Chicago Traveler Blog

Chicago Traveler Blog

2012 Michelin Stars Announced: Which Chicago Restaurant Ranked on Top?

11/16/11 | by

The highly anticipated Michelin Guide Chicago 2012 went on sale Tuesday, and with only 400 restaurants worldwide receiving Michelin stars, 21 are in Chicago this year! So which restaurant ranked above the rest?

According to Michelin, Alinea in Lincoln Park offers the most fantastic fine-dining feast in all of Chicago! Or as they put it: “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”.

Earning three stars -- the highest rating an establishment can receive -- is quite an incredible feat for Alinea as it’s the only restaurant in Chicago and one of only 93 in the world to accomplish that. I guess we know where all the Chicago fancy pants will be going to Thanksgiving dinner this year.

The only other restaurant -- along with Alinea -- to earn three stars last year, L20 in Lincoln Park, dropped down to a one star rating this year.

Just two Chicago restaurants received a two star rating: Ria in Gold Coast and Charlie Trotter’s in Lincoln Park.

But probably the most exciting news of it all went to the two restaurants that were awarded their first Michelin star rating ever yesterday. That honor went to Moto in the West Loop and Courtright’s in Willow Springs.

Many know Moto as celebrity Chef Homaro Cantu’s restaurant, who is known for his TV show Future Food and winning Iron Chef America in 2006 against Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. Moto restaurant in Chicago is also famous for their unbelievably innovative eatable menus.

Every other restaurant that was awarded a Michelin star this year received one last year as well.

Then there were three restaurants that fell off the coveted Michelin star list completely: Crofton on Wells, Sixteen and NoMI.

Although this is just the second year Michelin has published a strictly Chicago guide, the Micheline star rating system is one of the oldest, most well-known and respected restaurant rating systems is the world.

Below is a complete list of the 2012 Chicago Michelin star rated restaurants:

Three Stars:

Alinea in Lincoln Park

Two Stars:

Charlie Trotter’s in Lincoln Park
RIA in Gold Coast

One Star:

Blackbird in West Loop
Boka in Lincoln Park
Bonsoiree in Logan Square
Courtright’s in Willow Springs
Everest in the Loop
Graham Elliot in River North
Longman & Eagle in Logan Square
L2O in Lincoln Park
Moto in West Loop
NAHA in River North
Schwa in Wicker Park
Seasons in Gold Coast
Sepia in West Loop
Spiaggia in Gold Coast
Takashi in Bucktown
Topolobampo in River North
Tru in Streeterville
Vie in Southwest Suburbs