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Chicago’s top-earning restaurants might surprise you

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

We learned two things today: Chicagoans really like their steak and the city's old-school haunts are still raking in the dough. Restaurant Business Magazine—a B2B media company specializing in the commercial foodservice industry—released its annual list of the Top 100 Independent Restaurants, which includes nine Chicago eateries.

The list chronicles 2016's highest-grossing independents across the country using information gathered through surveys alongside "public information, similar concepts and other factors." We pulled out all of the Chicago mentions and listed them below.

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse tops the list with over $24 million in gross sales and more than 350,000 meals served last year. If you're looking to ball out, Primehouse is the place to do it with an average check of $98. More impressive yet, Quartino served a whopping 438,677 meals in 2016 (which makes total sense when you consider how packed the two-story, patio-lined space can get on a typical Friday night). It's also worth noting that there's not much diversity in location; all nine restaurants are located in either Gold Coast and River North. Take a look at the other top earners for 2016. 

1. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
Sales: $24,700,825
Average check: $75
Number of meals served: 363,301

2. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Sales: $21,200,000
Average check: $80
Number of meals served: 265,000

3. Primehouse
Sales: $19,200,000
Average check: $98
Number of meals served: 200,000

4. Chicago Cut Steakhouse
Sales: $17,200,000
Average check: $85
Number of meals served: 210,000

5. Shaw’s Crab House
Sales: $17,100,000
Average check: $65
Number of meals served: 265,000

6. Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse
Sales: $14,800,000
Average check: $52
Number of meals served: 290,000

7. Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House
Average check:
Number of meals served: 

8. Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar
Average check: $29
Number of meals served: 438,677

9. Tavern on Rush
Sales: $13,409,416
Average check: $74
Number of meals served: 350,000

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