Michelin Names Best Chicago Restaurants in 2019 guide

Courtesy of Alison WilsonMichelin listed Italian restaurant Spiaggia as one of the best restaurants in Chicago, giving it one star.

Michelin released its 2019 guide of Chicago restaurants Sept. 26 with a few located near Loyola’s Lake Shore (LSC) and Water Tower (WTC) campuses. 

While many Michelin star restaurants are more expensive, three restaurants located near Loyola’s campuses offer a variety of options for students who are looking for a special meal or are going out with family.

Michelin guides were started by Andre and Edouard Michelin, who were also behind the Michelin tire company, according to its website. The guides were first intended as travel information, and its influence grew over time, according to Michelin’s website.

Michelin awards up to three stars to recognize the best restaurants in a city, and 22 Chicago businesses were included in this year’s guide. When assessing restaurants, Michelin looks at five factors: quality, cooking techniques, value, consistency and the chef’s personality, according to Michelin’s website. One star means the restaurant is considered high quality, and three stars marks exceptionally good service, according to Michelin.

Most of the 22 Chicago businesses have one-star ratings, and one restaurant — Alinea (1723 N. Halsted St.) — received the three-star ranking. Alinea offers three dining experiences ranging from around 200 to 400 dollars, according to its website. Its design is a blend of classical architecture and modern aesthetics, according to its website.

Topolobampo (445 N. Clark St.) and Spiaggia (980 N. Michigan Ave.) are near Loyola’s WTC, and both received one star. 

Topolobampo specializes in Mexican cuisine and has been a one-star Michelin restaurant since 2011, according to its website. Its modern interior is well-lit but not too bright. 

While its dinner menu may be too expensive for most students, the lunch menu offers reasonably priced options. The “Topolo in 60” menu offers three-course lunch for 25 dollars, and its regular lunch menu offers salads around 10 to 13 dollars. 

Topolobampo’s dessert menu offers a variety of drinks and delicacies all around 10 dollars. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are all around 5 dollars. Desserts cost 9 dollars and range from a savory brownie sundae to a sweet lemon sorbet.

Spiaggia is an award-winning restaurant specializing in Italian food, according to its website. 

Five course meals start at 95 dollars and eight course meals start at 145 dollars with additional costs for drinks, according to Alexandra Thomas, assistant general manager. Other menu items include gnocchi, tortellini and ravioli. Spiaggia offers carry-out ordering and cookbooks for customers who want to enjoy Italian cuisine at home.

None of the restaurants ranked by Michelin are in Rogers Park, but, one is nearby in Ravenswood. Band of Bohemia (4710 N. Ravenswood Ave.) labels itself as “The First Michelin Starred Brewery” on its website and is a short walk off the Damen Brown Line CTA stop.

The food options are pricier with appetizers starting at 12 dollars and entrees around 30 to 40 dollars, according to its menu. However, the drink menu is reasonably priced with a variety of beers and wines and other drinks.

Band of Bohemia has a rotating beer menu with five beers for 8 dollars or under for a 12 oz. serving, according to its menu. “The Noble Raven Ale” is the flagship beer, but the other four rotate. This year, the restaurant is offering an Octoberfest-style beer called “Autumn By Nature.” Wines, cocktails, growlers and ciders are also offered. Drinks are less than 20 dollars per glass, and bottles of wine are 45 to 60 dollars. 

The full list of Michelin-star Chicago restaurants can be found on the Michelin Guide’s website.

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