100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011
Three Aces is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

1. Three Aces

9.1
1321 W Taylor St (btwn Throop St & Loomis St), Chicago, IL
Bar · University Village - Little Italy · 97 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the chicken-thigh pizza from our 100 Best list: Everybody knows that, at the end of the day, there’s really nothing more satisfying than a well-made pizza.

Leopold is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

2. Leopold

1450 W Chicago Ave (btwn Noble & Ashland), Chicago, IL
Gastropub · Noble Square · 18 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the moules + frites from our 100 Best list: These things just may be the tenderest, most delicious mussels Chicago has seen yet.

Owen & Engine is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

3. Owen & Engine

9.2
2700 N Western Ave (at W Schubert Ave), Chicago, IL
Gastropub · Northwest Side · 133 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Full English fry up from our 100 Best list: Hands down, this British pub is putting out one of the best brunches in the city, from the ornate coffee service to made-in-house seasonal scones.

Table Fifty-Two is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

4. Table Fifty-Two

8.7
52 W Elm St, Chicago, IL
Southern / Soul Food Restaurant · Near North Side · 74 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the fried chicken and waffles from our 100 Best list: The chance to eat Art Smith's incomparable fried chicken from the dinner menu, for breakfast—smothered with Burton’s maple syrup.

Nightwood Restaurant is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

5. Nightwood Restaurant

2119 S Halsted St (at 21st Pl), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · East Pilsen · 98 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the bagel sandwich from our 100 Best list: We’ve latched on to one of the few always-present brunch items on this ever-changing menu, this bagel with lush trout cream cheese and a fried egg.

Bite Café is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

6. Bite Café

9.2
1039 N Western Ave (at W Cortez St), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · Ukrainian Village · 94 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the mashbrown from our 100 Best list: The search for the perfect hash browns ends at Bite, where a patty of skin-on potato mash is always fried to a golden crisp.

Mercadito is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

7. Mercadito

9.0
108 W Kinzie St (btwn Clark St & LaSalle Blvd), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · River North · 215 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the estrellados y tampiqueña from our 100 Best list: We order steak and eggs, and we challenge you to find a better, more fairly priced version than this aggressively seasoned $12 skirt steak.

MingHin Cuisine is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

8. MingHin Cuisine

8.6
2168 S Archer Ave (at S Princeton Ave), Chicago, IL
Dim Sum Restaurant · Armour Square · 97 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Macau pork belly from our 100 Best list: Chef Wu Ming's made us care about pork belly again, accomplished by crisping the skin like candy and cooking the flesh into silky submission.

Lush Wine & Spirits is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

9. Lush Wine & Spirits

8.8
1412 W Chicago Ave (at Noble St), Chicago, IL
Wine Shop · Noble Square · 17 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the croque-madame from our 100 Best list: Lush has developed one of the most craveworthy menus of drinking snacks in the city, though this sandwich—ham, cheese, béchamel, egg—is no snack.

Bridge House Tavern is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

10. Bridge House Tavern

8.9
321 N Clark St (at the Chicago River), Chicago, IL
American Restaurant · Near North Side · 57 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Bridge House Burger from our 100 Best list: This burger is rebellious in its restraint, classic in its conception and on-point in its execution. None of that keeps it from being enormous.

GT Fish and Oyster is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

11. GT Fish and Oyster

9.2
531 N Wells St (at Grand Ave), Chicago, IL
Seafood Restaurant · River North · 174 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the squid-ink gnocchi in carrot broth from our 100 Best list: Chef Giuseppe Tentori is first and foremost an Italian & where he really shines is with pastas such as this rich yet delicate gnocchi.

Roka Akor is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

12. Roka Akor

9.0
456 North Clark Street (at W Illinois St), Chicago, IL
Japanese Restaurant · River North · 77 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the chef’s selection steak from our 100 Best list: Go for the chef’s selection, they’re beautifully marbled, expertly grilled over Japanese binchotan charcoal, and the best value in the house.

