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Chicago restaurants you loved in 2009

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Seems like everyone's doing those end-of-year and end-of-decade lists right about now, and we're nothing if not bandwagon-jumpers. But instead of telling you what we think were the coolest bars, clubs and restaurants of 2009 (or making you cast your vote), we're going to let the numbers do the talking. Before the new decade begins, we'll be giving you the lowdown on what venues Centerstage users viewed the most during the past year, along with our ideas about why each was so popular. Did your favorite make the list?

Now showing: Restaurants.

1. Sweet Mandy B’s
Sometimes, simplicity is best: chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting make this a must-stop spot.

2. Ed Debevic’s
We don't care why you like this place. Stop bothering us!

3. Bongo Room (South Loop and Wicker Park)
Ok, apparently people really love Oreo pancakes (and condos give people slightly more cravings than hipster-fied lofts).

4. Sushi Para II
It's not too often you hear the words "cheap sushi" and "really good" in the same sentence, but this subterranean restaurant makes it happen.

5. Burt’s Place
Deep-dish pizza doesn't usually need any additional selling points, but Anthony Bourdain will give even the cheesiest place a bump.

6. Silver Palm
Thanks again, Tony -- for introducing the world to the Three Little Piggies Sandwich.

7. Pick Me Up Café
Where else can you go to get a veggie sandwich and a cup of Joe at 2 a.m.?

8. State Restaurant & Café
In a year of downsizing, it's no wonder that people loved this expansive eatery, where everything is extra-large, from the menu to the prizes on trivia night.

9. Grand Lux Café
Hey tourists!

10. Butterfly Sushi Bar & Thai Cuisine
Folks come to see, be seen and eat snails (just us?) at this brightly colored spot -- way better than the other one on Chicago Avenue, apparently.

For more on these top restaurants and other local venues, visit

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This page contains a single entry by Ben Rubenstein published on December 31, 2009 8:45 AM.

Chicago bars you loved in 2009 was the previous entry in this blog.

Blair Waldorf goes Underground on January 1 is the next entry in this blog.

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