Food & Drink | January 3, 2019 9:00 am

6 Michelin-Starred Chefs Name Their Favorite Meals in Chicago

From dosas on Devon to Vietnamese fare in Pilsen

Back in September, the Michelin Guide awarded stars to 22 of Chicago’s best restaurants for its 2019 edition.

And while most of those stars pay tribute to the most upscale dining experiences in the city, we wanted to know where their chefs like to dine when they’re not on the clock.

So we asked six of the recipients to share their top picks for breakfast, lunch or dinner around Chicago.

From dosas on Devon to Vietnamese fare in Pilsen, here are their go-to spots for enjoying a meal outside the kitchen.

Unlike the restaurants the chefs themselves helm, you might actually be able to get a reservation at these ones.


Don Young, Executive Chef at Temporis
“I really enjoy going to Rootstock when we have an early Monday night off. The food is always good and great wine to match at a reasonable price. I always enjoy Lula Cafe for brunch too, I’ve never been disappointed there.”


John and Karen Shields, Owners and Chefs at Smyth + The Loyalist
We’re huge fans of Roister whenever we have a night off. Grant is a genius in the kitchen and he nails the casual fare there just as much as at Alinea. And definitely Le Bouchon for a date night, because it’s where we had one of our first dates together.”

Ca Phe Da

Joe Flamm, Executive Chef at Spiaggia
“My favorite place for Lunch is Ca Phe Da in Pilsen. Between the Banh mi, chicken with rice and house-made pastries, I just can’t get enough. I love their rice; I could crush bowls upon bowls of it, one of my favorite lunch spots in town!”


Andrew Zimmerman, Executive Chef at Sepia

Breakfast: “My favorite place for breakfast is Spinning J. I don’t want or need anything crazy for breakfast, I just want something done right, and Spinning J’s blueberry scones (or any scone for that matter) and the fantastic breakfast sandwich are done brilliantly every time. A house-made English muffin with just-cooked scrambled eggs, Slagel farm bacon and aged cheddar, all griddled just right so you get little crispy bits of cheese at the edges, then washed down with an excellent latte. What more do you need in the morning?”

Lunch: “For lunch I look forward to any excuse to grab some chaat and a masala dosa at Annapurna on Devon Ave. Absolutely no frills but great flavor and priced perfectly for lunch.”

Dinner: “My current favorite place for a fancy dinner out is Oriole. Brilliantly executed food and seriously well-considered beverage program in a room that is comfortable and understated — a reminder that the real show is on the plate.”


Lee Wolen, Executive Chef and Partner at BOKA
“I love going to Daisies for dinner because Joe Frillman’s pastas are out of this world!”

The Loyalist

Ian Davis, Executive Chef at Band of Bohemia
“My favorite restaurant in the city is The Loyalist – it has been since it opened. It has a great vibe with dim lighting, good music and great cocktails. If you’re in the mood for beer they also have a great list of basics. Their menu options are honest, fun soul-food dishes with their own twist.”

Main image from Paul Strabbing/Sepia