Next is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

13. Next

8.6
953 W Fulton Market (at Morgan St.), Chicago, IL
Molecular Gastronomy Restaurant · Fulton Market · 51 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Autumn Scene at Next: Childhood from our 100 Best list: This stunning, intriguing, arresting, intricate, beguiling array of shoots and leaves is like a salad we want to live in.

Paris Club Bistro & Bar is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

14. Paris Club Bistro & Bar

59 West Hubbard Street (btwn N Clark & N Dearborn St.), Chicago, IL
French Restaurant · Near North Side · 117 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the chilled seafood platter from our 100 Best list: Leave it to the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group to find a way to turn a luxurious platter of fresh lobster, shrimp and more into a steal.

Chicago Q is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

15. Chicago Q

9.1
1160 N Dearborn St (at W Division St.), Chicago, IL
BBQ Joint · Near North Side · 133 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Competition St. Louis slab from our 100 Best list: These ribs take two additional hours of labor because they’re pulled out of the smoker periodically to baste. These bones are killing it.

Club 81 Too is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

16. Club 81 Too

8.1
13157 S Avenue M, Chicago, IL
American Restaurant · Hegewisch · 5 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the fried chicken dinner from our 100 Best list: Dinner is served only Wednesdays & Fridays, but the limited window is worth hitting for some of the best fried chicken around.

Pleasant House Bakery is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

17. Pleasant House Bakery

964 W 31st St, Chicago, IL
Bakery · Bridgeport · 63 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the mushroom and kale pie from our 100 Best list: This is one of our favorite openings of the year: It’s understated, authentic and charming, just like this individual savory pie.

Fumare Meats is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

18. Fumare Meats

8.4
131 N Clinton St (at Chicago French Market), Chicago, IL
Sandwich Place · West Loop · 25 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Montreal-style smoked pastrami from our 100 Best list: The smoked meat of Montreal: thick, hand-cut slices, edges lined with black pepper, the meat gorgeously marbled and fall-apart tender.

Due Lire Vino & Cucina is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

19. Due Lire Vino & Cucina

8.1
4520 N Lincoln Ave (btwn Sunnyside & Wilson Ave.), Chicago, IL
Italian Restaurant · Ravenswood · 20 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Swiss chard tortelloni from our 100 Best list: These chard-stuffed pasta pockets aren’t currently on the menu. But we strongly encourage you to start a petition to bring them back.

Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

20. Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits

9.0
6727 Roosevelt Rd (btwn Euclid Ave & Oak Park Ave), Berwyn, IL
Mediterranean Restaurant · 25 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the goat-cheese tortalacci from our 100 Best list: These pockets of delicate tortalacci are like tiny, edible presents to everyone lucky enough to get their hands on them.

Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

21. Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar

9.1
230 W Erie St (at Franklin St), Chicago, IL
Sushi Restaurant · River North · 148 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the duck fat yaki soba noodles from our 100 Best list: A bowl of everything you could ask for: thick, satisfying noodles in mustard sauce, fatty morsels of duck and crunchy slivers of cabbage.

Custom House is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

22. Custom House

500 S Dearborn St (at Congress Pkwy), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · Printer's Row · 23 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the braised rabbit from our 100 Best list: Peas and rabbit. Is that some kind of twisted joke, serving rabbit with the very things it loves to eat (before it’s roasted)?

Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

23. Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar

9.2
960 W 31st St (at S Morgan St), Chicago, IL
Bar · Bridgeport · 68 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the kimchi and sausages from our 100 Best list: It’s a Polish-Korean mash-up and the best of both worlds. (Look for the free grub to reappear occasionally over the winter.)

