It’s been a while since restaurants have been fully back up and running, and diners are filling them up day and night, eager to get back to their sorely missed favorites. To help guide on the best of the current dining scene, MICHELIN Inspectors — the anonymous professional eaters that give restaurants their MICHELIN ratings — are back on the road around the globe. These are the Chicago dishes that Inspectors missed most during the pandemic, gloriously back for dine-in bliss.
This nautical-chic spot has been a Chicago staple since 2011 — and for good reason. A boomerang-shaped communal table by the raw bar makes for a perfect perch for slurping oysters, something that professional shuckers just do better. Oysters, ultra-fresh and served on the half shell, hail from Washington, British Columbia, Massachusetts, and more.
Welcome to Chicago’s buzziest steakhouse, where deep-set leather couches, clubby music, and even a photo booth lend the multilevel marvel an irresistible party vibe. This restaurant is set to the soft glow emanating from the semi-open kitchen, where a wood-fired hearth lights up dry-aged steakhouse classics, cut to generous proportions. Add on a couple of sides, such as the potatoes au gratin.
Step inside this breezy, elegant space — all whitewashed brick, wood-slat windows, and lush greenery — and be transported to the shores of the Adriatic. Here, two octopus tentacles are grilled and hidden beneath a veil of crispy fried kale chips and fresh fronds of frisée, then finished with finely minced cured black olives. Also awaiting under the cover of greens are a few large slices of roasted fingerling potatoes and a bit of preserved lemon vinaigrette.
Funkenhausen is a former warehouse turned chic setting for German-rooted, Southern-slanted fare. The fact that this is complemented by an ace beer selection, Bavarian-inspired cocktails, and a wine list worth a deeper look simply adds to the allure. French onion spaetzle, in a caramelized onion béchamel, is utterly creative and only served at brunch.
To book these MICHELIN selections and explore all the MICHELIN Guide-rated restaurants, download the MICHELIN Guide iOS app.