Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right Illinois icon-chevron-right Chicago icon-chevron-right Overrated/Underrated Chicago: food and drink

Overrated/Underrated Chicago: food and drink

These unsung, unheralded restaurants, chefs, dishes and trends deserve to supplant their overhyped, overexposed analogues. Sorry, doughnuts!
By Time Out editors |

We probably won't make any friends saying so, but there are some aspects of the Chicago food scene that we're a little weary of. We're not saying these restaurants, chefs, trends and dishes are bad by any means, just overexposed and maybe a bit overhyped. There are lots of unsung gems that are worthy of your time and money (and probably need it more than their overrated analogues).

Disagree? Have your own suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.

RECOMMENDED: Overrated/Underrated Chicago


Stephanie Izard / Beverly Kim


Overrated Stephanie Izard
Girl & the Goat is good. Little Goat…it’s decent enough if you’re high or 12 years old. So, why do people (especially the local food media) lose their fool minds when this Top Chef winner so much as whispers about opening something new?
Underrated Beverly Kim
Like Izard, Kim was on Top Chef and is a talented chef. And she is quietly excelling with the impeccable restaurant she opened in May, Parachute.

Food trend


Doughnuts / Cookies


Overrated Doughnuts
Doughnuts are really awesome. But enough already.
Underrated Cookies
It's time for another comforting sweet to shine, and cookies deserve some love. Try the cookies at Beatrix and the cookie bar at Summer House Santa Monica, and you'll agree.

Taco joint

Big Star / Takito Kitchen


Overrated Big Star
Until the expanded patio opens, we can't bring ourselves to fight the crowds for something as simple as tacos and margaritas.
Underrated Takito Kitchen
The vegan taco here is one of our favorite tacos in the city, period. The margaritas are refined and delicious. The only thing it's lacking is Big Star's cast of characters walking by the patio. We'll take no wait and great food over people-watching any day.


Show more

More to explore