Mastro's Steakhouse is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

24. Mastro's Steakhouse

9.1
520 N Dearborn St (at Grand Ave), Chicago, IL
Steakhouse · Near North Side · 118 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the chef’s cut New York strip from our 100 Best list: The high-end chain had us woozy with its dry-ice martinis, warm butter cake, and expertly cooked and seasoned cuts of beef.

Lure Izakaya Pub is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

25. Lure Izakaya Pub

2925 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL
Japanese Restaurant · Lakeview · 33 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the grilled green tea–washed mackerel pike from our 100 Best list: Chef-owner Kee Chan’s underappreciated ode to grilled seafood & modern Japanese small plates are insanely good, expertly grilled.

Morso is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

26. Morso

Chicago, IL
Restaurant · Lincoln Park · 4 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the scallops from our 100 Best list: The accompaniments (corn-poblano hash on our first visit) change with the seasons. The flawlessly seared scallops are here to stay.

Taqueria Los Gallos #2 is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

27. Taqueria Los Gallos #2

6.4
4252 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Brighton Park · 3 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the carne en su jugo from our 100 Best list: Pinto beans, crispy bacon, radish rounds, avocado, raw onion and cilantro among oil droplets lining the surface of tender bits of beef in its juices.

Pozoleria San Juan is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

28. Pozoleria San Juan

8.5
1523 N Pulaski Rd (at North Ave), Chicago, IL
Mexican Restaurant · Humboldt Park · 8 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Posole verde from our 100 Best list: The hearty green hominy stew rules our winters, with its hunks of pork, grassy broth and mess of add-ins alongside.

Takashi is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

29. Takashi

1952 N Damen Ave (at W Armitage Ave.), Chicago, IL
French Restaurant · Bucktown · 45 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the almond soup from our 100 Best list: When is a soup the most satisfying part of a midsummer meal? When it is as cool, smooth & balanced (sweet, acidic grapes; rich, savory almonds) as this one.

Cafecito is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

30. Cafecito

9.2
26 E Congress Pkwy (at State St.), Chicago, IL
Cuban Restaurant · The Loop · 163 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the caldo gallego from our 100 Best list: With white beans, potato, spinach, ham and chorizo, it’s every bit as smoky, porky and satisfying as the restaurant’s Cubano.

Glenn's Diner & Seafood House is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

31. Glenn's Diner & Seafood House

9.0
1820 W Montrose Ave (at Wolcott Ave.), Chicago, IL
Seafood Restaurant · Ravenswood · 108 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the cioppino from our 100 Best list: Among the reasons people flock to the place is this classic San Francisco dish: a spicy broth sporting a rotating cast of fish, sweet shrimp & tender mussels.

The Bento Box is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

32. The Bento Box

8.9
2246 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL
Asian Restaurant · Bucktown · 20 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the soup from our 100 Best list: Rick Spiros’s herbaceous, spicy broths, such as this take on Vietnamese pho (we tried it with short ribs—now it’s made with braised brisket) are life-sustaining.

Al Bawadi Grill is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

33. Al Bawadi Grill

9.0
7216 W 87th St, Bridgeview, IL
Middle Eastern Restaurant · 32 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Motawma from our 100 Best list: Move on to motawma, the ethereal whipped collision of garlic and potatoes that makes the trek to Bridgeview well worth it.

TRU is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

34. TRU

222 Merchandise Mart Plz Ste 250 (btw. Kinzie and Wells), Chicago, IL
Office · River North · 7 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the sturgeon “caviar” from our 100 Best list: Anthony Martin created his own take on caviar: smoked sturgeon turned into a mousse and then dropped into cold oil to form silvery-white pearls.

Michael Jordan's Steak House Chicago is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

35. Michael Jordan's Steak House Chicago

8.3
505 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL
Steakhouse · Streeterville · 121 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the garlic bread from our 100 Best list: It was a close call between this side dish and the goat-cheese cheesecake. But garlic-schmeared bread smothered in blue-cheese sauce wins every time.

