Here ye, here ye: the results are officially in for the MICHELIN Guide 2020 Bib Gourmand-designated restaurants, with this year's selection including 54 eateries, 14 of which are new. Bib Gourmand restaurants are selected by MICHELIN’s inspectors because they serve high-quality food available at a reasonable price.
Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood is now home to three newly-minted Bib Gourmand eateries. Joining the ranks is Funkenhausen, where chef Mark Steuer offers a creative American menu melding both German and Southern specialties, creating an original experience with menu items like garlic pretzel knots served with mustard and pimento cheese. etta, chef Danny Grant’s wildly popular spot in which ingredients are cooked via live fire, is also awarded a Bib Gourmand designation. Ina Mae Tavern, named after chef and owner Brian Jupiter’s great-grandmother, is where Chicagoans can dine on stand-out New Orleans fare like po’ boys, gumbo and buttermilk-fried chicken.
The lively West Loop also sees three new Bib Gourmand establishments, two of which are in the Hoxton Hotel. At Cira, where Chris Pandel steers the ship, the kitchen spins bright and fresh ingredients into delightful Mediterranean dishes. Cabra is Chicago-native Stephanie Izard’s latest stunner located on the Hoxton Hotel rooftop. “The food leans Peruvian, but chef Izard takes delicious liberties,” state MICHELIN inspectors. And at La Josie, chef and owner Jose Luis Barajas shows a particularly deft hand at preparing tacos like adobo-grilled red snapper and pan-seared lobster topped with corn hash and crispy onions.
In Lincoln Park, chef and owner Louie Alexakis’s Avlí Taverna receives a Bib Gourmand for its inventive and creative Greek fare like papoutsakia, aka grilled eggplant stuffed with tomatoes, onions and peppers, and astakomakaronada, traditional Greek lobster spaghetti.
And in Hyde Park, Virtue, executive chef and owner Erick William’s ode to American Southern fare, has been welcomed into the Bib Gourmand family. Dishes here include gizzards with dirty rice and gravy; shrimp with Geechie Boy cheddar grits; and blackened catfish with Caroline Gold rice and barbecued carrots. Nella Pizza e Pasta, Nella Grassano’s eponymous Hyde Park pizzeria, also receives the Bib Gourmand designation. Per inspectors, “the menu is promising and the wood-burning oven is responsible for much of the enticing fare here.”
Birrieria Zaragoza, Juan Zaragoza’s restaurant in Pilsen in which meticulous care is given to slow-roasted goat, is also bestowed with a Bib Gourmand. “The menu is hyper focused, offering roasted goat, specifically birria tatemada, a regional variation of the braised stew originally from Jalisco, Mexico,” state inspectors. The low-key Ghin Khao serving up Northern Thai fare in Pilsen also obtains a Bib Gourmand-status.
In Uptown, Kie-Gol-Lanee, a quiet Oaxacan restaurant that delivers standout regional specialties like tlayudas and complex moles, also receives the Bib Gourmand designation.
Two new barbecue joints join the troop of Bib Gourmands in the Windy City: Flat & Point, chef Brian Bruns’s standout in Logan Square, and County Barbecue, which has returned to the local dining scene after more than two years of construction following a fire. “We are happy to see them reopen and award them with a Bib Gourmand,” state inspectors.
The star selection for the MICHELIN Guide Chicago 2020 will be announced on Thursday, September 26. Congratulations to all restaurants—view the complete list of Chicago Bib Gourmands below.