5 Affordable Michelin-Starred Restaurants in Chicago

These establishments offer an amazing dining experience while being easy on the wallet.

It’s safe to say that we all value a high-quality, top-notch meal, but tasting menus involving numerous courses and bells and whistles can certainly put a dent in your wallet.

This selection of Michelin-starred restaurants in the city of Chicago offer incredible experiences while being modestly-priced, including the new designee Elske, who offers one heck of a tasting menu deal.

Michelin Rating: One Star
Small Plates Price Range: $14-$24
Entrée Price Range: $24-47
“Off the Cuff” Tasting Menu: $68

What Our Inspectors Say: Husband-and-wife chef team Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim have put their little corner of Avondale on Chicago’s culinary map with this hip and homey bistro. Though there’s a distinctive Korean thread running through the menu, Parachute is a creative, open-ended endeavor at heart. Impeccably sourced ingredients from local purveyors lay the framework, but the team’s brilliant application of cutting-edge techniques take the fare to inventive heights. The regularly re-written menu has also been known to feature tender braised pork shoulder with a fermented black bean and dried shrimp sauce, then paired with ripe figs and grilled pearl onion petals. Desserts make for a stellar finish.

Dusek’s (Board & Beer) 
Michelin Rating: One Star
Small Plates Price Range: $13-$25
Entrée Price Range: $15-29

What Our Inspectors Say: On the one hand, Dusek’s is simply a great gastropub, serving food that is as tasty and down-to earth as one of their wood fire-roasted pretzels, tucked with gooey cheese and wickedly hot beer mustard. On the other hand, this is just the place to meet friends or grab a bite before heading to a concert at Thalia Music Hall, located next door. The fact that this spot is named for the man who founded the original venue back in 1892 shows the importance of this connection—those in-the-know are usually headed here before or after a show. The front room feels more like a tavern; the back is a dining room warmed by the wood-burning ovens. Yet both share that same friendly ambience and superb service.

Band of Bohemia 
Michelin Rating: One Star
Small Plates Price Range: $15-$22
Entrée Price Range: $22-$45

What Our Inspectors Say
: So much more than a working brewery with a talented kitchen, Band of Bohemia is in fact a truly inspired gastropub that produces its own utterly unique creations both in the glass and on the plate. Located in a repurposed brick building across from the Metra tracks, the look is understandably industrial, with an open layout that unwinds into a series of seating options, inviting bar, and an open kitchen with another small bar set against pretty blue tiles. Stainless steel tanks displayed in the back hold the culinary-minded handiwork of their head brewer. Those rich brews are matched seamlessly to the kitchen's boundless small and large plates, which defy expectations with delicious success.

Michelin Rating: One Star
Entrée Price Range: $15-$32

What Our Inspectors Say: Entente’s talented team is to thank for its creative American culinary vision, and the contemporary menu—designed for sharing and well worth exploring with friends—is unabashedly authentic and interesting. The space is composed of two dining rooms: one up front with dark floors and ceilings, and another in the back with a full view of the bustling kitchen. A bar area featuring a high wall adorned with backlit wood boxes (which shelve the spirits) offers yet another spot to sample the delicious food. Each dish delivers a remarkable mouthful, and most of the kitchen’s creations are rich as well as unexpected.

Michelin Rating: One Star:
À la Carte Menu Price Range: $7-$21
Tasting Menu Price: $85

What Our Inspectors Say: A vivid blue neon sign marks the entry to stylish Elske, a hip and sophisticated offering brought to you by husband-and-wife chef duo, David and Anna Posey. He worked at Blackbird; she at The Publican—and what they do together in this restaurant (the name means “love” in Danish) is pure culinary magic. The kitchen's deeply creative menu offers seasonal, responsibly farmed dishes rendered with impeccable skill-the flavors carefully woven together to produce irresistible profiles. A night in the talented chef duo's hands might unveil a tender duck liver tart in an ethereally light buckwheat crust, paired with garlicky, salted ramps; or creamy ocean trout set over a vibrant vinaigrette with white asparagus, perfectly balanced crème fraîche, and delicate claytonia leaves.

Hero image courtesy of Elske.

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