Chicago Eateries Make List of America's Best Casual Restaurants

The highest ranking Chicago restaurant was Hot Doug’s, which made the list’s top five

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    Chicago restaurants have been in the spotlight for their Michelin stars and swanky scenes, but a new report is recognizing area restaurants for serving up quality meals casual-style.

    The Daily Meal released a new list of the “50 Best Casual Restaurants in America” and three Chicago restaurants made the cut.

    The highest ranking city restaurant was Hot Doug’s, which made the list’s top five and was also featured in Yelp’s list of the top 100 places to eat in the United States.

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    Avondale's Kuma’s Corner, known for its theatrical burger menu, ranked as No. 34 on the list.

    Stephanie Izard's Little Goat on Randolph Street also made the top 50 list, taking the no. 43 spot.

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    The report looked at more than just dress code when determining if a restaurant was “casual.”

    The main element researchers looked at was if two people can fill themselves up for less than $50. They also looked for an overall comfortable and relaxed ambiance, a “destination” status, and how long the restaurants have been around.

    “Each year when we set out to compile our ranking of America’s 101 Best Restaurants, we’ve been hit with a dilemma: Do restaurants like the legendary Frank Pepe Pizzeria, as stellar as they are, really belong in the same category as Eleven Madison Park, with its three Michelin stars?” said Public Relations Manager Tim McGeever. “While they’re both renowned establishments and serve incredibly delicious food, there’s simply no way to compare the two; it’s apples and oranges, pizza and foie gras. So this year we decided to separate the upscale restaurants out from the casual ones.”

    New York’s Katz’s Delicatessen took the top spot on the list, followed by Shake Shack, also in New York, and Franklin BBQ in Austin, Tex.

    Chicago has also been featured in the Daily Meal’s list of America’s top 25 doughnuts and 101 best pizza pies.

    View the full list here.