Everything you think you know about food in Illinois, Chicago, the suburbs and Rockford is apparently all wrong.

Truthfully, I was stunned when I was running through this massive list from The Daily Meal.

Photo by jaikishan patel on Unsplash
Photo by jaikishan patel on Unsplash
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Titled Yelp's Top 100 Places to Eat in 2021, I was ready to see at minimum five different restaurants in The Land of Lincoln highlighted.

Instead, I was left shook. I don't get it. Here's a good example: Wisconsin had three different "places to eat" in the top 100 while Illinois only had two.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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The Daily Meal says "To determine its Top 100 places to eat for 2021, Yelp asked users for their nominations, then analyzed the submissions based on Yelp ratings, number of reviews, and volume of submissions."

There is another way to look at it: The bigger and more popular a restaurant is, the more reviews, and in turn the better chance for negative experiences. OR, if you want to look at it more "glass half empty," maybe the food in Illinois isn't all that great.

Photo by manu schwendener on Unsplash
Photo by manu schwendener on Unsplash
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I don't believe that, but I do question what's going on with Yelp.

That said, there were two great restaurants in Illinois that were featured by The Daily Meal.

98th out of 100 is Aba.

The Daily Meal:

Aba, which means father in Hebrew, is a rooftop Mediterranean restaurant that was also voted best new restaurant in the Chicago Tribune’s 2019 Readers’ Choice Dining Awards

You can try Aba at 302 North Green Street in Chicago.

The highest-rated Illinois restaurant on the list of 100 Places to Eat according to Yelp is Forastero, ranked 29th overall.

The Daily Meal:

Forastero is a restaurant in Chicago offering a wide variety of cuisine from tempura-battered haddock to cochinita pibil-style pork, but Yelp-ers were quick to shout the restaurant out for their top-notch vegan tacos.

Forastero is located at 449 West North Avenue in Chicago.

If you haven't tried either yet, don't forget to check out the reviews for each on Yelp.

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