November 30, 2022

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Chicago Michelin guide 2021: 58 restaurants earn Bib Gourmand honors

Michelin Guide’s coveted Bib Gourmand honors went to 58 Chicago restaurants this year, amid a pandemic that has devastated the culinary industry.

The honors, announced Tuesday, (one step shy of a Michelin Star) were presented to those restaurants which provide both outstanding quality and value — two courses and wine or dessert for around $40.

The 2021 Michelin Stars, the most coveted award in the restaurant industry, will be announced Thursday.

“Michelin Guide inspectors continue to be impressed by Chicago’s dynamic and diverse community of cuisine,” said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides, in Tuesday’s announcement.

Here’s a look at the 10 new additions to Chicago’s Bib Gourmand list (the honors were last presented in 2019) with excerpts from inspectors’ notes regarding the selection:

Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar (2165, N. Western, Bucktown): “Owner Jason Vincent is responsible for this wonderful and enjoyable Chinese American throwback where nostalgia is at the forefront of this concise menu…:

Ciccio Mio (226 W. Kinzie, River North): “The menu offers bold flavors and hearty portions. Pastas are made in-house, and first timers will want to sample the lasagna Bolognese rotolo… “

Joe’s Imports (813 W. Fulton, West Loop): “This Italian kitchen highlights ingredients and textures in comforting plates such as cacio e pepe finished with Sichuan peppercorns and lemon rind…”

Kasama (1001 N. Winchester, Bucktown): “Chefs Tim Flores and Genie Kwon, both formerly of Oriole, offer a contemporary restaurant dedicated to Filipino cuisine and spectacular pastries…”

Mama Delia’s restaurant in Wicker Park.

Mama Delia’s restaurant in Wicker Park.
Paloma Martinez

Mama Delia (1721 W Division, Wicker Park: “The kitchen team is focused on cooking that is both ingenious and satisfying. Pulpo canario is served with confit baby potatoes and chicharrón-infused olive oil…”

Munno Pizzeria & Bistro (4656 N. Clark, Andersonville): “The Neapolitan-inspired pizza may not be made in the traditional wood-burning oven, but those electric deck ovens still manage to turn out deliciously puffy and lightly charred crusts…”

Perilla (401 N. Milwaukee, West Loop): “Chef Andrew Lim’s forte lies in his contemporary take on familiar Korean food. Here you will find tables spread with delicious banchan, tailed by Waygu beef tartare accented with Asian pear…”

Soulé (1931 W. Chicago, Bucktown): “Chef/owner Bridgette Flagg’s excellent version of fried chicken is crisp, juicy and well-seasoned…”

Tzuco (720 N. State, River North) :“Chef Carlos Gaytán and his team craft creative Mexican dishes that at once feel traditional and inspired…”

Vajra (1329 W. Chicago, West Town): “The Nepal-born executive chef, Min B. Thapa, is no stranger to the Chicago dining scene. His cooking is replete with wonderfully rich flavors and unique methods…”