Pork Shoppe is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

36. Pork Shoppe

8.5
2755 W Belmont Ave (at California Ave.), Chicago, IL
BBQ Joint · Northwest Side · 61 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the french fries from our 100 Best list: It’s the fries that stick with us: skin on, hand cut, deep brown, liberally salted and pretty much perfect.

Great Lake is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

37. Great Lake

1477 W Balmoral Ave (btw Clark & Glenwood), Chicago, IL
Pizza Place · Andersonville · 38 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the salad with buttermilk dressing from our 100 Best list: An obsession with detail, an amount of scrutiny seldom applied to lettuce, a superlative, creamy dressing.

Roots Handmade Pizza is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

38. Roots Handmade Pizza

8.7
1924 W Chicago Ave (at N Winchester Ave), Chicago, IL
Pizza Place · East Ukrainian Village · 99 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the mozzarella sticks from our 100 Best list: You’ve got to give props to a mozzarella stick whose mozz is made in-house.

Telegraph Wine Bar is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

39. Telegraph Wine Bar

2601 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL
Wine Bar · Logan Square · 35 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the pork loin tartine from our 100 Best list: The Logan Square wine bar is turning out glammed-up bruschetta piled with pickled pork loin, whipped feta, Bosc pears and juniper vinaigrette.

Toon's Bar & Grill is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

40. Toon's Bar & Grill

8.5
3857 N Southport Ave (at W Byron St), Chicago, IL
Bar · Lakeview · 52 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the onion rings from our 100 Best list: They’re executed with attention to detail—thick-cut rings dipped in beer batter, fried golden and sprinkled with salt. Simple but standout.

bopNgrill is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

41. bopNgrill

9.2
6604 N Sheridan Rd (at Albion Ave), Chicago, IL
Burger Joint · Rogers Park · 77 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the kimchi bacon cheese fries from our 100 Best list: We never really understood the fuss over cheese fries…until we had these.

Rustic House is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

42. Rustic House

1967 N Halsted St (at W Armitage Ave), Chicago, IL
American Restaurant · Lincoln Park · 25 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Pommes Anna from our 100 Best list: This unassuming potato side dish—crispy and golden on top, tender and gratinlike underneath—makes you remember why you love seasoned chef Jason Paskewitz.

Avec is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

43. Avec

9.4
615 W Randolph St (at N Jefferson St), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · West Loop · 176 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the fava-bean crostini from our 100 Best list: You realize why everyone wants to imitate Avec. And just how inimitable Avec is.

Dharma Garden is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

44. Dharma Garden

6.7
3109 W Irving Park Rd (at N Albany Ave), Chicago, IL
Thai Restaurant · Albany Park · 18 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Naem khao thawt from our 100 Best list: Northern specialties like this crispy rice salad with ham, are a textbook example of Thai food’s ability to hit sweet, sour, salty & spicy all at once.

Fish Bar is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

45. Fish Bar

9.2
2956 N Sheffield Ave (at W Wellington Ave), Chicago, IL
Seafood Restaurant · Lakeview · 100 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the fried onions with lemon and jalapeño from our 100 Best list: A medley that balances the sweetness of the onions with acidity (the lemon), heat (the jalapeño) and lots of flavor (both).

Ceres' Table is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

46. Ceres' Table

4882 N Clark St (btwn Ainslie St & Lawrence Ave), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · Ravenswood · 18 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the goat arancini from our 100 Best list: In Giuseppe Scurato’s hands fried rice balls are crisp and ethereal, qualities that are a foil for the meaty goat ragù inside.

Kamdar Plaza is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

47. Kamdar Plaza

7.2
2646 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL
Grocery Store · West Ridge · 9 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the bhel puri from our 100 Best list: This heaping pile of puffed rice, chickpeas, onions and cilantro, drowned in a rainbow of chutneys, is dubbed “Indian nachos” by many.

