Readers’ Choice Food Awards 2023: Vote for your favorite restaurants, bars and more

The nominations have been tallied, and it’s time to start casting those votes — for the mayoral runoff, sure, but just as importantly: For the 2023 Readers’ Choice Food Awards.

Over the past week, more than 900 nominations came pouring in for our 12 categories, from Best New Restaurant to your favorite Chicago-style barbecue, nonalcoholic drinks, suburban restaurant and more.

Now we’ve narrowed it down to five finalists in each category — and 10 for Best New Restaurant — and voting begins Friday and runs through March 31. Readers can vote daily for their favorites, and then check back April 26 to see who wins it all.

Scroll to continue with content

As with last year — the first time we introduced the nomination period — we took a few things into account when selecting the finalists: If nominations come from the restaurants themselves, or if the same person appeared to submit multiple nominations through different emails, we factored that into our decision.

If you missed it earlier this month, check out our Critics’ Choice Awards, featuring our picks for the best in Chicago dining in 2023, from pizza to pho. Want to see which of your favorite spots have won in the past? We’ve got a searchable map with every winner since 2011.

Best of luck to our worthwhile finalists, and may the most delicious morsels win.

Businesses can download a media kit with promotional assets to encourage patrons and fans to vote in the Readers’ Choice Food Awards.


If the voting form does not load below, try refreshing, or click here to vote.

This year’s categories include:

  1. Best New Restaurant: Your favorite spot to open in 2022.

  2. Best Chicago-Style Barbecue: Rib tips and links? Sign us up.

  3. Best Nonalcoholic Drink Menu: Whether it’s NA beer, spirit-free cocktails or a mix of nonalcoholic sippers, which Chicagoland spot has the best to offer?

  4. Best Sandwich: Slap something between two pieces of bread and call it a day.

  5. Best Plant-Based Food: Your favorite spot for vegan and vegetarian bites.

  6. Best Diner: Old-school, new-school or somewhere in between.

  7. Best Steak: Which spot sets your heart a-sizzlin’?

  8. Best Suburban Restaurant: Because great dining doesn’t end at the city limits.

  9. Most Impressive Cult Following: Do they have lines around the block? A devoted social media audience? This will be a true battle of the fans.

  10. Best Next-Gen Asian Restaurant: Which contemporary dining destination knocks your socks off?

  11. Best Sweet Treat: Whether it’s a perfect dessert to finish an ideal dinner, or a baked goods emporium, what’s the best item in town to satisfy that sweet tooth?

  12. Best Late-Night Haunt: Bonus points if everybody knows your name.

Big screen or home stream, takeout or dine-in, Tribune writers are here to steer you toward your next great experience. Sign up for your free weekly Eat. Watch. Do. newsletter here.