21 Illinois restaurants made Yelp’s Top 100 in the Midwest – NBC Chicago


Chicagoans know there’s no shortage of great places to eat in the city, and even the suburbs. But where does The Windy City stack up when it comes to the rest of the Midwest?

According to Yelp’s newly released, “Top 100 Restaurants in the Midwest” for 2023, spots in Illinois rank high, but not quite at the top.

The list, released Thursday, looked at businesses Yelp’s restaurant category in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The site then ranked the eateries “using a variety of factors, including the total volume and ratings of reviews between January 1, 2021, and May 1, 2023,” Yelp said.

Coming in at No. 1 on the list was Blues City Deli in St. Louis, Missouri, about 300 miles outside of Chicago. Nabbing the second spot on the list though, was Pa Lian, in suburban Wheaton.

If you search Chicago for Burmese food — the flavorful cuisine of the Southeast Asian country now known as Myanmar — you’ll only find one listing,” the restaurant’s second place entry reads.

“We love to eat, we love to cook, so we decided to bring our cuisine to the Illinois area,” said owner Tawk Zalian, who splits cooking duties with his wife.

Throughout the list’s 10, restaurants in Missouri make four appearances. Restaurants in Illinois make three.

Landing the No. 6 spot on the list was Sunset Pho Caffe, located at 2856 N. Clark St. According to the eatery’s Facebook page, the Vietnamese-Yugoslavian fusion restaurant closed for vacation June 27. It’s set to reopen Aug. 9, the post says.

At No. 10 on the list is Aloha Wagon, a Hawaiian, Filipino and Mexican restaurant located at 2023 S. Western Ave. According to the ranking, the restaurant is also included in Yelp’s “Top Places to Eat in Chicago,” released in 2022.

Overall, 22 restaurants nabbed spots on the list of 100:

  • Pail Lian, Wheaton – #2
  • Sunset Pho Caffe, Chicago – #6
  • Aloha Wagon, Chicago – #10
  • Penumbra, Chicago – #12
  • Kuma’s Sushi Bowl, Vernon Hills – #20
  • Boba Burger, Morton Grove – #21
  • Asadoras Argentina Burgers, Oswego – #24
  • XOchimilco Mexican Restaurant, Chicago – #31
  • HD Cusine, Wheeling – #38
  • Offset BBQ, Chicago – #40
  • KALA Modern Greek, Chicago – #46
  • Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf, Chicago – #49
  • North Branch Fried Chicken – #52
  • Chez François Poutinerie, Naperville – #54
  • Dos Amigos Mexican Restaurant, Libertyville – #57
  • El Xangarrito, Chicago – #62
  • Gumii, Naperville – #64
  • Big Ed’s BBQ, Waukegan – #67
  • Bongiorno’s Italian Deli & Pizzeria, Chicago – #80
  • Community Tavern, Chicago – #82
  • Cedar Palace, Chicago – #88

See the full list of 100 here.

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