The Barrelhouse Flat is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

48. The Barrelhouse Flat

9.1
2624 N Lincoln Ave (at W Wrightwood Ave), Chicago, IL
Cocktail Bar · Lincoln Park · 85 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the blue-cheese-and-mushroom beignets from our 100 Best list:We went for the cocktails. We came back for these meltingly rich puffs.

Pump Room is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

49. Pump Room

8.8
1301 N State Pkwy (at Goethe St), Chicago, IL
American Restaurant · Gold Coast · 94 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the roast carrot and avocado salad from our 100 Best list:Crunchy with seeds, redolent with spices and enhanced with crème fraîche, this is proof there is such a thing as salad evolution.

L2O is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

50. L2O

2300 North Lincoln Park W (at W Belden Ave.), Chicago, IL
Seafood Restaurant · Lincoln Park · 31 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Forest mushrooms from our 100 Best list: Founding chef Laurent Gras left. Michelin took away two stars. When we ate this wild and brooding mushroom dish at L2O, we couldn’t have cared less.

Maude's Liquor Bar is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

51. Maude's Liquor Bar

9.5
840 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL
French Restaurant · Fulton Market · 97 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the steak tartare from our 100 Best list: If you can find a better steak tartare anywhere in town, we’re buying.

DiSotto Enoteca is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

52. DiSotto Enoteca

8.6
200 E Chesnut St, Chicago, IL
Wine Bar · Streeterville · 13 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the ricotta and honeycomb from our 100 Best list: This ricotta is richer and smoother than we could have imagined (it’s whipped with olive oil), paired with sweet honeycomb and grilled bread.

Gilt Bar is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

53. Gilt Bar

9.3
230 W Kinzie St (at N. Franklin St.), Chicago, IL
Bar · River North · 161 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the ham and cheese fondue from our 100 Best list:Take a croque-madame, increase the cheese tenfold, melt it in a crock, fold in ham, put the egg on top and use the bread on the side, for dipping.

The Bristol is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

54. The Bristol

8.8
2152 N Damen Ave (at Webster Ave.), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · Bucktown · 99 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the basque cake from our 100 Best list: Thankfully, this warm cake with a golden crust and soft middle is the only dessert pastry chef Amanda Rockman keeps on her menu year-round.

Poag Mahone's is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

55. Poag Mahone's

7.4
333 S Wells St (at W Jackson Blvd), Chicago, IL
Pub · The Loop · 30 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Irish bread pudding from our 100 Best list: These slices of moist bread pudding are griddled, giving the pudding crispy, caramelized edges—and giving you a reason go take a nap.

Ba Le is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

56. Ba Le

9.3
5014 N Broadway St (at W Argyle St), Chicago, IL
Vietnamese Restaurant · Uptown · 76 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Rau câu from our 100 Best list: Stiff coconut custard flavored with grassy pandan leaf and poured into a skinned coconut shell to set.

Katherine Anne Confections is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

57. Katherine Anne Confections

9.2
2745 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL
Dessert Shop · Logan Square · 18 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Salted-caramel marshmallows from our 100 Best list: Katherine Duncan takes her masterful caramel and folds it into her light marshmallows sweetened with wildflower honey.

Perennial Virant is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

58. Perennial Virant

8.5
1800 N Lincoln Ave (at N Clark St), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · Old Town Triangle · 65 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Chèvre fritters from our 100 Best list: Thanks to pastry chef Elissa Narrow, now every time we bite into a fritter, we expect it to ooze with liquefied Prairie Fruits Farm goat cheese.

