Get us in your inbox

Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

Chicago named best big city in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler readers

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

It's undeniable: 2017 is Chicago's year to shine. Earlier this year, our dining scene landed in the national spotlight after Chicago was named Restaurant City of the Year by both Bon Appetit magazine and Condé Nast Traveler. Now, for the first time ever, the city nabbed the title of best big city in the U.S., according to Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards. The travel mag collected “hundreds of thousands of votes” through its 30th annual survey—so many, in fact, that they had to create two lists: one for big cities and another for smaller metropolises.

Chicago swept the No. 1 spot for big cities, topping New York (second place), San Francisco (third) and Honolulu (fourth). Interestingly enough, Los Angeles didn't even make the cut. Here's what the magazine had to say about our fair city: 

“Despite its ‘Second City’ nickname, Chicago is no stranger to the best: It was the center for the biggest architecture biennial in North America this year and home to a number of innovative chefs earning James Beard accolades. When in doubt, take a boat tour of the city and float beneath some of the country’s tallest buildings; catch stand-up at, well, the Second City; or see if you can actually get a reservation at Alinea, a leader in molecular gastronomy.”

If you think you're excited about this spiffy honor, just imagine how stoked Mayor Rahm Emanuel is. He released this statement Tuesday afternoon: 

“Condé Nast readers recognize what residents of Chicago have always known: the Second City is the best big city in the U.S. This title is a testament to the innovation found in our amazing architecture, the ingenuity captured at our award-winning restaurants and 67 breweries, and the congenial character of Chicagoans. While our 77 neighborhoods each have unique cultures and characteristics, we are one Chicago, and we are proud of this distinction.”

Want more? Sign up to stay in the know.

Latest news