes to prepare a meal. The time it takes to ferment, to prepare bread from the kitchen’s very own sourdough starter. The dining room’s atmosphere exudes sophistication, and ingredients come from the restaurant’s garden. Ingredients on the menu include seaweed, caviar, and pumpkin.
Where: 933 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Playful light fixtures fill this energetic dining room, where Rick Bayless serves adventurous Mexican cuisine. Currently the menu at Topolobampo takes diners through the Riviera Maya region. Expect grilled octopus, suckling pig, and sorbet made from mamey, a fruit native to Mexico similar to papaya.
Where: 445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Two Michelin star restaurants chicago
Chef Curtis Duffy calls Ever his obsession. An 8 to 10 course meal at Ever typically last two and half hours, and the only real hint you get about what you might eat is that main dishes come from both land and sea, and incorporate fruits, grains, seeds and nuts. Following dinner, stop in at the restaurant’s accompanying bar – cleverley named After.
Where: 1340 W Fulton St, Chicago, IL 60607
As the first two Michelin star brewery in the world, Moody Tongue has quite a reputation to uphold. First get to know the beers – from a black truffle pislner to the bourbon barrel aged gingerbread stout – which should be enough to impress you. Then settle in for dinner in the dining room which consists of unexpected and decadent dishes. There’s rice topped with sea urchin and smoked sturgeon cannoli, or a scallop served with a lime snow. And of course there’s a recommended beer pairing for each dish.
Where: 2515 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
Hidden away in an alley, you might not know where to find Oriole if you aren’t looking for it – but that aura of mystery only adds to its appeal. The elegant he dining room and he well stocked bar will impress diners, and the constantly changing tasting menu will leave you in suspense until the moment you’re seated at your table.
Where: 661 W Walnut St, Chicago, IL 60661
Though Smyth has two Michelin stars, the dining room is cozy and informal. The abundance of the ocean features prominently on the menu, but the restaurant is really an homage to the idyllic farmlands of Virginia. Ingredients are all grown by local farmers, and there are two servings of meat included. There’s a regular tasting menu, and a pricier Chef’s Table option that takes about three and half hours and involves the chefs personally explaining each dish at your table.
Where: 177 N Ada St #101, Chicago, IL 60607
Three Michelin star restaurants Chicago
Frequently featured on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Alinea is the epitome of everything that the Michelin guide is looking for in a restaurant: Grant Ashcatz has been hailed an ingenious trickster chef who plays all kinds of fun games with diners. The dishes incorporate not just taste, but smell, texture, and color. Iconic Alinea dishes include a slice of pie filled with transparent gel, edible balloons, and salad greens still planted in dirt. It’s a dramatic meal that engages all your senses.
Where: 1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
How many restaurants in Chicago have a Michelin star?
There are 22 restaurants in Chicago with a Michelin star – compared to 73 Michelin star restaurants in New York City. 17 restaurants have one star, 4 have two stars, and there is just one restaurant with three stars.
How many 3 Michelin star restaurants are there in Chicago?
There is just one restaurant in Chicago with three Michelin stars. That restaurant is called Alinea and it’s considered one of the best restaurants in the world. Helmed by chef Grant Achatz, the experimental cuisine relies on molecular gastronomy.
Where to stay in Chicago
Eating in luxury means staying somewhere luxurious too. Once you’re done in indulging in a world class meal, these highly rated boutique hotels hold the key to your comfort. Here’s where to book a stay.
We hope you love the spaces and stays we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.
Nestled in the bustling Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago lies The Robey, a modern boutique hotel that pays homage to the Art Deco era. Built in the late 1920s and restored with modern touches, this 89-room hotel offers spectacular views from its rooftop terrace and swimming pool. Step into The Robey for history, style, and comfort rolled into one unforgettable experience.
Where: 2018 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
For a stay downtown near Millennium Park and the Theater District, stay at The Alise. Restored from a building built in 1895, the architecture is a big draw to this boutique hotel. Guests can grab a drink at the Atwood Restaurant & Bar, and afterward, borrow a bike and explore the city. The hotel is dog friendly, too.
Where: 337 W 36th St., New York, NY 10018
Ivy Boutique Hotel
Just two blocks from the shopping and dining experiences of the Magnificent Mile, this boutique hotel offers modern, luxurious touches like floor to ceiling windows in many of the rooms. The chic Ivy Sky Terrace offers rooftop drinks with views of the city.
Where: 233 East Ontario, Streeterville, Chicago, IL 60611