2012 Time Out Chicago's Eat Out Awards

Chicago. I'm proud to be part of the food scene here and there's never a shortage of great places to eat. Wherever you look, there's a new place to check out, an interesting ethnic cuisine to try and an innovative chef to keep tabs on. The other night I attended a special soireé recognizing some of the great food spots in the city. Being at the 2012 Time Out Chicago's Eat Out Awards was like a food version of the Golden Globes... only on a much smaller scale and probably more delicious. At these awards, readers of Time Out Chicago voted for their favorite places and the local critics even highlighted their faves. But before we get to this year's winners, let's talk about the food...

I attended the awards show as part of the Chicago Blogger Network. We're about 300 bloggers large {and growing!} and all of us write blogs on various topics. If you're a Chicagoland blogger and aren't a part of this network, you should be! Check us out here. There were 5 of us bloggers that attended and we all covered the awards show via social media. Some of us conducted interviews with various award nominees, others went all papparazzi on anything and everything happening before, during and after the show, but most of us were glued to our Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and all other social media via smartphone/laptop to share the excitement of the night.

Being that this was a foodcentric event, we were fed well. Really well. Although it wasn't exactly gluten free friendly for me, I managed. I pretty much had more than enough salad and potato chips to hold me. {And I picked through the dishes to eat the non-gluten components.} Above is a shot of some of the tasty eats served...

Then it was show time! Folks gathered around and anxiously awaited for their name to be announced as a winner for one of the 31 awards presented. Below are the winners for each category. Find out more about the winners at Congrats to all nominess and winners! If you're in Chicago and/or plan on visiting, please check out these hot spots. There's a reason why they won after all...

2012 Eat Out Award Winners

Best new bar: The Aviary

Best new restaurant: Next

Breakout chef of the year: Dave Beran

Best new burger joint: Butcher & the Burger

Best new sweet shop: Doughnut Vault
Best new breakfast: Waffles

Best local chain: Epic Burger

Best new restaurant cocktails: Perennial Virant

Best fro-yo chain: Forever Yogurt

Best new BYOB: Goosefoot

Best new food truck: The Southern Mac and Cheese

Cheap eatery of the year: Pleasant House Bakery

Best new pizzeria: Roots Handmade Pizza

Best comeback: The Pump Room

Best new sports bar: Public House


The fresh air award for restaurant design: Yusho

Most legitimately farm-to-table restaurant: Pleasant House Bakery

Best one-man show: Bill Talbott at EL Ideas

Strongest dessert program: Spiked milkshakes at 25 Degrees

Coziest place to hibernate: Miko’s Flipside Caf√©

Best old-country buffet: Julbord at Tre Kronor

Best use of egg yolks: Egg-yolk buns at Cai

Best route to the suburbs: Wisma

Boys to men award for grown-up drinking: Elixir

Best firestarter: Tozi Korean BBQ

Best creative loafing: Publican Quality Meats

Best new biker bar: Heritage Bicycles General Store

Most palatable evangelism: Martha Bayne

Easiest history lesson: Big Jones

Lifetime achievement award: Tony Hu

Inspired performance award presented by Infiniti: Jeremy Quinn at Telegraph