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Tuesday, 26 February 2019

The 10 Best Restaurants in Chicago Right Now

In December 2018, Chicago Magazine food writer John Kessler declared the party was over when it came to Chicago dining. Kessler's takedown scolded the city’s chefs for numerous aspects of the current restaurant scene, among them not yet “figuring out” local and seasonal cooking and a lack of “exciting immigrant cooking.” Soon after, Chicago Reader restaurant critic Mike Sula offered a rebuttal, naming a number of restaurants that in fact already offer many of the elements Kesseler felt the city lacked. Sula ended the story with a piece of advice for Chicago diners: “If you missed out on any of these exciting new spots, you weren't paying attention. If they don't inspire you, you just don't care.”

“That summed it up for me,” Julia Kramer, deputy editor of Bon Appetit, told me over the phone as we discussed Sula’s piece. Kramer, a Chicago native who spent five years reviewing restaurants for Time Out Chicago, has always been vocally positive about the city’s dining scene. She rebuffed Kessler's off-putting tone throughout his manifesto (“he just made you want to argue with him”) and praised the positivity of Sula’s: “There’s exciting and interesting food in so many parts of the country. I’m much more interested in learning about that than in some guy’s hot take.”

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