Full

2012 Eat Out Awards: Readers' picks

Time Out Chicago · Guide to Chicago · created over 2 years ago

  • Guidebadge90px-white

    Follow this guide to find these dishes wherever you go. Upload your own photos to show off the things you've tried.

    Spot All items to earn this badge.
  • Thumb_90

    Grapefruit Salad at Public House in Chicago, IL

    Public House has taken all the trappings of a typical sports bar—TVs everywhere, fried cheese curds and free-flowing beer—and yuppified them. This isn’t an insult. A hefty beer list boasts American craft ales and specialty Belgians for the beer snobs. Meanwhile, chef David Blonsky elevates bar staples, making corn dogs out of Kobe beef, and mustard flavored with pineapple and beer. Those fried cheese curds? Here, they’re served with a healthy dose of eggplant caponata and Parmesan-peppercorn.

  • Thumb_90

    Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad at Pump Room in Chicago, IL

    Newly appointed executive chef Moosah Reaume seamlessly churns out Vongerichten’s trademark farm-to-table dishes such as roasted beets with housemade yogurt, and whole-wheat flatbread topped with spinach, goat cheese and herbs. Photo: Joe Bankmann

  • Thumb_90

    Taco Pizza at Roots Handmade Pizza in Chicago, Illinois

    Quad Cities–style pizza is known for its medium-thick, malt-heavy dough, traditionally topped with finely ground sausage, spicy red sauce and mozzarella. Wackier varieties include taco pizza, teeming with mozzarella, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and tortilla chips. Olé?

  • Thumb_90

    Royal Pies at Pleasant House Bakery in Chicago, IL

    The steak-and-ale captures carrot-laden pot roast in buttery crust, the chicken Balti channels India by way of Britain with heady curry spicing, and the mushroom-kale is a good argument to go meat-free—another Bridgeport need checked off the list.

  • Thumb_90

    Bacon Mac And Cheese at The Southern in Chicago, IL

    Since pretty much everything tastes better with melted cheese, chef Cary Taylor isn’t short of options, topping his signature pasta with everything from smoked bacon and blue cheese to roasted mushrooms. Photo: Dave Rentauskas

  • Thumb_90

    Angus beef course at Goosefoot in Chicago, IL

    Les Nomades vet Chris Nugent hasn’t lost his attention to detail, his mastery of French cooking techniques, his penchant for luxe ingredients and a pleasantly drawn-out tasting menu (eight courses for $90) that reminds diners this is a special event—even if they are drinking their own Trader Joe’s swill with it.

  • Thumb_90

    Frozen Yogurt at Forever Yogurt in Chicago, IL

    Feeling gummy bears for your chocolate–peanut butter yogurt or the need to pile a dozen toppings over a gallon of fat-free? At the Forever Yogurt chain, there’s no counter kid to judge; you pick the cup, you pull one (or three!) of the 14 handles, you pile on the toppings and you plop your concoction down on the scale.

  • Thumb_90

    Napa Chard at Perennial Virant in Chicago, IL

    How do you persuade drinkers of big, buttery Chardonnay to try a cocktail instead? Combine vodka, gin and ginger liqueur with fresh pineapple juice and butter, call it Napa Chard, and serve it on the rocks, nice and cold.

  • Burger at Epic Burger in Chicago, IL

    Since opening in 2008 in the South Loop, the original location has been joined by five others, and we can see why: It’s a rare instance of speedy slow food.

  • Thumb_90

    Mexican Chocolate Waffles at Waffles in Chicago, Il

    Waffles taps the full potential of its namesake dish with unexpected combinations, such as green-tea waffles with lemon-ginger Chantilly cream and a Mexican chocolate version with orange anglaise cream. The kitchen even distinguishes between a Brussels waffle (thick, crispy and yeast-leavened) and a Liège waffle (caramelized and chewy).

  • Thumb_90

    Birthday Cake Doughnut at Doughnut Vault in Chicago, IL

    Buttermilk and glazed yeast classics are staples, but the Twitter feed updates dough lovers of daily specials that run the gamut from pistachio to birthday cake (that’s a cake doughnut dunked in vanilla glaze and festooned with rainbow sprinkles…duh). Photo: Dave Rentauskas

  • Thumb_90

    Custom Burger at Butcher & The Burger in Chicago, Il

    Here, diners decide among ten patties, ranging from grass-fed beef and elk to free-range turkey. That’s before getting to the buns (split-top egg, pretzel, croissant) and specialty toppings (wasabi mayo, pickle chips).

  • Thumb_90

    Cosmopolitan Mallow at The Aviary in Chicago, IL

    Sitting back is the only way to enjoy the show, orchestrated by executive chef Craig Schoettler, a master of the obscure known for filling futuristic serving vessels with booze that infuses before your eyes, concocting 32 types of ice and incorporating white-hot ingredients ranging from finger limes to Batavia Arrack. Add to this the best bar bites in town and the Aviary steps out of the Next shadow positively shining. Photo: Jason Little

  • Thumb_90

    Raviolis de sepia y coco con soja at Next Restaurant in Chicago, IL

    From the theater-inspired ticketing system to meals paying homage to luminaries including Escoffier and Ferran Adrià, Next has rewritten the restaurant experience—and you’re gobbling up every morsel. Photo: Chris Litwin