Blackbird is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

59. Blackbird

8.6
619 W Randolph St (at N Desplaines St.), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · West Loop · 114 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the frozen cucumber mousse from our 100 Best list: Executive pastry chef Bryce Caron turns a humble cucumber into this creamsicle-like dessert, which is unexpectedly rich & surprisingly refreshing

Floriole Cafe & Bakery is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

60. Floriole Cafe & Bakery

8.9
1220 W Webster Ave (btwn Magnolia & Racine), Chicago, IL
Café · North Side · 79 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the pineapple upside-down cake from our 100 Best list:Sandra Holl turns a dessert most associated with the Midwest, the ’70s and canned pineapple rings into something lovely and sophisticated

The Office is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

61. The Office

8.6
955 W Fulton Market (at Morgan St), Chicago, IL
Speakeasy · Fulton Market · 18 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Ice-cream sundae from our 100 Best list: Grant Achatz + whipped cream + Oreos + gummy bears + peanuts + unreal ice cream + maraschino cherries + a carafe of chocolate sauce = believe it.

Real Kitchen is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

62. Real Kitchen

8.1
1433 W Montrose Ave (at N Clark St), Chicago, IL
Sandwich Place · South East Ravenswood · 10 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Oatmeal-chocolate bread from our 100 Best list: There was nothing molecular or fancy about these thick slices of homey, chocolate-studded cake. There was, though, something special about them.

Girl & the Goat is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

63. Girl & the Goat

9.3
809 W Randolph St (at Halsted St), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · West Town · 483 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the chocolate bouchon from our 100 Best list: Stephanie Izard successfully incorporates foie gras as a decadent marshmallow “fluff” alongside a moist chocolate cake.

Fraiche Bakery & Cafe is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

64. Fraiche Bakery & Cafe

815 Noyes St (at Sherman), Evanston, IL
Sandwich Place · 14 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the cinnamon bomb from our 100 Best list: Why call this (admittedly tame-looking) pastry a “bomb”? Because this moist, cinnamon-dusted cake is unexpectedly addictive. And that’s dangerous.

Black Dog Gelato is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

65. Black Dog Gelato

9.4
859 N Damen Ave (at Iowa), Chicago, IL
Ice Cream Shop · East Ukrainian Village · 78 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the gianduja gelato from our 100 Best list: Every flavor, every time, Jessie Oloroso kills it. But when her shop is out of this knee-bucklingly rich chocolate-hazelnut flavor, it nearly kills us.

Jimmy Jamm's Sweet Potato Pies is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

66. Jimmy Jamm's Sweet Potato Pies

8.2
1844 W 95th St (at Longwood Dr.), Chicago, IL
Bakery · Beverly · 13 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Sweet-potato pie from our 100 Best list: It’s the most obvious treatment of all that wins us over: straight-up sweet-potato pie, as ideal as it is simple.

Lillie's Q is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

67. Lillie's Q

8.7
1856 W North Ave (at Wolcott Ave), Chicago, IL
BBQ Joint · Wicker Park · 120 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the fruit shortcake from our 100 Best list: This sweet-as-pie biscuit-and-fruit concoction (the fruit varies with the season) is good enough to go toe-to-toe with any of the fancier takes.

The Doughnut Vault is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

68. The Doughnut Vault

9.1
401 1/2 N Franklin St (at W Kinzie St), Chicago, IL
Donut Shop · River North · 136 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Chestnut doughnut from our 100 Best list: It doesn’t get any better, any fresher, any more flavorful, any airier than this.

The Aviary is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

69. The Aviary

9.1
955 W Fulton Market (at Morgan St.), Chicago, IL
Cocktail Bar · Fulton Market · 142 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the In the Rocks from our 100 Best list: It's our favorite drink at this high-concept lounge, for how it seamlessly integrates tactile pleasure (“cracking” the rock) into a beautifully made drink.

Vincent is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

70. Vincent

8.9
1475 W Balmoral Ave (btwn Clark St & Glenwood Ave), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · Andersonville · 35 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the maatje herring shot from our 100 Best list: Make way, tequila shots. We want to start every meal slurping a piece of sweet pickled herring followed by a shot of genever.

