The 7 Priciest Michelin Restaurants in Chicago
Every foodie knows that the ultimate accolade for any restaurant is a Michelin star – it’s a guarantee of quality, consistency, and a great dining experience.
Whether you live in Chicago or are just planning a visit, you’re in luck. The city is host to 23 Michelin-starred restaurants, representing an incredible range of atmospheres and cooking styles.
Now, if you’re looking for a genuine once-in-a-lifetime fine dining experience and money is no object, you’ll have no problem locating the best that Chicago has to offer. We’ve curated a list of the city’s 10 most expensive Michelin-starred restaurants.
Our selections represent the crème de la crème of Chicago’s finest dining, in some of the best restaurants in the USA, so you just can’t go wrong!
1. Alinea, $465 per person
Address: 1723 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60614
Alinea has won numerous awards for its innovative approach to contemporary cuisine. The restaurant has been named the Best Restaurant in the World by Elite Traveler, the Best Restaurant in North America by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and the Best Restaurant in the U.S. by Gourmet and Business Insider. Best of all, it holds Michelin’s supreme accolade of 3 stars.
The Michelin Guide describes the dining experience as “part theater and pure pleasure; and meals are an olfactory experience by dint of scented vapors, tricks, and tableside fun”. It’s run by Grant Achatz, one of the most famous chefs in the world.
The priciest option: At $465 per person (excluding 20% service and tax), the private Kitchen Table for six people is an intimate, immersive experience. Wine pairings are available at an additional $145.00 and $395 per person.
Don’t imagine you can turn up unannounced at Alinea, though. It’s not a spur-of-the-moment kind of place. Such is the demand for tables that they typically release bookings two months in advance, at 11 am on the 15th of each month – so for a table in September, you’ll need to reserve (and prepay) on July 15th.
2. Moody Tongue, $330 per person
Address: 2515 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60616
If you’re not a wine-lover but enjoy a craft beer, then Moody Tongue is an obligatory stop on any trip to Chicago.
Chef Jared Wentworth and Master Brewer Jared Rouben have created the world’s first 2 Michelin-starred brewery and dining room combination. There’s a distinctly masculine vibe in this uniquely atmospheric environment, where a hyper-seasonal menu is matched with an incredible array of home-crafted brews.
The menu is ambitious. Indulge in innovative creations such as the lightly poached Maine lobster in spiced tomato water, seared Hudson Valley foie gras with burnt peach dashi, and the darkest chocolate cake with toasted rye ice cream
The priciest option: At $330 per person, enjoy the tasting menu consisting of up to 15 courses (depending on the season), which includes some of the most expensive seafood in the world such as sea urchin, Kaluga caviar, Dungeness crab, Copper River ivory king salmon, langoustine, Alaskan halibut, Hudson Valley foie gras, black truffle donut, and Westholme wagyu.
Desserts include tres leches cake, pineapple sorbet, and dark chocolate namelaka. Each course is paired with a unique beer, ale or stout to complement the dish.
3. Oriole, $325 per person
Address: 661 W. Walnut St., Chicago, IL 60661
Two Michelin-starred Oriole has recently undergone a significant renovation and is now even more elegant and luxurious than ever before, with breath-taking ceilings and an imposing bar. The kitchen is in full view, so diners can share in the theater of a first-class kitchen brigade doing what they do best.
Chef Noah Sandoval and the team are deeply passionate about their unbridled hyper-seasonal creations, and with a wine cellar by Beverage Director Aaron McManus and a cocktail list created by Julie Momose (of legendary Bar Kumiko), Oriole offers a unique and unforgettable dining experience.
The priciest option: The Extended Tasting Menu $325 per person (prepaid), plus drinks and service.
The menu frequently changes, depending on the ingredients in season, but your meal is likely to kick off with aperitifs and bites, such as raw hiramasa in apple broth. New Zealand langoustine is given a luscious new twist with tapioca, melon, and a warm coconut broth; while sablefish koshihikari rice is enhanced with amazake adding drama to the tableside.
Desserts such as lemon soufflé with Délice de Bourgogne offer an inspired take on the sometimes clichéd ritual of the cheese course.
4. Ever, $325 per person
Address: 1340 W.Fulton Street, Chicago, IL, 60607
After the somewhat stark and masculine atmosphere of our two previous selections, you’ll find a distinct change of mood at Ever. The stylish, gray-toned dining space has a calm, intimate, almost meditative feel which invites you to focus on the sensual pleasure of the 8- to10- course tasting menu.
The food at Ever is, above all, a visual treat: innovative presentations that tempt diners to discover their often sweet and herb-infused secrets. The seasonal menu frequently changes, so be prepared for surprises and savor every moment.
The priciest option: At $325 -$355 per person, in the private, lower-level dining room. Between four and ten guests can experience this culinary trip around the globe, featuring playful interpretations of classics from the past.
5. Esmé, $275 per person
Address: 2200 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
With a prestigious Michelin star, Esmé stands out because its mission is to be a community-focused restaurant that welcomes and creates a culturally immersive experience for locals and travelers alike. A unique approach and perhaps a refreshing change from the sometimes elitist stars of the Michelin Universe.
Chef Jenner Tomaska and wife Katrina Bravo re-envisage fine dining, integrating it with the philanthropy and art that are the foundations of this Lincoln Park restaurant.
Chef Jenner is notoriously reluctant to talk about his food, preferring to let it do the talking for him, and you’ll find no menus on the website – only (stunningly beautiful) images of previous creations.
The priciest option: At $275 per person, the multi-course tasting menu is served on gorgeous dishes custom-created by local artists. Unexpected taste and color combinations are the order of the day. For example, a seared rouget filet tops a bean purée and shavings of matsutake mushrooms. This is partnered by an Iberico ham consommé studded with beans and ‘pearls’ of apple, creating a luscious blend of sweet and savory.
Allow three and a half to four hours to enjoy the whole experience and savor such unexpected and luxurious delights as white sweet potato & miso ice-cream topped with Osetra caviar.
6. Claudia, $275 per person
Address: 1952, N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60647
Award–winning Chef/Owner Trevor Teich named this cool and ultra-modern venue after his mother. The creative and contemporary menu is matched by the design of the dining space; the art work on the walls is reflected in the miniature works of art on the plate.
The priciest option: The Chef’s Table is a seasonal tasting menu of up to 15 courses full of unique twists and surprises. It’s an intimate experience that offers all the drama and flair of the kitchen. Allow at least 3 hours for the entire meal, which comes at $275 per person. And add on some time to experiment with Claudia’s impressive cocktail list.
7. Next, $275 per person
Address: 953 W Fulton Market | Chicago, IL 60607
Given the incredible restaurants we’ve been describing, it’s natural to be asking – what’s next. When Chef Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas asked each other that question in 2011, their answer was this constantly evolving restaurant with its ever-changing theme. Next transforms its style every few months.
The focus could change to a different global cuisine, a theme, or a particular period. With each shift, everything is reimagined. Not only the menu but the beverage list, service style, and equipment can transform from “Paris: 1922” to “A Tour of Ancient Rome” to “Silk and Spice” in a single year. Servers are fully costumed and thoroughly versed in each topic. Few restaurants can rival next for theater and drama.
If you don’t like change, Next may not be the best restaurant to fall in love with.
The priciest option: The World’s Fair menu is priced at $275 per person for up to four guests and showcases the latest techniques and seasonal ingredients inspired by the culinary inventions of the past.
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Featured Image courtesy of Delightin Dee.