Restaurants like Kasama have inspired a new generation of chefs to embrace their backgrounds. Photo by Kristin Mendiola, courtesy of Kasama


Restaurant Pros Share What They Love About Chicago’s Dining Scene


Forward-thinking chefs and groundbreaking restaurants.

A tightly knit chef community.

Diverse and vibrant neighborhoods.

Rib tips at Lems Bar-B-Q.

There’s so much to love about Chicago’s vibrant dining scene right now. Over the coming weeks, we’re toasting Chicago and all that comes with it (have you nabbed your Club Resy ticket yet?), so we asked some of our favorite chefs, bartenders, and restaurant operators what they love most about the Chicago restaurant community. Here’s what they said.

We love Chicago’s dining scene because of its sheer diversity, from the humble street taco to enjoying a beautifully curated tasting menu experience at a restaurant like Oriole. We draw constant inspiration from the cultural diversity in Chicago on our menu at Obélix. In more recent years, restaurateurs and chefs who have embraced the food of their youth in creating concepts like Kasama, Khmai Cambodian, Lao Peng You, and Thattu have helped to further shape the food landscape of our city. Nathan Kim, Obélix
I love how focused and celebratory Chicago’s dining community is, especially for independently owned and operated restaurants. This city’s chef teams are so friendly and supportive. When one of us has questions or needs anything, we lean on each other for help, whether it’s ingredients, farms, HVAC, or other equipment repairs. This is an incredibly strong-knit community. Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde
If you’re willing to travel a bit, you can find anything in the Chicago area. Having lived here for a little over five years and coming from a much smaller city, I’ve enjoyed getting to experience the diversity of, and within, Chicago’s neighborhoods. And Chicagoans have ‘their spots’ they love to go to and are more than happy to tell you about those restaurants. There’s a lot of pride in what we do here and the dining scene reflects that sentiment. Zachary Engel, Galit
100% agree that Chicago’s got a bit of everything and most of it approachable and served with humility. There are great options to enjoy and even better humans to support in every neighborhood. Andrés Clavero, Galit
Chicago has a dynamic collection of independent restaurant operators that continue to define the landscape for a unique and ambitious Chicago food scene. Doug Psaltis, Asador Bastian
I love the diversity of the current dining scene in Chicago. I am a born and raised Chicagoan and have seen our city grow to become a culinary powerhouse on the global scene. Raul Jaimes, Cherry Circle Room
I love the variety of excellent food — from rib tips at Lems Bar-B-Q in South Chicago to cacio whey pepe at Monteverde in the West Loop to fish-and-chips at The Gage downtown to Peking duck at Sun Wah in Andersonville to a delicious ribeye at RPM Steak. The options are almost endless. Jared Rouben, Moody Tongue
I love Chicago’s food scene. We have access to such rich and diverse cuisine and it never ends! Sam Parrie, Milk Room


Welcome to Club Resy

On November 10th, 2023, join Resy for the ultimate dinner party. Some of Chicago’s top restaurants will come together under…