Balsan is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

71. Balsan

7.9
11 E Walton St (at Waldorf Astoria Chicago, 3rd Floor), Chicago, IL
Gastropub · Near North Side · 37 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Bloody Margaret from our 100 Best list: This gin-based Bloody is fragrant with thyme, lightened with cucumber and brought down to our level with a good old beer back.

Big Star is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

72. Big Star

9.3
1531 N Damen Ave (btwn W Pierce Ave & N Wicker Pk Ave), Chicago, IL
Taco Place · Wicker Park · 545 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the michelada from our 100 Best list: We know it contains Tecate, Cholula and Valentina hot sauces, and Maggi. Oh, and we’re certain it's delicious, alleviates hangovers & might just cure cancer.

The Whistler is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

73. The Whistler

9.3
2421 N Milwaukee Ave (at W Fullerton Ave), Chicago, IL
Cocktail Bar · Logan Square · 96 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Oaxacan old-fashioned from our 100 Best list:This cocktail is not on the menu, but it’s a Paul McGee classic available by request.

The Bedford is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

74. The Bedford

8.6
1612 W Division St (at N Ashland Ave), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · Wicker Park · 77 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the The Bedford Bloody Mary from our 100 Best list: The kimchi actually belongs in this drink. It adds a pleasant background of earthiness to what otherwise would be just tomato juice and spice.

25 Degrees is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

75. 25 Degrees

9.0
736 N Clark St (at W Superior St), Chicago, IL
Burger Joint · River North · 111 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the El Pirata from our 100 Best list: The spiked shakes at this L.A. import are so thick, so boozy and so frickin’ delicious that even the burger-bored should get in here for these alone.

76. Homage Street Food

4009 N Albany Ave, Chicago, IL
Food Truck · The Loop · 1 tip

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Spam musubi from Homage Street Food from our 100 Best list!

77. Hummingbird Kitchen Food Truck

Evanston, IL
Food Truck · 4 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the braised lamb sandwich from our 100 Best list!

Tamale Spaceship is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

78. Tamale Spaceship

9.0
Chicago, IL
Food Truck · The Loop · 20 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the mole-drenched tamales from our 100 Best list!

Ruxbin Kitchen is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

79. Ruxbin Kitchen

8.7
851 N Ashland Ave (at Pearson Ave), Chicago, IL
American Restaurant · Noble Square · 52 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the calamari from our 100 Best list: Put this calamari stuffed with chicken and pork forcemeat and flavored with Korean chilies and peanuts squarely in that camp.

Isla De Café is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

80. Isla De Café

Chicago, IL
Café · Humboldt Park · 4 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the malloraca, a Puerto Rican take on the monte cristo from our 100 Best list!

City Provisions Deli is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

81. City Provisions Deli

1820 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL
Deli / Bodega · Ravenswood · 23 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the coffee from our 100 Best list: When we tell you the best thing we ate or drank at this deli was mug after mug of alarmingly rich, complex coffee, you’ll know this is one hell of a cup.

La Colombe Torrefaction is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

82. La Colombe Torrefaction

9.3
955 W Randolph St (at Morgan St), Chicago, IL
Coffee Shop · West Town · 82 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Pure Black, a deep, dark, bottled cold brew from our 100 Best list!

Half Acre Beer Company is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

83. Half Acre Beer Company

9.4
4257 N Lincoln Ave (btwn Cullom & Hutchinson), Chicago, IL
Brewery · North Center · 105 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Horizon fruit ale Half Acre just brewed for Next’s Thailand menu from our 100 Best list!

Haymarket Pub & Brewery is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

84. Haymarket Pub & Brewery

8.6
737 W Randolph St (at Halsted St), Chicago, IL
Brewery · West Town · 165 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Mathias Imperial IPA from our 100 Best list!

The Wormhole Coffee is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

85. The Wormhole Coffee

9.4
1462 N Milwaukee Ave (at N Honore St), Chicago, IL
Coffee Shop · Wicker Park · 215 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Rocket Sauce from our 100 Best list: It’s the most refreshing iced tea known to sticky summer days, boosted with ginger syrup and fresh lime juice.

