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When we’re looking for restaurant partners, we’re searching for the best of the best from trendy downtown restaurants to scrappy food trucks to hidden-gem mom and pops. We’re proud of our roster and each year we celebrate it with the Best of Fooda awards, asking you to choose your favorites. The votes are in, and here are your winners for Chicago’s Best of Fooda 2019.
A South Side classic, Harold’s Chicken Shack is beloved throughout Chicagoland and has been named Chicago’s Single Best Lunch. The reason? Harold’s always serves high-quality fried chicken and sides such as french fries, mac and cheese, okra, and hush puppies made with fresh ingredients. This food is so good, it’s been name-dropped in countless songs by artists including Common, Lupe Fiasco, and Chance the Rapper.
As the oldest Thai restaurant in Hyde Park, Thai 55 has been serving up authentic Thai dishes for decades, racking up awards along the way. This repeat Best of Fooda winner is known for nailing classics such as pad thai and fried rice. Another customer favorite is the Basil Chicken, stir-fried ground chicken on a bed of rice with bell peppers, basil leaves, onions, and hot chili peppers. But not too hot. Every meal at Thai 55 is prepared mild so that customers can adjust the heat to their comfort level.
The legend of Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs began in 1982 with famed Chicago columnist Mike Royko. Royko believed his ribs were the best around and challenged Chicago to prove him wrong. Charlie Robinson ultimately won the Mike Royko Ribfest, beating out Royko and the other 400 contestants to prove that his ribs were number one. More than 30 years later, Robinson’s No. 1 Ribs are still going strong with mouthwatering ribs, brisket, and pulled pork dished out alongside baked beans, garlic mashed potatoes, and coleslaw.
Founded in 1995, Burrito Beach is a staple in Chicago’s lunch scene and a Fooda favorite. In fact, their Buffalo Chicken Burrito made it to the fourth spot on our Top 10 Chicago Lunches list. What sets Burrito Beach apart is premium meats such as grass-fed barbacoa and all-natural chicken plus vegan and low-calorie options. Don’t forget their award-winning guacamole, which adds fresh avocado goodness to burritos, bowls, and quesadillas.
Latin Plate Catering awakens taste buds from their midday slumber with a flavorful menu of grilled steak quesadillas, pineapple mango salsa, and chipotle roasted potatoes. Try a bowl filled with poblano cilantro rice then add steak, chicken, or veggies to make a meal. Those in the know finish lunch with chocoflan, the classic Latin dessert that’s half chocolate cake half flan and sometimes referred to as the Impossible Chocolate Cake.