The Reader and Its Readers Pick Best Restaurants of 2011

He might have won something...
He might have won something… Photo: courtesy of YouTube

Sure, Taste of Chicago is set to return to the lakefront this weekend with dozens of vendors and hundreds of thousands of people. But if you really want to get a sense of where to eat in the city, you’ll probably have better luck by checking out the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago 2011 list. The annual feature splits its time between typical readers’ categories, and the more esoteric editors’ picks (example: Best chef downshift, animal division). Still, the Reader did crown a best restaurant, and Mike Sula admits that the “answer is as clear as tortue claire.”

That’s right, Grant Achatz’s Next picked up the honor, with Sula raving that the “almost universally beloved” restaurant was a shoo-in. To be fair, it wasn’t all good news for Mr. Achatz; the readers actually picked Rick Bayless as best chef.

There are way too many categories to go over here, so why don’t you check out all hundred or so of the magazine’s choices on its website.

Best of Chicago 2011 [Chicago Reader]

The Reader and Its Readers Pick Best Restaurants of 2011