With more than 9,600 nominations and over 21,000 votes in five categories—Chicago, you’ve outdone yourselves, showing your city so much love that it’s a wonder the skyline isn’t lit up in pink lights from all the blushing.
And now it’s time to reveal the winners—the local venues you deem the very best. Below are the five overall category winners: The restaurant, café, bar, shop and cultural venue that scooped the most votes in the whole city. To see who came out on top in your specific neighborhood, go ahead and click to see the winners. Until next year, thanks for spreading the love!
Oh, and if you’re the traveling type, you’ll be pleased to hear that, as of this year, the Love Awards have gone global, meaning you can also see the winners from your favorite places in Paris, Lisbon, London, New York and LA.
The overall winners
Regardless of what’s on the chef’s mind for the meal, Arbor is a place you can come back to regularly, as long as you don’t fall too in love with one particular dish as the menu changes every night. A reasonably priced prix fixe meal with an ever-changing menu with a hyper-local spin makes Arbor a place approachable for someone looking for a delightful meal and pretty plates that’ll nudge them out of their comfort zone just a bit.
Swedish and Norwegian accents abound at this Andersonville stalwart. If you’re lucky, you can snag a couch in the back by the fireplace where you can take in the cool vintage bar (the design of which was inspired by the S.S. Normandie, the world’s largest ocean liner during the ’30s), sip some seasonal glogg and check out the friendly neighborhood crowd.
Maybe it's the giant pie sculpture in the window here that seduces you and draws you in. Or maybe it's the fact that eating at this charitable café is an easy way to support an org that provides hunger relief. But really, it's probably the food, whether a flaky-crusted seasonal pie or the satisfying cucumber-chicken salad.
Rep Chi keeps its store stocked with plenty of Chicago love. The shop boasts patches, shirts, keychains, hats and more that proudly display the Chicago flag, CTA map and other Chicago-centric designs. Stop here first for gifts for anyone on your list that loves the city or is missing it from afar. The store creates custom designs and crafts gifts made with recycled items.
This renovated theater in the heart of Logan Square features an upgraded sound system, new screens and projectors, and perhaps best of all, a lobby bar and lounge that hosts events like live comedy and movie trivia. You'll find a diverse mix of second run studio movies and indie flicks in addition to a robust lineup of midnight screenings each weekend.