5 Chicago Restaurants Listed Among Nation’s Best

CHICAGO (WBBM) – Five Chicago restaurants make the cut among the nation’s best in the latest Zagat Survey.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger Reports

Among Zagat’s newest list of the top restaurants: Chicago’s Les Nomades in Streeterville, Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Lincoln Park, Wicker Park’s Schwa, Arun’s Thai restaurant in the Irving Park neighborhood and Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo downtown.

Zagat’s 2011 America’s Top Restaurants guide reports the opinions and habits of more than 153,000 “avid diners”. The survey includes ratings and reviews of the 1,552 top restaurants countrywide.

CEO Tim Zagat says his annual survey also finds the recession has had an effect on fine dining. “They’re being much more price-sensitive and actually they’re eating out a little less frequently than before.”

At the same time, he says, people are leaving more generous tips. The average is now 19.2 percent, higher than ever before.

The main complaint among diners is others who are texting, tweeting or talking on their phones during the meal.

Here are some other findings of the survey:

Codes of Conduct: As more and more restaurants and public spaces offer free Wi-Fi to customers, 60% of those surveyed feel restaurants should restrict how long you can linger at a table during peak hours. When asked about texting, tweeting and talking at the table, 63% of those surveyed say it’s rude and inappropriate, but 85% feel it’s acceptable to take pictures of food and each other.

Sign of the Times: As expected during these tough economic times, those surveyed report eating out less (3.1 times per week down from 3.3 pre-recession).

Dollars and Sense: The national average price of a meal rose 2.2% in the past year to $35.37. New Orleans has the lowest average meal cost ($28.36), and the highest average percent tip at 19.7%.

More information at www.zagat.com

More from Regine Schlesinger
  • Nick

    “The main complaint among diners is others who are texting, tweeting or talking on their phones during the meal.”

    OK, I kind of get how someone talking on their phone would bother people. But if they weren’t talking on their phone they would be talking to the person they are eating with anyway so everyone would still be talking. But people do tend to talk louder when talking on a phone so I get that.

    But how does someone texting bother another diner. It’s someone silently tapping buttons on their phone. Unless you are eating in a restaurant with the lighting of a darkened theater there is no way the light of a phone is that big of a distraction. So unless you are being nosy and watching what everyone else is doing in the restaurant texting really shouldn’t be bothering you. Focus on your own meal and the company with you. And if someone’s phone is going off just politely ask them or have the host/hostess ask them to put it on vibrate, it’s that simple.

    My God we have become a country of whiners.

  • Tom

    you should check out Renezvous in Batavia , Illinois.
    they should be on the top of your list !
    a great place to go for dinner.
    Chef Jerry Dunn is the best !
    Check his place out

    • Tom

      Oops , wrong spelling.
      the name of the place is Rendezvous\
      again, should be at the top of your list
      a great place to go for dinner
      Chef Jerry Dunn is the best.
      1 East Wilson
      Batavia , Illinois
      his daily specials are great !
      The place is a like a secret,
      but the guys prime rib dinner is well worth the expense.

  • scott

    All resta.urants should have a sihn at entrance, asking customers to phomes on silent. It is rude to have phones ringing while try to have conversations. I can ghet them signs, cheap

  • Oldy22

    It is rude to have your cell phone ring and get into a loud conversation. Yes many do sit for hours taking up space to do the internet. As people are waiting to be seated. I wish they would have mentioned bad mannered kids. They upset my wife and myself with the screeching and whinning. Parents need to act like parents not as a best friend. Sorry but its not cute to have your kid running around the tables. If my Grandson did act up I would take him outside and we would wait til those in outr party were done eating. He learned never to act up after that.

  • justsaying

    Please have someone proofread the signs before posting. :)

  • http://fresh1059.radio.com/2010/10/27/chicago-restaurants-named-nation%e2%80%99s-best/ Chicago Restaurants Named Nation’s Best « Fresh 105.9 – Homepage

    […] here for the report. 0 comments print Filed Under: Alinea, Aruns Thai, Chicago, Fresh 105.9, Les […]

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