Best of 2016: Lou Malnati's

Lou Malnati's (Photos courtesy of each winner.)

Make It Better’s Best of 2016 drew more than 168,000 votes across 11 categories. Share your thoughts with us on social media using the hashtag #Bestof2016.

Best Burger (Suburbs)

Edzo’s Burger Shop

The undisputed suburban burger champ for five years running. 1571 Sherman Ave., Evanston

Edzo's Burger Shop

Best Burger (Chicago)

Au Cheval

A burger that will make you salivate and is worth the long wait. 800 W. Randolph St., Chicago

Best Burger (Chain)

Shake Shack

While burger chains can be hit or miss, you can’t go wrong with these juicy burgers and craveable milkshakes. Various locations 

Best Pizza (Suburbs)

Lou Malnati’s

When you think of Chicago pizza, the Lou’s pies are the epitome of deep dish. Various locations

Lou Malnati's

Best Pizza (Chicago)

Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co.

Delicious pizza enjoyed amidst an old-school Chicago atmosphere filled with delicious pizza. 2121 N. Clark St., Chicago

Best Cocktail Bar (Suburbs) 

Ward Eight

A four-time winner offering stellar cocktails and a speakeasy atmosphere. 629 Howard St., Evanston

Best Cocktail Bar (Chicago)

The Aviary

Cocktails go beyond simple mixology at The Aviary. Go for the mixology, stay for the experience. 955 W. Fulton Market, Chicago

Best Barbecue

Smoque BBQ

Get your fill of brisket, pulled pork, chicken or Texas sausage and don’t forget the sides! 3800 N. Pulaski, Chicago

Best Sweet Bakery (Suburbs)  |  Best Donuts

Bennison’s Bakery

Bennison’s Bakery repeats as a fan favorite for delectable treats. 1000 Davis St., Evanston

Best Sweet Bakery (Chicago)  |  Best Cupcakes

Sweet Mandy B’s

We’ll take a dozen cupcakes with dreamy buttercream frosting, and we don’t want to share. 1208 W. Webster Ave., Chicago

Sweet Mandy B's

Best Bread Bakery


Crusty loaves of bread, flakey pastries … what more could you want? 810 Dempster St., Evanston


Best Brunch (Suburbs)  |  Best Neighborhood Hangout

Ten Mile House

Choosing what to eat for brunch will be the hardest decision you make all weekend. 1700 Central St., Evanston

Best Brunch (Chicago)

“The Lobby” at the Peninsula Hotel

If you’re looking for an elegant brunch, this is where it’s at. 108 E. Superior St., Chicago

Best Breakfast

Walker Bros. Pancake House

It’s all about the pancakes. Various locations

Walker Bros. The Original Pancake House

Best Gourmet Market


All the gourmet products, plus in-house creations, you’d want. (Don’t miss their pudding.) Various locations


Best Wine Store

Schaefer’s Wines, Foods & Spirits

Having been around since 1936, these folks knows a thing or two about wine. 9965 Gross Point Road

Best Coffee

Glenview Grind

A great cup of joe with a side of giving back to area nonprofits. We love that. 989 Waukegan Road, Glenview

Glenview Grind

Hippest North Suburban Restaurant  |  Best Al Fresco Dining (Suburbs)

Found Kitchen and Social House

Retaining its title of hippest, Found is also the place to dine outdoors in the suburbs this year. A farm-to-table audience favorite you don’t want to miss. 1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston

Found Kitchen and Social House

Best Al Fresco Dining (Chicago)


The garden terrace is a fabulous spot to grab a glass of wine or a bite to eat. 104 East Oak St., Chicago

Most Romantic Dining (Suburbs)


Perfect for date night and a bit of romance. 505 Main St., Evanston

Most Romantic Dining (Chicago)

North Pond

Nothing says romance like an unparalleled location within Lincoln Park, stunning views of the skyline and a Michelin-starred chef.  2610 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago

North Pond

Best Italian (Suburbs) 


Find all of your favorite Italian comfort foods with a little bit of modern flair. 815 Chicago Ave., Evanston

Best Italian (Chicago)


This three-time Best Of winner serves up four-star Italian food that is both simple and elegant. 980 N. Michigan Ave., 2nd floor, Chicago

Best Asian


Look no further for authentic Chinese cuisine than Koi with its bold flavors and tastes from all over the region. 624 Davis St., Evanston


Best Grocery Store


From organic to prepared offerings, there’s a new grocery leader in town. Various locations

Best Steakhouse (Suburbs)          

Pete Miller’s

Eat a juicy steak while being serenaded by jazz artists. 1557 Sherman Ave., Evanston

Best Steakhouse (Chicago)

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Calling all carnivores to this repeat winner in this category. 1028 N. Rush St., Chicago

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Best Ice Cream       

Homer’s Ice Cream

A North Shore staple since the 1930s, a summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip. 1237 Green Bay Road, Wilmette

Homer's Ice Cream

Best Mexican/Latin

Depot Nuevo

Grab a margarita while you wait for your pleasingly spicy meal. 1139 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette

Best New Restaurant (Opened Since September 2015)


Neapolitan-style pizza? Get it fresh from the wood-burning oven. 1126 Central Ave, Wilmette


Best Sandwich

Nick’s Bar & Grill

Sandwiches made from locally sourced, high-quality ingredients make for a happy meal. 1168 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette

Nick's Bar & Grill

Best Sushi


Bust out the chopsticks for a California roll or a fresh piece of tuna nigiri or a signature roll (White Dragon, anyone?). 2545 Prairie Ave., Evanston

Best Juice/Smoothie


Drink to your health with a daily dose of fruits and veggies. 940 Church St., Evanston

Back to Best of 2016

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