Bucktown Restaurant Named to Michelin Guide

Originally posted by Michelin Guide 

MICHELIN Guide Inspectors spend all year on the road uncovering the best restaurants to recommend—and what they've found is too good to keep a secret. Whet your appetite with a sneak peek of the 2024 MICHELIN Guide Chicago—eight new additions spread across the Windy City.

Besides Chicago-style pizza, Michael Jordan, and the Chicago Cubs, the Windy City is also home to some of the most flavorful restaurants in the nation. Don't believe us? Check out our latest additions to find out for yourself what we mean.

Want Asian flavors but can't decide between which cuisine? The dishes at Maxwells Trading offer a blend of Japanese, Chinese, and Thai flavors—think Japanese eggplant with scallion bread, sweet potatoes with Thai green curry, or soup dumpling tortellini with maitake mushroom.

Fan of Mexican plates? Then the duck carnitas and blood sausage taco with salsa macha at Taqueria Chingón will be just the thing for you. No matter what you get though, expect freshly griddled and chewy corn tortillas.

Prefer more of a low-key neighborhood hangout spot instead? We've got you covered with John's Food and Wine, where a friendly bar, fun wine program, and delicious bites like beef fat fries await. 

If that doesn't sound appetizing, we don't know what does. 


Cariño
Cuisine: Mexican 

In a cozy corner of Uptown where the subway rumbles overhead, Chef Norman Fenton mines his history and his travels to celebrate Mexican cuisine in a distinct, ambitious manner. He lists out ingredients like an auctioneer, and his pace is relentless. Quickly, the courses compound: A stunning huitlacoche ravioli with fried corn silk, then a queso truffle quesadilla, and at some point, a lamb tartare tostada seasoned in the style of al pastor. Indeed, this breathless tasting menu features boldness and creativity in spades, starting with “chips and salsa” in the form of salsa verde jelly and a tortilla crumble. The best seats are at the counter, which offer an up-close view of this small team, all of whom work diligently and engage with guests freely.

Kelly Sandos / Cariño
Kelly Sandos / Cariño

John's Food and Wine
Cuisine: American 

Meet your new neighborhood hangout. With exposed white brick, a comfy banquette stretching the length of the room, and a friendly bar with an engaging wine program, this restaurant isn’t going to struggle to make friends. One caveat: There are no servers so diners have to order at the counter before being escorted to a table. It’s not a tall ask because everything offered tends to be a hit, and you quickly get the sense that they just want to cook good food. Think country ham with fried sunchokes, lobster salad with leek aioli, and dry-aged steaks with potato pave. An order of beef fat fries for the table? Absolutely – this essential starter (or side dish) is impressive enough to trigger a return visit. Another glass of wine? Sure, why not?

Sandy Noto / John's Food and Wine
Sandy Noto / John's Food and Wine

Maxwells Trading
Cuisine: Contemporary 

It can feel as if half the city is dining in this quiet pocket of West Loop. Conversation and laughter bounce off the hard warehouse floors and large, black-framed windows and travel along a bar that looks almost endless from the front door. The cooking behind all this commotion assuredly plays with Japanese, Chinese, and Thai elements. Think Japanese eggplant with scallion bread, sweet potatoes with Thai green curry, or soup dumpling tortellini with maitake mushroom. Turbot with Swiss chard and kombu beurre blanc was a recent standout. Servers are not fazed by the crowds, while bartenders shake and stir drinks that keep energy levels high. And in stark contrast to the industrial setting, a rooftop herb and vegetable garden helps stock the kitchen.

Jeff Marini / Maxwells Trading
Jeff Marini / Maxwells Trading


Sifr
Cuisine: Middle Eastern 

It is difficult to imagine a dinner here that doesn’t include the hummus. A gorgeous mosaic of charred green chickpeas, crispy chickpeas, zhoug, and za’atar raise this familiar dish to wonderful heights. There’s more on the way: A platter of chicken shish taouk that’s marinated in yogurt, crusted in spices and charred all over or halloumi cheese served with beets and finished in a honey and pomegranate molasses. In this quiet, sun-soaked corner of River North, the team behind Indienne hits the mark with this Middle Eastern charmer where tables crowd with dips, small plates, and items hot off the grill. You’re expected to share but that’s easier said than done. Silky-smooth, house made ice creams make for a sweet send-off.

Neil Burger / Sifr
Neil Burger / Sifr

Taqueria Chingón
Cuisine: Mexican 

Inspired by the street food of Mexico City, this chef-driven taqueria in Bucktown by Marcos Ascencio and Oliver Poilevey is a constant hive of activity. During the day, find the signature al pastor alongside hits like duck carnitas with date puree and sunchoke-habanero salsa or a particularly stellar fried queso with mole negro. Ever had a blood sausage taco with salsa macha? Here’s your chance. All tacos come on freshly griddled, chewy corn tortillas, and diners wait under a covered patio for their orders. Regulars know to keep a close eye on the restaurant’s Instagram: Specials like the crispy artichoke taco with tapenade aioli come and go with the seasons, and you never know when the team will announce their next dinner-only “tacomakase” pop-up.

Przemyslaw 'Dred' Grygiel / Taqueria Chingón
Przemyslaw 'Dred' Grygiel / Taqueria Chingón

Warlord
Cuisine: American Contemporary 

The word is out on Warlord, where eager diners line up before it's even open to snag a seat at this first-come, first-serve spot. Chefs Emily Kraszyk, John Lupton, and Trevor Fleming cook over a live-fire grill in an open kitchen, and the most desirable seats are at the chefs' counter. Settle in to feast on the likes of foie gras ganache with grilled hearth bread accompanied by salty-sweet honey butter, whipped foie, and rhubarb dressed with a beetroot reduction. Lacquered, dry-aged duck rests above the grill for a slower cook, but the tender meat is worth the extra time. Even dessert hits the flames, with butter cake grilled to a nicely crisp exterior before being topped with butterscotch amazake cream. 

Trevor Fleming / Warlord
Trevor Fleming / Warlord

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