Home Chicago Michelin’s Chicago Return Features 10 New Bib Gourmands

Michelin’s Chicago Return Features 10 New Bib Gourmands

After halting ratings during a pandemic-riddled year, Michelin has released its latest Chicago Bib Gourmands, revealing a list of 58 restaurants, including 10 new ones. The criteria for the list is value driven — inspectors say customers could spend around $40 for two courses, plus a glass of wine or dessert. The tire company will release the more fine-dining focused Michelin star list on Thursday for Chicago.

The new Bib Gourmand class features a heaping helping of international cuisine: Carlos Gaytán’s Mexican masterpiece Tzuco in River North; Ukrainian Village Filipino-American bistro and French bakery Kasama; Perilla’s Korean-American fare in River West; West Town’s South Asian powerhouse Vajra; and Mama Delia, the Spanish makeover of Black Bull in Wicker Park. The team behind Logan Square’s Giant also earned recognition for their take on Chinese-American fare with Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar in Bucktown.

Also of note is the addition is the list’s only restaurant owned by a Black woman: Bridgette Flagg’s Soulé has made a name for itself since 2017 with modern soul food in West Town. Meanwhile, the owners of Au Cheval made the list after reinventing their floundering River North sushi spot with Italian-American restaurant Ciccio Mio. In Fulton Market, Joe’s Imports showed wine bars don’t have to be in be generic in Fulton Market. And finally, for Chicagoans who who want a break from tavern-style and deep-dish pizza, Michelin named Uptown’s Munno Pizzeria Bistro to the list. Of Munno, inspectors wrote: “The Neapolitan-inspired pizza may not be made in the traditional wood-burning oven, but those electric deck ovens still manage to turn out deliciously puffy and lightly charred crusts.”

Michelin’s last announced Chicago Bib Gourmands in September 2019 when its list included 54 restaurants. It was considered a shake up with 14 additions and 18 removals. Four restaurants from that list have closed (Fat Rice, Pacific Standard Time, Passerotto. Two). The owners from Pizzeria Bebu in Lincoln Park hasn’t made an announcement about its future, though the restaurant has remained closed since spring 2020. Michelin kept the pizzeria on the list, consistent with its pandemic-shaped philosophy where inspectors retain any restaurants closed temporarily that appeared on the 2020 list.

The only restaurant to fall off that wasn’t due to closure? That’s True Food Kitchen, the Chicago location of the national chain — which is popular with Oprah Winfrey and those with dietary restrictions. The River North outpost, which has continued operations during the pandemic, was a mysterious addition for the last three iterations of the Bib Gourmand list. While the disappearance of a restaurant on the Bib Gourmand rankings can sometimes foreshadow that inspectors have elevated the restaurant to a Michelin star, the chances of that happening in this case would be surprising.

The pandemic presented challenges for Michelin inspectors as COVID-19 restrictions forced closures and made it riskier to dine indoors. Some restaurants have also switched hands, which could cause some to question consistency. For example, County Barbecue in Little Italy was sold by DMK Restaurants to Chicago industry veteran Bonni Cameron. Even with new ownership, County remains.

The definition of value remains subjective when it comes to value: Boka Restaurant Group’s upscale GT Fish & Oyster, located in River North, shares the list with Birrieria Zaragoza, the comfy and family-owned Mexican restaurant near Midway International Airport. Both restaurants remain fixtures on the Bib Gourmand list even though the price points for both restaurants radically differ. The star list, which focuses more on fine dining, will be released on Thursday.

Check out the full Bib Gourmand listing below.

* denotes a new restaurant:

  1. Avec
  2. Avlí Taverna
  3. Birrieria Zaragoza
  4. Cabra
  5. Ceres Table
  6. * Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar
  7. Chilam Balam
  8. * Ciccio Mio
  9. Cira
  10. County Barbecue
  11. Daguan Noodle
  12. Daisies
  13. DeColores
  14. Dos Urban Cantina
  15. etta
  16. Flat & Point
  17. Frontera Grill
  18. Funkenhausen
  19. Ghin Khao
  20. Giant
  21. Gilt Bar
  22. Girl & The Goat
  23. GT Fish & Oyster
  24. HaiSous
  25. Herb
  26. Ina Mae
  27. Jam
  28. Joe’s Imports
  29. Kai Zan
  30. * Kasama
  31. Kie-Gol-Lanee
  32. La Josie
  33. Lonesome Rose
  34. Longman & Eagle
  35. Lula Cafe
  36. * Mama Delia
  37. Mango Pickle
  38. Marisol
  39. mfk.
  40. Mi Tocaya
  41. Mott St.
  42. * Munno Pizzeria & Bistro
  43. Nella Pizza e Pasta
  44. * Perilla
  45. Pizzeria Bebu
  46. Pleasant House Pub
  47. Proxi
  48. San Soo Gab San
  49. Smoque BBQ
  50. Sol de Mexico
  51. * Soulé
  52. Table, Donkey and Stick
  53. The Duck Inn
  54. The Purple Pig
  55. * Tzuco
  56. Untitled Supper Club
  57. * Vajra
  58. Virtue

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1521 N Fremont St, Chicago, IL 60642

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