NoMI is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

86. NoMI

9.2
800 N Michigan Ave (North Rush Street), Chicago, IL
New American Restaurant · Streeterville · 94 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the uni avocado toast from our 100 Best list: Chef Ryan LaRoche’s unlikely combination of briny sea urchin, smooth avocado, Mangalica ham and bright capers exhibits a keen understanding of flavor.

SmallBar is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

87. SmallBar

2049 W Division St (btwn Hoyne Ave. & Damen Ave.), Chicago, IL
Bar · Ukrainian Village · 65 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the whitefish sandwich from our 100 Best list: Long live Justin White, the new chef who’s raising the bar on bar food one God-given fried-fish sandwich at a time.

Seadog Sushi Bar is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

88. Seadog Sushi Bar

9.1
1500 W Division St (at Greenview), Chicago, IL
Sushi Restaurant · Noble Square · 40 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Triple S from our 100 Best list: This maki, made of sweet potatoes, salmon and the mysteriously-named “spicy dynamite sauce” is everything that is wrong with sushi. And it tastes so right.

The Anthem is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

89. The Anthem

7.3
1725 W Division St (at N Hermitage Ave), Chicago, IL
Sports Bar · East Ukrainian Village · 49 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Jucy Lucy from our 100 Best list: Oh, man, we do not need to remind ourselves how good this juicy, greasy, medium-rare burger oozing Velveeta cheese is.

Lao Hunan is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

90. Lao Hunan

7.2
2230 S Wentworth Ave (btwn W 22nd Pl & W Alexander St), Chicago, IL
Hunan Restaurant · Chinatown · 26 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Home-fed chicken Xiang Xi–style from our 100 Best list: We don’t care about the misleading translation when the result is one of Hu’s best signatures.

2 Sparrows is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

91. 2 Sparrows

553 W Diversey Pkwy (at N Lehmann Ct), Chicago, IL
Breakfast Spot · Lake View East · 59 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the quiche from our 100 Best list: Closer in texture to a soufflé—and that’s a marvelous thing.

Toni Patisserie & Café is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

92. Toni Patisserie & Café

9.0
65 E Washington St (at Garland Ct), Chicago, IL
Bakery · The Loop · 85 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the almond Danish from our 100 Best list: This marble-replete space is a fine room in which to drink a cappuccino and enjoy a danish.

Kingsbury Street Cafe is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

93. Kingsbury Street Cafe

8.0
1523 N Kingsbury St, Chicago, IL
Café · 50 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the carrot-whole-wheat pancakes from our 100 Best list: This cafe's changed the breakfast game with its tender, sweet and maybe (but probably not) healthy pancakes.

Three Floyds Brewery & Pub is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

94. Three Floyds Brewery & Pub

9.0
9750 Indiana Pkwy, Munster, IN
Brewery · 219 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Ham on Rye from our 100 Best list: Three Floyds’ smoky Bukowski tribute.

Cai is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

95. Cai

8.7
2100 S Archer Ave (at S Wentworth Ave), Chicago, IL
Chinese Restaurant · Armour Square · 51 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the Baked creamy egg yolk buns from our 100 Best list: These pillowy-soft buns are the standout, pulling open to reveal a warm, sugary, creamy core.

Asado Coffee Co is one of 100 Best things we ate (and drank) in 2011.

96. Asado Coffee Co

7.9
1432 W Irving Park Rd (btwn N Southport Ave & N Greenview Ave), Chicago, IL
Coffee Shop · Lakeview · 29 tips and reviews

Time Out ChicagoTime Out Chicago: Try the alfajores from our 100 Best list: When it comes to alfajores, no one makes them better than Lucila Giagrande, which is why we follow her to anywhere there’s word of her specialty being sold.