If Justin Timberlake didn't sell you on Alinea's excellence, perhaps Elite Traveler magazine will. The high-end publication gave the Lincoln Park fine dining destination the No. 1 spot on its list of Top 100 Restaurants in the World. In a brief writeup, the magazine described dining at Alinea as a "distinctly modern and painstakingly curated experience," citing taffy balloons, edible tablecloths and cinnamon bark chopsticks as examples of Chef Grant Achatz's boundless creativity. Azurmendi in Larrabetzu, Spain, and Eleven Madison Park in New York snagged the second and third spots, respectively.
Two other Chicago spots made the list, with Next landing at 41 and Smyth and the Loyalist sitting pretty at 96. The magazine also honored chef John B. Shields of Smyth and the Loyalist as the 2018 Rising Star of the Year. In an interview, Shields describes the true farm-to-table mentality behind upscale Smyth and the fan-favorite burger he's serving downstairs at the Loyalist. If you've already hit all three Chicago mentions, start planning your next getaway around the other 97 restaurants on the list.