Style :: Food/Drink

NYC vs Chicago: Foodie Smackdown

by J.M. Hirsch
Saturday May 24, 2014
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Chef April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig restaurant in New York.
Chef April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig restaurant in New York.  (Source:AP Photo/Ecco, Melanie Dunea)

The James Beard Foundation announced earlier this week that its awards ceremony honoring the best chefs and restaurants is moving to Chicago after 24 years in New York City. It’s more proof that Chicago is home to one of the country’s hottest restaurant scenes. But who’s got the better eats?

Here’s a foodie smackdown between the Windy City and the Big Apple.

MUST-GET (but you probably won’t) RESERVATION
Chicago: Grant Achatz’s Next
New York: David Chang’s Momofuku Ko

VIRAL PASTRY
Chicago: Wonut (doughnut meets waffle) by Waffles Cafe
New York: Cronut (croissant meets doughnut) by Dominique Ansel Bakery

MODERNIST MAESTRO CHEF
Chicago: Grant Achatz
New York: Wylie Dufresne

PIZZA
Chicago: Deep-dish
New York: Thin crust.

EPIC FOOD HALL TO BE GLUTTONOUS AT
Chicago: Chicago French Market
New York: Eataly

FEMALE CHEF WITH ANIMAL-THEMED EATERY
Chicago: Stephanie Izard, Girl and the Goat
New York: April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig

HOT DOGS
Chicago: A walk through the garden - mustard, onions, pickle relish, dill pickle spear, tomatoes, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. And NEVER ketchup.
New York: Nathan’s in Coney Island, with mustard on a plain white bun.


Chef Stephanie Izard of the Girl and the Goat restaurant in Chicago.  (Source:AP Photo/Bravo, Chuck Hodes)

ODE TO FARM-TO-TABLE DINING
Chicago: Paul Kahan’s The Publican
New York: Dan Barber’s Blue Hill

BAR SCENE TO BE SEEN AT
Chicago: Grant Achatz’ Aviary
New York: Wallflower

HIPSTER FOODIE NEIGHBORHOOD
Chicago: Restaurant Row on Randolph Street in West Loop
New York: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

TOP CHEF AWARDS (from the Beards, of course)
Chicago: Rick Bayless (1995), Charlie Trotter (1999), Grant Achatz (2008) and Paul Kahan (shared with New York’s David Chang in 2013)
New York: Larry Forgione (1993), Daniel Boulud (1994), Jean-George Vongerichten (1998), David Bouley (2000), Lidia Mattichio Bastianich (2002), Eric Ripert (2003), Mario Batali (2005), Alfred Portale (2006), Dan Barber (2009), Tom Colicchio (2010), Daniel Humm (2012), David Chang (shared with Chicago’s Paul Kahan in 2013)

- TOP RESTAURANT AWARDS (also from the Beards)

Chicago: Charlie Trotter’s (2000), Frontera Grill (2007)

New York: Bouley (1991), Le Cirque (1995), Union Square Cafe (1997), Le Bernardin (1998), The Four Seasons (1999), Gotham Bar & Grill (2002), Chanterelle (2004), Gramercy Tavern (2008), Jean-Georges (2009), Daniel (2010), Eleven Madison Park (2011), Blue Hill (2013)


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