"Chicago's culinary scene is continuing to expand," said Tim Zagat, co-founder of Zagat Survey. "From fresh fusions to small plates, chefs are raising the bar with unique menu offerings and adventurous food preparations." Zagat recently served as a guest diner in the finale episode of Bravo's Top Chef Chicago, and along with his wife and Zagat Survey co-founder, Nina, will be present at the Taste of Chicago's opening ceremony.
The survey results, containing signature ratings and reviews of 1,089 eateries, are based on the experiences of more than 5,370 food-savvy residents. The guide also includes ratings and reviews of the best restaurants in Milwaukee.
On average, the Zagat surveyors dined out 3.1 meals per week; thus, this year's ratings and reviews are gleaned from roughly 860,000 annual meals worth of experience. Although the average meal cost in Chicago rose about 2% annually to $35.17, compared to $33.75 two years ago, 81% percent of Chicagoans say that they are eating out as much as or more than they did two years ago.