Sunday, December 31

Topper's Top List: The Best Things I Ate In 2017

Hey everyone! I know it's been A LONG TIME. But I'm back to close out the year with my annual list of the best things I ate! It was a busy year filled with buying our first home and getting married (the fiancĂ© is now officially an Instagram husband), to job promotions and exciting travels. There were some lows (getting robbed while away on our honeymoon tops the list!), but definitely plenty of culinary highs.

In no particular order, here's my list of the best things I ate in 2017:

1) Wedge Salad at Entente

That dressing is unreal, and the plating? The prettiest salad I ever did see.

2) Jalapeno Mac and Cheese at Baptiste & Bottle

Cheesy, gooey goodness.

3) Thin Crust Pizza at Side Street Saloon

This Lakeview dive bar makes some of my favorite thin crust 'za in Chicago. It's my hidden secret.

4) Avocado Toast with Burrata at Forno Rosso

I love Forno Rosso's neapolitan-style pies, but their brunch is also delicious. Creamy burrata on top of creamy avocado toast is pure genius.

5) Wood Roasted Octopus at Coco Pazzo

The most tender octopus I've had.

6) Monkey Bread and Raviolo at The Bristol

These two go together. Pillowy soft bread dunked in the brown butter raviolo sauce is sheer perfection.

7) Funghi Pizza at Pizzeria Bebu

Any pizza at Bebu is amazing but the flavor bomb that's the funghi pizza tops my list. Plus, you can add an everything bagel style crust to any pie (trust me, you should).

8) Strangolapreti at Income Tax

I'm a fan of several dishes at Income Tax in my Edgewater 'hood. These fried spinach dumplings are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and stuffed with ricotta. Get two orders.

9) Ube Cookie from Warm Belly Bakery

My first time trying ube (purple yam) was at Chicago Gourmet in this cookie. It was so good I went back for seconds (and thirds).

10) The Cheeseburger (AKA The Dirty Burg) at The Loyalist

I went to The Loyalist four days before Bon Appetit named it one of their top burgers of the year. It's a hearty blend of chuck, bacon, and short rib and it's messy AF. The real star is the crack sauce on the side, a garlic aioli that will have you wondering how you cleaned your plate so quickly.

11) Burrata e Ham at Monteverde

Grab a tigelle (little lard breads with rosemary), stuff it with burrata and ham, and top it with seasonal ingredients like apple mostarda, or roasted beets.

Photo via Chicago Tribune

12) Fried Chicken at 1959 Kitchen & Bar

This is probably the biggest sleeper hit on this list. Who knew the restaurant at The Second City churns out fantastic fried chicken?!

Photo via 1959 Kitchen & Bar
13) Cauliflower Hummus at Shaya (New Orleans, LA)

Probably the least surprising on this list is the hummus at Shaya. I celebrated my birthday here this year in New Orleans (I will never forget the terrible flooding!) and never wanted the meal to end. The pita and hummus are the best I've had (I do love my husband's homemade varieties though).

Photo via Spoon University
Cheers to happiness, good health, and delicious eats in 2018! What were some of the best things you ate or drank this year?


  1. Happy New Year, Amanda! This is an awesome list. I love that Baptiste mac & cheese!

  2. Happy New Year Erin! It's so delicious - can't wait to have it again!

  3. Amazing list. I must have that pizza!

  4. Thanks Shelley! It's SO good! Love that crust.

  5. Safe to say this list has left us hungry! We hope you have a fantastic new year. Can't wait to make some foodie destination trips and check out a few of these great bites for ourselves.


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