food and beverage underground

The Illinois
Food and Beverage Scene

When it comes to fine dining in the Midwest Chicago is truly America’s Culinary Center! Just a few hours by plane from New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Boston, Miami or even Seattle; no other food city is as closely linked and “in touch” with the latest cutting edge trends in cooking. Food & Wine Magazine has repeatedly chosen a Chicago restaurant as America’s overall best experience.

Culinary Icons like Charlie Trotter and Rick Bayless hail from the windy city. Two of the world’s top 50 best restaurants have come from Chicago, year after year. There are more than 9,000 active & operating restaurant licenses in the city. Over 1,000 open [and as many close] each year. In Chicago, only the best chefs stay in business!

Only a few hours away from every possible type of gourmet ingredient and the freshest produce the city has access to Sea Food from Seattle, Stone Crab from Miami, Lobsters from Boston, or Shrimp from New Orleans. Of course Illinois is one of America’s top farming states. Organic vegetables stream into Chicago from Chicago’s local farmers. Fruits and veggies are brought in from nearby Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin. Of course no state in the country makes more – or better - cheeses than neighboring Wisconsin. Artisan chesses can be found on every top restaurant’s menu. You can find every possible cuisine in the windy city. Chicago has always been one of America’s top destinations for new immigrants. Wave after wave of Italian, Irish, Polish, German, Chinese, Greek, Asian Indian, Swedish, and now Mexican nationals have come to Chicago. Each new group has brought their own delicious foods and cuisines along. Today, Chicago has one of the largest Mexican populations in North America. * Chef Rick Bayless is running America’s best Mexican Restaurant here [as chosen by Food & Wine]. Each new group of people have added their own culinary greatness to America’s “Culinary Center Piece” Today the same fine dining and cultural experiences can be found in town’s and small cities across Illinois.

Chicago has become one of the world’s culinary capitals, Illinois has become the home and head quarters to some of the world’s largest food companies. Kraft Foods, Sara Lee, and McDonald’s Restaurants all call Illinois home. In fact Ray Kroc “invented” fast food in Illinois. The first McDonald’s restaurant was [and still is] found in a Chicago suburb. The National Restaurant Conference and Show [the nation’s largest] meets in Chicago each spring. When you are looking for one city that most demonstrates the passion, innovation and culinary expertise that has brought America to the top of the world’s gourmet list – Illinois is where to look.

Visit Chicago Illinois City Page

Explore These
Illinois Cities



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